PERTH, Australia (Reuters) – Little-known Francesca Schiavone followed up her upset victory over world No. 5 Kim Clijsters by upsetting 10th-ranked Monica Seles, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, at the Hopman Cup on Wednesday.
The 31st-ranked Italian’s triumph at the Burswood Dome gave her country a 1-0 lead over the top-seeded United States at the mixed team event, with two matches to come.
“Wow she played really well I can see why she was number one,” Schiavone said of Seles after her gutsy win.
“But today I played really well. I am very, very happy because now the people know me, the people like me.”
Schiavone played virtually the whole match with a hamstring injury after stretching the muscle at the top of her right leg chasing a drop shot in only the third game.
“I felt the problem all the match. At the start, I thought maybe I can’t play but my coach told me ‘come on, you can do it’,” she said.
Jan-Michael Gambill takes on Davide Sanguinetti in the second singles contest before the final mixed doubles match.
Qualifiers Italy are looking for their first win in Group A, having lost 2-1 to Belgium on Tuesday.