French Open - Schiavone wins French Open title

Eurosport - Sat, 05 Jun 15:56:00 2010

Italian 17th seed Francesca Schiavone won her first Grand Slam title when she beat Samantha Stosur 6-4 7-6(2) in the French Open final.

- 0

Schiavone, who had never before gone before the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, out-hit the nervy Australian from start to finish as she wrapped up the win in 98 minutes.

Victory in Paris meant the 29-year-old became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam. She is also the oldest woman to win her first Grand Slam since Ann Jones won Wimbledon in 1969.

"I haven't prepared anything because when I prepare things they never happen," an emotional Schiavone told the crowd as she collected the trophy from former French Open champion Mary Pierce.

"But I felt amazing today, I (felt) like a champion. I am really, really happy. Thank you everybody."

Stosur looked to have made the more confident start to the match as she posted love holds in her first two service games and pushing Schiavone on the return.

But as the first set progressed it was Schiavone who relaxed into the match while Stosur looked constricted in a way she had avoided against four-times champion Justine Henin and world number one Serena Williams earlier in the tournament.

And it was Schiavone who forced the first break points of the match, in the ninth game of the first set, when the Australian hit wide off a decent backhand volley.

The demonstrative Schiavone squandered her first chance by hitting long and the second also went astray when the Italian's backhand passing shot hit the top of the net and landed wide. But Schiavone finally got the break at the third attempt as Stosur slapped down her first double fault of the match.

And the Italian quickly earned herself a set point in the next game. Stosur saved the first with one of her trademark whipped forehand to set up an easy winner on the next point.

But Schiavone produced a great backhand volley winner to set up a second chance; this time taking full advantage with an inside out forehand forcing Stosur to hit an off-balance backhand into the net.

Schiavone looked poised to further extend that lead early in the second set as she earned herself two more break points in just the third game.

But the Australian saved them both before going on to hold with a clever sliced backhand down the line after feigning to hit a double-handed across court.

And that appeared to have finally freed Stosur from the shackles that had restricted her throughout the match, as she broke in the very next game with some tougher hitting that resulted in Schiavone hitting long.

A confident love service hold later and Stosur found herself just two games away from levelling the match.

But Schiavone was determined to have her day and broke back to 15 just two games later, when Stosur drilled an inside out forehand wide.

With both players confident on serve, the set duly went to a tie-break and despite Stosur serving first, Schiavone quickly ran away with proceedings.

The Italian could barely contain her excitement as she took a mini-break lead just before the change of ends with a forehand volley winner.

And just two points three points later, Schiavone sealed the title when Stosur mis-hit a routine backhand ground-stroke straight up into the air.

She celebrated by falling onto her back and kissing the clay on Philippe Chatrier court before climbing into the stands to embrace her entourage.

Pre-match favourite Stosur, struggling to hold back the tears, was gracious in defeat as she missed out on becoming the first Australian woman to win a grand slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbldon in 1980.

"First of all, Franc, well done," said the seventh seed, whose mother and two brothers had flown in from Australia to watch the final. "You played very well today, you had a great tournament and good luck for the rest of the year."

French Open men's final: Sunday 1.30pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) & on the Eurosport Player.

Pippa Davis / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account