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Schiavone ready for Wozniacki after epic battle


 

Originally published on: 24/01/11 01:34

“I hope one day to show this DVD to my son,” smiled a weary Francesca Schiavone a short while after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 1-6 16-14 in their epic four hour and 44 minute-long encounter on the middle Sunday of the Australian Open.

The press conference room was the last place she wanted to be after her mind and body-sapping battle with the Russian – especially with the prospect of a Tuesday tie against the ever-sprightly Caroline Wozniacki looming large – but she did her duty all the same.

“I prefer [I] don’t come here, but they say you have to,” said the 30-year-old Italian after turning up in the press room, and though as tired as would be expected after contesting the longest Grand Slam women’s match in history, Schiavone is confident she’ll be raring to go for the world No.1.

“Tomorrow is a new day,” she said. “I’m young, I can run; I can do anything.”

The Melbourne tournament was the only Grand Slam at which she had failed to make the quarter-finals before this year’s event, having famously won Roland Garros last year to resoundingly trump her two previous best slam runs. She reached the last eight at Wimbledon in 2009 and the US Open in 2003 before doing so again last year – no doubt buoyed by winning her fairytale clay crown in Paris a few months earlier. Not bad for a (now) 30-year-old, but age is the last thing on Schiavone’s mind.

“This is sport – always can happen everything,” she said in somewhat garbled English, but you get the gist. “I believe it, and I keep going to work to have a new emotion and to win another trophy.

“Just with passion I think you can go forward,” added the Italian – a walking, talking epitome of the mindset that age is but a number.

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