View Full Version : Shaughnessy eyes Aussie Open

Jan 11th, 2003, 09:16 AM
Shaughnessy eyes Aussie Open

Moments after collecting her third WTA title in Canberra, American Meghann Shaughnessy declared she was ready to win the Australian Open.

Shaughnessy, the world No.28 and second seed, completely outclassed fifth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy to win the final of the Canberra Women's Classic tennis tournament 6-1 6-1.

Her thoughts immediately turned to Melbourne, where she will play a qualifier in the first round next week after making the third round 12 months ago.

Shaughnessy said she couldn't have dreamed of a better leadup to the first grand slam of the year after failing to win a tournament in 2002, slipping down the rankings from world No.11 to start this year at No.30.

"To win here obviously I'm going into Melbourne with a lot of confidence and I'm playing really well," she said.

Asked if she felt she could win the Australian Open, Shaughnessy replied: "Definitely".

It was a response Schiavone agreed with.

The Italian struggled to compete with Shaughnessy in Saturday's final as the American broke all but two of Schiavone's service games in windy conditions.

It appeared a frustrated Schiavone had conceded defeat before the match was over as she hit balls into the stands and at one stage offered her racquet to a lines man, hoping he would be more successful.

But she denied she was frustrated, saying it was just a case of Shaughnessy be far too good for her.

"I tried to enter in the match and Meghann didn't let me do it," Schiavone said.

"She has a good concentration, every point for her is important.

"Today she played like a very, very big (top ranked) player."

And while Schiavone said she believed Shaughnessy had the potential to make a big impact at the Australian Open, she also talked up her own chances.

It had been a three-year break between finals for Schiavone - both of them unsuccessful - and she said she had learned an enormous amount from the clash to prepare for Melbourne.

Shaughnessy and Schiavone urged tournament organisers to continue with the Canberra event next year after Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard refused to guarantee the future of the tournament unless the ACT government kicked in more money.

"I think it would be a real shame if we lost this tournament," Shaughnessy said.

"Obviously the top players all go to Sydney and that makes it very difficult for anyone who's not inside the top 25 to play this week.

"So it's important we have this tournament for other players to prepare to play (for the Open)."

Shaughnessy pocketed $US16,000 ($A27,830) for today's win.

Second seeds Emilie Loit of France and Italian Tatiana Garbin beat Daja Bedanova from the Czech Republic and Russian Dinara Safina, Marat Safin's sister, 6-3 3-6 6-4 to win the doubles final.

Jan 11th, 2003, 10:11 AM
great decision for Meghann to enter this tourney, it pays off and she seems to be finding her form again, well done