PARIS (Reuters) - It was a heart-tugging moment: As Francesca Schiavone went down to defeat in the first round of the French Open, the tournament organisers announced she was retiring, and the crowd had seen her last Roland Garros campaign.
But one person didn’t feel very warm and sentimental: Schiavone. The retirement was news to her.
Roland Garros’s Twitter feed had carried the announcement. The tweet was quickly deleted, but several reporters took theinformation into the news conference room after Schiavone’s 6-2 6-4 loss to Kristina Mladenovic .
“Roland Garros announced my retirement, but I didn‘t,” Schiavone told them. “So you can stand up, all of you, and go back to work in the office, because I didn’t say that.”
Schiavone lifted the Suzanne Lenglen Cup at the 2010 French Open and was runner-up in 2011. She turns 36 next month, an age when tennis players start hanging up their racquets. But Schiavone would prefer not to be hurried along.
“I will announce when I will want to stop,” she said.
”When I finished, everybody stood up. I say, I don’t know if it’s respect, I love, I appreciate this situation. But I think that everybody thought this because Roland Garros announced it.
It was not the last one for me.”
Next up for the 26th-seeded Mladenovic is American Samantha Crawford.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Larry King