PARIS BREAKOUT STAR KAROLINA MUCHOVA OFFERS THE WORLD BEAUTIFUL TENNIS
Women’s tennis has a new player joining the caste of Grand Slam finalists – and she plays beautiful tennis with a HEAD racquet in her hand!
Karolina Muchova last week reached the final at Roland-Garros, beating the world number two en route and losing on Saturday only to the world number one Iga Swiatek. But it was not so much that Muchova was an unlikely finalist but the way she played tennis that has made the 26-year-old Czech such a favourite with tennis fans.
In an era where big groundstrokes are the dominant force, especially in women’s tennis, Muchova’s varied all-court game is a throwback to the tennis beloved of fans in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Her sliced backhand is an integral part of her game, she hits well disguised drop shots off both forehand and backhand, and her comfort on the volley makes her an exception among today’s generation of female players.
“It is not only that Karolina reached the final,” said Ottmar Barbian, executive vice-president of HEAD’s racquet sports division, “but the way she plays and conducts herself that has endeared her to tennis fans around the world. Her sliced backhand is a stroke of beauty, but even her down-the-line two-handed backhand is so fluent that spectators want her to do well even if they know very little about her.
“She reminds me of some of the great women players of the 1980s, but also of another HEAD ambassador Ashleigh Barty. We were so sad to see Ash retire last year – although we’re obviously delighted that she is starting her family – but we are fortunate to have Karolina, who excites crowds with the same aestheticism in her strokes that Ash did.”
Muchova, who grew up in Olomouc but is now based in Prague, looked on the verge of breaking into the elite of women’s tennis in 2021 when she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open (beating Barty on the way) and was ranked in the top 20. But a series of injuries, notably an abdominal problem that kept her off the tour for seven months, took her ranking down to 150. Then as she mounted her comeback, she injured her ankle in the third round at Roland-Garros last year.
Her primary goal is therefore to stay fit, and with full fitness in Roland-Garros, she showed what she can do. Going to Paris with the main goal of winning enough matches to be seeded at Wimbledon, she massively exceeded that target, beating the former finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals, and then saved a match point in beating the world number two and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the semis. Despite her defeat to Swiatek, she maintains an impressive record against top players, which indicates that Muchova does not fear reputations.
Now at a career-high ranking of 16, if she can reach a Grand Slam final on her least effective surface (red clay), there is no limit to what she can do on quicker surfaces; her slice stays lower and her volleys are more effective on both grass and hard courts. And with her personality built on modesty and appreciation for being lucky in life, Karolina Muchova is a player tennis fans around the world warm to and will want to watch.
A HEAD ambassador in every sense of the word!
Karolina Muchova endorses the Head SPEED range, see here.