33 year old Flavia Pennetta won the biggest title of her career in her first ever Grand Slam final over fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. Vinci stole headlines with her shocking upset of world #1 Serena Williams in the semifinals, but the crafty Pennetta beguiled her with well-rounded tennis in what was a very nervy final. Pennetta had never played in a match as high stakes as this one, nor had Vinci, as the Italian prime minister himself was on hand for the occasion in New York, a city with a sizeable Italian population.
From the start it was clear both players were excited, but anxious as Vinci faced seven break points in her third service game of the match at 2-2, and Pennetta eventually broke her, as Vinci’s weak backhand let her down and let to errors. Flavia went up 3-2 at this point simply for being the slightly steadier player, and though she lost her serve up 4-3, she would not face another break point in the first set and eked out a tiebreak 7-4.
In set 2 the crafty veteran seized the initiative and momentum, and got out to a 4-0 lead, practically securing her first Grand Slam title. Nerves would set in from there but Pennetta, with Italian male #1 Fabio Fognini, her boyfriend, looking on in the players box, would serve it out at love for a 7-6 6-2 victory in the end, in what was the conclusion of one of the craziest two weeks in US Open history on the women’s side. The two fan favorites gave it their best on a rain threatened day, and Pennetta walk away a worthy champion, while Vinci with her own passion for the game is the people’s champion. Pennetta was superior on serve and that proved the difference.