Flavia Pennetta has become the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion in the Open Era by beating friend Roberta Vinci 7-6(4) 6-2 in the surprise all-Italian US Open final which was so historic that even Italian Prime Minister canceled his other plans and flew to New York to watch the match live. And to make things even more emotional, Flavia announced retirement from tennis during the trophy ceremony! Wow! What a moment! What a woman! <3
This was the 33-year-old Pennetta’s 49th Grand Slam appearance, the longest wait of anyone to win their first major. Moreover, Pennetta, currently ranked at No.26, will rise to No.8 in the rankings, a career-high!
Vinci opened the match by confidently holding serve to love, but still it was Pennetta who earned first break points in the match. At 2-2 we had a long fight and finally it was Pennetta who managed to convert her seventh break point to lead 3-2, and soon afterwards 4-2. This situation didn’t break Vinci’s spirit and the 32-year-old Italian, unseeded this fortnight, won three straight games to go up 5-4. When underdogs make Grand Slam finals we often have one-sided affairs, but in the first set the ladies gave us the thrill we want of a championship match, as things were decided in a tiebreak which Pennetta managed to close on her first set point.
The second set was a different story, as the 26th-seeded Pennetta stormed to a 4-0 lead and even though Vinci won two games in a row to stay alive, the favorite in this unlikely final still eventually comfortably finished the match of her career, one of the most charming Grand Slam finals that ended in good spirits and with smiles on both sides.
Pennetta’s road to the triumph included victories over Jarmila Gajdosova, Monica Niculescu, Petra Cetkovska, seed No.22 and 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the fourth round, seed No.5 Petra Kvitova in the quarters, seed No.2 Simona Halep in the semis, and finally over her compatriot Roberta Vinci, who reached the title match by an epic win over world No.1 Serena Williams, stopping the American’s quest for the Calendar Slam.
Pennetta’s winning tennis fashion: the Adidas Winter Stella McCartney Tank, Adidas Winter Stella McCartney Skirt and Adidas Stella Barricade 2015 Yellow Glow Women’s Shoes.
Let’s also mention that Flavia’s boyfriend Fabio Fognini was supporting her from the stands and actually he is most probably her fiancé, as we’ve spotted what looks like a nice engagement ring on her left hand. Moreover, this retirement assures me that Flavia is ready to shift to other priorities in her life.
Good luck, Flavia! Thank you for this US Open! And Roberta, you deserve all the congratulations as well!