Karolina Muchova and Aryna Sabalenka will play for place in a final of Roland Garros 2023. Muchova and Sabalenka face each other in Thursday's semifinal after earning quite comfortable straight set wins in today's quarterfinals from bottom half of the main draw. It will be the first semifinal appearance in Roland Garros for both players.
Muchova def. Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-2
The Czech was a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.56, considering her consistent and still raising form, and the fatigue suffered by Pavlyuchenkova in previous matches. The Russian has approached this match after 3 consecutive three-setters, including an impressive comeback against Elise Mertens in previous round, when the match laster 3:05 hours in general. It was clearly visible today, that Pavlyuchenkova had less fuel in the tank than her opponent, as Muchova was on the front foot from the start. She was leading 3-1 and 5-4 with a break advantage, but wasted a chance to serve for the opening set. Despite this, Muchova regained her advantage and clinched the first set with a score 7-5. Second one was more under full control of the Czech, as she moved into 5-1 lead and needed to face just one breakpoint in the final game, when she managed to serve for the advance into semifinal.
Muchova equals her biggest career's Grand Slam achievement so far, advancing into semifinals for the second time after the run in Australian Open 2021. It also guarantees, that Muchova will at least equal her best career's ranking, moving up into 19th place in case of losing in the semis, moving up from 43th before the fortnight in Paris.
Pavlyuchenkova made a huge step to a permanent return into the top areas of WTA ranking. After quite miserable months without any good results after coming back to competition, the Russian will be classified just behind the top 100, moving up more than 200 places due to her QF run. Pavlyuchenkova will miss the Wimbledon championships though, as she was not ranked high enough to get signed up into entry list, and cannot use her protected ranking anymore. This means, that she can miss the grass season and focus on the preparations for further goals in 2023.
Sabalenka def. Svitolina 6-4 6-4
The current WTA Race leader was a confident pre-match favorite with an odd 1.23 and prevailed to score an expected straight sets win. It was not a cakewalk for Sabalenka though, as Svitolina did not give up without a fight and showed some good performance today, especially in the opening parts of this match. The first set was decided but only one breakpoint, which was produced by Sabalenka in 9th game, and occured to be a crucial moment for the whole set, won by the Belarusian 6-4. The start of second set was quite more erratic from both players. Svitolina tried to fight back and moved up into 2-0 lead despite defending another breakpoint in the opening game. While the match was seemingly transforming into a possible tight battle, Sabalenka accelerated again and won 4 games in a row to move up into the lead, which she did not blow away till the end.
Sabalenka showed her dominant range of abilities, as she was overpowering her opponent and whole the match was on her racquet despite a good defence and tactical composure of Svitolina. Sabalenka scored 30 winners and dictated the terms of play even despite 37 unforced errors. Svitolina managed to hit just 7 winners, making a smaller amount of unforced errors as well in count of 12.
Svitolina ends up her amazing run, which was one of the highlights of whole the tournament. The Ukrainian has secured the advance into top 100 and looks forward to the grass season, as she got awarded with a wild card into the WTA 250 Libema Open in 's-Hertogenbosch. Sabalenka made another big step in a fight for the top spot of WTA rankings, which can be decided in the direct duel between her and Iga Swiatek, as both have a great chance to meet together in a big final on Saturday.