Schiavone: Her biggest strength is her believe
Schiavone has been a solid but average Top 30 player till her mid-twenties.
She had her best years by far 2005 and 2006. She was so close to Top Ten but only managed to climb as high as # 11.
Then she had a horrible year 2007. Up to mid july she only won back-to-back matches twice (once because of a retirement).
She fell out of Top 30 and at that point I was asking myself >>Why the hell is she still playing?<<
It didn't look like she was coming back at that time and she seemed to be close to the end of her career.
But she kept believing and fighting!
She finally won her first ever title in Bad Gastein, small tournament but from then on it was going up a little bit.
It took another year to break back in to Top 20 but she wasn't able to defend her points in the second half of the season 2008 and went south again.
She was # 50 (!) in the rankings when she had her best grass court season ever in 2009 reaching a semifinal in S'Hertogenbosh and a quarterfinal at Wimbledon!
From that point on she was going up again and she ended the year with final appearance in Oasaka, her first Tier-I-title in Moscow and the Fed-Cup title!
And she finally won her first Grand Slam 2010 to everybody's surprise at Roland Garros.
Honestly: Who would have thought that?
She's a solid Top Ten player since then and although nobody expected her to do well at Roland Garras 2011 she reached the final once more!
Francesca Schiavone is over 30 years old and has got a very physical game. But she is still fighting like hell!
She doesn't have the greatest hands and the best technique out there but she is for sure one of the biggest fighters in tennis history!
I never really liked her game that much but I have to admire her will and fighting spirit!
And you gotta say that she's got a very special and unique game