This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Karolina Muchova says 'bitter' French Open loss to serve as motivation

Karolina Muchova (right) went down 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to Iga Swiatek in a nail-biting French Open finale. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - Karolina Muchova said she would use the “bitter feeling” of losing Saturday’s French Open final to Iga Swiatek to drive her on to challenge for more Grand Slam titles after injury nearly wrecked her career.

The 43rd-ranked Czech went down 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to Swiatek in a nail-biting finale as the world number one retained her Roland Garros crown, winning her third French Open and fourth Grand Slam title.

Muchova, the fourth lowest ranked women’s finalist ever in Paris, fought back from a set and 3-0 down, and twice led Swiatek by a break in the decider before her fate was sealed with a double fault on match point.

“The feeling is a little bitter, because I felt it was very close, a close match,” said Muchova, whose previous best run before at a major came when she reached the 2021 Australian Open semi-finals.

“But overall, I mean, to call myself a Grand Slam finalist, it’s an amazing achievement. For sure big motivation for me to work in the future and to get a chance again to play for these big titles.”

The 26-year-old displayed remarkable resilience after Swiatek had taken charge, drawing on the resolve that enabled her to recover from 2-5 and match point down against Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals.

She had Swiatek on the ropes while serving for a 5-3 lead in the final set, but the Pole broke back and claimed the final three games to clinch the trophy.

“I gave my everything on the court today, so I have nothing to regret,” said Muchova, who ended last year’s French Open in a wheelchair after suffering an ankle injury.

‘Belief is there’

That followed an abdominal problem which sidelined her for seven months in 2021. Only last September, her ranking was outside the top 200, and she was told by doctors she may never play again.

But a breakout performance over the past two weeks has fuelled Muchova with fresh belief.

Embed Twitter

Tweet URL

“Now that I know that Iga is World No. 1 and I was so close. I think now that I can do it,” she said.

“I always believe when I go to the Grand Slam, but I believed in every Grand Slam I played before and I’ve never played final. So the belief is there, but that I actually achieved it, it’s a very nice and warm feeling.

“It’s good for the confidence. It says to me that I’m able to do this, to do these big results. It’s very motivational, and now I feel I can do it and I will for sure try to get there again.”

Embed Twitter

Tweet URL

Muchova will switch her focus to the grass-court season and Wimbledon, filled with renewed optimism.

“I look forward to playing on the grass, on the fast surfaces, that’s for sure the surfaces I prefer and I like more,” said Muchova, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2019 and 2021.

“This was my last clay tournament. It could have end up a little bit better, but it was still pretty great.” AFP