French Open 2023: Swiatek meets Muchova for women's title Saturday; Djokovic-Ruud on Sunday

AP , Saturday 10 Jun 2023

No. 1 Iga Swiatek will face unseeded Karolina Muchova in the French Open women's final

Djokovic
This combination of files pictures created on June 9, 2023 shows Norway s Casper Ruud (L) reacting as he plays against Chile s Nicolas Jarry during their men s singles match on day nine of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on June 5, 2023 and Serbia s Novak Djokovic reacting after a point to Spain s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during their men s singles match on day six of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on June 2, 2023. AFP

No. 1 Iga Swiatek will face unseeded Karolina Muchova in the French Open women’s final Saturday.

Swiatek is seeking a second consecutive championship at Roland Garros and her third overall. She also will be trying to win her fourth Grand Slam title.

It is the 43rd-ranked Muchova’s debut in a major final. She had never been past the third round in Paris until now.

They have played each other just once before. That was back in the first round of a small tournament in the Czech Republic in 2019. Muchova won that one, which also was played on red clay.

The stakes are much greater this time, of course.

WHEN IS THE WOMEN'S FINAL?

Play begins in Swiatek vs. Muchova at Court Philippe Chatrier at 3 p.m. local time in Paris, which is 9 a.m. EDT. That will be followed by the men's doubles final, with Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek facing Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen. It is an off day in men's singles.

WHAT HAPPENED SATURDAY?

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz put on quite a show for two sets in the men's semifinals — including one particularly memorable shot by Alcaraz. But a combination of Djokovic's relentlessness and the stress of the occasion contributed to cramping for Alcaraz, and he had to forfeit one game while receiving treatment early in the third set then was never the same.

Djokovic ended up winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to reach his 34th career Grand Slam final — and move one victory away from what would be a record-breaking 23rd major championship. He is currently tied with Rafael Nadal at 22.

Djokovic's opponent on Sunday will be No. 4 Casper Ruud, who eliminated No. 22 Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals. Last year, Ruud was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and to Alcaraz at the U.S. Open.

Djokovic owns a 4-0 head-to-head record against Ruud and has won all eight sets they've played against each other.

BETTING GUIDE

Swiatek has been the betting favorite since before the tournament began and, not surprisingly is the pick going into the final, listed as a minus-850 money-line pick, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Muchova is listed at plus-570. It's not really expected to be close, either: Swiatek is at minus-240 to win in straight sets. Looking ahead to the men's final, Djokovic is listed at -360 to win, Ruud at plus-280.

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