Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Schiavone living the dream at Roland Garros

Francesca Schiavone insists 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 on Monday but 17th seed Schiavone played like her heir apparent yesterday.

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. When the moment of triumph arrived, 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.”

In stark contrast to Schiavone, opponent Elena Dementieva will be contesting her ninth grand slam semi-final. Dementieva triumphed over fellow Russian Nadia Petrova 2-6 6-2 6-0.

“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,” said Dementieva.

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