Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stosur, Schiavone facing Paris rematch

Updated May 9, 2011 15:19:00

Samantha Stosur is headed for an appetising French Open final rematch with Francesca Schiavone with the Paris major now on the horizon.

After a first-round bye, Stosur launches her Italian Open campaign on Tuesday against either Gisela Dulko or Iveta Benesova and is on a quarter-final collision course with Schiavone.

Stosur and Schiavone only need to win two matches each to set up what would be a tasty French Open entree in the Italian capital.

Stosur, ranked seven in the world, lost to Schiavone in last year's Roland Garros decider before scoring a consolation victory over the Italian at the season-ending championships in Doha.

Rome will be Stosur's last tournament before the French Open gets underway on Sunday week and the 27-year-old is keen to build confidence before arriving in Paris.

"I just want to play as many matches as I can this week because obviously the more matches you win, the more confident you feel," Stosur said.

"Really, I just want to keep playing well. The last two tournaments in Stuttgart and Madrid I've played a lot better, probably better than I have all year.

"So if I can keep building on that, then I'd be quite happy with that."

After a scratchy start to the season, in which she only made one quarter-final in her first seven events, Stosur has rediscovered some touch since returning to her preferred clay surface last month.

She won five of her seven matches on European red dirt, including a morale-boosting victory over world number three Vera Zvonareva.

"I feel like I've been playing quite well on the practice court the pretty much the whole year," Stosur said.

"So now the last couple of weeks I've been able to move that into matches and obviously when you're winning matches, you feel more confident, you see things a bit clearer on court and you make better decisions and everything kind of flows a bit more.

"I think I've been able to get to that level the last couple of events, especially in Stuttgart.

"I thought I played quite well."

Stosur outclassed Dulko in the first round last year in Rome en route to the quarter-finals, beat the Argentine again last week in Madrid and has won both her career meetings with Benesova.

Should Stosur prevail again on Tuesday, the fifth seed would likely face German 12th seed Andrea Petkovic for the right to face second-seeded Schiavone.

Fellow Australian Jarmila Gajdosova was due to play Italian wildcard Corinna Dentoni in the first round early Tuesday (AEST), while Anastasia Rodionova opens against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.


Tags: sport, tennis, australia, italy

First posted May 9, 2011 15:20:00

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