Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JEAN CATUFFE / DPPI via AFP 19:25 pm, June 09, 2023

Surprise guest of the final of the Women'France s International 2023, the Czech Karolina Muchova will have to play "the perfect match" to try to win the first Grand Slam of her career. In front of her, the defending champion Iga Swiatek will not let go.

Karolina Muchova (43rd) is the surprise guest of the Roland Garros final after months of battling health problems and injuries. She is living her dream but says that to win Saturday's final against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, she will have to "play the perfect match" In recent months, she has suffered back, abdominal and ankle pain, and plunged to 235th in the world in August 2022. She advanced to her first Grand Slam final on Thursday by beating world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5.


Interviewer: What were you thinking when you were leading 5-2 in the third set with a match ball against you?

Karolina Muchova: "I knew there was only one break and I was waiting for an opportunity. It happened. I managed to break and then keep my stake. Then you never know what's going to happen. I just tried to play point by point. And I'm super happy that the game turned in my favor. Everything happens in its time. I've had some tough times in the past. So I appreciate this moment all the more. To be in the final of a Grand Slam tournament was a dream."

Interviewer: Because of the injuries, did you ever think about stopping everything?

Karolina Muchova: "I've had a lot of lows... from one injury to another. When I missed the Australian Open last year, I was really bad in terms of health. Doctors told me that maybe I wouldn't do sports again. But I've always stayed positive, I've always worked to come back. Last year, when my ranking plunged, I went back to play small tournaments, but I didn't feel good about it. I wanted to find motivation to come back, but I couldn't. This year, I played well in Dubai and Indian Wells (beaten both times in the quarters, editor's note) where I used my last protected ranking and where I felt good physically. Life is made of ups and downs and I'm enjoying being on a high right now."

Interviewer: You have played five times against numbers 1, 2 or 3 and always won. Do you see yourself as the favorite for the final against Swiatek?

Karolina Muchova: "I don't think so, no. I did not know that statistic, but it is good. It proves that I am capable of playing against them. When, like today you have a match ball against you, it's always good to know that I still have a chance to win. And the fact that I beat the best gives me a lot of confidence. But I will have to fight and play at my best. To win a Grand Slam, you have to play the perfect match."