French Open: Stosur and Schiavone to compete in women's final; Nadal to meet Soderling in men's final

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Samantha Stosur at Roland Garros in 2009

Australia's Samantha Stosur will compete against Italy's Francesca Schiavone for the women's title in this year's French Open, while Spain's Rafael Nadal will go up against Sweden's Robin Soderling.

In the women's semifinals, Stosur easily defeated Jelena Jankovic, once number one in the world, while Schiavone's opponent Elena Dementieva decided to withdraw due to a torn calf muscle after losing one set to Schiavone. Stosur and Schiavone will face off at the Stade Roland Garros this Saturday for the final round of the French Open. As this is the first Grand Slam final for both players, a victory for either will mean her first major championship title. Schiavone is also the first Italian woman to compete in a Grand Slam semifinal match. However, this is not the first time the two have met: Stosur beat Schiavone in the opening round of last year's French Open, and again in Osaka later that year.

This year's championship has been one with several major upsets. None of the top three women in the event, including sisters Venus and Serena Williams, made it to the semifinals. In fact, none of the female semifinalists this year have ever won a Grand Slam title, which has not occurred at the French Open for over 30 years.

In a major upset for the men's title, Robin Soderling defeated Swiss player Roger Federer in a quarterfinal match of the French Open Tuesday, ending Federer's streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances. Federer could also lose his status as number one in the world to rival Rafael Nadal if Nadal wins this year's French Open. However, Soderling is known for being the only person to have defeated Nadal in the French Open. In the men's semifinals earlier today, the 24-year-old Nadal beat Austria's Jurgen Melzer, and Soderling defeated Czech player Tomas Berdych. If Nadal beats Soderling in this Sunday's final round, it will be his fifth French Open title.