Francesca Schiavone Interview - French Open, June 5Posted on June 5, 2010
Q. We've seen a lot of stories of a player, especially late in their career, has a good tournament, gets to a semi or final, but the players rarely win. You played a fantastic match today. How were you able to do it?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I prepared the final mentally and tactically very good. I was so concentrate on my serve. I try to don't look nowhere, but just to feel my play and try to be aggressive as much as I could.
Q. Before going to the match with your coach, was your main decision going to net maybe more aggressively and even before her and taking the net over? And the second question is: Italian crowd is cheering for you, obviously. Were you very much in connection with them through the match?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: French crowd?
Q. Well, the crowd cheering for you.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Ah, si, si, si, si. They're all my family or the person that work with me, and/or my friends from when I was two, three years old.
So I'm so, so happy. When I saw them now, I say, What are you doing here? Oh, we took a car. We came 10 hours. I said, You're crazy. You didn't pay us the flight, so we had to take the car. Yes, was fantastic.
And to go to the net, yes, was my tactic to keep going, to press her on the backhand, and when I had the chance to go on the forehand, because she's very strong. My goal was to do that one and to be aggressive and to go inside.
Q. Had you ever dreamed of winning Roland Garros? Did you believe that you could do it?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I always dream, yes. I always believe in myself. Not about the trophy or tournament, but just on myself I think was the key for everything. I'm so happy. I'm really so happy.
Q. What does it mean that this little girl who started playing is now the champion of this incredible tennis tournament?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: This is mean that everybody have the chance to be who really you want to be, and to do everything in your life. This is what's happen to me.
Q. I've got two questions. First question: There was a very long photo shooting with you and the Cup sitting, standing, each direction. What did you think in that moment, your thoughts and your feelings at that moment?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I didn't understand nothing. (Laughter.)
I'm sorry. Photo shoot in the car? (Through translation.) Ah, ah, okay. No, I thought about yesterday that okay, sorry.
I thought that you can arrive here just if you really work hard and if you really have something special inside. Can be passion, can be heart, is coming from long. I don't think you can be at something without all yourself. That's what I was thinking during the photo shoot.
Q. The second question: Somebody has given you your cellphone and you were on the cellphone. Can you tell us who was calling?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Presidente de la Repubblica. (Through translation.) Come se dice? Si.
Q. What did he say to you?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Ah, Congratulations. Enjoy this moment. It was an honor for Italy.
Q. Italy is for second year in the final of Fed Cup. You won the competition. Do you think this is also recognition of the work you have done in Italy, the female, the Italian female tennis?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Fed Cup is an amazing competition, so I'm very lucky because I have great partner with me. We can be an amazing team.
Now is the moment maybe to go to USA and try to win another trophy, but for the moment is long way. But for sure Fed Cup help me to play good. Yeah, better. Everything is good, is a step to play good.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Grazie.
Q. Newspapers across the world, television stations, there are going to be big headlines taller than you are saying, Upset; unbelievable; couldn't happen. What do you call what you did today?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Um, to go over. Oltre? (Through translation.) Over the limits. Si, over the limits. (Cellphone ringing.) Scusa.
Over the limits, and be really everything that you can be in one hour, 20 minutes, two hours.
Q. I know you feel no matter where you play you are going to win the match, but was there something inside you when you came to Paris that told you you were going to do this?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: The true, in the true, maybe not. But inside, yes. I really always dreamed this tournament. It's strange to say it, but when I call my daddy, he say to me, I remember you that you always dream this one. Every morning that you wake up, you work to do something like this.
So maybe it was far away in the reality, but here never far away.
Q. If you think back to the tiebreak, you came closer and closer with every point. So how was the feeling inside? Because you looked going crazy in a positive way. So how did it feel?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I was feeling much more energy and more and more and more. I couldn't stop it. I really felt that that one was my moment. I took it. I didn't lose the chance.
I didn't care about nothing. I want to take that point and play my tennis. It was the moment.
Q. If my memory is correct, you beat Chinese player Li Na in third round. Before that match an Italian reporter came to Li Na and said you told the reporter that Li Na would be the favorite in your match. Now you're here. So comparing your feelings before the tournament and now, so it gonna be very emotional for you because so different.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Li Na, she has so much talent that you never know what can she play. So I think it was the first step to arrive where I am now. I played so good and so fast that when I won that match I say, I think I really can do it.
Q. You mean after you defeat Li Na you start to believe you can win the whole thing or you can win more matches?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No, I had the chance to win everything.
Q. The people cheering for you are wearing T shirt which says Francesca, nothing is impossible.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Sciavo, Sciavo. Because when I was young they called me Sciavo.
Q. So can you tell us the story behind that T shirt?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: The true is that I don't know, because they arrived this morning really, always with the car, and I saw them when I finish.
So now I don't know. And they are leaving, so I don't think I will know this until two or three days.
Q. You said yesterday that the most intelligent will win the final, so you are. (Laughter.)
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Yes, I am. (Laughter.)
Q. I guess you are national hero now in Italy. How does that feel? What do you expect? In Italy, are they going to celebrate you like for weeks? Are there gonna be 50,000 people in Rome? I don't know. What do you expect?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No. Who care?
No, I want to go home to mommy and daddy. This is my goal for the moment, because usually we do good dinner or good lunch, ten people, usually. Now I think I have to buy a new house, bigger, for 50 people.
No, I don't know really because now I am here and I can't feel what's happen in Italy. But for sure, for me is an honor to be champion and to be a person that maybe someone can take like example.
Q. Almost two weeks ago I saw your first match. It was on court 12, I think. It was 28 degrees. It took you three hours. You had to fight against a Russian. I think it was Kulikova. It was not your only fight in Paris. How important was the title spirit these two weeks?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Fight spirit is one of the first quality that I have inside, so it's always important to fight on the court, to fight in everything that I do.
So in that match, I remember was really tough, but I played really good in the most important moment. I say to the coach after three, four match, I say, I don't play so well, but when is coming really important like 4 All or 5 4 serve, I played amazing.
So I think that one was the key.
Q. One of your trademarks in the tournament is that the last three rounds you kissed the ground after winning the matches. So did you talk to the ground, Make me champion? What happened there? (Laughter.)
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Si, si. Si, si, I talked to her.
To kiss the ground for me is to thanks this clay, this beautiful tournament and this arena. I call the arena to give me this opportunity and all the emotion that I am living.
Q. So why do you think you were more intelligent in that final? Sorry about that.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No, that's okay. I prepare very good the match, and I never change my mind. I was so clear for me what to do that when I tried to play short, the ball after was long. When she was running to the backhand, the second ball was shot to the other side.
This is, for me, smart things. Yes, this is the way that I think that is smart.
Q. What did you think about? Who did you think about at the match point after Sam's backhand?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Who? Who, no. What? Yes. Is my chance. Now she serve me on the backhand. Go inside and put her as much pression as I could. So I thought this.
Q. Did you scoop up some clay to take home with you?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No, but I think I will do it.
Q. I thought maybe there'd be some clay inside that cup.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No, I can touch now and then I have a trophy like this.
I won three tournaments. The first one, the trophy was break here. So I say, It's okay. I put a tack, you know, a taccola. Didn't work. No chance. It's okay.
The second one in Moscow I won a trophy like this, fantastic. At the end, a plate. (Laughter.)
Now I have won this one, and they give me a trophy like this. But is write my name. That's fantastic.
Q. You told us just now what you thought before the match point. Then she had a mishit. You knew you would be champion. What went through your mind at that very moment? What were your thoughts?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: That I don't know. I think that I am a champion, the No. 1 of this tournament. We were 128, and I am the champion. I don't know what to say. Is big emotion.
What Federer say? What Rafa say? (Laughter.) I'm try to remember, but is not coming, nothing.