Francesca Shiavone was born on 23rd June 1980 in Milan, Italy, turned to professional tennis at the age of 18. She played her first events of career on ITF Circuit in Italy in 1996. She won the first ITF titles between 1998 and 2000. But it was until after 2002 that she began to improvise herself and concentrated on serious tennis playing. On 6th October 2003, she became the best Italian tennis women player for the best Italian player for the first time to cross the top 20 limit, thus ending Silvia Farina Elia’s record which lasted since the mid-nineties.
By winning the 2010 French Open singles title, she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand slam event in singles. She also emerged a runner-up at the 2011 French Open. She is currently seeded No. 8 in the world ranking. Her career best ranking has been World No. 4 achieved in the beginning of 2011. This was the first time a tennis player from Italy had reached these heights in professional tennis. She has a very classic approach to her clay game and employs an all court game.
She uses an extreme eastern grip on her one handed backhand. She has won four singles title on the WTA tour and ten runner-ups, eight of them since 2005. She beat World no. 1 and four time champion Henin in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open. She was the runner-up in the women’s doubles competition at the 2008 French Open, while partnering with Australian leading tennis player Casey Dellacqua. In 2010, she beat Alberta Brianti, Tathiana Garbin, Carla Suarez Navarro, Yaroslava Shvedova and Roberta Vinci all in straight sets to win her 3rd Women Tennis Association title at the Barcelona Ladies Open. In the quarterfinals of the 2010 French Open, she defeated World No.3 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to become the first Italian woman to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam singles event. In that event, after being singled out as a light contender to win the title, she silenced her critics by beating world no.5 Dementieva, thus emerging the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
Defying all expectations, Schiavone defeated Stosur in the final game of the event on 5th June 2010, to become the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam Singles title. In the 2011 Australian Open, she improved her own record playing against two time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, making her the highest ranking holder by an Italian woman tennis player. When asked by a correspondent on the highest form of technique, she coolly answered that “To have no technique, is the highest form of technique”.
She has received several awards in her ongoing career which includes WTA Most Improved Player in 2010, won second longest match in Open Era, a memorable match where she beat Kuznetsova in 4 hours 44 minutes in Australian Open, which also was the longest Grand Slam match in Open Era.