Belief the key to French triumph, says Schiavone

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
francesca schiavone

Schiavone had never made it past the 4th round in Paris before this year (Photo: Carl Blake)

Francesca Schiavone says one of the keys to winning her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros was self belief.

The Italian 29-year-old, who had not progressed past the fourth round in Paris before this year, beat Sam Stosur of Australia in straight sets 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in Saturday’s final.

“I always believe in myself,” she insisted after her victory. “Not about the trophy or the tournament, but just in myself.

“I think this was the key to everything. I’m so happy. I’m really so happy.”

After her victory Schiavone, who was born in Milan and turned professional in 1998, also suggested that her preparation for the final helped her to gain an edge over her opponent.

“I prepared the final mentally and tactically very well,” she said. “I was so concentrated on my serve. I tried not to look anywhere but just to feel my play and try to be aggressive as much as I could.”

In winning Saturday’s final Schiavone, currently ranked at a career-high No.6 in the world, also became the first Italian woman to ever win a Grand Slam singles title.

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