Schiavone defeats Bartoli, faces Li in Paris final
Francesca Schiavone shattered Marion Bartoli`s hopes of becoming just the second Frenchwoman in the Open era to reach the Roland Garros final.
Paris: Defending champion Francesca Schiavone shattered Marion Bartoli`s hopes of becoming just the second Frenchwoman in the Open era to reach the Roland Garros final on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-3 semi-final win.
Fifth seed Schiavone, who will turn 31 in three weeks` time, will tackle Li Na, the first Chinese player to reach a French Open final, in Saturday`s title match.
Victory will make Schiavone the first player 30 or over to win a Grand Slam title since Martina Navratilova`s 1990 Wimbledon triumph.
"I hope my experience from the final last year will help. It`s a dream come true to reach another final," said Schiavone.
"But Li has had an amazing year. She was in the Australian Open when she lost to Kim (Clijsters). It will be tough. She is a great player and a great person, but someone has to win."
Schiavone`s smarter, better-timed changes of pace, and her more convincing all-court game, proved crucial in a 40-minute opening set against Bartoli.
The Italian carved out the only break of the opener in the eighth game with a crosscourt forehand which forced Bartoli out of position.