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A Breathtaking Final – An Update from Roland-Garros

By: Ray Zhao

Over the weekend, the French Open ended with two fabulous, nail-biting finals. In the men’s finals, Novak Djokovic decisively defeated Casper Ruud of Norway 77-61, 6-3, and 7-5. Meanwhile, the women’s final was closer, as Iga Swiatek, World No. 1, defeated unseeded opponent Karolina Muchova 6-2, 5-7, and 6-4.

Muchova, a 26-year-old from the Czech Republic, has long been considered a great player. After facing multiple injuries, she barely made it to the French Open, ranked 43rd. Once recovered from her injuries, however, Muchova put up a star performance. After winning multiple matches in a steadfast manner, she rebounded and upset Aryna Sabalenka, the world no. 2 seed, after trailing 2-5 in the deciding set. This victory enabled her to reach her first grand slam final.

Her opponent, Swiatek, has enjoyed success for many years and entered the tournament seeded first. Now 22 years old, she won her first grand slam title at 19. Her skills are so devastating that she has won many matches 6-0 or 6-1. However, in the semifinals, she only narrowly beat Beatriz Haddad Maia, a Brazilian who came within one point of forcing a tiebreaker.

During the finals, nerves, and stress were key factors. Despite having led 6-2 and 3-0, several unforced errors led Swiatek to lose the second set and trail 0-2 in the third set. However, as the crowd chanted Muchova’s name, Swiatek managed to stay calm and rally to win her fourth grand slam title.

Despite Swiatek’s jaw-dropping win, Muchova also performed brilliantly, taking control of the second set at 3-3 and going 5-0 against the top three seeds before the finals. Muchova was the only player in the tournament to win a single set against Swiatek. Leaving this year’s tournament, she feels confident. “To call myself a grand slam finalist is an amazing achievement, and for sure big motivation for me to work in the future and to get a chance again to play for these big titles.”

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