Flavia Pennetta Announces Retirement: Her First-Ever Grand Slam Title Will Be Her Last

Flavia Pennetta definitely added an extra punch to her first-ever Grand Slam victory. She announced her retirement.

First-time Grand Slam finalist Flavia Pennetta, who also happens to be the first Italian woman to win the U.S. Open, as well, announced that this would be her last U.S. Open match. Pennetta’s final match of her career was against Roberta Vinci. She didn’t have to defeat Serena Williams, but had to edge past Vinci, and that’s exactly what she did in one of the most interesting culminations in women’s tennis history. 26th-seeded Pennetta beat Vinci, 7-6 (4), 6-2, at Flushing Meadows on Saturday, reported the Los Angeles Times.

After defeating the woman who halted public-favorite Serena Williams’ winning streak and deprived her of a true Grand Slam victory, Pennetta said the following.

“This is the way that I would like to say goodbye to tennis. I couldn’t think to finish in a better way. I will play the rest of the year, and will consider playing in the Olympics. But, I will not attempt to defend U.S. Open title next year.”

Interestingly, Pennetta added that she had made up her mind to hang up her racket a month prior to the tournament, but had chosen to keep her decision private. Despite her secrecy, it is quite apparent that even Pennetta couldn’t have imagined how the U.S. Open would end this year. It was a special match, because her country’s prime minister and a slew of dignitaries had made it a point to attend the final match that was played between 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, who is just a year younger.

While Pennetta reached the finals by defeating No. 2 Simona Halep in straight sets, Vinci managed to pull a victory from the jaws of Serena Williams, who was undefeated for the entire year until that fateful day, when the odds were just not in her favor. Vinci had stopped Williams’ 33-match winning streak and deprived her of winning a true Grand Slam, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished for almost three decades. From the looks of this tournament, a true Grand Slam victory is still a long way off.

Incidentally, Pennetta and Vinci have been playing against each other since they were children and have, at times, shared rooms and have played as doubles partners, reported Yahoo. The retirement announcement may come as a surprise, but considering the fact that at 33, Flavia Pennetta is the oldest woman in the Open era, it might have been a perfect opportunity to retire: while she was at the top of her game.

[Image Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images]