Pennetta waves goodbye forever after she loses to Sharapova

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Flavia Pennetta: in her last WTA match. Jimmie48 Tennis Photography.

SINGAPORE — Say goodbye Flavia Pennetta, who fell to Maria Sharapova 7-5 6-1.

With her 2015 U.S. Open trophy in her hands, Pennetta announced thus Woolf be her last season. If she had extended the match, she would have lived to play another day in the semifinals. But, Sharapova is a steamroller now and she denied Pennetta.

The 33-year-old Italian was very aggressive and forceful in the first set, but Sharapova kept going for her shots, moved forward and make sure that she wasn’t going to go side to side for a few hours.

After beating Radwanska on Sunday, Sharapova was thrilled. Since Wimbledon, she only had been able to play for half a match in Wuhan before she retired with an injury. Then she went to Europe to get her legs better and then she came over to Singapore early. She really wanted to get out on court and try it. She did not become injured again, could run as fast as she could, and could swing away with her powerful arms.

As Pennetta said, she played very well, but Sharapova was on fire, especially in the second set, wracking winners. Her huge serve, her massive forehands and backhands, and her ability to charge the net and not go backwards showed how confident she is.

“I was playing I think really well. I just has one game in the 4‑3 where I play a little bit worse,” Pennetta said. “I had two double fault, and so I lost my chance I think on that game. But I think was really good game. She play unbelievable. I didn’t remember see Maria playing so good and serving so good from ‑‑ the second set was perfect for her doing everything, drop shot, volley. Everything was work good for her.”

The last time they played, Pennetta out-stroked Sharapova at Indian Wells last March. That time, Pennetta was dictating once they got into rallies. But on Thursday, the five-time Grand Slam was under control

“It’s strange, I have to say,” Pennetta said. “Before the tournament I didn’t expect to see Maria so focus and so good and everything. Sometimes it’s good to stay away a little bit. You recover and you have more energy. You come with more ambition. So sometimes you need to stay away for a while. So for her, of course it’s working really good.”

Sharapova said wanted to be 100 percent before she got to Singapore, and she wanted to make sure that she is fully healthy. She did not want to have to stop again. She hit the gym and practiced when she could.

“So in a way, yeah, you’re taking a break, but you’re still working towards staying fit and strong and mentally positive,” Sharapova said. “You still have to work a lot. You don’t just sit around and hope that you feel better one day.”

Pennetta is retired now, but she doesn’t realize it yet. She says that she feels happy, but she didn’t want to stay on the court after she was done, as she didn’t want to cry. She will miss seeing week in and wake out, but she can deal with that, as she will be around here and there at the tournaments, watching her fiancee, Fabio Fognini.

“I will miss the competition. When you go on the court, the central court, it’s something special,” she said. “I don’t think I will have it anymore.”

Sharapova doesn’t know whom she will play on Saturday. The US Open champion Pennetta doesn’t know what she is going to do on Saturday either.

Maybe she will rest, for the first time when Pennetta became a pro in 2000. Maybe she will just bounce the balls around. Pennetta isnt sure yet, but she is already smiling.

“I am really happy to start a new part of life, new things.”

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