WATCH: Karolina Muchova defeats Aryna Sabalenka in the 2023 Roland Garros semifinals

PARIS (AP) — As the top-ranked woman and the defending champion, Iga Swiatek was favored all along to win the French Open for the third time.

As someone who never has been to a major final and is ranked 43rd, Karolina Muchova was not on the list of expected title winners.

They will meet Saturday to decide the trophy at Roland Garros.

Swiatek is a 22-year-old from Poland who has led the WTA rankings for more than a year — and is assured of staying at the top next week no matter what happens in Paris.

She can become youngest woman since Monica Seles from 1990-92 to claim consecutive titles at Roland Garros and can join Seles and Naomi Osaka as the only women in the professional era to start a career 4-0 in major finals.


France Tennis French Open

France Tennis French Open

Muchova is a 26-year-old from the Czech Republic whose ranking is in part a reflection of the various injuries she has endured in recent years.

She can become fourth unseeded woman to lift the trophy at the French Open — and all have come in the past seven years, including Swiatek in 2020.

Muchova showed what she can do when she used her varied skills to come back after facing a match point while trailing 5-2 in the semifinals against No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, grabbing the last five games and 20 of the last 24 points to win.

That victory made Muchova 5-0 in matches against opponents ranked in the Top 3.

Beating Swiatek would make that mark 6-0.

"I really like her game, honestly. I really respect her, and she's, I feel like, a player who can do anything. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game," Swiatek said. "She plays with that kind of, I don't know, freedom in her movements. And she has a great technique. So, I watched her matches and I feel like I know her game pretty well."