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Muchova's motivation shines as she upsets Sakkari at French Open

May 29, 2023 00:20 IST
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Muchova says Grand Slam hunger behind another Sakkari upset in Paris

Karoline Muchova

IMAGE: Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova plays a forehand against Maria Sakkari of Greece. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Karolina Muchova credited the extra motivation she has at the Grand Slam level for her fifth win over a top-10 player at the majors after toppling world number eight Maria Sakkari at the French Open on Sunday.


Caroline Garcia

IMAGE: Czech Republic's Karolina Muchova celebrates winning her first round match. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Sakkari was left with a sense of deja vu following the 7-6(5), 7-5 defeat having lost to Muchova at last year's tournament after describing the 26-year-old Czech as one of the toughest unseeded players anyone could have in the first round.

Muchova, who has beaten the likes of Karolina Pliskova and Ash Barty apart from Sakkari at the Grand Slams, said there was no secret to her success after she returned to action following abdominal and ankle injuries in 2022.

Caroline Garcia

IMAGE: Greece's Maria Sakkari in action. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

"It's the biggest tournament and I like to play them as well as -- I don't want to say I'm not focused on other tournaments, but the motivation is bigger at all the four slams," Muchova, the world number 43, told reporters.

"I think that might be it. But anyway, anywhere I am, I'm trying to play the best against top seeds and trying to get back my ranking as well because I think I could be at least seeded at the Grand Slams."

"That would help me as well. I think I'm getting there step-by-step. I'm glad that I won today."

Muchova, who now has eight wins over top 10 players in her career, will take on another former Roland Garros semi-finalist in Nadia Podoroska of Argentina next.

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