Francesca Schiavone upset third- seeded Caroline Wozniacki at the French Open to become the first Italian to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam for 56 years. Fifth seed Elena Dementieva beat Nadia Petrova in three sets.
The 17th seed Schiavone defeated the Dane 6-2, 6-3. Silvana Lazzarino was the last Italian to reach a semifinal, which she did at the French Open in 1954, according to the Italian Tennis Federation.
Schiavone, 29, reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros nine years ago. She is the oldest player left in the women’s event, and beat the youngest, 19-year-old Wozniacki. The Italian won her third career title in April in Barcelona.
“I played really well,” she said in a courtside televised interview, after she had kissed the clay at Court Philippe Chatrier. “I’m enjoying it so much. I played smart.”
Schiavone will face Dementieva, the 2004 runner-up, in the semifinals. The 28-year-old defeated her fellow Russian 2-6, 6- 2, 6-0.