Pennetta’s hometown erupts in joy after US Open win
ROME (AP) — In Brindisi, Flavia Pennetta’s hometown, there were shouts of joy.
In nearby Taranto, Roberta Vinci’s hometown, there was appreciative applause amid mild disappointment.
Big video screens were set up in both cities of the Puglia region to watch the first all-Italian U.S. Open women’s final.
With Italian Premier Matteo Renzi in attendance in New York, Pennetta beat Vinci 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Saturday. Then Pennetta announced she will retire after this season.
“The fresher player won,” Italy Fed Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti said, referring to how Vinci was stretched to three sets by top-ranked Serena Williams a day earlier.
“The important thing is what’s best for her,” Barazzutti told The Associated Press. “You’ve got to respect her decision. We’ll all try to convince her to continue but I think that after this victory her mind is made up.
“Flavia has been talking about retiring for a while now. She’s done so much in her career.”
There has been speculation that Pennetta could replace Barazzutti as Fed Cup captain.
“If they get rid of me she can have the job,” he said.
In Brindisi, one big screen was set up in the main piazza, and another two at the local tennis club where Pennetta learned to play.
Pennetta’s parents watched the match at home, and were caught off guard by their daughter’s retirement announcement.
“We’ll try to make her change her mind,” Pennetta’s father, Oronzo, said, according to the ANSA news agency. “That announcement made us freeze for a moment. We’re happy for this extraordinary achievement but disappointed for the retirement.”
The title will move Pennetta up to a career-high No. 8 in the rankings.
“She said she was going to retire but only if she dropped to 50th in the rankings,” Oronzo added. “Not after a victory of these dimensions.”
Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf