My Mother played tennis in her “youth”, and always watches the championship matches on TV. This morning when I spoke to her, she was very excited:
“Oh my, I can’t catch my breath, I just watched the tennis, the women’s tennis, in France. Such a wonderful game today. An Italian won, what a wonderful body, and neat dress, some of the players wear coloured outfits with frills and flounces, but not the one who won, she’s not very feminine. I’m glad you phoned I had to talk to someone to tell them about the game. What tennis! Wonderful to watch and so funny to see her at the end when she won: she climbed into the stands. heh heh. The Australian played such good tennis and lost by just a little bit, such a pity that there should’ve been a loser because the one who lost played so well too, but someone has to lose eh? Tomorrow is the men’s finals but it won’t be as interesting as today… First time an Italian came to the finals… The other one was neatly dressed in a peak, this one was dressed without a hat, the hair in her eyes, so lovely to see her. The Italians are demonstrative. When she won she lay down on the ground, and then she jumped over the stands to get to her supporters up in the audience. She expressed so much emotion. All the Italians hugged her and kissed her, it took my breath away. I’m really pleased with myself that at my age I’ve got something like this to watch. I love tennis, I can say I got my money’s worth today, but I’d better stop, I need to catch my breath…”
Of course when I put down the phone, I looked up the game:
June 5, 2010 | 8:40 a.m.
PARIS — Francesca Schiavone threw uppercuts, put her fists to her face and skipped about the court. And then, when she had won the French Open, she really let her emotions show.With the performance of a lifetime, Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title by beating Samantha Stosur, 6-4, 7-6 (2), in the final 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 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.At 29, Schiavone (pronounced Skee-ah-VOH-nay) 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.
Schiavone was seeded 17th. The only other time the title has been won by a woman not seeded in the top 10 was in 1933.
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times