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Tennis: Pennetta celebrates biggest career win

V for victory in bed with Fognini

17 March, 19:01
Tennis: Pennetta celebrates biggest career win (By Denis Greenan).

(ANSA) - Rome, March 17 - Flavia Pennetta on Monday celebrated the biggest singles win of her 15-year career, Sunday's 6-2 6-1 victory over world number 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Pennetta, 32, posted a picture on her Twitter account of her and Italian men's No 1 Fabio Fognini lying in bed giving a V for Victory sign.

"Assistant coach of the week!!! Really happy...Miami we come" she tweeted.

Pennetta has been romantically linked in the press recently with Fognini, the world No 14.

In an interview with Eurosport later Monday, Pennetta said: "I hadn't won a tournament for such a long time...I wanted to reach 10 in my career because double figures inspired me, and now I've done it.

"I've worked a lot to return to these levels," she added.

"I'm very happy, not euphoric, but perhaps I still have to get my head round this success.

"Where do I want to arrive? "I want to keep on like this, keep trying to do my best, to push on, to keep fighting for points, never give in".

As for Fognini, she said: "We're (just) friends, we've known each other for ages and right now we are putting up with each other".

Pennetta's victory was her first WTA singles win since 2010 and 10th in all, not counting the doubles where she has won 15 trophies.

Pennetta, who beat top-seeded Chinese Li Na, the world number two, in the Indian Wells semis, had an easier-than-expected win over an injured Radwanska.

The 20th seed was helped by the Pole's knee injury that required a lengthy medical time-out in the second set. Pennetta, who now climbs to 12th in the rankings, wrapped it up with six games in a row after an hour and 13 minutes. "It's incredible, something amazing," said Pennetta, the first Italian woman to get into the top 10, in August 2009. "The first set was I think pretty good. I tried to go for winners. Second set, I see she has a physical problem and I started thinking too much". Pennetta struggled with both a back and wrist injury after 2010, dropping as low as 166th in the world. She was considering retirement before reaching the semi-finals of the US Open last year. "The feeling and everything was so bad," she added. "And now, after one year, we have the trophy".

Radwanska, 25, said: "I think it's just the worst thing for a player to not give the 100%, especially in the final of the big event".

The president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malagò, said: "By winning at Indian Wells, Flavia gave us an evening of happiness. "I've been in touch with Flavia a lot over the past few days. On the one hand she was almost surprised by what she was doing, on the other she was calm and confident about her ability," the CONI chief said.

He said Pennetta's win was down to "determination and tenacity after all (her) physical problems, the operation on her wrist, and her return amid doubts.

"She had the eye of the tiger on the court".

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