Posts Tagged ‘Francesca Schiavone


Schiavonne’s slump continues in Rome.

Francesca Schiavone was an early casualty in the Rome Masters today after losing her opening round match to Ekaterina Makarova. The out-of-form Schiavone, the 10th seed here and 2010 French Open champion, was beaten 6-3 6-4 by her Russian opponent as she slumped to a 10th defeat in her last 12 matches.

Number 12 Angelique Kerber of Germany was also made to battle hard before she progressed through to the second round with a 4-6 7-5 6-2 win Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova. “It was very tough conditions because some of the court had shadows, some was sunny, and it was windy,” Kerber said on “And Anastasia played very well – I was just thinking to fight and play point by point, and I’m very happy I won.”

Serbian Ana Ivanovic, the 13th seed, had no such concerns though in her 6-4 6-3 win over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in a battle between two other former Roland Garros winners. Other players making it through their opening matches today were Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Christina McHale, Chanelle Scheepers, Iveta Benesova, Shahar Peer, Vania King and Sofia Arvidsson.


Caroline Wozniacki and defending champion Kim Clijsters both reached the third round of the Australian Open, but Schiavone fails to advance .

Caroline Wozniacki

Wozniacki overcame a late fightback from Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili to secure a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) win. Stephanie Foretz Gacon was thrashed 6-0 6-1 by Clijsters in 47 minutes and will next play Daniela Hantuchova. Hantuchova beat Lesia Tsurenko, Li Na thrashed Olivia Rogowska but 10th Francesca Schiavone was knocked out. Italy’s Schiavone was stunned by compatriot and world number 80 Romina Oprandi 6-4 6-3, later admitting it was a “really bad match”. The 2010 French Open champion, a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park in 2011, succumbed in an hour and 24 minutes on Margaret Court Arena. She finished with 20 winners compared to Oprandi’s 15 but 35 unforced errors to 16 from the world number 80.

World number one Wozniacki made quick work of winning the first set 6-1 against Tatishvili, but found herself 4-1 behind in the second when her opponent began to play inspired tennis on her Australian Open debut. The pressure soon told on Tatishvili, though, when a forehand sailed long when serving for the set at 5-3, which allowed the Dane to take the set to a tiebreak. Wozniacki, who must reach the last eight at the least to maintain her world ranking, sealed the win with little fuss when the 21-year-old hit two forehands beyond the baseline to lose in 109 minutes. The Dane will play the winner of the second-round match between France’s Pauline Parmentier and Monica Niculescu of Romania.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iveta Benesova shocked 16th seed Peng Shuai 6-2 6-4. Number 13 seed Jelena Jankovic looked out of sorts in the early stages against little-known Kai-Chen Chang but recovered to win 6-4 6-2. “I started pretty slowly, I needed to figure out how to play her,” said the former world number one from Serbia. “I really didn’t know her style of play. I had heard a few things from other players but I didn’t know how I should strike ball. “But I kept going, started to play well, stayed confident and after the first set it was a little bit easier.”

Julia Goerges, seeded 22nd, was leading 6-2 2-0 when her opponent Eleni Daniilidou retired, and 26th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Olga Govortsova 6-1 6-0.



Sam Stosur loses again at home…..must be nerves!


Sam Stosur suffered another setback in her build up to the first grand slam of 2012 as she crashed out of the Sydney International. Fifth-seeded Stosur, who also lost in the second round in Brisbane, will now head into the Australian Open short of match practice following the 6-2 6-4 defeat to Francesca Schiavone. Schiavone, who beat Stosur in the 2010 French Open final, was never troubled as she secured a second-round clash with Daniela Hantuchova, a 7-5 6-2 victor over Roberta Vinci.

Stosur was not the only seed to fall at the first hurdle, though, as sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva was comprehensively beaten 6-1 6-2 by fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. Despite the two upsets, defending champion Li Na and fellow seeds Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Marion Bartoli all booked their place in the second round.

Li needed just 66 minutes to account for Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova 6-0 6-3, while third-seeded Azarenka beat Stefanie Vogele 6-2 6-1. No.7 seed Radwanska overcame her sister Urszula Radwanska 6-1 6-1, while eighth-seeded Bartoli toppled Polona Hercog 6-3 6-3. South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers set up a second-round showdown with French Open champion Li with a 6-4 6-2 win over Melinda Czink.

Dominika Cibulkova will face No.1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki after a 6-2 4-6 6-4 success against Peng Shuai, while Alexandra Dulgheru routed Sofia Arvidsson 6-1 6-1 and she will now take on Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.




Anothe routine day at the office for Serena as she moves on to the final eight.


Serena Williams enjoyed a routine straight-sets win over Ana Ivanovic at the US
Open on Monday. Williams, now odds-on for a fourth Flushing Meadows crown of her career, continued her march through the draw with a 6-3 6-4 victory in New York. She will now face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the semi-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova moved into her second Grand Slam quarter-final of the season on Monday by knocking seventh seed Francesca Schiavone out of the US Open. The Russian came from a set down to win the pair’s fourth-round clash 5-7 6-3 6-4. The Arthur Ashe Stadium was not treated to a classic, neither player was at her best as they racked up almost 100 unforced errors between them. Both also had double-fault counts in double figures. In addition, there were no fewer than 16 service breaks in the 31 games. The final set brought the best tennis of the match and after Pavlyuchenkova had squandered an early 2-0 lead, she finally struck the decisive blow with Schiavone serving to stay in the match at 4-5. The Russian blew two match points but it proved third time lucky as she drilled a perfect forehand down the line to clinch victory in two hours and 41 minutes. Pavlyuchenkova, who also made the last eight of the French Open earlier in the year, will next face title favourite Serena Williams.







Easy progress for Ivanovic and Schiavonne.

Image Detail

A pair of former French Open champions moved into the third round of the U.S. Open on Thursday. Seventh-seeded Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champ, defeated Mirjana Lucic 6-1, 6-1. And 16th-seeded Ivanovic, the 2008 titlist at Roland Garros, won when Petra Cetkovska withdrew with a quadriceps injury.

“It’s never nice to win this way,” said Ivanovic, a former No. 1 moving her way back up the rankings after a drop into the 60s last year. “But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be through to the next round.” Schiavone’s win took all of 53 minutes in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Lucic committed 32 unforced errors to only seven for Schiavone.

No. 11 Jelena Jankovic and No. 18 Roberta Vinci also advanced in straight sets.


Li Na crashes out, Schiavonne scrapes through, and Ivanovic has her blood pressure checked…..just a normal day at the US Open!

Image Detail

Twenty-four hours after Kvitova had crashed out at the hands of Alexandra Dulgheru, Chinese star Li went down 6-2 7-5 to her Romanian compatriot, Simona Halep. A surprise winner on the Paris clay back in June, Li had proved her hardcourt credentials at the start of the season when she made the final of the Australian Open. However, Flushing Meadows did not prove to be to her liking. Halep dominated the first set and when she moved a break up in the second, the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd sensed a shock. The sixth seed managed to get back on level terms but then lost her serve again at 5-5 before Halep served out.

Seventh seed Francesca Schiavone, last year’s French Open champion, had to fight hard to avoid a similar upset against Galina Voskoboeva, of Kazakhstan. Schiavone started well enough but went off the boil in the second set before scrapping to a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory. A total of 16 double faults did not help the Italian’s cause and she will need to improve to stand any chance of contending in New York.

There was also a scare for Ana Ivanovic, the former French Open champion seeded 16 at this event. She had to have her blood pressure taken during her clash with Ksenia Pervak but recovered to post a 6-4 6-2 win. Ivanovic, who was a break down early on in the match, has never been beyond last 16 in New York.




No upsets as the top seeds progress into the third round.

Francesca Schiavone in action

Francesca Schiavone advanced into the third round of the women’s draw following a 7-5 6-3 victory over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. The 2010 French Open champion hit 25 winners but will need to improve her unforced errors count of 19 when she plays Austria’s Tamira Paszek. Former world number one Ana Ivanovic also progressed after a 6-3 6-0 win over Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou.

But 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lost to fellow Russian Nadia Petrova. Former world number three Petrova registered a 6-3 6-3 victory on Court 17, taking advantage of Pavlyuchenkova’s 24 unforced errors.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 12th seed, demolished Romanian opponent Alexandra Dulgheru 6-0 6-2, while 16th seed Julia Goerges of Germany overcame a tight first-set tie-break to beat France’s Mathilde Johansson 7-6 (12-10) 6-2.

Belgium’s 19th seed Carolina Wickmayer needed three sets to defeat Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili 3-6 6-4 6-2 but Slovakia’s 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova enjoyed a no-nonsense victory with a 6-1 6-2 win over Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.



Li Na became China’s first-ever Grand Slam singles champion with a 6-4 7-6 (7/0) victory over Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final.


Li Na


With her forehand firing from the get-go, Li was a deserving winner on Court Philippe Chatrier as Schiavone lost her grip on the trophy she had won 12 months before. The Italian launched a comeback in the second set, recovering from a break down to force a tie-break, but once in it she folded as Li claimed her slice of history. Li’s extra power had been tipped by many to be a key factor and that was the case as the match got under way. Using her forehand to great effect, she was soon on top and gained the first break in the fifth game courtesy of her 10th winner of the match. From there served out the set, with Schiavone unable to make much of an impression on her serve. The first-set stats proved how well the Chinese had played – she got 72 per cent of his first serves in and when that delivery did find the target she won 16 out of 18 points.

With a combined age of 60 years and 79 days, it was the oldest Grand Slam singles final since Wimbledon 1998 when Jana Novotna played Natalie Tauziat, but the players seemed determined to put on a good show for the packed crowd and the second set saw competitiveness raised. However, at first it looked as if Li would run away with things. Schiavone lost her serve in the first game of the second set and when Li banged down an ace to save break point in the following game, a Chinese victory looked firmly on the cards. Li had a point for 4-1 in game five but netted uncharacteristically on her favoured forehand. That sparked the Schiavone comeback. She bravely saved another break point in the following game and then struck when Li’s forehand went AWOL again when serving at 4-3. A string of errors from the Chinese left Schiavone bouncing and she was jumping and skipping around the court as she moved ahead in the set for the first time. With Li wobbling, she could easily have lost the set but the sixth seed dug in to force a tie-break, helped when a shot, initially called out, was deemed good when the umpire got down from her chair to inspect. Schiavone was not happy and a point later they entered the tie-break. Perhaps still fuming over that line call, the Italian was never at the races in the breaker, Li playing some sparkling tennis to race ahead. She finished things off when Schivaone sent a backhand long, Li collapsing to the court in delight at her achievement.

Li will climb to world number four on Monday as a result of her win.



Francesca Schiavone will face Australian Open finalist Li Na in the French Open final.

Francesca Schiavone

Defending champion Francesca Schiavone will face Australian Open finalist Li Na in the French Open final after the pair coped with blustery conditions to win their semi-finals.  If the second semi was a higher quality encounter, the result was a disappointment for home fans as Schiavone defeated Frenchwoman Bartoli 6-3 6-3. It means the 30-year-old Italian, a surprise winner when she clinched her first Grand Slam title here 12 months ago, gets the chance to retain her crown on Saturday against Li, who is aiming to become China’s first Grand Slam singles champion after losing to Kim Clijsters in January’s Melbourne final.

The second semi-final was a tighter contest between two players happier on clay and more able to cope with the conditions. In stark contrast to what had gone before, serve dominated at the outset and it was the eighth game before either player fashioned a break point, Schiavone taking it with a brilliant forehand and closing out the set soon after. Bartoli was struggling when forced out wide but some heavy backhands helped her break in the second and gave the crowd hope, only for Schiavone to step it up again and level at 2-2. The Italian’s greater variety and the angles off her single-handed backhand gave her the edge throughout, and when she raced to collect a Bartoli volley and fired a forehand winner down the line to break for 4-3 there was no way back for the Frenchwoman. Bartoli suffered her own double-fault disaster at 0-30 when serving to stay in the match, and a backhand into the net prompted a victorious Schiavone to leap into the air as her small but vociferous group of supporters celebrated in the stands.




Schiavone claws her way into the semi finals where she will meet Bartoli.

Francesca Schiavone

Defending champion Francesca Schiavone fought back from a set and 4-1 down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and reach the semi-finals of the French Open. Pavlyuchenkova, the Russian 15th seed, broke three times to take the first set 6-1 and was within two games of her first Grand Slam semi-final. But the Italian fifth seed turned the match on its head, edging a thrilling final set to triumph 1-6 7-5 7-5. Schiavone will next play  Marion Bartoli. Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam when she beat Sam Stosur in last year’s final while Marion Bartoli became the first Frenchwoman since 2005 to reach the last four of the French Open when she defeated 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 on Tuesday.

Bartoli, the 11th seed, will tackle defending champion Francesca Schiavone, who beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets, for a place in Saturday’s final. An untidy first set, which featured seven breaks of serve in 13 games, was predictably settled by a tie-break. Bartoli clinched it when Kuznetsova, the Russian 13th seed, misdirected a forehand off a deep approach. The 26-year-old Frenchwoman, a Wimbledon runner-up in 2007, was a break ahead in the opening game of the second set and backed it up with another break to lead 5-2. But the experienced Russian clawed a break back in the eighth game as Bartoli served for the match. Kuznetsova held for 4-5 but Bartoli claimed victory on her first match point when Kuznetova ballooned a forehand into the stands of Court Suzanne Lenglen.




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