In a U.S. Open full of surprises, Italy’s Flavia Pennetta has pulled off one of the biggest, snatching victory in the women’s final from fellow Italian Roberta Vinci, then following that up by announcing her retirement in an on-court interview.
In the final game of the dramatic match, Vinci was behind 40-0, when Pennetta fired off a stunning forehand to clinch the victory, to the sound of cheering from the crowd, and hugs and tears on the court.
The 33-year-old Pennetta, who had been considering retirement last year after battling a serious wrist injury, became the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion, beating Vinci 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.
After accepting her trophy, Pennetta, clearly realising it would be a hell of a way to go out, announced her retirement from the sport. In an on-court interview following the match, she said that she had made her decision in Toronto three weeks ago:
“This is the way I would like to say goodbye to tennis. I’m really happy. It is what all the players want to do, going out with this big trophy (to take) home. So this one was my last match in the US Open and I couldn’t think of a better way to end my career. It’s a dream come true. Growing up I always wanted to be world No.1 and to win a grand slam.”
For all the attention being paid to the two finalists, there was just as much on the one player who didn’t make it onto the court – Serena Williams, who was knocked out of the U.S. Open yesterday in a stunning upset by Vinci.
Williams had been chasing a calendar-year grand slam heading into the tournament, and after her defeat, Twitter turned on the nearest person, who happened to be rumoured boyfriend Drake, blaming him for being a bad luck charm.
Nonetheless, the U.S. great was gracious in defeat, and after today’s final, she sent out a Tweet to congratulate Pennetta and telling the Italian “I will miss your smile.”
@flavia_pennetta congrats I’m so happy you won. You deserved it. I am also happy for the rest of your life’s journey. I will miss your smile
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 12, 2015
Pennetta later clarified that she will play out the rest of the season before retiring.
via The Guardian
Photo: Clive Brunskill via Getty Images