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Iga Swiatek to play Karolina Muchova in French Open final

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning against Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - Reigning champion and world number one Iga Swiatek will face unseeded Czech Karolina Muchova in the French Open final after defeating Brazilian 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) on Thursday.

Poland’s Swiatek, 22, is chasing a third Roland Garros crown in four years and bidding to become the first woman to successfully defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007.

She is the youngest woman to reach three French Open finals since Monica Seles at the start of the 1990s.

“It’s really amazing. It’s just tough to play such a long tournament, to be able to play consistently. Every year I have good results here and I’m pretty excited for Saturday,” said Swiatek.

Haddad Maia, the first Brazilian woman in a Grand Slam semi-final since seven-time major winner Maria Bueno in 1968, broke Swiatek to love in the opening game but the top seed soon took charge.

Swiatek won five of the next six games before breaking Haddad Maia for a third time to close out the set.

Haddad Maia clawed out a 3-1 lead in the second set but Swiatek pocketed the next three games.

She fended off three break points at 4-all and saved a set point in the tie-break before halting the run of the 27-year-old left-hander who had never got past the second round of a Grand Slam before this French Open. AFP

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