Around the same time last year, Flavia Pennetta pondered about retiring from professional tennis. However, she forged on and the decision paid off. The Italian would go on to reach the US Open semifinals last season and this time she won her biggest title to date – the BNP Paribas Open 2014 Indian Wells. This is her 10th career title.
The Italian would go on to outplay Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-1 in a match that lasted an hour and 13 months.
“I’m happy. Really happy,” Pennetta said. “I think I need a few days to realize this. Right now I’m too calm, I think. I called my dad, and he couldn’t breathe. I told him, ‘Papa, breathe!’
“After so many years and so much work and everything, this is the moment I was waiting for. And it comes when you least expect it. In the beginning of the tournament I never expected to be the champion, or even be in the final or semifinal. I was just here trying to play my best tennis.
“For me, this is something I was waiting for a long time.”
Pennetta took six months off since the end of 2012 due to wrist surgery. The initial results from her comeback were dismal but she would make a grand resurgence in the 2nd half of 2013.
Her win at Indian Wells will catapult her ranking to world number 12, just two slots away from career high world number 10 which she achieved back in 2009. She also won $1 million in prize money.
As for Radwanska, she sought medical attention in the match due to knee problems which affected her game. She’s still happy that she reached the final – a first for the Polish star.
“It was still a good two weeks for me. My first final here, a big event, and still a good result.
“Of course I will have a lot of treatment and do everything to be ready for Miami.”