Stosur, Schiavone Unlikely French Open Finalists
Aussie Sam Stosur will not be stopped, following up her defeat of world No. 1 Serena Williams with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic on Thursday at the French Open to advance into the final.
In the final Stosur will face Francesca Schiavone, the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam final, who advanced to the championship match when opponent Elena Dementieva retired after the first set with a calf muscle injury.
A shocked Schiavone was sitting in her chair courtside when the Russian, walked up to her, shook her hand and left. The Italian slowly realized she had been given a pass into a Grand Slam final.
“For the moment, I don’t understand what’s going on,” Schiavone said.
Dementieva then cried on the sidelines after becoming the first women to retire in a French Open semifinal.
“It was very painful to even walk,” Dementieva said. “It was a bit too much. I couldn’t really move on the court…I had seen trainer for so many hours before the match. I don’t think they could do something else that could really help me at that point…It is disappointing to get injured and not use this chance to get further.”
The 29-year-old Schiavone had never previously advanced past the quarters at a Slam. Stosur leads her career head-to-head against Schiavone 4-1, including two straight-set wins on clay.
Schiavone’s test will be to determine a strategy that will involve her not getting powered off the court in another straight-set blowout.
“I’ve been playing well and if I can keep this form going I think I have got a good shot,” Stosur said of claiming the French Open title.
Jankovic blamed her result on the earlier start time for her match after the retirement in the first semifinal.
“The first match finished earlier than I expected and I started cold, it was tough to move,” Jankovic said. “I never got into the match and I was very sluggish. But she has improved so much and especially mentally which was one of her big weaknesses.”
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