Women’s Final

Jun 6, 2010

Francesca Schiavone took the women’s semi-final 6-4 7-6 (7-2), becoming the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title, as as well as the second-oldest woman to claim a first major title. At 29, she comes second to 30 year old Ann Jones, who won Wimbledon in 1969. Not many had predicted her to win against Sam Stosur, who with a fantastic run of form throughout the tournament looked set to take the title. She is a powerfulplayer, who had beaten Henin, Williams and Jankovic on her way to the final. It appears that Schiavone was the last person to listen to the doubters.

Stosur admits that she was just outplayed in this final match up, with Schiavone playing the tennis of her life to gain her first Grand Slam title. Stosur and Schiavone had met before and Stosur believed that maybe Schiavone would change things up from her usual aggressive play to try to win the match this time around. However, the Italian came out onto the court in no mood to play around and her attacking game was too much for Stosur to answer. At first, things seemed even with both players taking their games to love. But it was soon into the first set that Stosur’s game began to crack, allowing Schiavone a break at a crucial moment. With a steady nerve, Schiavone closed out the set.

For a while it looked like the tables had turned, with Schiavone facing break points in the second set and making some unenforced errors. But now we can look back in hindsight, we can see it was simply a blip on what was a smooth and attacking performance. She came back from an impressive 4-1, winning three games in a row, and the crowd went wild as she stormed away towards a clear victory. Of course, there was a top Australian player at the other end of the court and she wasn’t about to let Schiavone take away her chance at a victory. Still, she just couldn’t keep Schiavone at bay and the tie-break was a complete win for the Italian at 7-2. With four championship points, there appeared to be little chance of a resurgence from Stosur.

When Schiavone took her first championship point at 6-2, she dropped to kiss the red clay and collapsed on the dirt at the end of her best run of her career. Philippe Chatrier love a good old fashioned underdog win, and the excitement of having two players out there not well known in popular tennis knowledge captured many. Ultimately, Stosur didn’t play badly, but she just could not keep the aggressive and points-hungry Schiavone at bay for long enough to get herself into the match.

After winning, Schiavone took a call from the Italian president Girogio Napolitano on court. And now the Italian says she looks forward to going home and celebrating her win in her home country.

Once again, we are left saying goodbye to a tournament that has thrown up surprises left right and centre. Much of the women’s tournament is dependent on shock exits and defeats, but this one was a full sweep-out of the top players across the board. Dementieva, Jankovic, Williams, Henin; they all came with only sniffing distance of the title.

Congratulations to Schiavone and commiserations to Stosur, and thanks has to be given for creating such a memorable and enjoyable final for the women’s competition.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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