March 20, 2013

Francesca Schiavone has defeated her countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open. Schiavone won the match in the straight sets by 7-5, 6-1.

Schiavone who is unseeded in this tournament took 109 minutes to get better of her compatriot.

This was the seventh clash between these two players. In the last two matches, Schiavone was beaten by Pennetta in the straight sets, but, in this match, Schiavone didn’t let that happen.

Pennetta served a total of nine double faults in the match. Also, she got 14 break points in the match, but, she managed to capitalize on only three of them.

In the opening set, neither of the two players served that well. In the first 6 games, both of them dropped their serve two times and at the end of the 6th game, the score was 3-3.

Pennetta got her third breakthrough in the 7th game and then, enhanced her lead to 5-3 with a serve hold in the 8th game. She was looking in a great position at that time, but, Schiavone turned the set in her favour with some extraordinary tennis in the next 4 games. With the help of serve breaks in the 10th and the 12th game, she grabbed the opening set by 7-5.

That late onslaught in the first set boosted Schiavone’s confidence and she went absolutely berserk in the next set. With breakthroughs in the 2nd and the 4th game, she took a lead of 5-0. Pennetta held her serve in the 6th game, but, that was too little too late. A serve hold by Schiavone in the 7th game ensured Pennetta’s defeat.

In the post match interview, Schiavone said, “In the first set, there were certainly a lot of mistakes committed by me especially on my serve. But, in the second set, I improved my game and won it comfortably.”