Iga Swiatek reached the French Open final unbeaten in six matches. Unseeded opponents lie between her and a third Roland Garros title.
Top-ranked Swiatek defeated 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-2, 7-6 (7) in Thursday's semifinal. Haddad Maia missed three second-set break points at 4-all.
Swiatek has dropped just 23 games, matching her total from her 2020 French Open final win, her first WTA Tour triumph. She signed a courtside camera #stepbystep after her semifinal.
She said she was a better player than in 2020. “Mentally, tactically, physically, experience, everything. My whole life.”
Swiatek faces 43rd-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova, who upset No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to reach her maiden major final, on Saturday.
Muchova, a 26-year-old in the second week of the French Open for the first time, defeated the muscular Belarusian 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5.
Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January despite erratic serving, suffered two double faults in her final serve game. “Lost rhythm,” she said. “I wasn’t.”
Muchova prevented the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 French Open final since Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova in 2013. Muchova entered the competition unseeded but dangerous.
In 2021, she defeated then-No. 1 Ash Barty to reach the Australian Open semifinals and a career-high ranking of 19. Injuries forced her out of the top 200 last year.
Muchova has defeated top-three players five times. In their only match, she defeated Swiatek in 2019. They've practiced numerous times.
“I honestly like her game,” Swiatek remarked. I respect her and think she can do anything. She's deft. She accelerates the game. She dances freely. She has tremendous technique. I studied her matches and think I know her game.”