WTA BOGOTA: Francesca Schiavone claims her 8th WTA title, beating Lara Arruabarrena in straight sets
Tennis - Italian veteran is currently ranked 168th and she needed a wild card to enter the main draw
36-year-old Francesca Schiavone proved once again how much she loves the game of tennis and how strong is her will to compete, winning her 8th WTA title in Bogota after a 6-4 7-5 triumph over the 4th seed Lara Arruabarrena in an hour and 39 minutes. Schiavone played her first WTA final way back in 2000 and it was a bumpy road in the first 6 years, losing the first 8 finals she entered. Things improved significantly since 2009 and the Italian claimed 7 of the last 8 finals she played, bringing her total tally to 8 WTA crowns. In her first meeting with Arruabarrena, Francesca used all of her experience to fend off 12 out of 14 break points, and she broke her rival 4 times from 6 chances to close the match in straight sets. Italian saved 4 set points in the second set to grab the final 4 games and turn a 5-3 deficit into her favor.
Schiavone was off to a perfect start, taking 11 points in a row to build a 3-0 lead, but Spaniard recovered after that and started to push the Italian stronger on return. Lara had 7 break points in the next 3 return games, finally converting the last one to pull the break back in game 9, reducing the deficit to 5-4, but she failed to hold the serve in game 10, as Schiavone clinched the opener by 6-4. Arruabarrena was the better player in set number 2, losing just 2 points in the opening 4 service games and she broke Schiavone in game 3 to create a 5-3 lead. Francesca repelled 3 break/set points in game 9, and another one in the following game before she managed to break back, pretty much from nowhere, leveling the score at 5-5 and gathering all the momentum. After missing her chances, Spaniard lost her focus and she got broken again in game 12 to lose the set and the match. Schiavone ended the match with a forehand winner, starting a big celebration as this title obviously means a lot to her after being dropped from the wild card story in both Rome and at Roland Garros.