Flavia Pennetta announces shock retirement in US Open victory speech

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Flavia Pennetta triumphed over her compatriot Roberta Vinci in a dramatic 7-6 6-2, ending her professional career on a high.

In one of the unlikeliest major finals in women's tennis, world number 26 Pennetta and unseeded Vinci, her former doubles partner at the same event, squared up at Flushing Meadows.

A packed Arthur Ashe stadium had bought tickets expecting to see Serena Williams make history by completing an incredible Calendar Grand Slam. 


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However, it was Pennetta’s turn to create history, becoming the oldest woman in the modern era to claim a maiden Grand Slam. 

However, the drama did not end there, upon accepting the trophy the Italian announced she had played her last match, bowing out of the sport.

'This is how I would like to say goodbye to tennis,' she said, as per the Mail. 'I took a big decision before coming here. It's a dream come true.'

Watched also by her boyfriend, Italian men's number one Fabio Fognini, Pennetta narrowly outpointed her crafty baseline opponent by taking an hour-long first set 7-4 in the tiebreak.

The second set was more straightforward, with Pennetta using greater power in her groundstrokes, especially on the backhand, to pull ahead to a 4-0 lead, which proved decisive after a few late nerves.

Her late nerves were perfectly understandable, however, having entered a previous 49 Grand Slams without ever reaching a final before Saturday, a record for a first-time Grand Slam winner.

The win will take Pennetta, a 150-1 long shot to claim the title, to a career-high ranking of eight on Monday, before her retirement paperwork goes through and she is removed from the rankings.

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