Li Na makes history as first Asian grand-slam winner

China's Li Na beat last year's champion Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final to become the first Asian player to win a grand slam singles title.

Nabeat out the former champion 6-4 7-6 on Saturday to take home the championship.

Sixth seed Li, who lost the Australian Open final earlier this year, dominated Italian fifth seed Schiavone's in a confident display of power and accuracy.

She deserved to win today, Schiavone says on the court. One has to win, one has to lose. She deserves everything.

Li was beaming. Of course I was nervous, but I didn't want to show opponent. I was a little bit cheating.

Li, who beat hard hitters Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova en route to the final, built her success on her lightning-quick backhand and precise serve as Schiavone never hit her stride on the red clay.

Li allowed Schiavone, who was hoping to break the pace with her sliced backhand, only five points on her serve in the opening set.

She snatched her opponent's serve in the first game of the second set and saved a break point with an ace as she opened a 2-0 lead, only for Schiavone to fight back.

Li, whose ranking will rise to a career-high No. 4 on Monday, has made the finals of the past two Grand Slams. But winning at Roland Garros was a far bigger surprise, since clay is her least-favorite surface.