Flavia of the Month
The WTA & I Agree: Flavia Pennetta's a Perfect 10
Flavia Pennetta: Italy's First Top 10 Player
I only just discovered Flavia Pennetta, Italy's first tennis star to crack the Top 10 on the Sony Ericson Women's Tennis Tour, thanks to her outstanding run at the 2009 U.S. Open, where she lost (as expected) to a pre-meltdown Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
She ain't no flag hag: Neopolitan 'nockout Flavia Pennetta, representin'
The 27-year-old got a lot of much-deserved press in August when she became Italy's first top 10 female player (after previously having been tied for the national record of No. 11 with Farina Elia and Francesca Schiavone) - and even more after fighting off six match points in her gutsy come-from-behind 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0 fourth round win over Russian nutjob Vera Zvonareva (the world No. 7 whose tears-and-ranting exit from Flushing Meadows was accompanied by the retort "I hate this city!") - but what impressed me even more than her grit and moto bene volleying was her beauty. Mama mia, Flavia is bellisimo!
Former French Open champion Carlos Moya obviously thought so, as the two were a couple up until Wimbledon 2007. (Curiously, they only played one mixed doubles match together, which they lost. Guess it wasn't meant to be.)
A view privy only to few (like Moya)
Sartorially, Flavia is also very stylish in her attire (a national attribute, perhaps?), which is to be expected when your clothing sponsor is Sergio Tacchini - the most stylish (along with K-Swiss) brand name on the tennis tour in my not-so-humble opinion. And, being of her Twentysomething generation, on the skin-deep-beauty front I noticed she has some ink, which may or may not be the result of Carlos' influence - his signature look is the sleeveless tank top that shows off his inked guns.
Generation Ink: Note the "tramp stamp" at base of spine;
she also has a tat on her inside wrist
The late-bloomer (27 is relatively old in tennis terms) is certainly in outstanding form at the moment. She was 21-3 in her matches following Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open eliminated Edina Gallovits, Sania Mirza and Aleksandra Wozniak in straight sets (losing only six games in the process) before her dramatic match against Zvonareva. According to Wikipedia, Pennetta has defeated multiple Grand Slam singles champions such as Justine Henin (at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2005), Martina Hingis (in Gold Coast, Australia at the beginning of the 2006 tour), Amélie Mauresmo (at the 2008 US Open en-route to her first Grand Slam singles quarterfinal), Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and former World No. 1 Jelena Janković (at the 2008 Zürich Open). Pennetta is also one of only seven women to beat Venus Williams three consecutive times. She has eight career singles titles (six on clay) in the WTA and seven on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit. In doubles, she reached the 2005 US Open final with her partner Elena Dementieva, and is currently ranked No. 21 with six career WTA titles to her name. As a 17-year-old junior, she won the 1999 French Open in girls' doubles with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci.
On the home front, the Brindisi, Italy native was pronounced a Knight of Order of Merit of the Republic on January 24, 2007 by the President of Italy. She's represented her country on the Italian Fed Cup Team in 2003 and from 2005-2009 and was a member of the 2008 Italian Olympic Team.
Oh behave, Flavia Flav!
Flavia's in the swing of things in her current form
No. 10 and moving on up...
Playing the Field
The WTA's Toothsome Twosome: Pennetta and Wozniacki
Flavia's also got the personality to match her natural beauty. Along with Caroline Wozniacki, Flavia's one of the the most popular WTA players for Sony Ericsson stunts and back in August they ran tennis balls down the Yale Bowl football field to promote the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament in New Haven. Watch the video below.
Pince Me: I Think I'm Dreaming...
Flavia Pennetta also appears in this Crab TV spot promoting the Mexican Tennis Open.
Flavia Pennetta Website (www.flavia-pennetta.com)
Flavia Pennetta (Wikipedia)