Belgian player Kirsten Flipkens, who retired from singles last year but still tours on the doubles circuit, has been acting as a mentor to Muchova for much of the 2023 season.
Flipkens: Muchova is capable of beating anyone
Former world No.13 believes Czech mentee has what it takes to lift the trophy in Paris
Flipkens believes Muchova has nothing to lose against the dual-Roland Garros champion and says the Czech received a significant confidence boost from her 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5 victory over Australian Open champion and world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals.
“It is not every week you are playing in a Grand Slam final. I know that if she enjoys it, she will play her best tennis,” Flipkens said.
“She is a great player and she is capable of beating anyone. If we can get her ready mentally and physically, then I am really looking forward to a pretty exciting match.
“The further you go in a tournament, the higher ranked players you're playing and the less weaknesses there are. But nobody is a machine. Nobody is a robot. So we'll see.”
Muchova first impressed Flipkens, who peaked at a ranking of 13, when she edged her in a deciding tiebreak at the Australian Open in 2020 in the only match between the pair.
“You could tell after that match that, ‘Damn. This girl is pretty talented. She can really go far in every tournament that she plays’,” Flipkens said.
A show of support
The pair get on well off the court and last year, when Muchova was working with coach David Kotyza, he asked Flipkens if she could provide some assistance at the US Open.
A Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2013, Flipkens retired from singles after reaching the second round at the All England Club last year and was keen to assist given the talent of Muchova.
She said a conversation between the pair at the Australian Open in January convinced her that Muchova had the mindset to reach the highest levels in tennis.
“[It was] just to get a feeling for her, [to see if] she believed enough in herself to go as far as I think she could go,” Flipkens said.
“[She said], ‘Listen, if my body is fine, I know I have the capabilities to go far, to go top 10, to win Grand Slams’. And I was saying, ‘OK, I agree. 100 per cent,’.