THE women’s game will have a new Grand Slam champion tomorrow after Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone booked their places in the final at Roland Garros.
Australian Stosur, the No7 seed, continued her outstanding French Open with a 6-1, 6-2 trouncing of former world No1 Jelena Jankovic.
Schiavone was handed an even easier path when her opponent Elena Dementieva retired injured after losing the first set of their semi-final.
Both Stosur, 26, and Schiavone, 29, now face by far the biggest match of their lives, neither having reached the final of a Grand Slam before.
In fact, Schiavone is the first Italian woman ever to go that far, while the last of Stosur’s compatriots to do so was Wendy Turnbull in 1980.
Brisbane-based Stosur went into the semi-final in excellent form, having seen off previous winners Justine Henin and Serena Williams in successive rounds.
And she picked up where she left off against Jankovic, wrapping up the opening set for the loss of just one game in 24 minutes.
The Serb could offer little more resistance in the second, and despite earning an early break lost the next six games as Stosur clinched a landmark win inside an hour.
Schiavone took her place in the final after fifth seed Dementieva broke down with a calf problem that had troubled her in the quarter-finals. The Russian had just lost the first set tie-break and said afterwards that she had torn the muscle and might miss Wimbledon.
A jubilant Schiavone said: “I’m very happy, I’m starting to feel like this is really history. They are very happy in Italy also.”