PARIS, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Francesca Schiavone became the first ever Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title as the 29-year-old defeated Samantha Stosur from Australia 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the women's singles final at the French Open on Saturday.
"I felt amazing today. I feel like a real champion," Schiavone said in front of a cheerful crowd.
In the semifinals on Thursday, the 17th seed Schiavone won the first set 7-6 (3) before the fifth seed Elena Dementieva from Russia chose to withdraw from the match due to injury. Schiavone then became the first Italian woman reaching a Grand Slam final.
Facing a strong rival who had knocked out four-time French Openchampion Justin Henin, top seed Serena Williams and the fourth seed Jelena Jankovic in a row to the final, Schiavone kept aggressive all along. She took a vital 5-4 lead when Stosur doublefaulted, then grabbed victory in the first set 6-4.
Schiavone suffered service break first in the second set, but managed to claw back in the seventh game. Then the Italian veterandominated the tiebreak to wrap it up 7-2.
"I prepared the final mentally and tactically very well. I was so concentrate on my serve. I try to don't look nowhere, but just to feel my play and try to be aggressive as much as I could," saidSchiavone who claimed her fourth and most precious title in her 12-year career.
Stosur, who smashed Schiavone in the first round at last year'sFrench Open and outplayed the Italian again in Osaka at the end oflast year to clinch her first ever singles title, believed that she didn't do anything wrong in the final.
"I still don't think I played that bad. She just had her day. She went for it and everything came off," said the 26-year-old Australian.
Coming to Roland Garros as a 17th seeded veteran, Schiavone thought what happened to her meant that everybody could become what he wanted to be.
"I always dream," she said. "I always believe in myself. Not about the trophy or tournament, but just in myself, and I think itwas the key for everything. This means that everybody has the chance to be who you really want to be, and to do everything in your life. This is what happened to me."