Schiavone eyes French Open spot with Bogota title


BOGOTA: Francesca Schiavone won her eighth career title at the Bogota Open on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to move closer to a main draw place at the French Open in her final year on tour.

The 36-year-old Schiavone, the 2010 Roland Garros champion but now down at 168 in the world, defeated Spanish fourth seed Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 7-5.

“I’m very happy and emotional,” said former world number four Schiavone who had gone into the Colombia tournament without a win on the tour in 2017.

“Today was a disaster match, but winning was the most important thing.”

Victory on Saturday was Schiavone’s 600th career win and took her ranking back to within striking distance of the Top 100.

Meanwhile, Steve Johnson rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over top-seeded Jack Sock on Saturday to set up a title clash with Thomaz Bellucci in the ATP clay court tournament in Houston, Texas.

Johnson, the fourth seed, came back from a break down in the third set to claim a second career win against Sock.

“Any time you can play on a Sunday in a tournament, it’s a good week,” Johnson said. “It’s my first final on US soil … It’s fun to get a chance to try to win something on home soil.”

Johnson will be seeking a second career ATP title when he takes on eighth-seeded Brazilian Bellucci.

Bellucci downed American Ernesto Escobedo 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, winning his fourth straight three-set match.

“It’s tough to play three sets every day. I didn’t have one day off,” said Bellucci, who is in his first final of 2017 and the eighth of his career.

He admitted he was a bit surprised to find himself challenging for a fifth career ATP title.

“I didn’t expect to play this well because I came Sunday night,” said Bellucci, who didn’t face a break point in the third set. “I just practised once before the first round.”



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