Muguruza pays tribute to 'legend' Schiavone
Garbine Muguruza hailed the incredible longevity of Francesca Schiavone after defeating the veteran Italian in a first-round battle of French Open champions yesterday.
Spaniard Muguruza, who won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last year, swept aside 2010 champion Schiavone 6-2, 6-4.
"I cannot believe in the first round we have two ex-champions. Not only that but Francesca is also a legend and I was very excited to play on the Philippe Chatrier court with her," said Muguruza.
"She has been on the Tour for such a long time and, when I look back on some videos, I heard her name since I'm, like, I don't know how old.
"She's still playing. She's fitter than most of the players. I'm, like, how is it possible? I think she loves it. She kind of enjoys it out there."
The fourth seed admitted that Schiavone's surprise 2010 final victory over Sam Stosur was a fond memory.
"I saw her match in the final here, and I kind of like it. I was happy that she won the French Open at that time," said Muguruza.
However, the 23-year-old doesn't believe she can emulate Schiavone, who turns 37 next month, in terms of a career spanning two decades.
"I don't see myself playing at 36 with that shape. I think she has a spectacular body, also, to be able to do that.
"I don't know if my body can handle with how many injuries I have, and I'm 23. So it's going to be tough."
Meanwhile, wildcard Jaimee Fourlis, aged 17 and, at 337, the lowest-ranked player in the main draw, served up a major scare for Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros yesterday.
The Australian teenager made light of the 300-plus ranking places separating them to push the 11th seeded Dane to three sets.
Wozniacki, who appeared to be carrying the after-effects of a lower back injury that forced her to retire during last week's Strasbourg tournament, pulled away towards the end of a testy encounter, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in just over two hours. - WIRE SERVICES
WOMEN'S SINGLES 1ST RD RESULTS (SELECTED)
- Garbine Muguruza (x4) bt Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4
- Caroline Wozniacki (x11) bt Jaimee Fourlis 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
- Kiki Bertens (x18) bt Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
- Elise Mertens bt Daria Gavrilova (x24) 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 6-4
- Ana Konjuh (x29) bt Danka Kovinic 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
- Zhang Shuai (x32) bt Donna Vekic 7-5, 6-4
- Richel Hogenkamp bt Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 7-5.