French Open Tennis: Sam Stosur Vs. Francesca Schiavone Makes For Unlikely Final

Jun 5th, 2010

2010 French Open Women’s Final: Sam Stosur vs. Francesca Schiavone......

            What? Yes that’s right Stosur and Schiavone in the women’s final on Saturday. Who would have guessed that two veterans that have been on tour for over 10 years and never reached a major final would headline the women’s final.

          Samantha Stosur a two time grand slam doubles champion, and previous 1 time singles SF. Stosur currently 7th in the world in singles has put herself in a position to become a singles and doubles grand slam winner. The same Sam Stosur that struggled to stay in the top 50 early last year. But, then Sam came to Roland Garros last year and had a magical run to the SF and people started to talk that Sam could be a factor in the future. Then after early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open everyone forgot about Sam. But after a 4th round run at Australia it became apparent that she was finding that same SF form again. Now back at Roland Garros she finds herself as an unlikely finalist. But she knows that she belongs here.

          Sam’s counterpart in the final is even more of an unlikely finalist. Francesca Schivone has been a staple in the top 30 since 2003, but with only 3 career singles titles it wasn’t likely she would be a finalist.   But when it came to the Grand Slams she was even more unlikely to be here. Her best result had been 3 QF appearances, once at Roland Garros, once at Wimbledon, and once at the US Open. But with a breakout performance here at Roland Garros just a few weeks from her 30th birthday this may be her first but only opportunity.

          As for their road to the finals, both players had a completely different path. Sam Stosur defeated the one of the greatest clay court players ever in 4 time Fench Open champ Justine Henin, followed that by beating #1 in the world and 12 time grand slam champion Serena Williams and #4 in the world Jelena Jankovic. Francesca Schiavone resume in the tournament wasn’t nearly as impressive but still tough. She defeated #11 Na Li, #30 Maria Kirilenko, and rising star #3 Caroline Wozniacki. Then her toughest test would be #5 former runner-up Elena Dementieva. But after Schiavone took a tough first set tiebreak Dementieva said she had enough and retired with a calf injury. So you make your own opinion as to who has earned the right to be here.

          As for how the two women matchup against each other. Sam Stosur the powerful Australian, with her powerful groundstrokes, big kick serve and finess at net she is a slight favorite in this matchup. Francesca Schiavone will counter with great speed, great defense, and heavy topspin.

          I feel that Sam Stosur is on a roll after reaching the SF last year, and now reaching the final this year that she is poised to win her first Grand Slam title. I think Schiavone will make a match of it but Stosur will be victorious.

Stosur d. Schiavone in three sets (6-3, 6-7, 6-2)

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