Muchová to face rising star Gauff for place in US Open final

Karolína Muchová

Karolína Muchová has reached the semi-finals of tennis’s US Open for the first time in her career. The Czech had little trouble overcoming Sorana Cirstea of Romania and will now face US rising star Coco Gauff in New York.

Karolína Muchová described her quarter-finals victory on Tuesday at the storied Arthur Ashe Stadium at New York’s Flushing Meadows as “sweet”.

The Czech told reporters she was happy with all sides of her game as she eased past Sorana Cirstea 6-0 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Grand Slam competition for the first time in her career.

Seeded 10th, Muchová hit 32 winners and excelled in defence on her way to victory over the Romanian in one hour and 38 minutes.

Moments after the match, the 27-year-old was asked in an on-court interview what it was like to come from a country with so many female tennis greats.

“There’s big competition in the Czech Republic. It’s tough. But we support each other and that’s very important. Markéta is here playing tomorrow – I’m very happy for her. Yeah, it’s just great that we can push one another and look out for one another.”

Markéta Vondroušová | Photo: Seth Wenig,  ČTK/AP

Markéta is Markéta Vondroušová, who is on the other side of the women’s draw, setting up the possibility of what would be a truly sensational all-Czech final in New York.

While Vondroušová, who is 24, won Wimbledon this year, Karolína Muchová has never won a major tournament. Indeed she has been in four WTA finals in her career but only has one title to her name, from the Korean Open four years ago.

Muchová recently reached a career-high 10th in the world rankings, and should climb higher after the US Open.

This is a remarkable turnaround from 12 months ago, when the Czech entered the competition ranked No. 235 in the world, after the latest in an unfortunate series of injuries.

In 2023 Muchová has managed to stay fit, with her biggest success so far this season reaching the final at the French Open. Now she has become the first Czech woman to go so deep at Flushing Meadows for seven years.

Standing between her and a place in another Grand Slam final will be American Coco Gauff, whose career is taking off like a comet. The 19-year-old has grabbed a lot of headlines and the New York Times has said that even if she doesn’t lift the US Open title the tournament belongs to her.

Karolína Muchová acknowledges that Gauff – also in her first semi-final at the tournament – will prove a stern test.

“Obviously she’s an amazing player. She has the home crowd here and it’s going to be very tough. But I want to enjoy this win and then I’ll put up a battle against Coco.”