Schiavone stuns Wozniacki to reach semi-finals

Francesca Schiavone today insisted words could not describe the emotion she felt at reaching her first grand slam semi-final after producing arguably the most complete performance of this year's French Open to stun Caroline Wozniacki.

Roland Garros saw its queen dethroned when Justine Henin suffered a shock defeat yesterday but 17th seed Schiavone played like her heir apparent on Philippe Chatrier Court this afternoon, her all-court game simply too much for teenager Wozniacki.

Schiavone won 6-2 6-3 in one hour 20 minutes to become the first Italian woman to reach the last four of a major in the Open era.

The 29-year-old got past the first week of each of the previous three grand slams before arriving in Paris but she had not been in the last eight at Roland Garros for nine years.

So she struggled to contain herself when the moment of triumph arrived today, dropping to her knees and kissing the clay.

Comparing the feeling to a "heart attack", she said: "I think in that moment you remember many things from when you were young.

"It's special because it is your space, it is your time, it is your opportunity.

"I felt alone, but with all the love around.

"It's like if I ask you, 'How did you feel when you married?' You say, 'It's not easy to explain'."

Few players can have reached a grand slam semi-final having waited so long to do so.

This is Schiavone's 39th attempt in total but she insisted she never gave up on her "dream".

"The truth is that I always dream," she said. "One of my goals was this.

"But to arrive is different. To live every step before arriving in a semi-final is something.

"I don't have many words to say, because it is emotion, it is feeling, it is something that is coming from the heart.

"I lived some good moments and some bad moments last year and some years ago.

"I think the bad moments helped me a lot to grow up and to learn many things that today, when I was playing, I was thinking about."

Third seed Wozniacki admitted she was beaten by the better player.

"She played with a lot of spin, she didn't make a lot of mistakes, she played aggressively," the 19-year-old said.

"She was playing better than me today. I was always one step behind and couldn't really dominate the way I wanted to."

In an era of baseline battles in the women's game, it was refreshing to see such an all-action approach from Schiavone.

Wozniacki added tellingly: "She didn't play typical women's tennis."

In stark contrast to Schiavone, opponent Elena Dementieva will be contesting her ninth grand slam semi-final.

Her error-strewn match with Petrova could not have been more different either, a real case of survival of the fittest as both players struggled with leg injuries picked up earlier in the tournament.

Dementieva capitalised on her fellow Russian's discomfort to win 2-6 6-2 6-0 in two hours and six minutes.

The 28-year-old two-time grand slam finalist, runner-up at Roland Garros in 2004, said: "I've been in the final and a couple of times in the semi-final and never won.

"This is one of the biggest goals left in my career. This is great motivation for me."

Both players took medical timeouts at 3-2 to Petrova in the first set today.

The 27-year-old, who upset Venus Williams in the last round, admitted she had considered quitting in the decider with a groin injury she picked up in her marathon third-round victory over Aravane Rezai.

She added: "It's just so difficult to quit and walk away because you just want to give it all.

"Anything can happen. On clay, somebody can sprain their ankle and not able to continue."


Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map