Pennetta wins US Open and then retires

Flavia Pennetta captured her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open on Saturday and said she was happy to head into retirement.

Pennetta wins US Open and then retires
Flavia Pennetta celebrates winning the US Open. Photo: Kena Betancour

The 33-year-old beat fellow Italian Roberta Vinci 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to become the oldest first time winner at a major.

She the admitted she had made the decision before the tournament to call it quits.

“Before I started this tournament one month ago, I took a big decision about my life,” said the 26th seed.

“I decided that this is the way I would say goodbye to tennis. This is my last US Open and I couldn't think of finishing in a better way,” said the 26th seed.

Playing in her 11th US Open, Pennetta said she was stunned to have gone so far in the competition.

“I'm really happy. I never thought I would get so far and never thought I would be a champion. This is one of my favorite tournaments, I enjoy playing here,” she said of an event where she has consistently recorded her best results at the majors.

“It's a dream come true, and it's also nice to play with a friend of mine — we have known each other since we were nine years old, we spend so much time together.

“We could write a book about our lives,” added Pennetta after collecting the winner's check for $3.3 million.

Vinci, the world number 43 and a year younger than her Fed Cup teammate, had stunned world number one Serena Williams in the semi-finals.

But she was unable to repeat that form on Saturday.

“It was tough, I passed the 24 hours with a lot of things on my mind,” she said.

“But I am really happy and happy for Flavia. It's tough to play against a player who you have known for a long time.

“I tried to play my best, but she played unbelievable and I have to say congratulations to her.”