Pennetta Wins in Palermo
Published July 19, 2009 08:23
PALERMO, Italy - Italian No.1 Flavia Pennetta won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title on home soil Sunday, routining countrywoman and good friend Sara Errani in straight sets for the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo crown.
Pennetta, the top seed at the International-level tournament, didn't drop a single set en route to the final and kept that trend going there, hitting her big serve and groundstrokes with authority and few errors during a 61 62 rout, and winning nearly two thirds of the total points in the 71-minute match. It was revenge in a sense for Pennetta, who had lost to Errani in the semifinals one year earlier.
"I'm really happy about the final today. I lost to Sara last year in a very tough match, so when I was going on the court today I was very focused and knew what I had to do to beat someone like her - to keep my mistakes down," Pennetta said. "It is the first time I've won a title here in Italy. And it's even more special with my family and friends here watching and supporting me."
Pennetta had to play three Italians en route to the title - first Roberta Vinci in the second round, then Tathiana Garbin in the semifinals and Errani in the final. It was a tough ask for the 27-year-old: "It's always tough to play your friends. Last week I played Francesca and here I played three more of my best friends. But it's like this in tennis. You just have to do the best you can."
Pennetta now has seven singles titles on the Tour, at Sopot in 2004, Bogotá and Acapulco in 2005, Bangkok in 2007, Viña del Mar and Acapulco in 2008 and Palermo in 2009. Next up on her schedule is the summer hardcourt swing, where she has done extremely well before, particularly last year, where she made the final of Los Angeles and the quarters of the US Open.
"I'll be in the US for almost two months. I love Los Angeles and I'm also looking forward to Cincinnati, which will be much bigger than before. It's going to be a tough season because there are always lots of good players coming up who play very well. I'm going to try my best and I hope I continue playing like this."
As for celebrating her first Tour triumph in Italy: "Of course I'll celebrate. I'm going out to a restaurant with my parents and my friends tonight. We'll have a good dinner and maybe go out for a little bit afterwards. I'm not playing this week so I can stay up a little later than normal if I feel like it!"
Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez kept the favorites in the winner's circle with their win in the doubles, beating Darya Kustova and Mariya Koryttseva in an almost identical final on Saturday, 61 62. Llagostera Vives and Martinez Sanchez tied co-world No.1s Cara Black and Liezel Huber as title leaders on the Tour doubles circuit this year, both pairings at four.