Sam Stosur v. Francesca Schiavone French Open Final Preview
by Staff | June 5th, 2010, 6:33 am
  • 130 Comments

The surprise pairing of Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur will compete for the 2010 French Open clay tennis title in just a few hours in Paris, France.

Stosur has been one of the top clay court players in 2010 winning 20 of 22 matches on the dirt, and she proved her worth  navigating through a brutal path that matched her against three former World No. 1s – Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic.

“I think it’s going to be a great for both of us no matter who wins,” said Stosur who reached the French Open semifinals last year. “I want to enjoy it as much as I can. Hopefully we can have a good match and just make the most of it. Yeah, it’s gonna be a day we’re both gonna remember.

“I’ve got to go out there and try and play it like any other match, and go out there and play my game and try and block all those other things out,” she added. “Yeah, it’s been really fantastic up until this time, so hopefully I can make it a little bit better.”

The veteran Schiavone’s road was been slightly easier. The 29-year-old hasn’t dropped a set beating Li Na, Maria Kirilenko, Carolina Wozniacki and then gaining the final when Elena Dementieva retired after dropping the first set.

“For sure I will be nervous with tension,” Schiavone said Friday. “I think is one of the best feeling that I can personally feeling. So is good is coming my mental trainer, so maybe he can help me a little bit. Is good chance. I want to just live and enjoy my moment, my life.”

The match is also the first time since 2004 Roland Garros (Myskina d. Dementieva) that both players will make their debut at a Grand Slam final, and it’s the fourth straight Slam without a Russian in the title match.

Stosur leads Schiavone 4-1 in their five prior meetings including having won the last four all in straight sets. The two finalists actually met a year ago in the first round, and now they meet on the World’s stage for their first Grand Slam title.

“For sure I have to study how to play against her, but I can say that the most important thing is to give the best that I have, and to try to stay always aggressive when I can,” Schiavone said. “She’s very strong, great power. She improve so mentally, physically a lot. I think will be very tough and very close match, and will be a lot of tactics in the court. I think like this.”

The winner of the match will also rank No. 6, the runner-up No. 7 in the Monday WTA rankings.

More tidbits on the title match courtesy of the WTA Tour:

In their most recent head-to-head meeting, Stosur defeated Schiavone in the final at 2009 Osaka on October 18, 2009; entering that final, the 2 combined for a 1-14 record in Tour finals (Stosur 0-5, Schiavone 1-9); this is the 4th final since October 2009 for both Stosur (won 2009 Osaka, 2010 Charleston; runner-up 2010 Stuttgart) and Schiavone (won at 2009 Moscow, 2009 Barcelona; runner-up 2009 Osaka).

Among first-time Grand Slam singles titles winners, Schiavone would be the second oldest (and oldest to win their first GS title since 1969 Wimbledon), while Stosur would be the 6th oldest player to win their first Grand Slam title: Ann Jones (GBR) 30 years, 8 months, 28 days 1969 Wimbledon, Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 29 years, 11 months, 14 days ?? ??

Schiavone is making her Grand Slam final debut at Roland Garros, the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam final; the previous best result at RG by an Italian was at 1954 Roland Garros (Silvia Lazzarino, SF, l. to Maureen Connolly).

Schiavone is the first Italian player (men/women) in a Grand Slam final since Adriano Panatta won 1976 Roland Garros men’s title.

As a result of her success at this event, Schiavone will leap into the Top 10 (from No.17) when the rankings are released on Monday, June 7th; Schiavone is projected to rank No.6 (if she wins) or No.7 (as runner-up), with fellow Italian Pennetta projected at No.10

Schiavone is making her 10th appearance at RG; she made her RG debut in 2001, advancing to QF.

Schiavone has now reached 4r or better at 4 straight Slams.

Schiavone is 9-40 vs. Top 5 ranked opponents in her career; she is now 2-2 vs. Top 5 this year after defeating No.5 Dementieva in SF (via ret.) and also defeating No.3 Wozniacki in QF, her first Top 5 win in a completed match since 2008 Dubai (No.1 Henin).

Schiavone is 23-65 in her career vs. Top 10 ranked opponents, including 3-3 this year with 2 wins at RG (both vs. Top 5 opponents).

Schiavone won her 3rd career title at Barcelona in April (2nd career title on clay, along with 2007 Bad Gastein).

Currently ranked No.17, Schiavone is bidding to become the fourth player ranked outside the Top 10 to win the singles title at Roland Garros.

Stosur defeated 3 former No.1 ranked players en route to the final, including the current world No.1 Serena Williams (QF); she also defeated Justine Henin (4r) and Jelena Jankovic (SF).

The only other player to defeat both Henin and S.Williams at a GS was Lindsay Davenport at 2000 US Open; Davenport finished as runner-up (l. V.Williams).

With her 4r win against Henin, Stosur became only the 5th player to defeat Henin at Roland Garros (Davenport, Clijsters, Garbin, Kapros), ending the 4-time champion’s run of 24-straight wins here.

After starting her career 39-37 on clay (all levels), Stosur is 28-8 on clay since 2008.

Stosur has a Tour-leading 20-2 main draw record on the surface this year (through SF at 2010 RG), including her 2nd career Tour title at Charleston and runner-up at Stuttgart; she also has the most main draw wins on Tour this year on all surfaces (32).

Stosur, along with Wickmayer, owns the 2nd longest match win streak this year (11), behind only Venus Williams (15).

Stosur moved up to a career-best No.7 on May 17, 2010, the highest ranking for an Australian-born player since February 1985 (Wendy Turnbull); she is projected to climb as high as No.6 (unless Schiavone wins the title, then No.7).

Prior to last year’s SF run, Stosur’s previous best RG result was reaching 3r (2007).

Stosur hit a personal season-best 14 aces in her 2r win against de los Rios.

The last Aussie to reach the final at RG was Wendy Turnbull (1979, l. to Evert); the last Aussie to win a title at RG was Margaret Court (1973).

The last Aussie GS finalist was Wendy Turnbull (1980 Australian Open [Dec]) and the last Australian GS champion was Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1980 Wimbledon).

Stosur is 2-2 vs. Top 5 ranked opponents this year with both wins here at RG: d. No.1 S.Williams (QF) and No.4 Jankovic (SF); she is 6-19 vs. Top 5 ranked opponents in her career.

Stosur became the first Australian to defeat a world No.1 at a Grand Slam since Dokic at 1999 Wimbledon (Hingis).

Ranking Projections

Serena Williams is projected to retain the No.1 ranking after Roland Garros (week of June 7, 2010) bringing her career total to 106 weeks at No.1. Serena regained the No.1 spot on November 2, 2009 and during Roland Garros is spending her 104th and 105th weeks there.

The Top 5 rank will remain unchanged – No.1 Serena Williams No.2 Venus Williams, No.3 Caroline Wozniacki and No.4 Jelena Jankovic and No.5 Elena Dementieva.

The winner of today’s final will be No.6 with the runner-up at No.7.

Schiavone is projected to make her Top 10 debut and move ahead of Flavia Pennetta to become Italy’s No.1 player; by reaching the final, Schiavone is projected to climb to No.7; she could climb to No.6 by winning the title.

Schiavone will be making her Top 10 debut at the age of 29 years, 11 months and 15 days (on June 7th), the oldest player to make her Top 10 debut since 1998 when Nathalie Tauziat made her Top 10 debut at 30 years, 2 months, 26 days.

Schiavone will be the 101st player to break into the Top 10 rankings since the inception of the computer rankings (November 3, 1975); Li Na (99th) and Stosur (100th) also made Top 10 debut this year

Kim Clijsters is projected to move up one spot to No.9 (from No.10) and Justine Henin is projected to rise to No.18 (from No.23), that would represent the highest ranking since the return of each respective player.

Shahar Peer climbs to a career-best No.14, the highest ranking ever held by an Israeli woman tennis player (Smashnova in 2003 and Peer in 2007 both each reached No.15).

With Dinara Safina falling in 1r and Svetlana Kuznetsova losing in 3r, both players will fall out of the Top 10. Safina is projected to drop to No.20 and Kuznetsova to No.19.

Kuznetsova has been ranked in the Top 10 since the week of April 3, 2006, the longest active run of any player currently ranked in the Top 10; that streak will end after Roland Garros. As a result, Jelena Jankovic will become the player that has been ranked inside for the most consecutive weeks; the Serb moved into the Top 10 the week of February 19, 2007.

Entering RG, there were 3 Russian players in the Top 10 (Safina, Kuznetsova, Dementieva). There have been as many as 6 Russians ranked in the Top 10 as the week of August 25, 2008. With Safina’s 1r loss and Kuznetsova’s 3r loss, the number of Russians in the Top 10 is projected to drop to 1 for the first time since August 25, 2003 (Myskina at No.10).


Also Check Out:
Schiavone Heimlichs Choking Stosur for French Open Title
Stosur-Schiavone French Final a Happy Affair
Stosur, Schiavone Unlikely French Open Finalists
Stosur Wins at WTA Charleston; Schiavone in Barcelona
Francesca Schiavone On Drawing Serena At US Open: Oh $h!t

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130 Comments for Sam Stosur v. Francesca Schiavone French Open Final Preview

madmax Says:

A proper article on the Stosur/Schiavone final! Whooo hooooo!


its all abt da game Says:

Majoli-Kuerten in 1997..
Myskina-Gaudio in 2004
let Schiavone win this,
but i do not want it to be
Schiavone-Soderling in 2010


Kimo Says:

Poor Schiavone, I don’t think anyone in the world other than her acquaintances would like to see her win today. Pretty much everyone is behind Sam.

GO Sammy :)


Kimo Says:

game, I want it to be Soderling-Stosur :P


kimote Says:

Kimo,
I do agree with you, Soderling 1000 % will be the winner, Nadal is nothing play Soda. Long live Sod.


Kimo Says:

Easy hold by Stosur to start things off.


Kimo Says:

Schiavone seems unable to handle the Stosur serve early on.


Kimmi Says:

hello everyone.

both player seem to start well so far.

stosur serving great and so is schiavoni


madmax Says:

hello kimmi, kimo,

yes. i thought stosur striking the ball really hard, great serving in the first set, but schi seems to be reading her serve well in this game, looks like she has the edge – just.

stosur holds though.


Kimmi Says:

sam..love her shads


Eskay Says:

Sam appears to have new dimension to her game. Her service is consistently matching that in men’s game. Her ground strokes are so hard. One can see her coming of age in 2010.


Kimmi Says:

this might be a tough match for both player.they dont look nervous..i like it


blank Says:

Has been a good match so far. Wonder why hardly anyone thinks Schiavone has a chance.


Kimmi Says:

schiavone has improve so much this tournament. blank, the way she is playing she definetly has a chance.


blank Says:

Stosur may have the better tools in her kitty but Schiavone seems to be more tenacoius. And that alone can win matches most of the time.


tfouto Says:

schiavoni is returning stosur serve early and inside court, and using variation. the fav stosur is nervous…


Kimo Says:

Sam double-faults to give Schiavone a 5-4 lead.


Eskay Says:

Schiavone gets the first break. Anything can happen. Can Sam keep her nerves?


Kimmi Says:

break..c,mon sam shady


blank Says:

There is the set. Well done Schiavone!


Kimo Says:

Sam is too nervous.


Kimmi Says:

yes, schiovoni. well done. she is showing more variety so far


Eskay Says:

Sam’s nerves broke down. She appeared to have the better shots early on. Schiavone looks like Justin in tenacity. But Sam can come back.


Kimmi Says:

c’mooooon sam


BT Says:

Sam needs to settle down and play her normal game. She is all nervous and tight! Francesca is playing pretty well though, really focussed.


Kimo Says:

Schiavone seems so sure of herself out there while Stosur seems so lost out there, like she doesn’t know where she is.


Kimmi Says:

schiavoni is goog..wooot!


Kimmi Says:

s/b good


tfouto Says:

amazing game from the italian…


Eskay Says:

Schiavone is controlling the points. Sam has become defensive. Sometimes content with putting the ball back in play. But she will bounce back. Schiavone appears calm and composed.


Kimo Says:

Maybe that tough hold will snap Sam back into the match.


Kimmi Says:

hope saving that game will pump up sam..c’moon


Kimmi Says:

c’mon sam


Kimmi Says:

great..now hold hold hold


Kimo Says:

Finally Sam started playing like she played against Justine, Serena and Jelena. She was too tight in the first set.


madmax Says:

how things can change on a point, a risk and a different mindset!


Kimo Says:

All of a sudden Sam can’t miss a ball. Winners are flying off her racket, her volleys are now back to what you would expect from an accomplished doubles player. Serve is clicking. All if right with the world.


Kimo Says:

s/b “is right”


jane Says:

“Schiavone seems to be more tenacoius. ” – she said one of her idols is Rafa in one of those little interview pieces they do for the TV coverage. Rafa is somewhat tenacious too. ; )


madmax Says:

22 doubles titles for stosur – amazing.


Kimmi Says:

sam..hold sam..hoooold…schiavoni wants to break here


Kimo Says:

Damn. She’s tight again.


Kimmi Says:

misses an easier shot.oh dear


Kimo Says:

Nerves is such a big part of Sam’s game. That’s a very bad thing for a tennis player.


tfouto Says:

all of a sudden everything is wrong in stosur game again. shavione is very strong mentally.


Kimmi Says:

making too many errors


BT Says:

Sloppy Stosur… very sloppy


Kimmi Says:

wow, the way schiavoni spreads the court is beatiful to see. she can win this


Eskay Says:

What is this strange ritual Schiavone makes while about to the return the serve. Touching racquet to the ground. Was she doing it earlier too.


Kimmi Says:

this match is too close for sam.she needs to be strong.c’mon


Kimo Says:

Sam’s footwork has been terrible today.


tfouto Says:

schiavone variety is more beautiful to watch than stosur game in my opinion…


Kimmi Says:

do we have the tie break…the way schiavoni is serving, got to be


madmax Says:

schiavone is beautiful to watch, so light on her feet, yet her strokes are powerful. She seems all round happy, smiling at the camera – lovely – under so much pressure as well.


Kimo Says:

Sam’s backhand is also terrible today. Too many errors off that wing.


madmax Says:

tie breaker. pressure.


jane Says:

I like watching the two contrasting styles pitted against one another. Tiebreak.


BT Says:

I can’t see Stosur getting up in this tiebreak


Kimmi Says:

the ball half way to the net..oh no tie break. sam, do or die here


Kimo Says:

tfouto, Don’t judge Sam by her game today. Against Serena she was beautiful to watch.


madmax Says:

i would really like this to go to a third, just to continue seeing both women play!


jane Says:

Some great tennis from these two ladies.


Kimmi Says:

what a pick up by schiav.


Kimo Says:

Based on the way the match went, Schiavone deserves to win.


Kimo Says:

Brain cramp from Stosur on that dropshot.


Kimo Says:

Schiavone is channeling Federer today. There’s no beating he playing like this.


madmax Says:

I love schiavone, she has so much expression! I love her play!


Kimmi Says:

schiav. welldone. she is in to win this


jane Says:

Schiavone is not afraid to come to the net to finish off points and as madmax put it above, she is “light on her feet”, moves very well. But it’s not over yet…


Kimmi Says:

two points away


Kimo Says:

Watching Schiavone today no one would guess that this is her first slam final.


BT Says:

No nerves at all it seems from Schiavone.

MATCH POINT!


Kimmi Says:

match points


tfouto Says:

it depends on the oppenent. Against Federer, Soderling dont looks so bad as playng berdych… schavione is so so confident…


madmax Says:

oh my God! She’s amazing! No fear!


Eskay Says:

Schiavone had the killer instinct, fighting spirit and tenacity. The difference could best be seen in the body language of the two players. Big points always won by Schiavone. Sam may have many positives to take from this Grand Slam, but not from the finals. Sam’s day will also come.


blank Says:

what a win!! Congrats Schiavone.


jane Says:

Plus isn’t it nice to see a WTA player with such variety winning – rather than punishing the ball? Schiavone – WOW! Major congrats to that effort!

Great effort from Sam as well.


its all abt da game Says:

amazing!!
azzurri may not win the world cup..
but italy has something great to cheer about!!


Kimo Says:

Best women’s final at RG in years. Congrats Francesca :)

Sam had it coming. I don’t like it when someone plays in a slam final not to lose instead of playing to win.


Kimmi Says:

congrats schiavoni. who would have thought.

sam..great tournament. better try next time


Maso Says:

What a tie break Schiavone played! Forza Francesca!!! What a surprise this Roland Garros has been so far. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s final.


blank Says:

Tenacity > Power


PJ Says:

Everyone had Schiavone in their office pool two weeks ago, right?

I was rooting for Stosur, but this was just awesome to watch. Congrats to Francesca. Completely deserved after today’s performance. I love these surprise Slam winners.


madmax Says:

Jane I agree – so much more variety to her game – I hope she goes on to win another too! She was great to watch, such a star. She showed all her heart on the court today, I didn’t see any of that from Sam. Francesca showed the passion of the italians!


jane Says:

Bellissimo madmax; she showed her heart alright.


blank Says:

Surprise slam winners and one slam wonders almost always seem to come from the FO.


Kimmi Says:

sam, too sad with tears hard to see.


Kimmi Says:

mary pierce..she never officially retire, didn;t she ?


blank Says:

I’d love to see Schiavone win another GS, but I think given her age, 29, and the fact that every other GS surface is played on a considerable faster surface it is unlikely.


PJ Says:

Italy has a very happy sounding Anthem.


BT Says:

Well deserved win. I really wanted to Sam to win but she just didn’t step up today like Fran did.


jane Says:

Mary Pierce looks so nice; that is her right?

Sam needs to believe she can do it, but she did seem to tense up today at times today. I hate seeing her look dejected.

Schiavone is overjoyed, sweet to see.


tfouto Says:

Schiavone played a very confident game contrary to Sam. Schiavoni had the a game plan.

very good to see a player as schiavone on his age finally wining a grand slam.


Kimo Says:

Francesca played this slam final like Federer would: with passion and conviction, and I’m sad to say Sam pulled off an Andy Murray on us.


BT Says:

Didn’t Pierce have that very ugly knee collapse? I think she retired soon after that… she never came back from it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOUBQ-rn1Sk (very sad)


Kimmi Says:

hahaha, she has humour too


blank Says:

She is so nice and sweet. Well deserved Champion! She truly played better than everyone here.


blank Says:

Interest fact about Mary Pierce. She is a citizen of Canada, US and France!


Huh Says:

Heck, I missed it!

BUT CONGRATUALTIONS TO SCHIAVONE, AMAZING!!! :)


Kimmi Says:

thanks fo that link BT, i remember she hurt herself but never watch the match. horrible looking injury


Andrew Miller Says:

Epic win by Schiavone – congratulations to her! I wonder if her win (and Stosur’s huge tournament) changes the WTA Tour and if we’ll see other players going for the big Slam titles. (It may no longer be the Williams’/Henin’Clijsters/Sharapova show anymore)


cha cha Says:

Only a man can beat another man. Good for Fran. They all thought Samuel would win.


blank Says:

Just watched Schiavone’s interview with McEnroe…she has a great sense of humour and a great personality.

Shame she wasn’t more successful until now. Anyway, she can take this moment and be happy for life.


jane Says:

No wonder Johnny Mac loves the Schiavone win – the volleying! Francesca can really banter with the best of them, what a great interview.


Kimmi Says:

will it be a surprise winner tomorrow..go soda


Eskay Says:

In a way, Schoavone has to thank Sam for the trophy. Sam took out the favourites Serena and Justine and then flopped in the finals. Can Schiavone be a multiple G.S. winner?


Kimmi Says:

eskay, her game seem to suit the clay more. but who knows with other grand slams. definetly matiple RG is possible


Kimmi Says:

amazing that she said she was so nervous and crying this morning but you could not see any nerves in her game today. she was as calm as calm as cucumber


osazone4real Says:

Stosur is a big disappointment, like they say in my homeland she was holding both the knife and yam, all she needed was cut the big part for herself. She has beaten schiavone 4 consecutive times in a row, including last year here in RG.
This will most likely hunt her for a long time. I am a big fan of hers, I was 100% sure she will win.
The only silver lining for me was seeing Schiavone who is in the twilight of her career win a 1st GS for herself at almost 30 years and for her country and it was really great to the outpour of emotions from her fans.


jane Says:

Schiavone is the 2nd oldest female player to win her first slam; she also won the 3rd most clay matches this season, after Stosur (1st) and Jankovic (2nd). This trivia was posted at the RG site.


margot Says:

Gr8 match, Schiavone was a joy to watch, during the match and afterwards. Brilliant!


tfouto Says:

kimmi where did she said she was crying?


blank Says:

Anyone watching the mens doubles final?


Kimmi Says:

it was the interview with mcenroe, that what i heard. OK, let me rewind my recording.

this is what she said exactly

“I felt many emotions, this morning i was crying, i couldnt take the car..i said you go coach to play i don’t go to play but at the end i believe so much at myself and i try to stay focus at my play and don’t think about other things..to enjoy, really enjoy from the heart”


jane Says:

blank, I am watching it presently, but I won’t be able to watch the whole thing as I have to run out. Hoping for Nestor & Z. But so far D&P are holding more easily.

Kimmi, I heard that too.


Kimmi Says:

nes/zim were the ones always in trouble but amazigly they break and serving for the set….hmmm


jane Says:

Nesty&Z break to start the second. If this ends in straights maybe I can catch it all. They’re reading the serves of D&P much better now.


sar Says:

Of the four,Zimonic has never won the FO… so I hope he wins.


Kimmi Says:

i guess they go back to no.1 if they win this. the bryans lost in early round


Kimmi Says:

sar, you really know your doubles. thanks


sar Says:

LOL Dlouhy yawning out there.


sar Says:

Kimmi, Nestor has won every trophy there is plus the olympic gold. He is the best dubs player ever.
He’s getting old and they both have kids now so I think they’ll be around until next Olympics. Bryans will be the best pair ever.


Kimmi Says:

this much is running away from Dlo/ple.

Thanks sar..i knew about the bryans but did not know about nestor..great CV


Kimmi Says:

this match…dlo/pae lol my typos


jane Says:

Awesome! Nestor and Zimonjic have won!! Congrats to them.

Yes Kimmi, Nestor is one of those select players who has a “golden slam” and he’s Canadian. Not often you can say that. : )


sar Says:

Great day for tennis, let’s see what happens tomorrow.


its all abt da game Says:

Nestor/Zimonjic wins the match 7-6, 6-2..
sad Dlouhy/Paes could not defend their titles..
amazing by nestor Zimonjic..
juts like true champions they broke Dlouhy Paes just when needed and then ran away with the match!


Kimmi Says:

nice embrace at the net. congrats nestor and Zim.

sar..double does not need too much youth. they can continue to play till they start losing badly. right now..no.1 player in the world. winning more slams. what else can you ask for..


its all abt da game Says:

speaking of youth in doubles, i think most of the top 10 are 30 + guys and more than half 35+..

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