14 Sep 2015

Pennetta wins US Open, retires

10:15 am on 14 September 2015

After winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, Italy's Flavia Pennetta made a shock announcement - that she's retiring from tennis after completing her greatest victory.

The Italian tennis player Flavia Pennetta.

The Italian tennis player Flavia Pennetta. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The stunning announcement came just after the 33-year-old beat fellow Italian and childhood friend Roberta Vinci 7-6 6-2 to win her maiden grand slam singles title and become the first Italian winner ever at the US Open.

"Before I start this tournament one month ago I take a big decision in my life," she said before hoisting the trophy and accepting the $5.3 million winner's check.

"This is the way I would like to say goodbye to tennis. I'm really happy. Is what all the players seem to want to do, to go out with this big trophy home."

"And so this one was my last match at the US Open and I couldn't think to finish a better way."

Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta pose with trophies.

Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta pose with trophies. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Pennetta becomes the oldest first-time grand slam winner.

Her victory capped an extraordinary fortnight packed with upsets.

The match was set up by jaw-dropping results as unseeded Vinci knocked off world number one Serena Williams in the semi-finals to end the 33-year-old American's quest for a calendar year Grand Slam.

Pennetta's path to the final included two huge hurdles which she cleared with confidence in taking down Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals and Romanian second seed Simona Halep in the semi-finals.