Karolina Muchova produced a stunning comeback in the final set to defeat world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday and secure a spot in the French Open final. Muchova, the last unseeded player left in either the men's or women's draw, saved a match point before fighting back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to seal a 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 win following three hours and 13 minutes of enthralling tennis. The 26-year-old Czech added Sabalenka to an impressive list of victims in Paris, which included eighth seed Maria Sakkari in the first round and 2021 runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-final. At 43 in the world, she is the fourth lowest-ranked woman to reach the final in Paris – where she will take on either world No 1 Iga Swiatek or 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia – while it is the fifth year in a row that the final will feature an unseeded player. Muchova is only the third player ranked outside the top 40 to reach the final at Roland Garros after Jelena Ostapenko (2017) and Swiatek (2020), who both went on to win their respective finals. For <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/tennis/2023/01/28/aryna-sabalenka-fights-back-to-beat-elena-rybakina-and-claim-australian-open/" target="_blank">Australian Open champion Sabalenka</a>, defeat ended her run of 12 successive match wins at the Slams as the Belarusian paid a heavy price for 53 unforced errors while the versatile Muchova saved nine of 13 break points. Defeat also ended the 25-year-old's hopes of taking over as world No 1 as Sabalenka would have replaced Swiatek at the top of the rankings by lifting the title in France. “I don't really know what happened,” a beaming Muchova said. “The atmosphere, the people pushing me in all the match. I just keep fighting and it worked. I really don't know what happened. I am so happy.” Asked about her versatile game she said: “I don't want to hear it, to get it into my head, to get cocky. I am trying to play my game. I am so glad it worked so well.” The Czech was playing in her second Slam semi-final having also reached the last four at the Australian Open in 2021, but injuries severely restricted her last year, with her ranking dropping outside the top 200. Muchova, who can now break into the top 10 by winning Saturday's final, dug deep to save two break points in the fourth game of the opening set against Sabalenka. Her clever angles countered the raw power of Sabalenka, taking her to set point in the 10th game. She was unable to convert that opportunity but made no mistake at the second time of asking, a wrong-footing, deep backhand giving her the set via a tiebreak after 68 minutes on court. It was the first set Sabalenka had dropped at the tournament. Muchova was 2-0 ahead and sensing a shock triumph in the second set but Sabalenka battled back, overcoming double-faulting on a first set point in the tiebreak to level the semi-final on the second. Suddenly the momentum was with the Belarusian who broke for 4-2 in the decider after seeing four break points come and go in the second game. Muchova appeared doomed to wilt under the barrage. However, she saved a match point in the eighth game before incredibly racing away with the last five games to claim a famous win.