Category Archives: Francesca Schiavone

Fed Cup: The Rebirth of Italy

Last week’s Fed Cup final marks Italy’s fifth successive final in the competition, with Italy winning three of those five. It’s quite funny to look back on the previous finals. As they fought their way into those finals, Italy was forever billed as the team with the most spirit and commitment to the competition. Those are, of course, admirably qualities in themselves, but rarely were the individual players shown the respect they deserved.

Those days are long gone.

2010 has been the greatest years for Italian Tennis in decades; they have crowned their first Grand Slam champion in God-knows-how-long, in addition to not one, but two Italians finally gracing the top ten with their fiery presence. No longer are they simply a strong team, they are one of tennis’ most powerful supernovas, and this Fed Cup victory only confirms it. Magnifico!

Posted in Fed Cup, Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone | 1 Comment

Fran and Sam Save The Day… Again.

As usual, it was left to Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur to save the day, and they did. Though the match was finished in straight sets, just like in their French Open final, the pair put on a superb exhibition of their gifts in a really fun and enjoyable match . Sam ended up winning 6-4 6-4, but Francesca also showed that she was in great form. I mean both girls ended with a positive winner-to-error ratio. How often do you see that nowadays? I certainly think that there could be fireworks to come over the next few days. Both players are playing pretty well so Wozniacki (hopefully) won’t have it all her own way.

It was quite funny to see a so many people claiming that Stosur has dished “revenge” on Francesca. But as @FortyDeuceTwits so bluntly put it, I’m pretty sure she would trade this victory in the WTA Championships group stages for a victory in a Grand Slam final in a heartbeat.

Posted in Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur, WTA Championships Doha | 1 Comment

The WTA Championships In Doha Are ‘Ere! (Maroon Group Preview)

The player field is weak (only 4 Grand Slams between them, and only one former champion between them!!!), the crowds will most likely be non-existant, and since the move to Doha, the YEC has begun to feel more like an exhibition rather than a final showdown between the 8 best players in the world. But we’re not going to let that bring us down. After all, this is the final tournament in the year. After this week, for WTA fans it will just be that feeling of emptiness that ravages us throughout every off-season. So let’s enjoy it, and let’s savour it.

Caroline Wozniacki arrives at Doha in scintillating form and on a 10 match winning streak. After her humiliating defeat to Vera Zvonareva in New York, the Great Wall of Denmark bounced back by tearing down the field in her last two events, picking up two Premier+ titles in Asia and rising to number one for the first time in her career. However, even with almost 2000 extra points in the bag, she continues to suffer criticism from all sides. After all, Serena, Venus, Justine weren’t even present at any of her Premier+ wins this year, and an injured Kim was only part of one. The number one has been handed a kind draw again this year, and she shares the Maroon Group with newbies Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur, plus Elena Dementieva.

One thing interesting thing is seeing how both Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur perform in their debut WTA Championships. After their French Open final in June, both struggled to consolidate their form and move forward, immediately slumping to first round defeats at Wimbldon. However, there have been signs of rejuvenation since then. Both are capable of defeating Wozniacki, Dementieva and indeed each other in this group, but they will have to be ready to play their best tennis from the word “go”. Schiavone will look to weave her web of variety, neutralizing her opponents with slice, creating angles and moving into the forecourt. Stosur on the other hand, will need to steal back the discipline and straightforward plan that took her to the finals of the French Open; serving topspin bombs and crushing her forehands. Sounds so easy on paper, doesn’t it?

As for Dementieva, her record at the WTA Championships speaks for itself. That coupled with the fact that she arrives in Doha with a foot injury and in poor form means that it wouldn’t be smart to bet on her this week. Still, this is certainly the perfect draw to play her into form. She recently defeated Schiavone, and her matches against Stosur will always be a toss-up. The big question mark for me is whether she can take down Wozniacki. She has had so much trouble with the Dane over the last couple of years, and while her backhand is nowadays capable of only hitting crosscourt (thus playing to Wozniacki’s strength), the problem isn’t really a stylistic problem. Rather, it’s that pretty little head of hers. If she can put Wozniacki away when they do play each other tomorrow, then it will be clear that she is mentally checked in and ready to make a battle of this final tournament of 2010. If not, then she should be looking for a plane home to Russia ASAP. All shall be revealed shortly.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur, WTA Championships Doha | 2 Comments

WTA Tokyo Quarterfinals: Young vs. Old / Evil vs. Good

The Tokyo quarterfinal lineup was completed today. In the top half, the biggest surprise was young American Coco Vandeweghe’s 6-3 6-0 demolition of Julia Goerges. She was duly joined by top seeded Caroline Wozniacki (who defeated Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets for the 95th time this year), Victora Azarenka and Aga Radwanska.

The matches in the bottom half were similarly uneventful outside of Kaia Kanepi’s “upset” of Jelena Jankovic in straight sets. But come on, we all know better. Kaia has beaten Jelena in straight sets on hardcourts the last three times they’ve played and has reached more Grand Slam quarterfinals than her this year. Not that Jelena has been particularly good outside of Rome and Indian Wells this year, but since her French Open semifinals loss, her form has truly disappeared off the face of the earth. Jelena needs to watch herself, because if she continues on the road she is going down, it won’t be long before she’ll be saying hi to Ivanovic on her way down the rankings. The other winners in this half were Schiavone, Dementieva and Zvonareva.

With the ages of the players in the top half at 21 (Azarenka), 21 (Radwanska), 20 (Wozniacki), 19 (Vandeweghe) and the bottom half players aged 30 (Schiavone), 28 (Dementieva), 26 (Zvonareva) and 25 (Kanepi), it really is young versus old. Who will prevail?

After all the struggles following her French Open title, it would be awesome to see Francesca send a message out to all by winning this title. Some of the criticism that hat has been thrown at her since Roland Garros is ridiculous. I mean, in an era where so many players have fallen apart, had on-court breakdowns and embarassed themselves in Slam finals, she totally deserves the hate she has garnered for actually, you know, playing the greatest tennis match of her career in the biggest moment of her career. Shame on her.

Posted in Francesca Schiavone, Tokyo | Leave a comment

Quotable Quotes

Q. Do you think people were attracted to you, to your game, because you took such risks, in the final, especially?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think they attract — I attract them because I’m beautiful.

“This year, I’m the one to see at U.S. tournaments because Serena is not playing” - Melanie Oudin

Posted in Francesca Schiavone, Melanie Oudin, Quotable Quotes | Leave a comment

Breaking: Elena Baltacha Defeats French Open Champion Schiavone

British number one Elena Baltacha put on a clinical performance to en route to defeating the French Open Champion and world number eight Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-2 for her third top ten win of the year. Which puts her tally above that of ATP world number four and British number one Andy Murray.

Posted in Andy Murray, Elena Baltacha, Francesca Schiavone | Tagged | Leave a comment

WTA Craziness

The qualifying rounds of next week’s tournaments kicked off yesterday, and in the second qualifying round of Istanbul there was some trademark WTA craziness.

Yes, that is a real score.

And then there is this:

It’s like the tournaments are trying to outdo each other by placing their players in the worst outfits they can find… Clearly Istanbul is shaping up to be an incredible tournament!

Posted in Francesca Schiavone, Karolina Pliskova, Vera Dushevina, WTA Off court | Leave a comment