2010 French Open Wrap-up
Wow! What an ending to the French Open for both the ladies and the men. Let’s break down each of the finals…
Very few people could have predicted that Sam Stosur would be playing Francesca Schiavone in the finals of the 2010 French Open. Stosur came very close to ending her career because of lime disease a couple of years ago. During her time off, she spent hours upon hours in the gym and that proved to be very positive move. She has always been an outstanding doubles player, winning title after title, but she is now ready to win some singles titles.
This year has been totally different for Stosur. She is now considered one of the very best singles players and before reaching the finals of the French she took our Justine, Serena and Jelena Jankovic back-to-back-to-back and all three of those women have been ranked #1 in their careers before. Her game is extremely physical – she has a killer forehand, an improved two-handed backhand and the very best kicker serve in women’s tennis.
Now, let’s talk about Francesca Schiavone. This Italian makes me very proud!! She is 30 years old, has been playing tennis for more than a decade and waited and worked to become the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam ever!! She is the oldest woman since 1969 to win a Grand Slam championship and she is now ranked a career high of #6 in the world.
Isn’t it strange that a year ago she lost to Stosur in the first round? Stosur towers over Schiavone, but it turned out that was her only real advantage. The determined Italian did a little of everything, including a well-defined court strategy, which was to hit deep and wide to Stosur’s forehand, run her wide and deep to the backhand knowing that she would slice the return and then attacking the net to put away the volley winner.
Being Italian, I am thrilled for Schiavone and all of Italy. Although she is small in size, she makes up for this by foot speed, heavy spin on her groundstrokes and her biggest asset which is her determination and will to win. Some of the Italian men can go a lot further if they followed in her footsteps!
Congrats to both women on a great tournament!
Heading into this match, we all knew the history of Nadal and Soderling. While the outcome wasn’t a huge surprise, be assured that Soderling is one heck of a player on any surface because of his size, physical strength, huge forehand, solid backhand, excellent serve and great movement. He played an great match against Nadal, but I don’t think anyone could have beaten Nadal yesterday.
The Spaniard slid 15-20 feet while hitting a ball and never lost a beat getting to the next ball. During the match, he never put down his opponent, but just did his thing. He hits the ball with heavy spin, can drive the ball using his top hand when hitting his backhand for spin and power, he has really improved his serve and that makes him a complete player. There is never a doubt in his mind that he cannot reach any ball hit to him. Nadal is the best player in the history of clay court tennis!
To Soderling: You have proved to the world that you are one of the best on the tour today. Good luck at Wimbledon and never put your head down and keep on fighting!
P.S. – What’s the real story on those Babolat strings? Are they magic??