First of all a reminder of one of the most beautiful hours in the Luxembourgish tennis! On 22th May 2004 a dream came true for the twenty year old Claudine Schaul from Garnich (LUX):
Schaul Upsets Davenport for Strasbourg Title
STRASBOURG, France - Claudine Schaul of Luxembourg picked up the biggest win of her career on Saturday, upsetting world No.4 Lindsay Davenport, 26 60 63 to win her first career WTA Tour singles title at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
In only her second career match with a top 10 player, Schaul rallied back after dropping the first set to quickly turn the match around in the second. The 20-year-old capped off her impressive week by finishing off the No.1 seed in the final set, allowing her strong forehand to help guide her to the title.
"It's a dream to win a WTA tournament," Schaul said. "I was very nervous at the beginning, but then tried to forget that I was playing the final. My tactic worked well. I treid to attack a lot and to get her moving. She was not playing her best level. I was so emotional at match point that I double faulted several times and lost that game."
The best week of Schaul's career included wins against four of the tournament's eight seeded players. After defeating Arantxa Parra Santonja in the first round, Schaul followed with victories against No. 5 seed Tina Pisnik, No.2 Ai Sugiyama, No.4 Emilie Loit and then the top seed Davenport.
The victory against Davenport was her first against a top 10 player. Schaul lost her only other encounter with a player in the Top 10, falling to No.2 Kim Clijsters in straight sets in Luxembourg last year. Schaul, who began the week ranked No.66, will move into the top 50 for the first time.
"At the beginning of the year, my objective was to play the Olympic Games and now I know I'm in," said Schaul, about her improved ranking following her first title.
Davenport, who opened the clay court season by winning her 40th career title at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, was unable to continue the impressive form that got her into the final. The tournament's top seed scored a straight sets victory against Marion Bartoli in her second round match and then blew past Katarina Srebotnik (60 61) and No.3 seed Silvia Farina Elia (62 60) to reach her third final of the year.
"The conditions were tough today, there was a lot of wind," Davenport said. "I did not hit the ball like I should have. I made a lot of double faults and when I miss a lot of serves I tend to lose my rhythm. Clay is definitely not my favorite surface, but in general it's a good week for me, although I would have prefered to finish the week with a win.
"All my congrats to Claudine, she definitely was the better player today and she has a wicked forehand."
Davenport, who was making her 73rd appearance in a WTA Tour singles final, falls to 40-33 in championship matches and 2-1 on the year. She had won titles in Tokyo [Pan Pacific] and Amelia Island. The American now sports a 25-4 record in 2004 and enters Roland Garros with a 10-2 mark on clay.
(text from wtatour 22th May 2004!
Pictures of Claudine Schaul holding the trophy:
All the best Claudine for Strasbourg 2005! May this tournament be as successful as the previous edition. I believe in you and will keep my fingers crossed for you during the whole week!