I need grasscourt tips from Federer: Schiavone

London: Francesca Schiavone can offer plenty of ideas about how to succeed on clay. When it comes to grass, however, she has only one suggestion.

"You should ask Roger (Federer) because I don`t have a lot of (grasscourt) wins," the 2010 French Open champion said in an interview before dissolving into fits of laughter.

"I wish to speak with Roger somehow and get tips but I don`t know if that can be possible. I will try to do the best with what I have but if I have the opportunity I will ask him," the 30-year-old added as she put the finishing touches to her Wimbledon preparations.

Tapping into the brain of the six-time Wimbledon men`s champion may be a good idea for the Italian who desperately wants to improve on her 2010 showing at the All England Club.

After unexpectedly capturing the Roland Garros crown last June, joy quickly turned to despair as she lost in the first round at the grasscourt major. In fact her record on green lawns for 2010 stands at, played two, lost two.

"The days after winning the French Open were really tough for me. For 10 days I was very busy and could not control my energy. I arrived over there (at Wimbledon) with less energy," explained Schiavone.

"For me to be really focused and be competitive is important to play good tennis. So it was not easy and I couldn`t finish and close my match in two sets. I had the opportunity and I lost," she added, referring to the 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 defeat by Vera Dushevina.

Admitting that the French Open win contributed towards her grasscourt flop as "I couldn`t really organise myself because I was really excited" she has adopted a more guarded approach this time round.

Despite once again contesting the Paris final, where she relinquished her title to China`s Li Na, she turned up at the grasscourt tournament in Eastbourne much earlier this year and was happy to sweat it out for hours on the vast complex at Devonshire Park.

"I`m trying to practise as much as I can. Staying on the grass a lot," she said following an intense training session when she practised serves, blazing groundstrokes and even tried her luck by hitting some volleys.

"I played at Eastbourne and tried my best to win a few matches which is important for Wimbledon."

Her sojourn at the seaside town of Eastbourne was cut short after just two matches but she was satisfied that at least she had won a match there this year.

"When you go on court you have to be prepared to play against everybody. It will be good as I love the competition and I hope to do it," added Schiavone, who has fallen in the first or second round at Wimbledon in eight of her 10 previous visits.

The sixth seed is due to begin her Wimbledon campaign on Monday against former semifinalist Jelena Dokic.

Bureau Report

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