First-timers Stosur and Schiavone set for final battle

By Martyn Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur will contest one of the unlikeliest women's singles finals for years at the French Open later Saturday.

Not since 2004 has the Paris showpiece featured two players in their first grand slam final but this one is even more surprising than the duel six years ago when Anastasia Myskina beat fellow Russian Elena Dementieva.

"I've been waiting my life for this," 17th seed Schiavone told reporters. "I think I was born to play tennis so this is a dream and this is reality now."

Stosur, a former world number one doubles player, will start favorite after dispatching four-times champion Justine Henin, world number one Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic en route to the final.

"It's been really fantastic," said the seventh seed. "I've had some great matches up to this point. But none of those win me the final."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)