Dominant Iga Swiatek still respectful ahead of French Open final

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Iga Swiatek is under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits her at the French Open final on Saturday.

The world number one has lived up to her favourite tag in Paris, sweeping aside the competition with aplomb. Swiatek is yet to drop a set at the 2023 grand slam, even dishing out three bagels. As such, it's no surprise that the defending champion is in pole position to claim her fourth grand slam title when she faces challenger Karolina Muchcova on Court Phillipe-Chatrier.

Nonetheless, Swiatek gives credit where credit is due. While Muchcova has just one WTA title to her name, the world number 43 has, quite incredibly, amassed a 5-0 record against players in the top three of the rankings, including a victory over Swiatek in 2019.

The Czech is certainly battle-hardened after coming out on top of a three set epic to knock out second seed Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday.

"I still feel like I know Karolina's game anyway because I played many practices with her since 2019, and I also watch her actually more than most of the players," said Switake ahead of the final, as per

"Just a coincidence, but it happened. And I really like her game, honestly. I really respect her, and she's I feel like a player who can do anything, you know. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game.

"She plays with that kind of freedom in her movements. And she has a great technique. So I watched her matches and I feel like I know her game pretty well. But obviously in matches, it's a little bit different and I'll be ready no matter what.

"Obviously it's still a lot of pressure and it's not easy, but also on clay I feel like I have more weapons than faster hard court. I'm trying to use that confidence and that feeling of being comfortable on that surface to just kind of focus on that a little bit more and play better because of that."

As for Muchcova, while she draws confidence from her record against the top three, she knows she will have to play the 'perfect match 'to topple the defending champion.

"Yeah, it's nice... I didn't really even know about this statistic," said the 26-year-old.

"It just shows me that I can play against them. I can compete, and obviously the matches are super close. Even today, match ball down, you really never know if I win or lose, but it's great to know that I have the chance to win and I win against the top players, and that for sure boosts my confidence.

"I will for sure need to fight. I'll need to play my best. Yeah, just to bring the best out of me and play a perfect match to be able to win a Grand Slam."

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