Karolína Muchová

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Karolína Muchová
Muchová's backhand at the French Open
Country (sports) Czech Republic
Born (1996-08-21) 21 August 1996 (age 27)
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro2013
PlaysRight (two-handed backhand)
CoachEmil Miške (2017–2019, Apr 2023–)[1]
Kirsten Flipkens (2023)[2]
Prize moneyUS$ 6,509,545
Career record279–137 (67.1%)
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 8 (11 September 2023)
Current rankingNo. 14 (6 May 2024)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenSF (2021)
French OpenF (2023)
WimbledonQF (2019, 2021)
US OpenSF (2023)
Career record36–32 (52.9%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 222 (16 August 2021)
Current rankingNo. 577 (15 January 2024)
Last updated on: 23 January 2024.

Karolína Muchová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkaroliːna ˈmuxovaː]; born 21 August 1996) is an inactive Czech professional tennis player. She has a career-high singles ranking of world No. 8, achieved on 11 September 2023. Muchová reached the 2023 French Open final, and has won one WTA title at the 2019 Korea Open.

Muchová turned professional in 2013.[3] She first rose to prominence at the 2018 US Open, defeating world No. 12 and two-time major champion Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round. The following year, Muchová reached her first major quarterfinal at Wimbledon by upsetting world No. 3 and tournament favourite, Karolína Plíšková. At the 2021 Australian Open, she reached the semifinals by defeating world No. 1 and home favorite, Ashleigh Barty, but then lost to Jennifer Brady. At the 2023 French Open, she reached her first Major final by defeating world No. 2, Aryna Sabalenka, in a close fought semifinal, finishing runner-up to world No. 1, Iga Świątek.

Early life and background[edit]

Karolína Muchová was born on the 21st of August 1996 in Olomouc.[4] Her father is former Czech footballer Josef Mucha.[5] He introduced her to tennis at the age of seven. She also has a brother, with whom she did many sports when they were kids. Since there were tennis courts near her home, she decided to pick up a tennis racket, and then when she was about 12, she chose tennis over handball.[6] In 2019, she moved to Prague to train.[4][6] She stated that her tennis idol growing up was Roger Federer.[3] She struggled with a lot of injuries during her junior years.[6]

Professional career[edit]

2013–2018: Breakthrough[edit]

Muchová at the 2018 US Open

Muchová began playing on the ITF Women's Circuit in October 2013 at the age of 17. Her first tournament was a $10k event in Dubrovnik, where she reached the second round.[7] In July the following year, she won her first ITF title in Michalovce, Slovakia. She then started to produce low-performances until March 2016, when she won her second singles ITF title at Sharm El Sheikh, and two weeks later another event at the same venue.[8] In July 2017, she reached the final of the $75k ITS Cup in Olomouc, losing there to her countrymate Markéta Vondroušová. She then made her WTA Tour main-draw debut at the 2017 Korea Open after defeating two low-ranked players, and then lost in the first round of the main draw to Priscilla Hon.[7] She made her main-draw debut at a major event at the 2018 US Open winning three qualifying matches. After winning her opening-match against Dayana Yastremska,[9] Muchová upset two-time Grand Slam champion and 12th seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round to score her first top-20 victory, advancing to the third round of the tournament.[10] In the third round, she lost to Ashleigh Barty.[11]

2019: First Tour title, Wimbledon quarters, top 30 debut[edit]

Muchová at Wimbledon, 2019

She started the 2019 season with a first-round loss at the Australian Open, losing to Karolína Plíšková.[12] She then at the Premier-level Qatar Ladies Open made her first WTA Tour quarterfinal by defeating Samantha Stosur and Hsieh Su-wei, but then lost to seed No. 4, Elina Svitolina.[7][13] At the Miami Open, she debuted at the Premier Mandatory level-tournaments but was eliminated in the second round by Angelique Kerber.[14] Her first tour-level final came at the Prague Open where she lost to Jil Teichmann.[15] Her performance was enough to take her for the first time into the top 100 of the WTA rankings.[16] In June, she beat Anett Kontaveit to reach the second round of the French Open,[17] where she lost to Irina-Camelia Begu.[18] In July, she reached quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships, beating third seed Karolína Plíšková 13–11 in the final set of their fourth-round match, which lasted over three hours.[19] She became the first player to reach the quarterfinals at her Wimbledon debut since Li Na in 2006.[20] In the quarterfinal, Muchová lost to Elina Svitolina.[21] She followed this with a quarterfinal at the Bronx Open and third round of the US Open, where she was beaten by Serena Williams.[7][22] Her maiden WTA Tour title came at 2019 Korea Open, where she defeated Magda Linette in the final.[23] Muchová then continued with good results, reaching semifinals of the Premier-level Kremlin Cup, in which she lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.[24] At the end of the year, she debuted at the WTA Elite Trophy with success in her round-robin group, defeating two Americans, Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske,[25] but later lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinal.[26] She finished the year as world No. 21.

2020: Mixed results, US Open fourth round[edit]

In 2020, Muchová produced rather mixed results. She reached the second round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career but lost to CiCi Bellis in straight sets.[27] She then played for the first time at the Qatar Ladies Open, where she also recorded her first win over Magda Linette,[7] but lost to seventh seed Kiki Bertens in round two.[28] After the six month suspension of the WTA Tour due to COVID-19 pandemic, she first played at the Cincinnati Open where she beat qualifier Ann Li in the first round,[7] before she lost to Naomi Osaka.[29] Her best performance of the season came at the US Open, when she beat Venus Williams[30] Anna Kalinskaya, and Sorana Cîrstea[31][32] to reach her first round of 16 there before she lost to Victoria Azarenka.[33] By the end of the year, Muchová reached only the first round of the French Open and the second round of the Ostrava Open.[7] However, she spent the whole year inside the top 30.[16]

2021: Australian Open semifinal, top 20[edit]

Muchová reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, beating world No. 1, Ashleigh Barty, but lost to Jennifer Brady in three sets.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open by defeating second seed Naomi Osaka and 16th seed Maria Sakkari, her first showing at the WTA 1000 level, Muchová reached a career-high of world No. 19 on 17 May 2021. Two weeks later in June, her good form continued when she got to the third round of the French Open, also for the first time in her career.

Seeded 19th at Wimbledon, she reached the quarterfinals for the second time, defeating 30th seed Paula Badosa. Muchová was only the third woman in Wimbledon history to reach the quarterfinals on her first two appearances at the event (2019 and 2021).[34][35]

The 22nd seeded Muchová was ousted in the first round of the US Open by Sara Sorribes Tormo, in straight sets.[36]

2022: Injuries, French Open 3rd round, out of top 100[edit]

She didn't play at the Australian Open because of an injury.[37] As a result, she dropped out of the top 50.

Muchová came back in Miami as an unseeded player. In the first round, she defeated fellow Czech Tereza Martincová in two tie-break sets. Then, she defeated 18th seed Leylah Fernandez, before withdrawing from her third-round match against Naomi Osaka.

In Madrid, using protected ranking, she defeated Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen, before losing to 11th seed Belinda Bencic.

Ranked No. 81 at the French Open, her form improved substantially as she was able to reach the third round, defeating fourth seed and 2021 semifinalist Maria Sakkari in the second, in straight sets, for the biggest win of her career and her fourth top-5 win.[38] She retired in her next match against Amanda Anisimova due to multiple injuries.[39]

Despite these improvements in form, she finished the year outside of the top 100, at world No. 149.

2023-24: First major final, world No. 8, surgery[edit]

Muchová at the 2023 US Open

Using her protected ranking, she returned to the Australian Open and reached the second round, as well as the quarterfinals at Dubai, defeating eighth seed Belinda Bencic but withdrew from the quarterfinal match, reaching back the top 100 on 27 February 2023, after raising 35 positions.

Still using protected ranking at the Indian Wells Open, she reached the fourth round by defeating Yulia Putintseva, 14th seed Victoria Azarenka and 23rd seed Martina Trevisan.[40] Next, she beat Markéta Vondroušová to reach her third quarterfinal of the season and the second on the WTA 1000-level since Dubai. As a result, she gained 20 positions in the rankings.[41] In Miami, this time as a qualifier, she advanced to the third round defeating Jil Teichmann and 32nd seed Zhu Lin. As a result, she reached a couple of spots shy of the top 50 in the rankings. Ranked No. 43 at the French Open, she defeated world No. 8, Maria Sakkari, in the first round,[42] her second consecutive win at this Major against the Greek and eighth top-10 win overall.[43][44] Next, she defeated Nadia Podoroska, Irina-Camelia Begu and lucky loser Elina Avanesyan to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. She then stunned Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach her second career major semifinal, and her first semifinal at Roland Garros. She even went one step further, beating world No. 2, Aryna Sabalenka, in a three sets match, lasting over three hours, saving a match point and recovering from 2–5 down in the final set to reach her first career Major final, as the fourth-lowest-ranked women’s finalist in the French Open history.[45] She became the fifth Czech player to reach the final at Roland Garros in the Open Era.[46] In the final, she lost to world No. 1 and defending champion, Iga Świątek, in three sets.[47] As a result, she reached a new career-high ranking of No. 16, on 12 June 2023.[48]

At the Cincinnati Open, she reached the final of a WTA 1000 for the first time defeating 12th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, Petra Martić, eighth seed Maria Sakkari, Marie Bouzková and second seed Aryna Sabalenka. In the final, she lost to sixth seed Coco Gauff in two sets but she recorded a career-high ranking of No. 10.[49]

At the US Open, Muchová again hit Grand Slam form by reaching the semifinal stage at the tournament for the first time in her career. She won her opening three rounds in straight sets, defeating Storm Hunter, Magdalena Fręch, and Taylor Townsend, before getting past Wang Xinyu in three sets in the fourth round. She then quickly dispatched Sorana Cîrstea in her quarterfinal match, only losing three games. In the semifinals, she lost her second match to Coco Gauff in a month, falling in two sets in what would ultimately be her last match of the season.[50] Despite the loss, Muchová reached a career-high ranking of world No. 8 on 11 September 2023.[51]

Despite withdrawing from both the Pan Pacific Open and the China Open, Muchová qualified to the WTA Finals for the first time on 6 October, grabbing the final slot. Unfortunately, she was forced to withdraw from the tournament less than a week before it began due to a right wrist injury she suffered at the US Open, thereby ending her season.

In the beginning of the 2024 season, she skipped all lead tournaments during the Australian Summer and the Australian Open. In February 2024 she underwent surgery which made her skip the Middle Eastern swing and the USA Sunshine Double tournaments extending her hiatus.[52]

Playing style and coaching[edit]

Muchová hitting a forehand

Muchová is an aggressive all-court player, possessing an intelligent game with exceptional variety. She has powerful groundstrokes from both wings, using both her forehand and backhand to hit winners from any position on the court. She has been praised for her ability to incorporate softer shots, such as drop shots, lobs, and sliced backhands, into her game, constantly breaking up the pace of baseline rallies, and being able to hit winners with these typically defensive shots. She possesses a strong serve, with her first serve peaking at 110 mph (180 km/h) and averaging 103 mph (166 km/h), allowing her to serve aces frequently; she also possesses a second serve that, despite averaging 83 mph (134 km/h), possesses a high amount of topspin, meaning that it can be deployed effectively without being attacked by aggressive players. Muchová is also proficient at defending her second serve. Her footwork, speed, and anticipation allow her to be one of the strongest return players on the WTA Tour. As a result of her exemplary fitness, she is capable of sustaining long rallies, and is an effective counterpuncher, extending rallies until she can create an opportunity to hit a winner. Due to her doubles experience, Muchová is a strong net player, and is one of the strongest volleyers on tour, frequently approaching the net to finish off points. Throughout 2019, her breakout season, she was praised for her style of play by Mats Wilander, who stated that she could "achieve great things". With her on-court demeanour, fluid style, grace, and variety, she has been compared by some commentators to Justine Henin and Roger Federer.[citation needed]

Muchová has had several coaches in her career: Emil Miške (2017–2019, Apr 2023–), David Kotyza (2020–Aug 2022), Jan Blecha (Sep 2022–Apr 2023), and Kirsten Flipkens (2023–).[1]


Muchová is sponsored by Adidas for her attire and by Head for her rackets.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open A A A 1R 2R SF A 2R A 0 / 4 7–4 64%
French Open A A Q1 2R 1R 3R 3R F A 0 / 5 11–5 69%
Wimbledon A A Q2 QF NH QF 1R 1R 0 / 4 8–4 67%
US Open Q1 A 3R 3R 4R 1R 1R SF 0 / 6 12–6 67%
Win–loss 0–0 0–0 2–1 7–4 4–3 11–4 2–3 12–4 0–0 0 / 19 38–19 67%

Grand Slam tournament finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 2023 French Open Clay Poland Iga Świątek 2–6, 7–5, 4–6


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  48. ^ "Rankings Watch: Haddad Maia breaks into Top 10; Svitolina climbs higher".
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  51. ^ "Rankings Watch: Sabalenka, Gauff-Pegula duo headline historic shakeup". WTA. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  52. ^ "World No.10 Muchova undergoes wrist surgery". 20 February 2024.

External links[edit]