CZECH Karolina Muchova declared the sky was the limit after she stormed into the French Open semifinals yesterday a year after leaving Roland Garros in a wheelchair with an ankle injury.
Muchova's tearful exit in last year's third round followed a lengthy spell out with an abdominal problem after the 2021 U.S. Open and she had slipped to number 235 in the world last August.
But the unseeded 26-year-old has steadily battled back and a 7-5 6-2 win over 2021 Paris runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in this year's quarterfinals is expected to propel her back into the top 20 from No. 43.
“I don't really think about these things, like where I see myself. I'm really glad for this run and that I got my ranking a little bit better than it was," Muchova told reporters.
“I mean, at the end of last year I was I think around 200, so this is very nice. It will for sure help me coming into other tournaments with the seeding and all.
“But, yeah, the sky is the limit. I'm not really thinking like I can be number one, I can be number five. I just take it step by step and I'm really glad where I am now. I'll try to push my limits for sure. And who knows where the limits are."
The 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist, who has beaten the likes of Karolina Pliskova and Ash Barty at the Grand Slams, began her Paris campaign with a victory over eighth seed Maria Sakkari and said that win had set the tone for her success.
“To beat such a great player, top 10 player, it always helps,” Muchova said. "It was really tough because it was the first round and first rounds are always tricky.
“To play Maria in the first, I think it was a tough draw for both of us. Glad that I was the one who left the court as the winner.”
Up next for Muchova is Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina to advance.
“She’s a great player. Very aggressive. Tough match ahead,” Muchova said. "I'll try to do my best to find a way to make it complicated for her.” – Reuters