PARIS (AP) — Karolina Muchova is playing in her first semi-final at Roland Garros.
The unseeded Czech defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 runner-up, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
His previous best result in Paris was the third round last year.
Pavlyuchenkova had played more than three hours in her previous match and looked tired as she started slowly and missed many easy points.
She tried to respond with powerful groundstrokes, but her hopes of a comeback were dashed when she fell 4-1 in the second set after hitting another forehand uppercut.
Pavlyuchenkova missed most of the 2022 season with a knee injury. Ranked No. 333, she was the lowest-ranked woman to reach the quarterfinals of Roland Garros in the Open Era, and the lowest at any Grand Slam since 2017.
Mukhova has also been hampered by injuries as an abdominal problem forced her to rest for six months after the 2021 US Open. She injured her ankle in her third round match at Roland Garros last year.
Muchova will be playing in her second major final, having reached this stage at the Australian Open two years ago.
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka is set to face Elina Svitolina in the other women’s quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Sabalenka is from Belarus and Svitolina — who is playing in her first major since becoming a mother — is from Ukraine. Belarus aided Russia in its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and the war continues. Like other players from Ukraine, including Sabalenka’s first-round opponent last week, Svitolina did not shake hands with players from Belarus or Russia after the matches.
In the men’s category, top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are set to clash and could qualify for a semi-final match if they both win on Tuesday.
22-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic faces 11th seed Karen Khachanov on Court Philippe Chatrier. Alcaraz, who won the US Open last year, will face fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, a two-time Grand Slam finalist.
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