A 33 year old has won the US Open women’s title, just not the one everyone expected to lift that trophy. And the surprises do not stop there.
Minutes after beating Roberta Vinci in one of the unlikeliest grand slam final line-ups, Flavia Pennetta took the microphone to announce her retirement from tennis – not immediate, but at the end of this season. “I couldn’t think to finish in a better way,” she said.
For a professional who has toiled on the circuit for more than 15 years without making it into the ranks of the elite, winning a grand slam title on your final appearance at a major is a fairytale ending.
In her previous 48 appearances at grand slam events, the Italian had managed to reach the last four only once – at the US Open in 2013 – and she has only one Premier (the top category of WTA tournaments) title on her resume.
So Pennetta must have been overwhelmed following her US Open triumph, but perhaps she could have held back on announcing her decision.
This was the greatest moment of her tennis career, one that has seen enough tears and toil. Pennetta, then, should have been celebrating that moment, savouring it.
She could have returned home to Italy and then announced her decision.
The announcement just before receiving the winner’s trophy just took the sheen off the moment.
It might sound harsh, but Pennetta probably rained on her own parade.
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