Reigning French Open Iga Swiatek will attempt to become the first woman to successfully defend the title in Paris in 16 years on Saturday when she faces surprise finalist Karolina Muchova.
World number one Swiatek is bidding for a third Roland Garros crown in four years and fourth Grand Slam title following her 2022 US Open victory.
Justine Henin was the last woman to win back-to-back French Open titles when she captured her third in a row and fourth in total in 2007.
Swiatek, 22, has yet to drop a set in this tournament but will be wary of her Czech opponent who knocked out second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals after recovering from 2-5 and match point down in the final set.
Swiatek’s last-four win over Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil coupled with Sabalenka’s agonising defeat ensured the Pole will remain at number one heading into the grass-court part of the season.
She is the youngest woman since Monica Seles in the early 1990s to reach three French Open finals, while world number 43 Muchova is the fourth lowest ranked player to reach the showpiece match here.
Swiatek, then just 19, was ranked 54 when she lifted the trophy in 2020 — three years after Jelena Ostapenko’s shock triumph. Muchova’s compatriot Renata Tomanova was runner-up in 1976.—APP