Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Flavia Pennetta defeated an injury-hampered Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-1, Sunday to win her 10th and biggest WTA title of her career at the BNP Paribas Open.
Pennetta capitalized on Radwanska’s knee injury as she cruised to victory in one hour and 13 minutes.
Radwanska, who was treated during the match for a knee injury, was clearly far from her best, making 18 unforced errors in the first set alone and never found her groove in the match.
The title was the biggest for Pennetta, who won her one in a regular Premier event and eight in the International level.
“I’m happy. Really happy,” Pennetta said. “I think I need a few days to realize this. Right now I’m too calm, I think. I called my dad, and he couldn’t breathe. I told him, ‘Papa, breathe!’
“After so many years and so much work and everything, this is the moment I was waiting for. And it comes when you least expect it. In the beginning of the tournament I never expected to be the champion, or even be in the final or semifinal. I was just here trying to play my best tennis,” she added.
A year ago, Pennetta was just coming back from a six-month wrist surgery lay-off after falling out of the Top 100. She announced her comeback with a run to the semifinals of the US Open and a stint in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
With the win, the Italian will rise from No.21 to No.12 now. Her career-high is No.10, which she set back in 2009.
Pennetta’s win over the No.3-ranked Radwanska was also the seventh win of her career over a Top 3 player. The first six of those Top 3 wins came at the expense of then No.1 Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki, Radwanska and No.2 Li Na.