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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Muchova breaks new record at Roland-Garros


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Paris: A pair of Grand Slam standouts, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova marched into the last eight in Paris carrying resurgent form.

Back from a debilitating knee injury that halted her in 2022, the 31 years old Pavlyuchenkova was playing in Paris for the first time since her dream run to the final in 2021.

Muchova, after recuperaying a slew of injuries, has been a rising force on tour this year as she entered Tuesday’s showdown with a 21-7 record on the season.

It would be the 26-year-old Czech who kept up the steam with a decisive 7-5, 6-2 victory over Pavlychenkova on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Tuesday, to reach a maiden Roland-Garros semifinal.

She made into the semis of 2021 Australian Open prior to this tournament, and now would take on either No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka or Elina Svitolina.

It started as a closely-contested baseline battle, with Muchova steaming at front by a break, but the World No.333 saved five break points to hold for 2-3, before levelling up at three-all in the next game with a break of her own.

Another set of breaks were scripted, bringing the pair to 5-all, before Muchova turned on the jets and reeled off eight of the final 10 points of the set to take a 7-5 lead at the 60-minute mark.

Muchova made it 16 of 20 points won as she cruised through the opening two games of set two, and the Czech would never look back.

Pavlyuchenkova struggled to win points on serve in the second set and Muchova saved the only break point she faced while serving for the match at 5-2. She would soon close out the contest in one hour and 38 minutes.

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