Stosur and Schiavone breeze into final
Thursday 03 June 2010
Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone will both contest their maiden grand slam finals after the quickest of French Open semi-finals today.
Stosur continued her remarkable giant-killing act by demolishing fourth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-2 in just an hour, shortly after Schiavone was gifted a place in Saturday's showpiece when Elena Dementieva became the first woman ever to retire so late in the tournament.
Today's women's semi-finals were the first in a grand slam since the 1979 Australian Open in which none of competitors had previously won a major.
Jankovic had finished runner-up at the US Open in 2008 and was playing in her sixth semi overall, while Stosur was in her second after losing to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova a year ago.
The Australian had spent almost two and a half hours on court in her epic quarter-final victory over Serena Williams, the second modern great she had toppled in successive rounds after ending Justine Henin's six-year unbeaten run at Roland Garros.
Dementieva's shock retirement in the first semi-final had made fourth seed Jankovic a strong title favourite.
But she was simply swatted aside in a first set Stosur dominated almost from start to finish.
Both women held their opening service games, but from there, the Australian took complete control.
She won five games in a row, breaking once with a superb inside-out forehand that typified her display and again when Jankovic netted.
But, having failed to hit a single winner, the Serb then reeled off three in one game at the start of the second set.
Indeed she took the first seven points to move to triple-break point, going 2-0 up at the second attempt.
However, from 40-15 up in the next, she handed Stosur the break back.
Jankovic had three break points in game four but that was as good as it got as Stosur broke her to love with some scintillating tennis.
The Serb looked lost and her opponent duly broke again before reeling off her sixth straight game to seal victory.
Schiavone earlier became the first Italian woman through to a grand slam final after a tearful Dementieva dramatically quit their last-four clash.
Dementieva retired after losing the first set 7-6 (7/3) on Philippe Chatrier Court, the fifth seed unable to continue due to a torn calf suffered in her second-round win over Anabel Medina Garrigues.
The 28-year-old had been a break up and seemingly in control of the match before surrendering that advantage as well as a 2-0 lead in the tie-break.
"I have a tear in my left calf, so it's very painful to even walk," said the Russian, who revealed she had also come close to quitting during her third-round victory over Aleksandra Wozniak.
"Today was just a sharp pain. It was a bit too much."
Despite completing only a set, Schiavone and Dementieva were on court for two minutes longer than Stosur and Jankovic.
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