“Muchova may well steal the title from Swiatek” – Expert predicts Roland Garros women’s final upset
Karolina Muchova may very well steal the Roland Garros women’s final this afternoon from Iga Swiatek says of Craig O’Shannessy as he previews the women’s singles final at the 2023 French Open exclusively for Tennishead
It’s the biggest women’s match of the year so far with a surprise finalist after Karolina Muchova sneaked past Aryna Sabalenka in a tight semi-final. She now faces hot favourite Iga Swiatek but Tennishead expert Craig O’Shannessy, the founder of Brain Game Tennis, believes a real shock could be on the cards…
For many, Muchova is an unknown quantity. I was fortunate to sit court side on Court Pietrangeli in Rome a couple of weeks ago and watch her defeat Martina Trevisan 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. It was a magnificent contest, and I walked away with a huge appreciation of Muchova’s game.
Here’s three things that stood out to me from her game.
Serve & Volley
Muchova likes to mix in serve & volley. That will be an excellent surprise tactic to keep Swiatek’s return game off balance. It is also an important strategy to maintain offensive control in the match.
Muchova’s groundstrokes have impeccable technique, especially her forehand. I remember thinking to myself in Rome that I would use a side-on video of her forehand as the ideal technique to teach young players. This is an essential part of the final because Swiatek is going to use power to try to go through Muchova from the baseline. Solid technique keeps the ball in play.
Mental / Emotional
Swiatek plays with a lot of energy and positive emotion. That can be intimating for an opponent. Muchova is very level-headed and was extremely solid in her match in Rome against Trevisan. The Italian was down 4-0 in the third set and came back to level the score. Muchova stayed positive and finished off the match. No drama. Just getting the job done.
2023 Roland Garros to the final
Let’s analyze their six matches to the final to preview what we are likely to see in the final.
Net Points Won
• Muchova = 75% (107/142)
• Swiatek = 69% (29/42)
There is a vast disparity between the two players with coming forward to finish points. Muchova has been to net 142 times, and Swiatek has been to net just 42 times. Muchova is averaging coming to the net almost 10 times per set. Swiatek is coming to the net around two and half times per set.
Muchova must keep coming forward in the final if she is going to beat Swiatek. Hitting passing shots for a living is challenging, especially in a Grand Slam final.
Baseline Points Won
• Muchova = 50% (283/570)
• Swiatek = 60% (217/362)
This is the beating heart of Swiatek’s dominance. She loves bossing opponents around the court with her heavy forehand and flat backhand. Swiatek has clubbed 57 forehand winners and 40 backhand winners to the final. Muchova has 72 forehand winners and 39 backhand winners. Keep in mind time on court. Muchova has played for 12 hours and four minutes while Swiatek has been on court only seven hours and forty-one minutes.
Swiatek has committed 66 forehand errors and 87 backhand errors. The best match-up in the final for Muchova is to use her run-around forehand to Swiatek’s backhand. Apply pressure there and the court will open up for her to attack later in the point.
Swiatek is the prohibitive favorite. But if Muchova plays her the right way, an upset is on the cards.
For free access to Craig O’Shannessy’s complete courses on ‘25 Golden Rules of Singles‘ and ‘25 Golden Rules of Doubles‘, join thousands of other keen amateur tennis players and become a member of the Tennishead Club. Once you join we’ll immediately send you ground breaking coaching advice, a welcome pack including a full ASICS head to toe outfit including shoes, plus loads more. And it costs as little as £65/$97 to join with membership benefits worth over £600/$700 per year!
Craig O’Shannessy is the creator of Brain Game Tennis. For 20 years he’s been involved in tennis as a coach to players like Kevin Anderson and even Dustin Brown when he famously beat Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon. More recently Craig’s been working as a match analyst at Wimbledon and for the ATP Tour. He has also used the unique insights from his match analysis software dartfish to guide players such as Novak Djokovic with analysis of opponents and performances.
Visit BrainGameTennis.com to read the latest and best selling course ‘Getting Tight’ where Craig teams up with Jeff Greenwald to combine their specific skill sets to help you with the universal problem all players struggle with in matches.
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine