Francesca Schiavone falls short in likely last French Open match

Italian Francesca Schiavone fell to Garbine Muguruza on Monday in what was likely the final French Open match of her career.
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A complaint you often hear about women’s tennis: it’s become a monoculture of physically imposing, flat-slugging athletes who play first-strike tennis and treat the net as terra incognita. (The newest model to roll off the assembly line: JaimeeFourlis, a 17-year-old Aussie who blasted away took a set off Caroline Wozniacki early this afternoon.)

Let’s use this occasion to tip a beret to Schiavone, the 2010 champion who, a few weeks from turning 37, likely played her final Roland Garros match on Monday. ("For the moment, I want to live this moment this year. I have to see how I feel physically. You know, is not easy to wake up and run again for six hours and push yourself. But we will see. I think after U.S. Open I will ask to myself what I want to do,” she said after the match.)

Slicing, dicing, flailing a one-hander and making whimsical decisions during points, Schiavone offered a singular game and a ferocious contrast to baseline bashing. And Lord will she be missed.