Belfast Telegraph

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.

Belfast Telegraph

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