Francesca Schiavone completed a successful tune up for the French Open with a straight-set win over Alize Cornet in the final of the Strasbourg International. Schiavone earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory on Saturday and will try to carry the momentum into Roland Garros, where she has had her greatest Grand Slam success the past two years. The 31-year-old veteran became the first Italian woman to win a major championship at the 2010 French Open and was the runner-up last year to China’s Li Na. Schiavone had struggled for most of 2012 entering this week. Since a semi final appearance in Brisbane to start the year, she had not been past the third round in any of her subsequent nine events.
Included in that disappointing run were first-round exits at both Madrid and Rome. Between Brisbane and Strasbourg, she posted a match record of just 5-13, including three losses in Fed Cup play. Schiavone captured her fifth career WTA title with Saturday’s triumph and her first since the 2010 French. She’ll open her stay in Paris next week with a first-round match against Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.
The Italian seems to save her best performances for French Open and by finding her most impressive form in Strasbourg, she may once again prove to be a formidable competitor at this year’s championship. The current world number fourteen who at one point held the number four spot, is coming to the end of her career and so this could well be one of her last chances to grab a second grand slam victory before it is too late.