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Karolina Muchová after reaching the final


Clive Mason / Getty Images

The Czech Karolina Muchová continued her surprising run of success at the French Open against the favored Aryna Sabalenka and fought her way into the final for the first time. The 26-year-old won a high-class semi-final on Thursday 7: 6 (7: 5), 6: 7 (5: 7), 7: 5 against the tennis world number two from Belarus.

In the victory in 3:13 hours, Muchová faced the powerful attacking game of Sabalenka with great commitment. She came back from a 2-5 deficit in the third set, fended off a match point and won five games in a row.

At the Australian Open, Muchová has already reached the semifinals

Previously, the world number 43. Muchová never made it past the third round at the French Open, and she was also in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open in 2021. The unseeded Muchová will now face the winner of the match between the top seeded defending champion Iga Świątek from Poland and the surprisingly strong Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

"I don't even know what happened here. I'm so happy," Muchová said after the game. The atmosphere, the people who push me throughout the match. I just kept fighting and it worked. I really don't know what happened. I'm so happy."

Australian Open winner Sabalenka missed her first final appearance at the French Open. The debate about her stance on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and on Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko had led to controversy several times during the tournament.

At times, she did not give a press conference, then distanced herself from Lukashenko and repeatedly declared that she would not support the war. The Ukrainian Marta Kostjuk refused to shake Sabalenka's hands after her explosive first-round duel and was booed for it.