French Open tennis tournament, June 8, 2023, Paris. Czech tennis player Karolína Muchová.
Paris – According to coach Emil Miške, if the tennis player Karolína Muchová gets into her game on Saturday, she can beat a player like the world number one and defending champion of Poland Iga Šwiateková in the Roland Garros final. The native of Olomouc trained today after the challenging semi-final with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenkova and tried to gain as much strength as possible. Both finalists know each other from training together, the basis for Muchová will be to continue her creative game.
“How to put together a tactic for Iga? I don't see anything impossible about it. I already have an idea. The advantage is that Karolína doesn't even have to come up with a special tactic,” Miške told reporters. “We will use some things from her repertoire more, others less, but because she can, to put it simply, do everything, she can choose what she needs. I think that when Kája gets into her zone, she comes up with the right solutions from himself. When he gets into it, he can beat anyone,” he added.
The 26-year-old Czech advanced to the fight for her first Grand Slam title thanks to her semi-final victory over Sabalenko 7:6, 6:7, 7:5. In the third set, she was already losing 2:5 and averted a match point. “I expected that the match would be difficult. It was not possible to count on the fact that Kája would turn it around from 2:5, but I still believed and it turned out well,” declared Miške.
Muchová has won the last 20 of 24 balls. “The important thing was that Karolína was ready to take advantage of her depression. Sabalenková had it before, but the opponents didn't use it. Kája managed it. It was a short circuit by Sabalenková, everyone saw it, but that's normal. She's also only human,” said the Slovakian coach , who returned to Muchová at the beginning of this year.
After the match, the coaches, Muchová and her parents had dinner together. While some players live in hotels, the Czech and her team rented a house ten minutes from the site. “After a winning match, we always tap each other a little. Yesterday there was also champagne. We celebrated it decently,” said Miška with a smile, appreciating the private accommodation. “It's a big advantage because Kája can disappear where no one bothers her. We wanted her to be out of the circus as much as possible. It turns out to be the right option,” he added.
Muchová, who suffered leg cramps at the end of the semi-finals, tried to recover today. She managed to train in the smaller Jean Bouin complex. “Fortunately, we have two people from the team who take care of her health. Her other physio also arrived yesterday, so they put her together with Jarda (Blažek), who is also a physio and a fitness trainer. They are so very clever that it they will manage and she will be ready to win,” noted the fifty-one-year-old coach.
The Mucho coaches draw on personal experience during preparations for their opponents, but they also use video during meetings and choose a specific strategy. Belgian tennis player and mentor Kirsten Flipkens also helps out, providing data analysis. The result is knowledge that Muchová takes with her to the court. “Sometimes she looks at them, sometimes she doesn't. But just the fact that she writes it down is great,” revealed Miške, who may also draw on the duels of Barbora Krejčíková, who defeated Šwiateková twice last time.
The 43rd female tennis player in the world, who will move up to at least 16th place after the tournament, is awaiting her first Grand Slam final, and Miška believes that she can handle the duel mentally. “You know very well that Kája is a bit of a salami person, which helps her. She doesn't make too much of it, she is very calm and balanced in life,” he said. “Although it's the first final and yesterday you could see it in her emotions when she cried after the match, but I also shed a tear because she really deserved it. I haven't seen Kája cry from joy yet. I firmly believe, that she is already such a seasoned player that the importance of the match will not affect her negatively,” stated Miške.
This is the second time Muchová will face Šwiateková, who is four years younger, in a competitive duel, the only match between them four years ago in Prague was won by Czech 4 :6, 6:1, 6:4. “I remember it well. It was a very balanced match and even then I thought that Iga would one day become an excellent tennis player,” Miške said. “It was great that even though Iga lost to Kája, the coach and I were still sought out at other tournaments. Her coach once told us: 'Tell us when you want to train, and even if we had an agreement with someone else, we'll cancel it'. Since Kája's game is unusual, she wanted to learn how to play with her. And that got her to where she is. Iga is one of the tennis players I give as a role model to my children. I admire and recognize her a lot,” said Miške.
Good relations also exist between the two players. “According to what Kája told me, yes. Iga has not been communicating with the other female tennis players as much lately, but Kája said that she still chats with her relatively often. They both respect each other very much. That's probably how I would evaluate their relationship,” he added Bear.