Pennetta happy in New York
Originally published on 02/09/14
Conditions on court were tough on Monday as temperatures rose to 33 degrees and 75% humidity, but Pennetta triumphed not once but twice, reaching the last eight in both the singles and the doubles.
She opened the play on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she defeated No.29 seed Casey Dellacqua 7-5 6-2. Pennetta has been on the tour for 14 years and Casey Dellacqua is a seasoned campaigner, who at 29 years of age is having some of her best results, having reached the fourth round in Flushing Meadows as well as in Melbourne earlier this year.
“I think we had a lot of things in common," Pennetta said of her Australian opponent. "We have a lot of injury, we come back and we stop and we come back.”
Pennetta reached her highest ranking of World No.10 aged 27 and is seeded No.11 in New York this year. “When you are young, you want it too badly to have something. So much pressure” she said. “When you are a little bit older, you see things in different way. I mean, tennis is important, but life is important. Family is important. So you're starting to get balance, to have good balance in everything.”
Asked after the match if at 32 years old, she considers herself a little bit old, she replied smiling, “yes”. This is Pennetta’s 10th US Open. She played her first in 2003 and has missed only 2006 and 2012 since then with injury. After losing in the first round on her first three appearances, it is the Slam where she has her best results; last year she reached the semi-finals where Victoria Azarenka she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka. There’s something about New York that appeals to the Italian.
“l like the city all the time," she said. "When I get to New York, I feel much better. In New Haven I wasn't playing well, and I had a bad moment on the court and everything. Just to come here I was happier.”
In the doubles, Pennetta has teamed up with Martina Hingis. Hingis won five Grand Slam singles titles, nine Grand Slam singles titles and spent 209 weeks as No.1 singles player. Pennetta is also an accomplished doubles player, having won 10 doubles titles with Gisela Dulko. She has been ranked World No.1 as a doubles player.
"It's nice [playing with Hingis]. It's really nice," said the Italian. "We have fun in court and outside, so she's one of the best of the whatever. So it's really – it's nice to play with her”.
With a couple of hours between her matches today Pennetta ensured she drank a lot, took some supplements, had a pasta lunch, some treatment and then warmed up again to be ready for their women's doubles third-round match against Australian pair Jarmila Gajdosova and Ajla Tomljanovic. Pennetta and Hingis needed just 51 minutes to seal a 6-1 6-4 victory on Grandstand, which would have been welcome for Pennetta, who now has a day to prepare for her quarter-final singles match against Serena Williams. They have met five times and Serena has won on each occasion.
“Of course, she's better than me, but I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn't have a good day I can do that," said Pennetta.
Pennetta and Hingis will meet No.5 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the quarter-finals of the doubles. Pennetta is already a Grand Slam doubles champion having won in Australia in 2011. She was runner up in New York with Russian player Elena Dementieva in 2005. It has been an exciting week for Flavia Pennetta and it looks set to continue at the business end of the 2014 US Open.
This story is bought to you by Wilson, Official Ball of the US Open since 1979