Francesca Schiavone Wins French Open 2010

In the French Open 2010, Francesca Schiavone made history and became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title by beating Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the women’s singles finals Saturday.

The tour veteran rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the second set, then took the clinching tiebreaker with a succession of brilliant shots that was topped only by her exuberance.

When she had won, she fell onto her back, then rolled over and kissed the clay. She rose covered with dirt, hugged Stosur and broke into a champion’s grin, then trotted over to the wall behind the baseline and climbed it for a group hug with her supporters.

“The passion came through,” 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova said. “She wanted it. She wanted it badly. She was going to die on that court if she had to.”

Mary Pierce, the 2000 champion, presented Schiavone with the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.

“You give me a great trophy,” Schiavone told her. “I feel amazing.”

Before leaving the court, Schiavone took a call on a cell phone from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. She quoted him as saying, “Congratulations. Enjoy this moment. It was an honor for Italy.”

At 29, Schiavone became the oldest woman to win her first Grand Slam title since Ann Jones at Wimbledon in 1969 at age 30. She’s the first Italian Grand Slam champion since Adriano Panatta won the French Open men’s title in 1976.

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