Wozniacki, Schiavone eye French Open semis
Teenager Caroline Wozniacki and veteran Francesca Schiavone contest a French Open quarter-final on Tuesday, with both players motivated to reach the final for very different reasons.sports Updated: May 31, 2010 12:41 IST
Teenager Caroline Wozniacki and veteran Francesca Schiavone contest a French Open quarter-final on Tuesday, with both players motivated to reach the final for very different reasons.
At 19, Danish third seed Wozniacki is the rising star of the women's game and already has a runners-up finish at the US Open under her belt after losing to Kim Clijsters in the decider at Flushing Meadows last summer.
Schiavone, by contrast, is ten years Wozniacki's senior and has never made it past the last eight in the singles draw at a Grand Slam tournament.
Aged 29 she might never get a better chance to reach the final of a major event but, having seen off Russian 30th seed Maria Kirilenko in the fourth round, the Italian believes she has what it takes.
"I think there is always a chance for me," she said. "I have the quality to do it. Sometimes I can do it; sometimes not. But not even Serena (Williams) wins every Grand Slam."
Wozniacki booked her place in the last eight by edging Schiavone's countrywoman Flavia Pennetta, the 14th seed, in a three-hour thriller.
The Dane prevailed 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 and said she would be customising her tactics for the match against Pennetta's Fed Cup ally.
"Every match is different, and every match I change my game a little bit and my game plan," she said.
"So I really don't know yet what I'm gonna do against Schiavone."
Tuesday's other semi-final is an all-Russian affair, with 19th seed Nadia Petrova meeting fifth seed Elena Dementieva after beating world number two Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3 in round four.
"It's the most dramatic Roland Garros of my career," said 27-year-old Petrova, who completed a memorable win over France's Aravane Rezai on Saturday in which she secured victory by winning the deciding set 10-8.
"I came through a really stressful situation yesterday and I'm so much happier with the way things went today (Sunday)."
Williams spurned two break points in the first set and Petrova made her pay for her profligacy by converting one of the two break points that came her way to take a one-set lead.
A netted forehand from Petrova, twice a semi-finalist, gave Williams an early break of serve in the second set but the Russian broke back and then broke again to take a 4-3 lead.
The Russian was 5-3 and 30-0 up on Williams's serve when she appeared to lose her nerve, miscuing a straightforward smash and netting a forehand, but she recovered to whip a forehand past the American on her first match point.
"These days on tour, you can't have a match when you don't play your best. Everyone plays their best, especially against a top player," said Williams.
"I don't know what they do on Court 18, but when they come against me they come hard."
Dementieva, a beaten finalist here in 2004, swept into the quarter-finals with an emphatic 6-1, 6-3 victory over South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers.