Outsider Karolina Muchova and defending champion Iga Swiatek are in the final of the French Open.

With a great fight, the Czech Muchova continued her surprising run of success with 7: 6 (7: 5), 6: 7 (5: 7), 7: 5 against the favored Aryna Sabalenka and is in a Grand Slam final for the first time. Tennis world number one Swiatek from Poland can hope for her third title in Paris after beating Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia 6: 2, 7: 6 (9: 7) in the semifinals on Thursday.

Swiatek did not lose a set in the classic clay court this year and also secured the top position in the world rankings by losing her pursuer Sabalenka. She goes into the final on Saturday as the favorite to win her third French Open title after 2022 and 2020.

“I really don’t know what happened”

Challenger Muchova put in a lot of effort to win against Sabalenka’s powerful attacking game in 3:13 hours. She came back in the third set after being 5-2 behind, fended off a match point and won five games in a row. “I really don’t know what happened. The atmosphere was incredible,” Muchova enthused on the pitch. “I just kept fighting and it worked. I’m so happy.”

Previously the world number 43. Muchova never got past the third round at the French Open, and at the Australian Open in 2021 she was also in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament.

Australian Open winner Sabalenka missed her first final at the French Open. The debate about their attitude to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko had repeatedly led to controversy during the tournament. At times she did not give a press conference, then distanced herself from Lukashenko and repeatedly stated that she did not support the war. “I don’t want to talk about politics today,” she said on Thursday.