Flavia Pennetta became the second to last woman to book a spot in the elusive WTA Year-End Championships on Wednesday. She joined Angelique Kerber as one of two women to book spots, leaving one spot left in Singapore. After finding out she qualified, the Italian subsequently withdrew from her quarterfinal match at the Kremlin Cup as she cited a foot injury. This event will be Pennetta's last career tournament.
Pennetta’s Season Review
It was not the best of starts to the year for the Italian number one as she stumbled out of the gates losing in her opening round matches in Sydney and the Australian Open to Tsvetana Pironkova and countrywoman Camila Giorgi. She finally picked up her first wins of the season in Dubai but lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinal. She continued to show off her hard court play by upsetting Sam Stosur and Maria Sharapova in Indian Wells before losing to Sabine Lisicki in three tightly-contested sets.
The Italian, more known for her ability to play on the hard courts rather than the clay, didn’t have too many notable results on the dirt. She did make the quarterfinals in Marrakech and the fourth round of the French Open. She would lose to Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros.
The summer season was really stagnant for the Italian as she struggled to pick up results from the grass season on. However, she picked up one major result that would change her entire career. At Flushing Meadows, the Italian shocked the world as she went on to win the US Open and would announce her retirement at the end of the season along with her victory. She played a couple of three-setters before she faced a seed and would defeat Stosur in the fourth round. She followed that up with upsets of Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep before facing countrywoman Roberta Vinci in the final. Vinci famously upset Serena Williams in the semifinals, preventing a Grand Slam from being completed. She played in Beijing and Moscow, as mentioned earlier, before pulling out of the event in the Russian capital before heading to Moscow.
Special Treatment For Winning A Slam?
It would have been an interesting case to see if the WTA would have done anything had Pennetta finished outside the top eight despite being the US Open champion. Last year when Marin Cilic won the US Open on the men’s side, the ATP would have given him a spot at the O2 if he had finished outside the top eight but still within the top 20. He did qualify as one of the top eight however so controversy was avoided