Pennetta wins US Open and announces retirement

Flavia Pennetta produced the biggest accomplishment of her tennis career and then announced her retirement.

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To win the US Open for her first grand slam title at age 33, Flavia Pennetta did not have to beat Serena Williams. I can not say anything different.

With Vinci’s mobility lacking after the rigours of beating Williams, her will never showed signs of cracking and she forced break point in the next game – but blew another chance with a stray volley. If you look at how many times she’s been able to pull it out, it’s no wonder it caught up to her. Her serve wasn’t looking as dependable.

But prior to her win over Petra Kvitova on Wednesday, she had lost five of her six Grand Slam quarter final matches.

In many ways, the Pennetta-Vinci finals match was an unlikely one from the beginning. It’s what all the players think they want to do. “Now I have reached one Slam final, so I’m happy”.

“I never thought I could be a champion“.

“It’s something fantastic. I didn’t think to be here”.

“We’ll try to make her change her mind”, Pennetta’s father, Oronzo, said, according to the ANSA news agency.

“This is the way that I would like to say goodbye to tennis“, she said, an announcement that surprised everyone in the stadium. And they were both outperforming expectations just by being there: Vinci was unseeded, and Pennetta was the 26th seed.

Williams was generally expected to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win the four Grand Slam tournaments in a calendat year, and had been mowing through the competition at the Open.

And when yesterday’s match ended, after Pennetta flung her racket overhead, she went up to the net to find Vinci, not for a handshake but for a lengthy hug.

“If they get rid of me she can have the job”, he said. I beat Serena. It’s an incredible moment.

Vinci’s victory set off a whole different kind of stress for Pennetta. I tried to play every match the best I can from the first one, don’t worry about the draw and focus on the things I have to do on the court.

Only two weeks ago, Pennetta and Vinci, girls doubles winners together at the 1999 French Open, were having dinner in New York, oblivious to the extraordinary tournament about to unfold and which will surely define both their careers. The two have played already in a Grand Slam final this year and the Wimbledon match they played could be a preview of how this will turn out.

Glory in the first all-Italian grand slam final crowned a remarkable comeback after Pennetta had pondered retirement past year while battling a debilitating wrist injury.

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The first set alone took longer than Pennetta’s entire semi-final win over Simona Halep, as the two countrywomen who know each other’s games so well predictably engaged in a neck-and-neck tussle.

Flavia Pennetta celebrates after defeating Roberta Vinci in the women's singles final at the U.S. Open on Saturday