Francesca Schiavone was the first Italian tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament. Everyone remembers the incredible path of the Italian player at the Roland Garros 2010, when she managed to beat Samantha Stosur in the final with a score of 6-4, 7-6 (2).
In addition to the successes and trophies raised to the sky over the course of her career, Francesca has entered the hearts of all tennis fans thanks to her fighting spirit and her desire to leave her mark. This lioness behivior has allowed her to face with determination one of the most difficult battles she has ever fought: the one against cancer.
A battle that Francesca won by fighting with her whole self.
Francesca Schiavone remembers the most difficult match of her life.
"I was struggling to play tennis and I thought it was my age, but it was something else," told Schiavone to One More Time, Luca Casadei's famous podcast.
She then added: "I also lost a lot of weight, but overall I was fine. Then one day I discovered this lymph node in my neck and I went to the doctor, discovering this disease. When they tell you, the world collapses on you, it's all uncertain and 'dark', you think of having lost everything.
I feel I can say three things to those in this situation: the first is to surround yourself with people who love you, the second is that we are stronger than we believe; when we think we can't do it, we always have those five minutes or that extra ball to play, that possibility that we don't even think about.
Last thing: find something that motivates you, that stimulates you to get up every day to fight. It was the toughest fight I've ever faced, and the best part is that I managed to win this fight. When they told me a few days ago I exploded with happiness.
Now I am ready to take on new projects. With my partner we looked for a little place in Milan and now, after having found a place, we have turned it into a small bistro. This gave me a lot of energy and motivation. In tennis you often feel alone and Francesca knows this very well.
She said: " The moment I felt most alone was when I lost the Wimbledon tournament in the first round in 2010, there many expectations have collapsed. Loneliness is always there for us tennis players, I feel it even today.
I feel absolutely alone. It's a sport that doesn't allow you to grow friendships easily. What Agassi said in his book is true, I still feel very lonely and cry. I was very lucky in my life because I always knew which way to go, I had a dream.
But today I get up and I don't have a huge dream in my heart, so it's all much more complicated. I understand why people can start drinking, smoking, creating addictions to not think of anything else."