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Flavia Pennetta

Flavia PennettaFlavia PennettaFlavia PennettaFlavia PennettaFlavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta, born 25 February 1982 in Brindisi, Apulia, Italy is an Italian professional tennis player. She became Italy's first top 10 female singles player on 17 August 2009 and also the first ever Italian Tennis player to be ranked No.1 in Doubles on 28 February 2011. As of 25 June 2012, Pennetta is ranked World No. 17 in singles and World No. 16 in doubles. Pennetta has won nine career WTA singles titles, including back-to-back titles in Bogotá and Acapulco in 2005. She and her Italian teammates Mara Santangelo, Francesca Schiavone, and Roberta Vinci beat the Belgium team 3–2 in the 2006 Fed Cup final. Justine Henin had to retire in the fifth and final match due to an injury in her right knee, which let Italy win their first Fed Cup trophy. She was also a member of their winning team in 2009 and 2010, when they beat the United States on both occasions.

Pennetta has defeated multiple Grand Slam singles champions such as Justine Henin, Mary Pierce, Martina Hingis, Amélie Mauresmo, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. Pennetta is also one of only seven women to beat Serena Williams three consecutive times. In doubles, Pennetta won her first Grand Slam title at the 2011 Australian Open with partner Gisela Dulko, and also reached the 2005 US Open final partnered with Elena Dementieva. She has also reached the US Open quarterfinals three times in singles. Pennetta was pronounced a Knight of Order of Merit of the Republic on 24 January 2007 by the President of Italy.

Pennetta was introduced to tennis at the age of five by her father. Aged seventeen, she won the 1999 French Open in girls' doubles with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. Pennetta began to play on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit in 1997. The following year, she lost in the second round of her first qualifying tournament for a WTA Tour main draw, the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo. In 1999, Pennetta won two singles titles and two doubles titles on the ITF circuit. She was unsuccessful in her several attempts to qualify for WTA Tour main draws in 2000. The following year, she limited her play to the ITF circuit. She played her first main draw WTA Tour match at the 2002 Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lost in the first round. She also lost in the first round in Palermo but reached the second round of the Idea Prokom Open in Sopot. Her ranking reached the Top 100 for the first time on 23 September 2002, when she reached World No. 100.

In 2003, Pennetta lost in the semifinals of the Hyderabad Open to eventual champion Tamarine Tanasugarn. She also reached the quarterfinals at the Canberra Women's Classic, Copa Colsanitas, and Abierto Mexicano Telcel. She also debuted in the main draws of all four Grand Slam tournaments. Her best result was the third round of the Roland Garros, where she defeated 21st-seeded American Lisa Raymond in the second round before losing to Hungary's Petra Mandula. Pennetta started the year at the Tier V Canberra Women's Classic, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Julia Vakulenko. At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round to Italian player Antonella Serra Zanetti. Pennetta then lost in the first round of both the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennessee and the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota, Colombia. These losses were followed by her first WTA Tour final at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, when she was defeated by Iveta Benešová.

She played both of the Tier I spring time hard court tournaments in the United States. She beat Ľudmila Cervanová in the first round of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California before losing to Maria Sharapova. She then lost in the first round of qualifying for the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. Returning to clay courts, Pennetta lost in the second round of two consecutive WTA tour tournaments, the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Casablanca and the Estoril Open in Portugal. At the Budapest Grand Prix, Pennetta lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Jelena Janković. She then defeated World No. 6 Nadia Petrova in the second round of the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before falling to World No. 21 Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi in the third round. At the French Open, Pennetta lost in the first round, once more to Smashnova-Pistolesi. In the first grass court tournament of her career, she defeated Marion Bartoli in the first round of the DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom, before losing to World No. 32 Alicia Molik in the second round. Pennetta achieved the same result at the Ordina Open, falling to World No. 85 Barbara Schett. At Wimbledon, she was beaten by Petrova in the first round.

In July, she played yet another clay court tournament, where she was beaten in the final of the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo by Anabel Medina Garrigues. Returning to hard courts for the first time since April, she lost to Henrieta Nagyová in the first round of the Nordea Nordic Light Open in Stockholm. The following week at the clay court Orange Prokom Open in Sopot, Poland, Pennetta won her first WTA Tour title, defeating Klára Koukalová in the final. Pennetta then lost to former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open in Cincinnati and to World No. 25 Magdalena Maleeva in the first round of the US Open. Pennetta played four tournaments the remainder of the year. At the Wismilak International in Bali, Pennetta lost in the second round to eventual quarterfinalist Gisela Dulko. She then fell to María Vento-Kabchi in the first round of the China Open in Beijing and to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the second round of the Guangzhou International Women's Open. In her final event of the year, she lost to World No. 14 Ai Sugiyama in the second round of the Tier I Zürich Open.

In Pennetta's first event of 2005, she reached the quarterfinals of the Uncle Tobys Hardcourts losing to Tatiana Golovin. She then lost in the first rounds of the Australian Open and the Open Gaz de France. In the next two weeks she bagged two titles in a row, the first one Copa Colsanitas defeating Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the finals and the second one in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel defeating Ľudmila Cervanová. She then lost early in her next tournaments. The second rounds of the Pacific Life Open, the Qatar Total German Open and the Rome Masters. She also lost in the first round of the Estoril Open and the third rounds of the Miami Masters and the French Open. She however bounced back in the Wimbledon Championships by reaching the fourth Round losing to Mary Pierce and the semifinals of both the Internazionali di Modena and the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo which were held in Italy. She followed it up with losses to Japanese players Akiko Morigami in Acura Classic and Aiko Nakamura in JPMorgan Chase Open. In the Rogers Cup she was crushed by eventual champion Kim Clijsters. In the US Open she was upset by German Julia Schruff in the first round. She also lost early in the China Open in the first round and the Kremlin Cup in the second round to eventual champion Mary Pierce. She ended the year with quarterfinal appearances in the Wismilak International, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and the Zurich Open. She ended the year ranked no. 23 in the world.

Flavia had a good start to the 2006 season, finishing runner-up at Gold Coast aginast Lucie Šafářová. At Sydney, she was defeated by Li Na in the first round. Going into the Australian Open, Pennetta defeated Cara Black and Martina Suchá, before falling to Nicole Vaidišová in the third round. At Paris, she was upset by rising-star Sania Mirza. Pennetta started to pick-up her pace as the season went on, with two runner-up showings at Bogota and Acapulco, losing to Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Anna-Lena Grönefeld, respectively.

Pennetta began 2007 with three first-round loses at Gold Coast, Hobart and the Australian Open, falling to Maria Kirilenko, Aiko Nakamura and Kaia Kanepi, respectively. Her next two tournaments went well, as she has a semifinal showing at Bogota where she fell to Roberta Vinci and made it all the way to the final of Acapulco, where she lost to Émilie Loit. Then she lost four straight matches at Indian Wells, Miami, Amelia Island and Charleston. She managed to take a win from Arantxa Parra Santonja at Estoril before getting overpowered by Gisela Dulko. Then came another streak of first round losses - at Berlin, Rome, and the French Open. At Barcelona, Flavia made it to the semis, where she was beaten by Meghann Shaughnessy. Then at 's-Hertogenbosch, she defeated Karin Knapp and Tatjana Malek to make it to the quarterfinals, where she lost to Dinara Safina. She was eliminated in the First Round of the Wimbledon Championships. She made it to the semifinals of Biella, falling to Agnieszka Radwańska.

Pennetta started 2008 by losing in the second round of the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts in Gold Coast to Dinara Safina. Pennetta then reached the semifinals of the Moorilla Hobart International, where she lost to eventual champion Eleni Danilidou. At the Australian Open, she defeated Dominika Cibulková of Slovakia in the first round but fell to the 30th-seeded Virginie Razzano in the second round. Pennetta then played for Italy's Fed Cup team versus Spain. She played one singles match versus Anabel Medina Garrigues and lost. Pennetta won her first title of the year at the Cachantún Cup in Viña del Mar, Chile, defeating Klára Zakopalová in the final. However, she lost in the first round of the Copa Colsanitas to Betina Jozami. Pennetta then won her second title of the year at the Acapulco Open, beating Alizé Cornet in the final.

As the 30th seed, Pennetta received a bye in the first round of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. She then defeated Kaia Kanepi in the second round, but was defeated by fellow Italian Francesca Schiavone in the third round. She also fell to defending champion Serena Williams at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida in the third round . Pennetta then lost in the second round of the Estoril Open to Iveta Benešová. Pennetta defeated Olga Savchuk in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before losing to defending champion Jelena Janković in the second round. She then withdrew from her quarterfinal match against Anabel Medina Garrigues at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. At the French Open, Pennetta defeated eighth-seeded Venus Williams in the third round before losing to Carla Suárez Navarro in the fourth round. Pennetta lost in the first round of her first tournament on grass at the Ordina Open, to Sania Mirza.

She then defeated Julia Vakulenko in the first round of Wimbledon before losing to Ai Sugiyama in the second round. She then played at the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo and lost to eventual champion, fellow Italian Sara Errani, in the semifinals. Pennetta then lost in the final of the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles to Dinara Safina. At the following tournament, the Rogers Cup, Pennetta was defeated by a qualifier, Michelle Larcher de Brito, in the second round. She was then the part of the Italian Olympic team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing; however lost to Kaia Kanepi in the first round. Pennetta also reached the second round of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut. At the US Open, she defeated Stefanie Vögele in the first round, Shuai Peng in the second round, former World No. 3 Nadia Petrova in the third round, and former World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round before losing to Safina in the quarterfinals. That was Pennetta's best career performance at a Grand Slam tournament.

Moving forward to 2011, Pennetta began her year at the 2011 Medibank International Sydney, where in her first match she defeated qualifier Lucie Hradecká. In the second round, Flavia went on to defeat world number 2 Vera Zvonareva in a tough match. She went on to lose to Bojana Jovanovski in the quarterfinals. At the 2011 Australian Open, Pennetta won her first round match against Anastasia Rodionova. In her second round match, she successfully defeated Lourdes Domínguez Lino. In her third round match, Pennetta came up victorious against Shahar Pe'er in a three-set battle, in which she rallied from deficits several times throughout the match. She lost to Czech player Petra Kvitová in the fourth round. She did, however, capture her first career Grand Slam doubles title in the Doubles competition, again partnering Dulko and beating Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko in the final.

In Fed Cup, she helped two-time reigning champion Italy defeat Australia with wins in two singles rubbers over Samantha Stosur and Jarmila Groth. She is currently on a ten-match singles winning streak in Fed Cup, dropping only one set in that span and has clinched four of Italy's last five ties. She has not lost in Fed Cup competition since 2009 against Svetlana Kuznetsova, and has compiled a stellar 20–4 overall singles record.[8] At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Pennetta was 11th seeded. In the first round she defeated wildcard-receiver Jelena Dokić. She succeeded to the semifinal after defeating Klára Zakopalová, Victoria Azarenka and Alisa Kleybanova respectively. However, there she was defeated by Svetlana Kuznetsova.

As the 21st seed at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Pennetta eased past Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa before seeing off Evgeniya Rodina of Russia to reach to the third round. She then fell to Marion Bartoli of France, seeded 9th in a very close epic match with Bartoli edging the win. On 28 February, Pennetta became the first-ever Italian tennis player (male or female) to be ranked World No. 1 in doubles. Pennetta was the 26th seed at the 2011 US Open. she defeated Aravane Rezaï, Romina Oprandi, 3rd seed Maria Sharapova, and 13th seed Peng Shuai to reach the US Open quarterfinals for the third time, where she lost to Angelique Kerber.

More about Flavia at: www.wtatennis.com

source: www.wikipedia.org


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