PARIS -- The Roland Garros final is set. Bidding to win her third French Open title, World No.1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek will face No.43 Karolina Muchova on Saturday.
Muchova has already scored upset after upset in Paris, including her three-set win against No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals. Can the 26-year-old Czech maintain her perfect record against Top 3 opposition to stop Swiatek's clinical march to her fourth Grand Slam title?
When is the women's singles final?
The women's singles final will be played on Saturday, June 10 at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET).
The women's doubles final will be played on Sunday, June 11 at 11:30 a.m.
French Open semifinals
- Swiatek stops Haddad Maia to reach third Roland Garros final
- Muchova upsets Sabalenka at French Open; makes first Grand Slam final
What are the points and prize-money at stake?
By making the Roland Garros final, both Swiatek and Muchova have assured themselves 1,300 ranking points and 1,150,000 euros.
Saturday's champion will take home 2,000 ranking points and 2.3 million euros.
By advancing to her second consecutive Roland Garros final, Swiatek, who will be featured in Part 2 of Netflix's "Break Point," will leave Paris with her World No.1 ranking intact.
Muchova has assured herself a return to the Top 20. A win over Swiatek and she will leave Paris with a Top 10 debut.
How did Swiatek and Muchova get here?
As she bids to defend her title in Paris, Swiatek has yet to drop a set during the fortnight. She dominated the first week, losing only nine games across four matches, including one retirement in the third round against Lesia Tsurenko. Facing Coco Gauff in a rematch of last year's final, Swiatek posted a 6-4, 6-2 win in the Round of 16.
Her toughest test came in the semifinals on Thursday, where she was forced to save a set point against Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia before winning 6-2, 7-6(6).
By making the final, Swiatek became the youngest woman in 15 years to reach back-to-back finals in Paris (Ivanovic, 2007, 2008). She has now reached the final in three of her first five appearances at Roland Garros. In the Open Era, only Chris Evert made more than three finals in her first five appearances.
Along her way to her first major final, Muchova has knocked out three seeds, including two Top 10 players. It all began with a 7-6(5), 7-5 win over No.8 seed Maria Sakkari and continued with a 6-3, 6-2 win over 27th seed Irina Camelia Begu in the third round. After a straight-sets win over 2021 finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals, Muchova stunned No.2 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 in the semifinals.
Muchova saved match point from 5-2 down in the final set to end Sabalenka's bid for the No.1 ranking and quest for a second consecutive major title. Muchova has lost only one set in the tournament.
93.1% - Only Margaret Court at the Australian Open (95.5%) and Court at Roland-Garros (95.2%) have a higher winning ratio than Iga Swiatek at Roland-Garros (93.1%) in a single Grand Slam in the Open Era. Parisian.#RolandGarros | @WTA @WTA_insider @rolandgarros pic.twitter.com/E6UqOqX2Z8— OptaAce (@OptaAce) June 8, 2023
How do they stack up?
Muchova won their only previous meeting. That match also came on clay at the 2019 Prague Open. Back then, Muchova was a wild card ranked No.106. Swiatek, ranked No.96, earned her main-draw spot via qualifying.
Muchova rallied from a set down to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round.
"It was one of my first WTA tournaments, and I had to play last match of qualification and my first round against Karolina the same day, because it was raining days before," Swiatek said. "I felt like a rookie and I didn't know if I should be in that place or not.
"But I remember she played really well. It was a three-setter, pretty tight."
What's at stake?
At just 22 years old, Swiatek is trying to win her third French Open title, fourth major title overall, and 14th career title. It would also be her third title of the season, having already picked up wins on hard court in Doha and clay in Stuttgart.
Swiatek is bidding to become the first woman to win consecutive Roland Garros titles since Justine Henin won three straight from 2005-2007. She would also become the youngest woman to win consecutive titles in Paris since Monica Seles won three straight from 1990-92.
A third title would tie Swiatek for the fourth most Roland Garros titles in the Open Era. Only Chris Evert (7), Stefanie Graf (6) and Justine Henin (4).
Swiatek is bidding to win her fourth major title, having won Roland Garros twice and the US Open last fall. She would become the third player in the Open Era to win her first four Grand Slam finals after Monica Seles and Naomi Osaka. She could become the youngest to secure four Major titles since Serena Williams.
Muchova is bidding to win her first Grand Slam title and second career title. She won her sole title at the WTA 250 in Seoul in 2019.
Muchova is the fourth Czech woman to make the Roland Garros singles final in the Open Era, after Lucie Safarova, Marketa Vondrousova and Barbora Krejcikova. A win would give the Czech Republic two titles in the last three years, with Krejcikova having won her maiden major in 2021. Muchova is looking to join Jana Novotna, Petra Kvitova, and Krejcikova as the Czech Republic's four Slam champions in the Open Era.
Muchova brings a perfect 5-0 record against Top 3 opponents into the final. Since the WTA rankings were first published, Muchova is just the second player to ever win her first five meetings against Top 3 opponents. Martina Navratilova won her first seven such meetings.
Having defeated No.2 Sabalenka in the semifinals, a win over No.1 Swiatek would make Muchova the first player since 2009 to beat No.1 and No.2 en route to a major title and the fifth in the Open Era, joining Stefanie Graf, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, and Kuznetsova.
66.7% - Karolina Muchova has won 66.7% of her Grand Slam matches v top-10 (6-3): only Graf (75.3%), Navratilova (70.6%) and S. Williams (68.9%) have a higher win ratio since the WTA rankings were first published - min. 9 such matches. Unshy.#RolandGarros | @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/uxMnec6EBs— OptaAce (@OptaAce) June 8, 2023
What are they saying?
Swiatek: "I still feel like I know Karolina's game anyway because I played many practices with her since 2019, and I also watch her actually more than most of the players. Just a coincidence, but it happened. And I really like her game, honestly. I really respect her, and she's I feel like a player who can do anything, you know. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game.
"She plays with that kind of 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. But obviously on matches, it's a little bit different and I'll be ready no matter what."
Muchova: "I don't think I will be the favorite. Yeah, it's nice. I didn't really even know about this statistic [5-0 vs. Top 3 players], if I say like that.
"It just shows me that I can play against them. I can compete, and obviously the matches are super close. Even today, match ball down, you really never know if I win or lose, but it's great to know that I have the chance to win and I win against the top players, and that for sure boosts my confidence."
Swiatek: "I'm pretty happy that I don't have to deal with so much stuff that I dealt with in Australia. Obviously it's still a lot of pressure and it's not easy, but also on clay I feel like I have more weapons than faster hard court. I'm trying to use that confidence and that feeling of being comfortable on that surface to just kind of focus on that a little bit more and play better because of that."
Muchova: "I will for sure need to fight. I'll need to play my best. Yeah, just to bring the best out of me and play a perfect match to be able to win a Grand Slam."