Flavia Pennetta, the first Italian Top 10 player and the first one from her country to rank No.1 in either singles or doubles, has undergone a successful right wrist surgery and is now taking her time to rest before resuming hitting in November and preparing for a comeback next season.
The injury struck in April, forced Pennetta to skip Stuttgart and Madrid and retire from her Rome quarterfinal against Serena Williams. Then she played Roland Garros, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Wimbledon and the Olympics, before retiring in her Montreal opener at 1-4 in the first set and missing the subsequent tournaments, including the US Open where she reached all her three Grand Slam quarterfinals.
However, no one is irreplaceable. There was an all-Italian quarterfinal at the US Open between good friends and doubles partners Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci and Italy got its first US Open semifinalist in the Open Era.
Rhetorics aside, there *are* irreplaceable people, and surely Flavia is one of the few.