(Paris) Czech Karolina Muchova, 43rd in the world, dismissed a match point on Thursday against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, world No.2, and qualified 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/ 7), 7-5 at Roland-Garros for his first Grand Slam final.

Muchova (26) overcame Sabalenka after more than three hours of duel. In the final on Saturday, she will face either the world No.1 Iga Swiatek or the unexpected Brazilian Beatriz Haddad (14th), opposed in the second semi-final.

Muchova, a first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist at the Australian Open in 2021, had never passed the third round on Parisian clay before the 2023 edition.

After two highly contested first sets and concluded in the decisive game, the first in favor of Muchova, the second of Sabalenka, the world No.2 widened the gap 5 games to 2 in the third set and even came closer to a point from the win, when she led 30-40 on her Czech opponent’s serve in the next game.

But Muchova dismissed that match point with a forehand winner, came back at 5-3, broke when Sabalenka served for the match winner, and equalized at 5-5. Then, taking advantage in particular of two consecutive double faults from the powerful Belarusian, she seized her entry once again and did not flinch when it came to concluding.

“I don’t really know what happened! Muchova was still surprised a few moments after her victory. I just kept fighting and it worked! ยป

Between the power of Sabalenka and the variations and incursions at the net of Muchova, the first semi-final of the women’s table offered a remarkable opposition of styles.

Falling from world No.8 Maria Sakkari in the first round, the Czech is already guaranteed to find a place in the top 20 on Monday.

Even eliminated, Sabalenka still has a chance to become world N.1 at the end of the Paris fortnight, if Swiatek, outgoing champion, does not qualify for the final later in the day.