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Samantha Stosur , with her all court play , has ousted Henin, Serena Williams and Jankovic in quick succession. This is her best result ever in any Grand Slam. But it should come as no surprise to followers of the game as her game has improved considerably over the past year or so. She is considered a doubles specialist and it is her play at the net that has served to unnerve and demolish her more accomplished rivals.
Samantha Stosur, outfitted in her trademark cap and shades that mask her clear blue eyes, out-Henined Henin in the 4th round. She then hung tough with Serena , just when it seemed that Serena would walk away with the honors in the quarter final. And completed a demolition job against Jelena Jankovic in the semis , reminding us that her No. 7 ranking was more than justified. Samantha Stosur seems like a larger version of Henin at her best (though not the backhand). Her fitness levels remind one of the Henin of yore i.e. the Henin before her self-imposed retirement. Comparisons with Steffi Graf might seem premature though. It is a forgotten fact that she reached the semi-finals of the French Open last year, that marked the renaissance of her singles career.
Schiavone , on the other hand, is more of an unknown commodity and was probably lucky in the semi-finals to have Dementieva concede the match after the first set. But let that take nothing away from what she has achieved so far in this Grand Slam.
Francesca Schiavone’s play at the French open has come as a pleasant change to tennis fans even though she made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year. She, arguably, had an easier run to the final beating the likes of Wozniacki (ranked No. 3), and Maria Kirilenko. Her real test would have been Elena Dementieva and we all know how that panned out.
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