Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 5 June 2010

Francesca Schiavone Wins the French Open

17th seed, Francesca Schiavone caused a big upset in defeating favourite Samantha Stosur in the final of this year's French Open final, becoming the first Italian female to win a Grand Slam final.

Both players started well on serve, but it was the Italian's single-handed backhand that was causing Samantha Stosur problems, with the Australian's serve not having the devastating effect it had on Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic in previous rounds.

The 29-year old Italian was edging the opening eight games, but it wasn't until Samantha Stosur was serving at 4-4 in the opening set that there was a break. Following that, Schiavone was able to fight back from 0-30 to serve out the opening set.

Samantha Stosur made a good start to the second set, starting with a few forehand winners that had helped her reached her first Grand Slam final. The Australian broke her Italian opponent early in the second set and raced into a 4-1 lead. However, there remained little difference between the number of winners she was producing compared to the number of errors. Her serve didn't have its desired effect in this match, and her forehand winners were not as prominent as in her previous three matches that saw her eliminate Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic.

Francesca Schiavone deserves credit for the number of serves she returned in play. Her biggest threat was at the net, where the Italian always looked like winning the point, and won 93% at the net, compared to Stosur's 61%. Despite a successful doubles player and former world number 1 in that event, Stosur doesn't look comfortable at the net when she approached.

Francesca Schiavone has played very well this week, but her performance in today's final was undoubtedly the best of the two weeks, and the biggest achievement of her career.

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