New York: Flavia Pennetta captured her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open on Saturday and said she was happy to head into retirement.
The 33-year-old beat fellow Italian Roberta Vinci 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to become the oldest first time women’s winner at a major.
She then stunned the 23,000 crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium by announcing her retirement, admitting she had made the decision to quit before the tournament began.
“Before I started this tournament one month ago, I took a big decision about my life,” said the 26th seed.
“I decided that this is the way I would say goodbye to tennis. This is my last US Open and I couldn’t think of finishing in a better way.”
Playing in her 11th US Open, Pennetta said she was stunned to have gone so far in the competition.
“I’m really happy. I never thought I would get so far and never thought I would be a champion. This is one of my favorite tournaments, I enjoy playing here,” she said of an event where she has consistently recorded her best results at the majors.
“It’s a dream come true, and it’s also nice to play with a friend of mine — we have known each other since we were nine years old, we spend so much time together.
“We could write a book about our lives,” added Pennetta after collecting the winner’s cheque for $3.3 million.
It had been a dramatic US Open for Pennetta who had an earlier match interrupted by a drone crashing into the stadium.
World number one Serena Williams, who was knocked out by Vinci in the semi-finals, ending the American’s dream of a calendar Grand Slam, tweeted her congratulations to Pennetta who had succeeded her as champion.
“@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,” wrote Williams.happy wheels
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