Karolina Muchova should copy player who gave Iga Swiatek ‘heaps of problems’

Karolina Muchova plays at French Open Credit: Alamy
Karolina Muchova plays at French Open Credit: Alamy

Barbara Schett believes Karolina Muchova should look to emulate former world No 1 Ashleigh Barty against Iga Swiatek in the 2023 French Open final.

The former world No 7 declared that Muchova should watch the matches Barty played against Swiatek as the Australian caused the Pole “heaps of problems.”

Three-time Grand Slam champion Barty, who retired last year, won both her encounters with Swiatek in straight sets.

Muchova and Swiatek will contest just their second career meeting in the Roland Garros final on Saturday. The Czech won the previous clash in three sets in Prague over four years ago.

Swiatek is a two-time French Open winner (2020 and 2022) and the reigning US Open champion. Muchova, meanwhile, will be playing in her first major final.

Speaking to Eurosport, Schett suggested Muchova should implement a similar game plan to Barty – who won the French Open in 2019.

“If I was Muchova, I would watch the matches Iga played against Barty because she had heaps of problems against her, and how did she play? Using the slice, a big forehand, and a big serve,” said the Austrian.

Three-time French Open champion Mats Wilander believed there is hope for world No 43 Muchova against the world No 1 and defending champion.

“There is a chance for Muchova. You have to throw Iga off her rhythm. I don’t know if she can do it with power like Elena Rybakina can, but she can do it with other shot selections,” argued the Swede.

“We’ve seen her lose to certain players, and when you see players like her lose, other players start to think they can beat her too. That’s a different story to last year, where there was no chance of beating Iga. This year, there’s a big difference.”

Two-time Roland Garros runner-up Alex Corretja also gave his thoughts on how Muchova should approach the matchup.

“Muchova doesn’t need to switch it up too much, otherwise she’ll get confused. She can go from forehand to forehand, into Iga’s forehand, and from backhand to backhand she might need to play solidly. She could use open angles to see if Iga struggles,” said the Spaniard.

“I would definitely attack Iga’s second serve, stepping in, moving and looking to push her as much as possible to make her uncomfortable. Or go to the body and start on the forehand side. Try to avoid the backhand from the beginning of the point.

“You need to do something where Iga is uncomfortable. If she’s comfortable, she’s on autopilot, and there’s no chance of beating her.

“From what I saw of her against Beatriz Haddad Maia, she can be desperate at times, when the balls aren’t as fast as she’d like, and she can’t do as much as she’d like. She looks like she can get stressed out when she’s not winning points. I don’t think Karolina needs to go for much because otherwise she’ll make mistakes.”

READ MORE: ‘We have a new Ashleigh Barty’ – Karolina Muchova likened to former world No 1

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