Schiavone, Li Reach French Final; Bryans Upset in Doubles
by Staff | June 2nd, 2011, 9:45 pm
  • 122 Comments

Defending champion Francesca Schiavone and the surprising Chinese Li Na will battle for the 2011 French Open title after successfully navigating the semifinals on Thursday.

Schiavone beat France’s own Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-3, mixing up her game to confound the two-hander who committed 18 unforced errors to 11 winners.

“The crowd today was fantastic with Marion — they supported her from the first point to the end. I can understand, when I play Roma it’s the same,” Schiavone said. “Saturday I will go on the court enjoying, breathing, saying thanks for everything, because for me to arrive in the final is fantastic. And then I will play tennis.”

Schiavone will face the 29-year-old Li Na in the final, with the two tied 2-2 in their career head-to-head meetings.

Li defeated Maria Sharapova 6-4, 7-5. Sharapova held a break in the second but lost the edge due to her wonky serve. The Russian pitched in 10 doubles faults during the match, including one to end things on match point.

“I think I’ve proven a little bit for Chinese tennis — I’m sure they showed the match the same time in China, so maybe some children saw the match and think they can do the same or even better one day,” Li said. “I just need one more step and my dream will come true.”

Sharapova took the positive out of her semifinal effort.

“This was a great result — it has been a good season on clay,” the Russian said. “I got to the semifinals here after not being in this stage of a Grand Slam for a long time. So I’m quite proud of what I’ve achieved here. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do, but of course I’m going to come back and try to win.”

In the men’s doubles semis on Thurday, No. 2 seeds Max “The Beast” Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor defeated No. 4 seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(4), 7-6(5), and in the final will face South Americans Juan Sebastian Cabal and Eduardo Schwank, who shocked the No. 1 seeds and 2003 champions the Bryan brothers 7-6(4), 6-3.

Cabal and Schwank were playing their first tournament together as a team. Prior to Roland Garros, the 25-year-old Cabal had won only one tour-level doubles match.


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122 Comments for Schiavone, Li Reach French Final; Bryans Upset in Doubles

Eric Says:

Predictions for tomorrow: Rafa in 3, Nole in 4. But I hope I am wrong about this… Federer in 3! :)


Eric Says:

And I really hope Schiavone can beat Li. I think she will, I am pretty confident actually. But Li has developed some strange ability to win matches she has no business being competitive in, so who knows.


jane Says:

I have mixed feelings about the lady’s final: it would be lovely to see Frannie defend her title. But Na Li has reached her second grand slam final in a row, and I don’t know if any lady from China has ever won a slam, so it would make it extra special for her to win. Plus, I think she is older so she may not have many more chances. Either way, then, it will be good.


dari Says:

Frankie is older, but they’re both old. Both great stories, nobody was talking about schiavone winning this in the beginning, now look where she is!
Eric not sure why you say li na has no business being competitive in certain matches? She runs great, hits big and doesn’t serve a lot of df’s. I don’t know here game very well, but she always seems to bring her best in slams and usually doesn’t get too nervous. Fran though, quite the clay master and unmatched in variety in ladies game.
Anyway, it will be good one, could go either way, for sure. Starting to feel the strength of a billion+ honestly…


andrea Says:

agree with you jane. i’m kind of torn. china hasn’t had a female grand slam champ…and italy didn’t have one until last year….but schiavone is on fire.

tough call.


Dory Says:

I want Li Na to win because she’s Asian like me and because Schiavone is too loud with her grunts.


Eric Says:

Dory, haha, Schiavone’s grunting is SO annoying. That’s why I watching tennis (esp women’s) on mute…

Dari, I meant that, to me, Li is basically just your run-of-the-mill baseliner with nothing special about her. It’s cool that she’s setting new records for Chinese players at slams (Jane, I think she was the first Chinese national of either gender to reach a slam QF), but I honestly don’t understand how she’s made it to back-to-back finals. I guess maybe she has a bit of the Davydenko x-factor…hard shots and excellent court coverage make up for lack of any obviously outstanding shotmaking abilities. But my sympathies are definitely with Schiavone’s incredibly varied game and that beautiful backhand.


Eric Says:

“Dari, I meant that, to me, Li is basically just your run-of-the-mill baseliner with nothing special about her.”

I mean in tennis terms! Obviously it’s really impressive and cool that she has really improved over the years and at 29 is playing her best tennis, and blah blah blah determination spirit etc. But as a player I don’t see what it is that gets her through so many matches.


The fighter Says:

Happy Birthday to you Rafa…….May you continue to bring smiles and joy…


Kimmi Says:

Go Li Na


Kimmi Says:

anyone watching the women final? its coming up in few minutes.

Hope for Li Na win :)


Kimberly Says:

ive decided to root for schiavonne as i am still too bitter at Na Li for beating Sharapova. ut I am going to hit tennis balls with kaiser for my morning workout and then prepare for colino5soon6 birthday party in the afternoon so i will have to watch the replay and follow livescores.


Kimmi Says:

schiavone is a tough one. best clay courter in last couple of years


Kimmi Says:

happy birthday colin..


dari Says:

Bonjour, kimmi
I am only half awake, but I am here
Tough call, I like schiavone tennis better, but I would love for Li Na to get her first! She’s been in the last two finals for gosh sakes. Plus they just put up the list to get here and she took down kvitova, aza and Maria- HUGE hitters who had great clay seasons…
Tuff
Ps, how ’bout that Rog? :) good fed fan day


Kimmi Says:

Bonjour mademoiselle dari

I am for Li Na..but if frankie takes it then good for her.

Rog fan day..yay!


Kimmi Says:

big shots from li na..great hold.


Ike Says:

this women’s FO final is probably the least “glamorous” in recent history!
Right now the hottest lady on the court is that “chair umpire”, she is just too hot! LOL!!!


Ike Says:

good morning Kimmi!

i m totally confused re. who root for
i just hope this will go 3 sets, i think eventually i will start rooting for Li Na


Ike Says:

hey kimmi & ladies, what’s your opinion about women getting same prize money as men in grandslam, do you agree with that?


Kimmi Says:

ike – lol… Li Na draw the first blood.

right now, the power from Li is big enough to trouble frankie.


dari Says:

Nice, break for Li. Enjoy watching how she gets around the court, hits big too.


Kimmi Says:

well, debatable. but why not?

Go Li


dari Says:

Ooh, bad call. Now hold Li!


Kimmi Says:

wow! serving great li


Ike Says:

hey kimmi, her (chair umpire’s) name is something like “Luiz Ingzhal” :)
i m just hoping for more close line calls so she has to come on the courts LOL!
i have never in my life focused so much on chair umpire, i have my tv zoomed in on chair umpire :)


Ike Says:

@ dari
yeah bad call from chair, but she is so hot, i don’t care about her calls :)


Ike Says:

@ kimmi
personally i think women don’t deserve same prize money as men in a grand slam….no other sport offers that…golf, basketball, baseball, nfl, soccer,
even the women’s semis / finals are so boring i rather keep posting comments here rather watch that final right now


Kimmi Says:

ike – the umpire is blond right?

Love both frankie and Li looks. beautiful when you look deeper.

Now Li needs to serve it out..Pleeeeaaase.


Ike Says:

@ dari
just curious are you on west coast?


Ike Says:

@ kimmi
yeah the chair umpire is beautiful blond :)

Li looks old…trivia – watch carefully there is a “dragon tattoo” on Li’s chest on left :)

do u call Schiavone “frankie” because she is boyish/manly ?


dari Says:

Whew! First set Li!
No ike, east side.


Kimmi Says:

First set with Li. Go Li.

Yes, Francesca..frankie.

I am enjoying this match ike.

Second set


Kimmi Says:

c’mon li. get going


dari Says:

Is li keeping her from slicing and dicing, etc?


dari Says:

That was a rhetorical question, answer is obv yes, at the moment!


Kimmi Says:

c’mon Li..important to break here


Kimmi Says:

YES!


Kimmi Says:

yes dari..Li shots are too powerful right now. Hope she can keep it up


Ike Says:

@ dari, kimmi,
i think now i m for Li (mostly because of that dragon tattoo on her chest :)
go Li!!!!!!!!!!!!!


dari Says:

Yay Li!
Marat!
Wow, schiavone can’t do anything with what Li is giving


Ike Says:

Li is hitting ground strokes like Clijster


Ike Says:

i think i should go and watch the match (& chair umpire :)


Kimmi Says:

wow! frankie is waking up


dari Says:

Holy moly, frankie picking it up now!
Hang in Li!


RD Says:

I have no idea why Schiavone doesn’t moonball deep to Li. It took Clijsters 2.5 sets in the Australian Open final to realize that Li commits unforced errors when faced with deep, high-bouncing shots. The high bounce would be even more effective on red clay than hardcourt. It would also give Schiavone the chance to knock off high return balls at the net (her preferred mode of offense). Simply hitting power shots to her allowing Li to camp out on the baseline will only result in her losing – slowly. Clijsters was smart enough to change it up at the pointy end of the Oz Open final. Will Schiavone change a losing game? She’s certainly experienced enough to know that what she’s doing now won’t cut it.


Kimmi Says:

ACE!


Kimmi Says:

I am just hoping Li keeps it up. No errors please. go win your first slam.


dari Says:

I think frankie is trying to get it high on some of these shots, but they’re not going deep enough, often enough.


Kimmi Says:

martina hingis looks fabulous


dari Says:

Li Na takes that scrambling point!


Kimmi Says:

another break point..Go Li


dari Says:

Break point take it li


Kimmi Says:

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


Kimmi Says:

what a save. maybe it will be a game changer? points like this can turn the match. I hope not


dari Says:

Li has got to hold now, and hopefully easily, cause that was a tough miss and she needs to keep schiavone out of her game.
Allez Li


Kimmi Says:

run around the backhand leaves court open. Li smack the BH winner.

Go Go Go


Kimmi Says:

Li has been so calm during her service games..hope she keep this up


dari Says:

Li is doing what stosur was supposed to do last year- which is hit frankie off court.
I miss seeing frankie exciting game, but li is hitting great!


Kimmi Says:

another break point..


Kimmi Says:

ah, great serve


Kimmi Says:

great hold..now Li turn.


Kimmi Says:

nervous forehand..miss


Kimmi Says:

looks like a nervous game this is..


dari Says:

Ok, ok, gotta calm it down and hold for Li


dari Says:

Oh, man, here we go
Allez Li


Kimmi Says:

break,,game on..now Li..needs to calm down. like fed yesterday and break here


Kimmi Says:

frankie got spring on her heals now


Kimmi Says:

Li needs to Hold and take this to tie break


Daniel Says:

Li felt the pressure serving 4-3 and made errors she wasn’t doing. Now she has to regroup and hold.


dari Says:

I wanna see some fight from Li. She did great to get a 1.5 set lead on frankie, but now usually frankie is back and li needs to respond! Hold here, tb at least, please!


Kimmi Says:

great hold


dari Says:

Tough hold, way to go Li Na!
Allez


Kimmi Says:

those drop volleys are great fron fran


Daniel Says:

The match is totally on Li’s hand, if her nerves doesn’t hold she loses, otherwise she wins.


dari Says:

Was it wind on that point? Off footwork and lunging from Li that point


Kimmi Says:

fran with momentum now


Kimmi Says:

i have a bad feeling for Li. c’mon


dari Says:

Nice Allez Li


Eric Says:

Okay… Li is really really solid and going for the gutsy shots. So close. Schiavone should get this set, she’s been playing better, but if it goes to a TB her errors might cost her the match.


Eric Says:

Frankie picking another stupid fight with the umpire? geez…


Kimmi Says:

Huge call went for Li.

tie break


Kimmi Says:

YEEEP. great point

C’mon Li


dari Says:

These calls ah!
TB! Li has to keep errors down, but go for it. I know easy, right?
Great firat point!


Kimmi Says:

Go Li Na..don’t let her back


Eric Says:

Schiavone is playing HORRIBLY now. Get over that call and focus!!


Kimmi Says:

what a point..how many lines did it hit


dari Says:

Keep it going Li!


Kimmi Says:

Li Needs to focus now..5-0 wow! can she win this?


dari Says:

Ouch frankie
Allez Li


Kimmi Says:

Li breathing deep…it is her match now


Eric Says:

This is pathetic and embarrassing…this was Francesca’s set but she’s too angry to bother fighting for it. Who goes 0-6 in a tiebreaker losing every point on an error?


Eric Says:

Make that 0-7.


Kimmi Says:

YES!!! so happy for her. she wins it.

not too sorry for Fransesca…she got hers yesterday


Kimmi Says:

I mean fran got hers last year..ha-ha


dari Says:

WOW! swept the tie break, congratulations to Li Na!!
New slam winner, kimmi!
HUGE
Oh, so glad she got it after getting to two finals in a row!


Kimmi Says:

No tears from Li. I am crying for her and she is not :)


Eric Says:

Ugh…I’m so disappointed. I never thought Schiavone would actually defend her title until the draw got to the QF stage and then it seemed like a done deal. Who knew Li Na would come out of nowhere and play such ridiculously amazing tennis?

Anyway….congrats Li fans, she was just the better player overall today. disappointing Francesca had every chance to win that second set and didn’t take them, so your girl deserves it.


dari Says:

I know, kimmi, i have tears and she is just smiling and giving thumbs up!


Kimmi Says:

Li probably does not believe her first slam would be RG..

she was never known as a clay courter.

Lets hope this results rubs well for federer. he is not the one to be called a clay courter either. Go fed


Ike Says:

congrats Li! i bet Chairman Mao must be smiling somewhere, he did lot of cruel crazy things but did one thing right…gave equal rights to women.


Ike Says:

i was very impressed with Li’s groundstrokes, just reminded of Clijsters, powerful!


dari Says:

Yeah, it was disappointing from fran, but she didn’t have the magic against a big hitter like she did last year.
Wow, Li Na took out so many big contenders to get this one. Defending champ ( even though there wasn’t high expectations for frankie) aza, Maria, kvitova. I know I already said it, but that’s a good run!


Ike Says:

kimmi
don’t take any positive from this match for your dear Fed! he is going to be destroyed by Rafa tomorrow!


dari Says:

Nbc says they are playing fed novak match after trophy ceremony. Ok, cool, nbc
Congrats to Li


Ike Says:

dari
i think Fran just didn’t have the legs / desire to win this one, i would be very surprised if she makes into finals of any grandslam in the future.


Ike Says:

@ dari
even if you pay me $100, i wudn’t watch yesterday’s Fed vs Nole again, just too painful :(
i m still pissed off, its like being a kid who hits the wall hard while running around and there is nothing he can do about it, i m just frustrated!


Kimmi Says:

great run dari..those are big big hitters indeed. winning at an older age must feel satisfying too. after been in the tour grinding out years and years..eventually it happens.

now, what will happen to Chinese tennis? Li will definitely be a star in china

Huh- where are you. congrats for Li win.


Kimmi Says:

whatever ike. we will see. he was suppose to be destroyed by djoko too..no? as rafa would say..


Kimmi Says:

bring on roger vs Nole..i can watch that 100000000000000 times.

Ike, i would like to invite you..with the beer and some BBQ to watch this match.


dari Says:

Nice haircut frankie!
RG needs a bigger runner up trophy for the ladies or a nicer plate!


Kimmi Says:

maybe not too experienced on the big stage..but that OK.

Congrats again Li Na


dari Says:

Haha, kimmi, true. And the French like a better podium show than that, but no matter
Li Na is a grand slam champ!


Ike Says:

kimmi
you are rubbing salt my wounds by saying
“bring on roger vs Nole..i can watch that 100000000000000 times.
Ike, i would like to invite you..with the beer and some BBQ to watch this match.”

njoy the rebroadcast of that match, ur man is going to be destroyed in Paris tomorrow! if Fed wins tomorrow, i will just shut up, no more words against Fed, but i m positive Rafa is going win tomorrow…you know!!!


Ike Says:

dari

agree, that runner up trophy is ridiculous, plate is much better, but hey it’s french so what do u expect…craziness!


Ike Says:

yeah, Li’s speech seemed way too short :( maybe she will have better once in future :)

congrats Huh, i m sure u r njoying it!


Ike Says:

i m signing off…bfn!
go RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jane Says:

Congrats to Na Li!!


Huh Says:

thanx ike n kimmi. m thrilld to pieces! :) i m actualy findin it hard to beliv. was so nervos n sure of schiavon win dat didnt bothr 2 watch, morovr xams in between FO doesnt help eithr.
our nation’s the sports leadr in asia n one of d top performrs in olympics widout doubt. n now this by li na! woot woot! :P
So far as tears’re concernd, we chinese r tough peopl, n content too, take win n loss both in stride, n family n social bonds n relations mean mor to us than sportin or professional achievments. that explains li not cryin like the othr 1st time slammers :)


Lulu Iberica Says:

Congrats to Kimmi and Li Na! Li played great today. I was disappointed in Schiavone’s play, but for the most part Li just didn’t allow Fran to play her game. Li got tight, but overcame her nerves to win that second set. A good result for women’s tennis and for China. At AO Li Na said she was going to take advantage of Serena’s absence, but Clijsters stood in her way. I think Li was determined to get this one, and she beat 4 top players on the way! Impressive!


Kimmi Says:

Lulu – we should give congrats to huh. Li is his hometown girl. But thanks for the congrats. i was really hoping she would win. she did china proud. Even if she does not win another, she has this one and that is what matters.


dari Says:

there you are, huh!
congrats to Li Na and you as her countrywoman!
i liked your explanation for no tears :)

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