Tennis has brought a lot of joy to Francesca Schiavone’s life. The highs include becoming the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title at the French Open in 2010 and winning four Fed Cup titles for her country – and at 36, her passion for the game has not waned.
“This sport is a drug for me, I love to play this sport,” Schiavone revealed.
Currently ranked No.96, well below her career-high of No.4 set in 2011, her trademark determination is still strong as she enters the 2017 season aiming for “another chance to dream again”.
Schiavone confirmed after a first round singles loss yesterday this is her final season on tour – but she’s not done yet and is back on Centre Court at the Domain Tennis Centre tonight in doubles action alongside Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier.
Before Schiavone bids farewell to Hobart for the final time, we asked her to finish these sentences…
My goal for 2017 is… be healthy and have some good results.
The best lesson I learnt in 2016 was… to lose and keep going by standing up and taking a new way.
I love being a tennis player because… I love to play this sport and there is always a chance to grow with this sport.
The hardest part of being a tennis player is… when you don’t express yourself at the maximum and you have to go on court when you don’t feel great.
The best advice I’ve ever got is… to be yourself.
My guilty pleasure is… driving fast in my car.
My go-to karaoke song is… Beyonce, but I don’t have a good voice – it’s a disaster. I can’t dance either.
If I could steal one shot from another player, it would be… Serena’s serve.
My favourite social media channel is… SchiavoChannel (Her own YouTube channel).
My best memory from Australia is… the longest match me and Kuznetsova had (at Australian Open 2011. Schiavone won 6-4 1-6 16-14 in four hours and 44 minutes in the longest Grand Slam women’s match in the Open Era)
I think Hobart is… a big preparation. I love the nature here and it is unique, you are totally different to other people. Australia is a really unique country.