Schiavone hopes for miracle recovery
Italy’s Francesca Schiavone will need to show miraculous powers of recuperation from her epic fourth-round clash when she faces Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open quarter-finals today.
Schiavone was on court for a Grand Slam record 4hr 44min in her win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday and has just one day to recover before meeting the world number one.
At 30 years of age and the oldest player left in the singles draw, Schiavone looked exhausted when she arrived for her media conference following her match on Sunday.
“I preferred not to come here, but they said, ‘you have to’,” she told reporters.
“I will go to sleep. I will try to relax. Tomorrow is a new day.”
But she was confident she would recover in time, laughing off doubts about her age.
“If you ask me now, I say no,” she said on Sunday.
“But, yeah, I’m young, I can run, I can do anything. For Tuesday I will be all right. I don’t know how, but it will be good. Why not?”
Wozniacki and Schiavone have met four times previously with victories split at two apiece.
Compared with Schiavone’s tough road to the last eight, during which she was taken the distance on three occasions, Wozniacki has had a trouble-free run, closing out all her matches in straight sets.
“I don’t fear anyone actually, I’m feeling confident,” Wozniacki said.
“I feel like I can beat anyone on a good day. I think they have to fear me when they’re playing me.”
Meanwhile, China’s Li Na will try to reach the Australian Open semi-finals for the second successive year when she takes on German Andrea Petkovic in today’s second quarter-final.
Li swept aside Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3, while Petkovic made a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time with an equally impressive 6-2, 6-3 win over former champion Maria Sharapova.
Ninth-seeded Li won in Sydney in the lead-up to the Open and goes into the match as favourite, but Petkovic has improved rapidly over the past 12 months.
“In the last few months, I beat some top 20 players and I played some great matches,” the German said.
“I think with the confidence comes the belief. There are people who just believe in themselves since they are born, I think, and other people who need experience to believe in themselves.
“I am the second type.”