Schiavone Vs Li Na Preview

After a fortnight of thrilling tennis, we come to the end with two remaining in the women’s draw. Both have waited for this moment their whole lives. For Li Na, it’s an attempt to be the first Asian player ever to win a grand slam. While for Schiavone, she’s here to become the first Italian winner to successfully defend the title. Who will win? In a few hours we’ll find out.

Li Na

  • 1st Round: Zahalvaova Strycova 6-3 6-7 6-3
  • 2nd Round: Soier-Espinosa 6-4 7-5
  • 3rd Round: Cirstea 6-2 6-2
  • 4th Round: Kvitova 2-6 6-1 6-3
  • Quarter Final: Azarenka 7-5 6-2
  • Semi Final: Sharapova 6-4 7-5

The Chinese tennis player has made her second consecutive grand slam final. In the beginning of the week, many doubted that she would even pass the quarter finals. She’s now well exceeded those expectations and is now fighting for the title.  She’s defeated three top ten seeds with her aggressive baseline play. She holds the expectations of over a billion people who are desperate to see her succeed. Li Na lost her previous grand slam final in Australia against Kim Clijsters in three sets.

Has she learned from her mistakes to give her the best opportunity in winning the final? Or will the expectation be too much?

Can Li Na make history?

 Francesca Schiavone

  • 1st Round: Oudin 6-2 6-0
  • 2nd Round: Dolonts 6-1 6-2
  • 3rd Round: Peng 6-3 1-2
  • 4th Round: Jankovic 3-6 6-2 4-6
  • Quarter Final: Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 5-7 5-7
  • Semi Final: Bartoli 3-6 3-6

In 2010, Schiavone surprised many when she won the french open and her first grand slam at 29 years old. One year later, she finds herself in the same position once again, except this time, one year older and a more experienced and confident player. The Italian is known for her passionate and fiery play which is a thrill to watch. She’s came back from the dark in her quarter final match at 6-1 4-1 down against Pavlyuchenkova. Her stunning one-handed backhand gives glimpses of Justine Henin while her all-court game and big personality intimidates the women she faces.

Can Schiavone relive the success she achieved last year? Or will her fiery personality and the increased expectation be her down fall.

Can Schiavone repeat victory?

Betting Odds:

  1.  Li Na 4/5
  2. Schiavone 1

My prediction sees a possible three set match from happening. I’ll be rooting for Li Na purely because i’m asian. But Schiavone last year went for it despite being her first grand slam and coming in as an underdog. So as much as I would love an Asian victory from Li Na, I see Schiavone successfully defending her title at Roland Garros.

Djokovic Streak Ends at 41

The unstoppable force of Novak Djokovic has swept the world of tennis this season. However, his legendary run has finally come to an end. In the he loses after 41 consecutive victories , just one match short to equal the record of Mcenroe’s 42-0 streak in the 1984 season.

It all began in the Hopman Cup where Novak Djokovic didn’t lose a single match. He continued the form into the Australian Open where he beat Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the final on the way to victory. What we didn’t know was that these victories were only the beginning of his phenomenal run.

Djokovic wins the Australian Open.

He then followed this victory by winning in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. These victories were also filled with difficult matches which the Serb eventually overcame. Djokovic defeated Nadal in both Indian Wells and Madrid after coming back one set down in both. He then continued this Rafa assault by defeating him again in the final of Rome. But it was Andy Murray who proved to be his greatest challenge. In their three hour encounter in Rome, Djokovic was two points from defeat until a double fault allowed him to come back and win the match. Throughout his streak, he lost ten sets in his matches against Nadal (two), Murray, Federer, Bellucci, Ferrer, Bedych, Lopez and Del Porto.

Coming into the french open, Djokovic emerged as a huge favourite to take it all while some predicted that his streak would end during the fortnight. Novak sailed past his first two matches to meet 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round. The Serb lost a set but came back the next day to win the next two. On what was supposed to be the match which he would most likely equal the record, his Italian opponent Fabio Fognini withdrew before their quarter final match which gave Novak a walkover into the semis.

Equaling the record suddenly got tougher as his next opponent was 3rd seed Roger Federer. Federer seemed in control as he won the first two sets. The former world number one has never lost a grand slam match from two sets up so Djokovic now faced mission impossible. The Serb began the third set with an early break to lead 3-0. He took advantage of his opportunity and took the set 6-3.

Confident Federer.

Djokovic looks above for help.

The fourth set began with both men holding their serves. In the 9th game at 4-4, Djokovic won a hard earned break to lead 5-4. But Federer denied a 5th set from happening and broke back in the following game. Another match tiebreak occured where dusk approached, the energy of the crowd turned electric and the future of the streak would be determined within the next several points.

The final moments were nail biting tennis. Federer hit his 17th ace followed by a winner to lead 6-3 in the tiebreak. Djokovic then survived a lucky net cord and served an ace to bring the score at 6-5. Hearts raced between the two players, the crowd and all the viewers watching at home. Roger tossed his final ball in the air and slammed an ace right down the middle to bring the crowd at it’s feet.

Federer into the finals.

 

The two champions embrace.

Roger Federer now faces 5 time French Open winner Rafael Nadal in the final in what we hope lives up to all their amazing matches. For Djokovic however, it’s a bitter loss. One win short of history and also one win short of the desired number one ranking. If Federer does defeat Rafa, then Novak is the new number one. In the next few weeks, it’ll be interesting how he bounces back after a tough loss. Though i’m sure that Novak will fight back in his following matches.