Muchova brimming with motivation after RG final

Czech says she's willing to put in the work to achieve Grand Slam dream

Karolina Muchova, Roland-Garros 2023, final, trophy ceremony, Chris Evert, Gilles Moretton. © Corinne Dubreuil/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Of course there is pain, of course Karolina Muchova wanted to hoist the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen.

The Czech came close on Saturday, falling 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a trophy showdown with world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

Muchova rose to the occasion in her first Grand Slam final, forcing a decider after trailing 2-6, 0-3. The 26-year-old even earned a 4-3 break lead in the third to come within a whisker of glory.

The world No.43 simply couldn't have done any more.

"I gave my everything on the court today, so I have nothing to regret," said Muchova.

"The feeling is a little bitter, because I felt it was very close. But overall, to call myself a Grand Slam finalist, it's an amazing achievement, and for sure big motivation.

"Iga is world No.1 and I was so close. I think now that I can do it. It's a lot of work and effort to do, but I'm willing to take that. I'll try my best in other two Slams this year and next year, and I hope I will again get a chance to play for the title again."

During the trophy presentation, Swiatek heaped praise on her versatile opponent.

"Congrats to Karolina - the members of my team are witnesses that since we first played [2019] I knew that you were going to play these tough matches, these finals," said Swiatek.

"Because I was really struck with your variety on court."

Just like the world No.1, Muchova has also harboured the belief she could deliver on the major stage.

"I believed in every Grand Slam I played before and I've never played a final. So the belief is there, but that I actually achieved it, it's a very nice and warm feeling for me," said the Czech.

"It's good for the confidence. It says to me that I'm able to do this, to do these big results."

Karolina Muchova, finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Julien Crosnier / FFT

The Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd gave Muchova a standing ovation when she picked up her runners-up plate. The Czech couldn’t hold back the tears after a career-best fortnight, and was comforted by seven-time Roland-Garros champion Chris Evert.

"She said really kind words to me," Muchova said. "I probably will not even say. I don't know if she would want me to tell it to you, so I'll keep that for myself.

"Obviously, when you finish this whole two weeks, I'm pretty exhausted. Then everyone is clapping for you. It was a lot of emotion there."

Having picked up a legion of new fans in Paris, Muchova will hope to transfer this form over to the lawns of the grass events.

Karolina Muchova, finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

It's now time to recuperate and recharge with Wimbledon just around the corner.

"I wouldn't expect it that much on the clay, honestly. I look forward to playing on the grass, on the fast surfaces, that's for sure the surfaces I prefer and I like more," said Muchova.

"My head now is I need some rest, for sure, to take care of the body. Between clay and grass, we don't have much time.

"I want to do good preparation. It's so different, the grass, for the body and everything. So I'll see about a plan. I didn't plan it yet, but maybe one tournament and then Wimbledon.

"We'll see if I manage to play one grass tournament or if I will not play any and will just go for the Slam."