Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam Singles final on Thursday when Elena Dementieva retired after one set of their 2010 French Open semi-final clash.
Schiavone, 29, had just taken the first set on a tiebreak when a tearful Dementieva walked over to shake hands.
Looking stunned, Schiavone went down on her knees and kissed the red clay on Court Philippe Chatrier before holding her hands aloft to the crowd.
A sobbing Dementieva unexpectedly retired with an apparent injury. After losing the first set 7-6 (3), Dementieva walked up to Schiavone, sitting in her changeover chair, and extended her hand.
She made one winning volley to save a set point but pulled down the peak of her sun shade and appeared to be crying when she hit a backhand long to give Schiavone the set.
“This is fantastic,” Schiavone said on court. “I still don’t know what going on but I’ve made history for Italy and myself and I’m going to enjoy the final.”
It’s the first time at a major tournament since 1979 that none of the four female semifinalists owned a major title.
Schiavone will take on Australian 7th seed Samantha Stosur on Saturday, June 5. Samantha Stosur crushed 4th-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-2.
Don’t forget to watch French Open 2010 Live Stream at the link provided.