Playing her final season on tour, 36-year-old Francesca Schiavone not only earned her eighth career WTA title at the Claro Open Colsanitas, but also gained valuable ranking points towards guaranteeing what would be her final French Open main draw appearance, outlasting No.4 seed Lara Arruabarrena, 6-4, 7-5.
“I’m very happy and emotional,” she said in her on-court interview. “Today was a disaster match, but winning was the most important thing. Lara is improving a lot; I think she pulled a muscle and couldn’t run as well that she could, but I thank God that I could win the last three games.”
A former World No.4, Schiavone announced 2017 would be her last season, and came into the clay court season without winning a main draw match all year.
Just as she first did in 2010, when she won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, the wildcard found some extra magic on the red clay of Colombia, shocking top seed and 2016 French Open semifinalist Kiki Bertens and No.3 seed Johanna Larsson en route to her first WTA final since the Rio Open last February.