Italian tennis star Francesca Schiavone has lost her quarter-final match to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki just two days after establishing a record of playing the longest match for women in tennis.
Wozniacki beat Schiavone 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and now meets China’s Li Na in the semi-final of the Australian Open on Thursday.
On Wednesday, 30-year-old Schiavone used the entire court in another eye-popping struggle.
Her legs burned and her screams of effort filled Rod Laver Arena as she ran down every half-chance, chipping, passing, lobbing, hanging on.
It might have made better tactical sense to cut back on the running, to play more conservatively. But she doesn’t know how to do that. She hit 41 winners and 46 errors.
“Francesca’s such a fighter. She doesn’t give you anything. I knew that going into this match,” Wozniacki said.
At the end, Wozniacki, 10 years Schiavone’s junior and riding high, killed the fairytale, and it was only a great encounter because of the loser’s commitment.