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By Ajay Tyagi
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Francesca Schiavone defied all odds and became the first Italian Grand Slam singles champion by defeating the Australian powerhouse Samantha Stosur in the final of the 2010 French Open, the year's second major being held in the historic Roland Garros.
Schiavone started the match on a good note and kept avoiding any breaks of serve against her till the ninth game when Stosur lost serve and gave the Italian a chance to seal the opening set 6-4.
Stosur made a mini-comeback to race to a formidable 4-1 lead in the second set which was soon squandered by Schiavone's strong baseline game. As the set went into a deciding tie-break, Schiavone took matters into her own hands and completed the straight sets 6-4, 7-6(2) victory for the biggest prize of her sporting career.
Schiavone hit a total of 28 winners in the match and took full advantage of Stosur's 26 unforced errors.
During the trophy presentation, Mary Pierce, a champion here ten years ago, gave the Suzanne Lenglen trophy to a teary-eyed Schiavone.
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