Iga Swiatek Edges Past Muchova To Secure Third Roland Garros Crown - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Edges Past Muchova To Secure Third Roland Garros Crown

Iga Swiatek won a gripping women’s final to claim her fourth Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.

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Iga Swiatek edged past Karolina Muchova 6-2 5-7 6-3 in a thrilling final to secure her third Roland Garros title.

Swiatek was dominant for the first set but had to endure a resilient comeback from Muchova in a gripping women’s final.

The Pole is the first male or female player to win her first seven sets in Grand Slam finals.

It’s a fourth Grand Slam title for Swiatek who will remain at world number one on Monday heading into the grass court season.

Heading into the match Swiatek was the more experienced in Grand Slam finals and that experience showed as she settle into her rhythm more.

Muchova was playing in her first Grand Slam final and started the match more passively, allowing Swiatek to dictate play and be aggressive.

The world number one’s aggressive start was rewarded with a 3-0 lead as there was work to do for the world number 43.

Eventually Muchova’s mix of power and slice was able to cause Swiatek a few problems as a few effective drop shots allowed her to edge towards a service hold.

This allowed Muchova to have more freedom on return as the Czech Republican worked the angles, creating a break point to get back on serve.

However some ridiculous backhands and clinical point construction allowed Swiatek to cruise through the big points as the top seed held to take a 4-1 lead.

The rest of the set allowed Swiatek to produce relentless pressure on Muchova with the Czech Republican having to save break point in the sixth game.

In the end Swiatek’s persistent pressure on return paid off as she broke to love to seal a comfortable opening set 6-2.

Momentum was with Swiatek while Muchova failed to really settle into the final as she sprayed unforced errors wide and by some margin.

An effortless display of power saw her take advantage of Muchova’s erratic errors as once again the world number one took a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set.

Muchova soon realised it was now or never if she wanted to make an impression in this final and the Czech Republican started to construct more effective points with the slice once again doing the damage.

A handful of errors mixed with some much more aggressive play from the Czech Republican and this final was back on serve at 3-2.

Muchova was starting to find the lines as she looked for high percentage shots on pressure moments.

This forced Swiatek in some big pressure moments which finally told on the world number one as she was much more passive towards the end of the second set.

A double fault gifted Muchova the break and all of the sudden the Czech Republican had the opportunity to serve out the second set.

Once again though Muchova was mentally cramping up as she hit some wild unforced errors and Swiatek’s clever returning allowed her to break back for 5-5.

Both players were feeling the nerves as Swiatek produced more cheap errors to give another break to Muchova.

The Czech Republican got off to a nervy start but eventually produced some world class points to seal the set on her third set point after a return error from Swiatek as this final would be going to a decider.

At the start of the third set saw a completely different Muchova with the Czech Republican hitting the ball with confidence and precision.

More unforced errors from Swiatek gave Muchova the early break which was followed by a hold to love which included two aces.

However the defending champion showed her true qualities as some world-class backhands down the line saw her seal three games in a row to take a 3-2 lead.

Muchova overcame the early setback and regained her composure to secure the break back as she once again had the break advantage at 4-3.

A flurry of missed first serves mixed with some quality returns saw Swiatek once again break back as both players continued to be tense.

The Czech Republican was again threatened to break in the next game but Swiatek’s clutch play on serve mixed with some poor missed returns from Muchova saw the Pole hold for 5-4.

That was the crucial point in the match as Swiatek sealed her third Roland Garros title with a break in the next game after a Muchova double fault.

The Pole has now won her fourth Grand Slam title as she fell to tears after a thrilling contest.

After the match Muchova broke down in tears and paid tribute to her opponent, “Thank you very much. I’ll try to keep it short because this is emotional. This is incredible, thank you to everyone,” Muchova was quoted by BBC as saying.

“It’s been amazing to be actually three weeks in Paris here for me and my team. This was so close and yet so far. that happens when you play one of the best.

“Iga, I want to congratulate you and your team. I want to thank everyone behind the curtains as well. The people who help us in the locker-room, physios, ball kids, every volunteer. It’s been an amazing tournament.”

Meanwhile Swiatek said that Paris is one of her favourite places on tour, “Thank you to my family as well and there have been so many people that have come from Poland that I really feel the love, so thank you too,” Swiatek was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“I know I have said every year it is not about the performance but I really love being here – basically it’s my favourite place on tour so thank you to everybody, tournament organisers, sponsors, people who are working behind the scenes, you make this tournament so great for us that it is always a pleasure to come back and just give 100%.

“I want to thank you guys for coming and giving us so much energy – it was so loud today and for the semi-finals too, incredible really. I hope next year the atmosphere is going to be even better.”

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(VIDEO) Steve Flink, Ubaldo On The Wimbledon Women’s Final: ‘The Better Player Won But Did Inexperience Play A Part?’

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Image via https://x.com/WTA

Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins Ubitennis to analyse the Wimbledon women’s final after Barbora Krejcikova beat Jasmine Paolini in three sets.

The Czech held her nerve to clinch only her second win over a top 10 player this year and follow in the footsteps of her late mentor Jana Novotna. It is only the second Grand Slam title Krejcikova has won and her first since the 2021 French Open.

Meanwhile, Paolini can still draw positives from what is a stellar season for her. She is projected to rise to a ranking high of No.5 on Monday as a result of her latest run. However, did inexperience cost her in today’s final? 

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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Jasmine Paolini Plays Barbora Krejcikova for the Ladies’ Singles Championship

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Jasmine Paolini after winning her semifinal on Thursday (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Day 13 at The Championships hosts the championship matches in ladies’ singles, ladies’ doubles, and gentlemen’s doubles.

It’s cliché, and usually untrue, to say “No one expected these two finalists.”  But in this case, it is absolutely true.  Prior to this fortnight, Jasmine Paolini had never won a match at The Championships.  And Barbora Krejcikova arrived at SW19 with a losing record on the year.  Yet both will play in their second Major singles final on Saturday, after inspired play during this tournament.


Barbora Krejcikova (31) vs. Jasmine Paolini (7) – 2:00pm on Centre Court

After failing to advance beyond the second round in her first 16 appearances at Majors, Paolini is now 15-2 in her last three, and is the first WTA player to reach the final of both Roland Garros and Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2016.  Jasmine is 30-12 on the year, and has won 14 of her last 16 matches.  She has been taken to three sets twice during this event, most recently outlasting Donna Vekic in a third-set tiebreak during Thursday’s semifinals.

Krejcikova has also required three sets in two of her six matches to this stage, upsetting 2022 champion Elena Rybakina in the semis.  That was the third win in a row for Barbora over a higher-seed, after ousting two other big hitters, Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko.  She’s accomplished all this despite being just 7-9 this season before this tournament began.  Injuries have plagued her career since her 2021 Roland Garros singles title, including a back injury earlier this year. 

Paolini is 2-4 lifetime in singles finals at WTA level, while Krejcikova is 7-5.  However, when you consider their appearances in Major finals between singles and doubles, Paolini is 0-2, having lost both the women’s singles and doubles finals last month in Paris, while Krejcikova is an amazing 11-1.  That’s a huge contrast in success at Grand Slam level.

These players also possess contrasting styles.  Paolini has been crushing her forehand, using it to come forward and show off her great hands at the net.  Krejcikova has a good serve, as well as both power and guile on her groundstrokes.  She loves using her slice to keep her opponents off-balance.  However, that will be more difficult to do against such a great mover like Jasmine.  And Barbora’s forehand has become unreliable in some crucial moments during this fortnight, which the Italian can target.

But on this surface, and considering her history in Major finals, I give the edge to Krejcikova to win her second Major singles title.  Plus, Barbora has already won two ladies’ doubles titles on this same court.  And she would surely cherish the chance to honor her late coach and mentor Jana Novotna by holding the Venus Rosewater Dish aloft on Centre Court, just as Jana did in 1998.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson (15) vs. Harri Heliovaara and Henry Patten – This is a fourth Major final in men’s doubles for Purcell, who won this title two years ago alongside another Aussie, Matthew Ebden.  Thompson had never advanced beyond the fourth round of a Major in either men’s singles or doubles until this run.  Patten is also a Major final debutante, while Heliovaara won last year’s US Open in mixed doubles.

Katerina Siniakova and Taylor Townsend (4) vs. Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe (2) – Siniakova is playing for the ninth Major title in women’s doubles, while Townsend is playing for her first, after going 0-2 in previous finals.  Dabrowski and Routliffe are the reigning US Open champions, and Routliffe will become the new World No.1 in women’s doubles on Monday, regardless of Saturday’s result.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Alcaraz and Medvedev Collide in a Semifinal Rematch

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Carlos Alcaraz earlier this week (twitter.com/wimbledon)

Day 12 at The Championships hosts the gentlemen’s singles semifinals, as well as the semifinals in both ladies’ and mixed doubles.

We are just one match away from a highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s epic gentlemen’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.  However, just as he did last summer at the US Open, Daniil Medvedev is eager to spoil the party, and defeat Alcaraz in another Major semifinal.  Plus, Djokovic needs to overcome 22-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who owns a victory over Novak.


Daniil Medvedev (5) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – 1:30pm on Centre Court

Alcaraz leads their head-to-head 4-2, with three of those victories coming on hard courts, Medvedev’s preferred surface.  They’ve twice before played at this tournament, and they split those meetings.  Medvedev won in straights three years ago in the second round, while Alcaraz won in straights last year in this same round.  And since Daniil defeated Carlitos in four sets last September in New York, Alcaraz has beaten him twice in straights, including a few months ago in the Indian Wells final.

A year after last year’s one-sided semifinal between these same two players, Medvedev appears much more comfortable on grass, and willing to be more aggressive and vary his return position against Alcaraz.  Many of Carlitos’ victories over Daniil have been a result of Medvedev returning serve from way back in the court, allowing Alcaraz to come forward and dictate play, as well as use his beloved drop shot.  But Daniil has recently moved forward and played more offensively, not only against Carlitos, but also against Jannik Sinner, as we saw in the last round.

And Alcaraz has appeared quite vulnerable throughout this fortnight, dropping at least one set in each of his last three matches, all of which featured stints of sloppy play from the defending champion.  Yet as he usually does, Carlitos has created some magic in big moments, including during a come-from-behind victory over Frances Tiafoe in five sets.  And as improved as Medvedev is on grass, this surface still favors the power and variety of Alcaraz.  Carlitos is the favorite to prevail in what should be a contest full of dynamic rallies.


Lorenzo Musetti (25) vs. Novak Djokovic (2) – Second on Centre Court

Musetti’s victory over Djokovic came a year ago on clay in Monte Carlo, in a three-hour three-setter.  The Italian also had the all-time great on the ropes during their first clash at the 2021 French Open, when Lorenzo won the first two sets in tiebreaks, before wilting and losing the next three 6-1, 6-0, 4-0, as a depleted Musetti would retire and be unable to even finish the match. 

Their most recent encounter was also a Roland Garros five-setter.  Just a month ago in Paris, Djokovic again came from behind to defeat Musetti in five, with the last two sets featuring lopsided scores of 6-3 and 6-0.  Overall Novak has claimed five of their six matches.

Lorenzo’s lasting power on Friday will not be aided by a draining five-set win on Wednesday against Taylor Fritz.  By contrast, Djokovic did not play at all on Wednesday, as Alex de Minaur withdrew from their quarterfinal due to injury.  Normally such an interruption to a player’s schedule late in a big event can negatively impact their rhythm.  But Novak is now a 49-time Major semifinalist, so there’s not much he’s unprepared for at this stage of his illustrious career.  And his recently surgically-repaired knee likely didn’t mind the extra rest and recovery time.

And Novak’s record across the past decade in Major semifinals is mind-boggling: since the 2015 Australian Open, he is 22-2.  At Wimbledon specifically, Djokovic hasn’t lost a semifinal since 2012, having won his last eight.  Against an opponent making his Major semifinal debut, Novak is a considerable favorite, even if his knee is still far from 100%.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Su-wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens (1) vs. Katerina Siniakova and Taylor Townsend (4) – Su-wei and Mertens crushed Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in the last round, as each looks to become a ladies’ doubles finalist in all four of their latest appearances at The Championships.  Hsieh will also play in the mixed doubles semifinals later in the day.  Siniakova is an eight-time Major champion in women’s doubles, while Townsend is a two-time finalist. 

Caroline Dolehide and Desirae Krawczyk (7) vs. Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe (2) – Dolehide was a surprising finalist in singles at last fall’s WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, but is 0-5 in women’s doubles semifinals at Majors.  Krawczyk is a four-time Major champ in mixed doubles, with two of those wins coming at Wimbledon.  Dabrowski and Routliffe are the reigning US Open champions, and like Hsieh, Erin is also in the mixed doubles semis.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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