Iga Swiatek in the final of Roland Garros 2023, Paris, France
Iga Swiatek in the final of Roland Garros 2023, Paris, France | (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Tennis | Roland Garros 2023 | Swiatek reveals exhaustion and happiness after claiming fourth Grand Slam title

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Iga Swiatek [1] def Karolina Muchova 6-2 5-7 6-4
  • Swiatek spoke about feeling exhausted as well being happy about her fourth Grand Slam title.
PARIS, FRANCE – Iga Swiatek spoke about her emotions after edging past Karolina Muchova to win her fourth Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.


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Iga Swiatek [1] def Karolina Muchova 6-2 5-7 6-4

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Iga Swiatek is Roland Garros champion for the third time in her career after edging past Karolina Muchova in three sets. The world number one started the match in emphatic fashion as she took advantage of Muchova’s inexperience and nervousness. Swiatek produced high quality shot-making from the baseline while the Czech Republican was passive to start the match with the top seed taking an early 3-0 lead.

There was more of a consistency from Muchova after the poor start as she settled into her rhythm on serve producing some effective drop shots to hold serve and threaten the break back. However Swiatek was there to produce some world-class backhands under pressure to save a break point and gain the crucial break at 4-1. If Swiatek wasn’t confident already she was after that game as more winners came from the Pole’s racket and a rapid opening set was secured with a break to love.

The momentum was with Swiatek at the start of the second set as Muchova was overthinking the match which resulted in some wild errors from the world number 43. That didn’t seem to bother Swiatek’s own game though as her concentration saw her take a 3-0 lead in the second set just like she did in the opening set.

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However that deficit seemed to be the best thing to happen to Muchova as she started to play with freedom and play with more confidence and clarity. An immediate response from Muchova was produced as it was Swiatek’s turn to get passive and tense from the baseline with the Czech Republican winning the next three games to level the set at 3-3.

Suddenly the match had a new dynamic about it with Muchova’s fearless mix of variety and power taking on the passive play of Swiatek, who started to gain more stress with every game. Eventually Muchova’s proactive play was rewarded when a Swiatek double fault gave Muchova the chance to serve for the second set at 5-4.

The Czech was broken at the first opportunity after reverting to her error-prone tennis that saw her being dominated in the opening set. However Swiatek gave Muchova another opportunity to serve the set out after spraying some loose unforced errors. In a game full of nerves and tension, Muchova held off Swiatek’s returning quality by producing some world-class points and converting her third set point to level the match at one set all.

Swiatek’s frustration and concern was evident as her stress towards her box was effecting her game with Muchova continuing to swing freely at the start of the deciding set. A run of eight points in a row was finished off with two aces as Muchova had a 2-0 lead to start the third set. Just like all good champions, there was an immediate response from Swiatek as she recomposed herself to take advantage of Muchova’s early nerves as she sealed the next two games with relative ease.

This match gained tension with each passing game and Swiatek once again made costly errors on her serve to allow Muchova to once again break for a 4-3 lead. However a mix of mental and physical fatigue set in with the finishing line in sight with Swiatek continuing to pile the pressure on return.

After breaking back in the next game, a crucial hold of serve followed for Swiatek to take a 5-4 lead as Muchova threw everything at gaining the break back. That was the final nail in the Muchova coffin as Swiatek’s third Roland Garros title was sealed with a double fault from the Czech Republican as she broke down in tears after winning her fourth Grand Slam title of her career.



Swiatek staying in the present after Roland Garros glory

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At 22 years old Swiatek continues to set the standard in the women’s game as she became the first player since Justine Henin in 2007 to defend the women’s singles title at Roland Garros. After the match Swiatek admitted that she is exhausted but happy with her latest Grand Slam title.

“It’s hard to describe. But a lot of happiness,” Swiatek told the Roland Garros website.

“I felt suddenly tired of these three weeks. Maybe my matches weren’t like physically exhausting, but it’s pretty hard to kind of keep your focus for these almost three weeks.

“And also the whole [clay court] swing. Since Stuttgart I haven’t been home. So I’m happy that I finished the whole clay court swing so well, and that I kind of survived. I guess I’m never going to kind of doubt my strength again maybe because of that.”

Swiatek has proved that she is one of the toughest competitors mentally and physically on the tour as she continues to widen the gap between her and the rest of the tour. Also after the match Swiatek admitted she doesn’t know what she is capable of and is now focusing on her own self-development rather than actual goals.

“I’m not really looking that far. I’m just happy with what happened during these past few weeks. I don’t know what I’m capable of. I will work day by day to play best game possible and to develop as a player.

“I’m not setting like any crazy records or goals for myself. I know that keeping it cool is the best way to do it for me – I’m trying more to do that. Honestly, this match was like so long with so many ups and downs. I kind of stopped thinking about the score.

“I wanted to use my intuition more, because I knew that I can play a little bit better if I’m going to get a little bit more loosened up. It helped, for sure, in the third set – I just kind of felt like I need to be more courageous and make some good decisions.”

Swiatek will remain world number one after her victory in Paris as she looks ahead to the grass court season.


No regrets for motivated Muchova

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As for Muchova it was a case of so near yet so far as the Czech Republican lead by a break on two separate occasions in the final set. However Muchova’s inexperience cost her in this match in a tournament that she can still be proud of having beaten two top eight seeds in Paris.

Speaking after the match Muchova said that she has no regrets after the match and is motivated to achieve similar results in the future.

“I gave my everything on the court today, so I have nothing to regret,” Muchova told the Roland Garros website.

“The feeling is a little bitter, because I felt it was very close. But overall, to call myself a Grand Slam finalist, it’s an amazing achievement, and for sure big motivation.

“Iga is world No.1 and I was so close. I think now that I can do it. It’s a lot of work and effort to do, but I’m willing to take that. I’ll try my best in other two Slams this year and next year, and I hope I will again get a chance to play for the title again.

“I believed in every Grand Slam I played before and I’ve never played a final. So the belief is there, but that I actually achieved it, it’s a very nice and warm feeling for me. It’s good for the confidence. It says to me that I’m able to do this, to do these big results.”

Muchova’s run to the final means that she will be the new world number 16 next week as she looks ahead to the grass court season. Speaking ahead of the grass court season, Muchova admits that she doesn’t know what her schedule will be but wants to prepare as best as possible.

“I wouldn’t expect it that much on the clay, honestly. I look forward to playing on the grass, on the fast surfaces, that’s for sure the surfaces I prefer and I like more. My head now is I need some rest, for sure, to take care of the body. Between clay and grass, we don’t have much time.

“I want to do good preparation. It’s so different, the grass, for the body and everything. So I’ll see about a plan. I didn’t plan it yet, but maybe one tournament and then Wimbledon. We’ll see if I manage to play one grass tournament or if I will not play any and will just go for the Slam.”



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