Francesca Schiavone - Grand Slam review 2010

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Francesca Schiavone - Grand Slam review 2010
Francesca Schiavone, Grand Slam champion. Bet there weren’t too many people who thought that was possible when 2010 commenced, but that’s just what the 30-year-old delivered at the French Open this year as she become Italy’s first major women’s champion.
Here, we review the court-kissing veteran’s Grand Slam performances this year one-by-one.
Australian Open
Seeded 17th at the Australian Open, Schiavone’s performance at Melbourne Park took place largely under the radar. She began without winning a game in her first set against France’s Alize Cornet in the opening round before closing out the match in three sets and in the third round ended 10th-seed Agnieszka Radwanska’s tournament with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
A fourth-round match against Venus Williams, however, was to prove a step too far for Schiavone, who took the first set before the American fought back to win the match 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
It was, all things considered, about the tournament you’d expect from Schiavone but she was about to change those expectations for good.
French Open
Cue the best fortnight of tennis that Schiavone had produced in her 12-year professional career. It began inauspiciously enough with a three-set win over 70th-ranked Regina Kulikova in the first round but the Italian didn’t drop a set from there.
Her clinical dismantling of a defensive Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals with a sparkling game of aggression and variety as Schiavone executed her plan to perfection should have sent a strong message to observers about the veteran’s intentions in Paris, but most were too busy watching Sam Stosur work her way through four-time champion Justine Henin, world No. 1 Serena Williams, and top-five player Jelena Jankovic on the other side of the draw to book her place in the decider.
When it came to the final though, it was Schiavone who retained her composure against a nervous Stosur. And for the third time in three matches she planted a wet one on the red clay on centre court.
Catapulted into the top 10 after winning the French Open title, Schiavone departed the All England Club almost as quickly as she arrived, losing in three sets to 56th ranked Vera Dushevina in the opening round.
“Was tough match. Was different surface, different feeling,” Schiavone, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2009, said after the loss. “But she played very good and I didn't take my chance maybe in the second set.”
US Open
After slipping quietly out of the All England Club, Schiavone did not drop a set in her first four matches in Flushing Meadows, though her serve did prove shaky in her first couple of matches.
And in addition to flying the flag for the use of a single-handed backhand in women’s tennis all the way to the quarter-finals (where Venus recorded her eighth straight victory over her fellow 30-year-old), Schiavone provided reporters asking about her game with this gem: “I can do serve and volley, I can play faster, I can play slow and back. Is a mix. It's like Capricciosa pizza. I don't give you Margherita, I give you Capricciosa, different kind of ingredient.”
For that we thank you, Francesca. It’s been a truly entertaining and memorable year.



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