Flavia Pennetta: The Courts Are Calling...
Published September 20, 2012 12:00
VERBIER, Switzerland - While two other Italians dominated the headlines back home during the US Open, one of the country's first trailblazers was unfortunately sitting her favorite Grand Slam out - but with surgery now out of the way things are looking up for Flavia Pennetta to come back to the WTA.
Pennetta injured her right wrist in April, subsequently pulling out of clay court events in Stuttgart and Madrid, but it was during the summer hardcourt season where it really started acting up, causing her to retire during her first match in Montréal then sidelining her from Cincinnati and the US Open - where she has reached all three of her Grand Slam quarterfinals, in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
"I started having problems with my right wrist in April, and I had the X-rays and health checks and thought I could recover from the lost time," Pennetta said of the injury ordeal. "Unfortunately the scapholunate ligament was 85% broken and surgery was necessary. But the most important thing was the surgery was successful and in a few months I can go back to playing tennis again.
"The US Open is one of my favorite tournaments because I love the summer in America and I always play good tennis there. It was tough to watch the first few days of the US Open but I was happy for what Sara and Roberta did there - they work so hard and are so determined. They deserved this great success."
Pennetta isn't hitting right now, but that will change soon enough.
"I've been spending a lot of time resting and being around my loved ones, but the training will start again soon and gradually build up until it's just as intense as before all of this happened. I'm really looking forward to playing tennis again.
"I can't sit still and I can't stay away from the tennis court," she added.
And her projected return date? "I can't start playing until November, but then I will get back in shape and practice hard for the Australian Open."
Players miss a variety of things when they're away, but Pennetta pointed to one thing in particular. "I miss the warmth and affection of the people and the fans," she said. "I like talking to the people and the fans and feeling close to them."
Pennetta was the first Italian ever to rank in the Top 10, debuting in the elite in August 2009 (Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani have since achieved the feat too, debuting in the elite in June 2010 and June 2012, respectively). Pennetta was also the first Italian ever to rank No.1 in either singles or doubles, doing so in doubles in 2011 (Errani has since done it too, just last week).