PARIS (AP) — As it is, Karolina Muchova was the unseeded, unexpected participant in the
French Open semifinals.
And then, dealing with cramping legs nearly three hours into the match, she was just one point from losing to
No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, who entered Thursday with a 12-0 Grand Slam record in 2023, including an Australian Open title.
Muchova somehow worked her way out of that difficult situation, grabbing the last five games against an error-prone Sabalenka for a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory at Roland Garros to reach her first major final at the last place she expected.
"A roller coaster," Muchova said.
In Saturday's title match, she will meet
No. 1 Iga Swiatek, the defending champion, who got past No. 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 7-6 (7) on Thursday night. Swiatek is seeking a third title in Paris and fourth major championship in all and her win in the semifinals assured the 22-year-old from Poland of remaining atop the WTA rankings.