Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roland Garros Ladies Singles Final

The increasingly likeable Francesca Schiavone won the ladies title in straight sets yesterday, firing past favourite Sam Stosur 6/4 7/6 (7-2).

I started the match supporting Stosur because of her brilliant displays in seeing off Henin, Serena and Jankovic. However, as the match went on, I found my allegiance to the Australian wavering. There is something infectious about Schiavone. Her fired-up attitude and all-out attack certainly won my affection and support as she ferociously exploited Stosur's backhand, as was so evident on championship point when that worn-down play from Stosur shanked off the racquet, up into the crowd, and crowned the Italian as Roland Garros 2010 champion.

It was disappointing for Stosur as she was rarely able to show her best tennis due to Schiavone's breathless attacks and pristine net play. She did go a break up in the second set at 4-1 but that little Italian terrier came hounding back immediately, not giving Stosur any time to build a significant lead.

Schiavone made the most of her time on stage with the trophy, speaking in both English and Italian, before finally recognising that she was honoured to be sharing stage with former champion Mary Pierce. She may never reach this height again, but at least she can say she is a Grand Slam champion, and deservedly so.

And there are not many players who can claim that.

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