Francesca Schiavone, 2010 French Open champion, has always been one of my favorite players. I saw her in Soho in London in 2006 when Italy won the World Cup. She was celebrating with her fellowmen.
She is actually, the first Italian woman to win a grand slam and has paved the way for other Italian women to believe in themselves and grab that slam when the opportunity presents itself. This year, Flavia Pennetta snagged the US Open title while compatriot Roberta Vinci was runner up.
Schiavo was ranked #17 when she won her grand slam. Flavia was also ranked outside the top 10 when she won hers.
The lesson here is, when life gives you an opportunity to shine and win big, grab it. It may never happen again, especially if there are more talented and gifted people than you.