New French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was crowned “Queen of France” in Italian headlines as the bubbling winner joked that she will have to buy a new house to accommodate all of her family and friends at a congratulatory meal and celebration.
The 17th-seed who turns 30 two days after the start of Wimbledon, has made it her first order of business to head home to Milan and greet her parents.
The traditional, tight Italian ties between parents and child are well evident among the Schiavone clan.
“I want to go home to mommy and daddy, this is my goal for the moment,” said the winner, who was awarded an additional prize of 400,000 euros (480,000 dollars) by the Italian federation in addition to the tournament swag of 1.1 million euros (1.32 million dollars) for her achievement.
Schiavone is looking forward to a big celebratory feed when she reaches home. “Usually we do good dinner or good lunch, ten people.
Now I think I have to buy a new house, bigger, for 50 people,” she joked.
Schiavone will rise to a sixth in the WTA rankings on Monday, a new high in her late-blooming career. The winner is also waiting to see what kind of a reception might be in store when she gets home.
“I don’t really know what’s happening in Italy because I’m here.
But for sure, for me is an honour to be champion and to be a person that maybe someone can take as an example.
“Fight spirit is one of the first quality that I have inside, so it’s always important to fight on the court, to fight in everything that I do.”
Shortly after her straight set win in the final over Australian Samantha Stosur, Schiavone fielded a telephone call from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. That came after she had fallen to her knees and kissed the clay, as became her habit after later-stage wins.
“To the ground for me is to thank this clay, this beautiful tournament and this arena.” Schiavone is hoping that her replica Roland Garros trophy holds up better than some of the other three she has won.
“I’ve won three tournaments, the first one broke so I put it together with a tack. The second one in Moscow, I won a fantastic trophy. Now I’ve won a trophy and they write my name on it, that’s fantastic.” Schiavone is sure to remain thrilled for weeks with her accomplishment.
“This means that everybody has a chance — to be who you really want to be, and to do everything in your life. This is what’s happened to me.”
Keywords: French Open