Saturday, September 12, 2015
F. PENNETTA/R. Vinci
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did it come a little more easily than you may have thought it was, today’s match?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Not really. I mean, the first set was a little bit of drama. Both of us were starting really tight from the beginning. I mean, was not easy to play today with one of your best friends in the tour, with one you know since long time.
A lot of emotion coming together since yesterday. It’s not easy to handle everything. But I’m really happy, because the first set was really tough.
In the second one I started to play a little bit better, so I’m really proud of everything this week.
Q. What do you think you and Roberta proved to yourselves and proved to everybody?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I think in woman’s Italian tennis now since already few years it’s really big, big moment for us in Italy and around the world.
So we just — I think we didn’t prove too much. I mean, we already proved during this year how we are, how good we are in what we are doing, how much heart we put all the time when we get in the court.
So it’s amazing to have the chance to play with one of your friends. Anyway, like before, like before the match we say doesn’t matter. We’re gonna win. It’s going to be a big win for both of us. It’s going to be a really big win for both of us.
It’s something amazing, something — I didn’t think to be here. She didn’t think neither to be here today. So it’s amazing for our country. Is amazing for everyone.
Q. Could you elaborate for us or explain that you are retired as of right now or you will play till the end of the year?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No, no, I will play until the end of year, but was my last match here in New York.
Q. So what will you play now until the end of the year? You will not play the Olympics?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: For the moment it’s not on my goals.
Q. What will you play between now and the end of the year?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I’m supposed to play Wuhan, Beijing. That’s the only two I supposed to play.
I think is gonna be the schedule the same. I don’t gonna change too much.
Q. Do you have a wedding date set?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No. (Smiling.) Not yet.
Q. You’re playing so well. Why are you retiring?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Ah, why? Because sometimes it’s getting hard for me to compete. This is the important point. When you are in the court, when you have to play 24 weeks in the year, you have to fight every week.
And if you don’t fight every week in the same way I did today, it’s gonna be like bad. For me, also. And I don’t feel to have this power anymore sometimes.
So this is the perfect moment, I think. Was a really hard decision to make, but I’m really happy that I did it. I’m really happy and proud of myself.
Q. You’re No. 6 now in the race to Singapore. Would you ever try to add maybe one more event if you needed to?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Well, of course. If I have a chance, of course.
Q. When the Olympics came up, you kind of hedged a little. Is there room for you to change your mind and maybe…
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Not really. I mean, for the moment I’m so happy that I take this decision. I don’t feel — I don’t want to change nothing. I mean, I really think it’s the good way. You never know.
But for sure this one was the last New York for me. For sure.
Q. Does winning the US Open make it tougher to walk away from tennis or does it make it easier because you’re kind of going out on top?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, it will be the same. Winning or lose today, it was nothing going to change. The decision was already there. I think this is the best way that someone have — if I have to dream about how I want to finish, I want to stop playing, this is the perfect way.
Q. You told ESPN that you made your decision in Toronto.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah.
Q. Why was that the time that it was clear in your mind?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Um, because I was doing — I had a bad moment also in Roland Garros where I was almost — three days before I was thinking to withdraw myself from the tournament.
And then I keep just trying and fight and everything was going pretty good. But when you starting to think too much, it’s the time like where you have to take like a decision, going or stop. You have to do that.
And sometimes we are more scared to take the decision because we don’t know what we like or we’re going to do after, how is going to be the life after.
But I think it’s going to be a pretty good life. I mean, I’m really proud of myself. I think I did everything that I expect. More. Much more. Much more, I can say.
I mean, it’s great to do that for me.
Q. So when you made your decision to retire, how many people did you tell?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: My team, my coach, my physio, my physical coach, my family, and Fabio.
Q. Next year now when you’re retired and back in Italy, when you will think back on this year’s US Open, what is the one word or the one phrase that would best capture this US Open?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I think it’s today I have all the — not the problems, but, you know, you starting when you are really young and you make a lot of decision, hard decision to make. You lose so many things when you’re young.
I mean, with this, winning today, it’s — my life is perfect. (Smiling.) So I cannot say something different. Perfect.
Q. Why did you win today?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Why?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Ah, because I was really consistent from the beginning of the match. I didn’t play my best tennis today. I have to say I was scared and tight from the beginning.
Was not easy for me to hit the ball in the same way that I did yesterday. Roberta was playing unbelievable. I mean, she was moving good and doing perfect things all the time, but in the second set she start to be a little bit tired.
So I was focused and try to push myself to do something more, to going for the match; the match point was perfect. I mean, I push, and I make it.
Q. What did the prime minister say to you after the match?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I was so happy, so happy for us. He say, You don’t gonna understand what happen now in Italy. I mean, it’s good that you are here. He was talking with me and Roberta, because we was together. Because in Italy now is going to be crazy. It’s good to stay here a few days, just relax a little bit, and then go back home.
Q. What effect do you think your decision to retire had on the way you played and the way you were thinking, the way you were doing everything during this tournament?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Sometime is getting in my mind, but I didn’t think too much about that. I was just focused on my game. I didn’t think, Oh, this is my last one, oh, this is my last one, oh, this is my last one.
No. I didn’t think at all like this. I just try to play every match, just play tennis. I don’t want to think what I gonna do after if I win or lose. Just play tennis. Go on court and play tennis. That’s was my goal in the last two weeks.
Q. So what do you think the biggest reason you were able to do all this is?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Oh, well, I didn’t start really well the tournament. I have to say the first match was tough, the second one was easy, the score, but I was shaking so much. And when I have to go to the match with Niculescu, Cetkovska, I play so bad the first time I was in panic completely. I was panic attack. I cannot move. I cannot breathe. I cannot do nothing.
So maybe I’m here just because I’m trying. I was fighting a lot. Every point. Just point by point try to do my best all the time and suddenly it’s coming. I mean, yesterday was a perfect day, because I play really well.
And today I didn’t play so well, but enough to win. So I’m happy.
Q. You talked yesterday about getting very little sleep the night before my semifinals.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah, tonight I did not sleep at all.
Q. Not at all?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No, a little bit, yes. From 1:00 to 8:00. That was good. Not bad.
Q. We’d like to have seven hours of sleep.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: (Laughter.)
Q. When did you tell Roberta? Was it when you were hugging at the net or sitting on the chairs?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Sitting on the chairs.
Q. Is that when she hit you on the arm?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah.
Q. Because she couldn’t believe? What exactly did you say and what was her reaction?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I told her, Roberta, this is my last New York. And she say, che? Che? Huh? I say, Yes. No way. (In Italian.) It’s perfect. Go. Go.
Q. You said on ESPN your night against Stosur was the one that maybe gave you the belief you could win the whole tournament.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Well, not to believe that I can win the tournament, but at least I play my good tennis in that match, and so I starting to feel better and better.
Q. Did you receive any congratulations from Francesca Schiavone?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yes, of course.
Q. She’s a little bit part of your success because she was the first to win a Grand Slam.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Of course. She send a messages to both of us, because we have chat with four of us. You cannot see this chat because it’s crazy. (Laughter.)
And then she send me like a voice message yesterday, and she starting to laugh, Ha ha, now it’s your turn. Breathe. You have to go to the toilet, eh, so many times? (Laughter.)
Francesca, she’s always like this. I didn’t talk to her now because I didn’t have the chance to take a phone — I just called my mom and my dad.
Q. A lot of people wouldn’t understand how the world 26 could play the 43rd ranked player in a Grand Slam final. I’m just curious what that says about the depth of women’s tennis, and do you think it gives belief to lower ranked players they can climb to the top?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, it’s happen because now I think the woman tennis, it’s a little bit — it’s not like 10 years ago where the top 10 was really high level.
I mean, it’s not that they are not more high level. It’s the one behind them they are coming stronger.
So now everything can happen. Yesterday, I mean, everyone knows Serena, she’s the best player. She’s supposed to win this tournament.
But sometimes also she can have a bad day. Yesterday for her was not a good day at all. Was a really good day for Robi, and she deserved to be here today. Was perfect for both of us.
Q. How much higher do I think that level is from, say, 10 years ago, from 1 to 50?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Now from 11 to 100, it’s much harder than before, I think.
Q. You and Roberta go way back as friends. Did you actually live together when you were kids?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah, yeah. We spend four years or three years in a house together in the same room in Rome in the Italian Federation.
So we know each other really well. I mean, we have so many things in our life happening together. It’s funny to be here today, because we play the first match when we were nine years old in Brindisi, in my country club. So today was a really big day for both of us.
Q. How is she as a roommate? Neat? Clean?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: She’s perfect. (Laughter).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Saturday, September 12, 2015
F. PENNETTA/R. Vinci
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you just tell us, what are your first memories of Flavia, your earliest memories of meeting her?
ROBERTA VINCI: That she beat me. (Smiling.) No, I’m joking.
I don’t know. We know each other for long time, so maybe when I saw her in my mind I remember all the moments that we spend together when I was young. But one thing, I don’t know.
Q. Was it on a tennis court, the first time you saw her, or…
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no, in the tennis court. In the tennis court, yes, yes.
Q. Do you remember where or what?
ROBERTA VINCI: Where, I don’t remember. Long time no.
Q. Can you share about the hug at the net, what she said to you…
ROBERTA VINCI: I cannot tell you.
Q. You have no idea?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no.
Q. And also courtside what…
ROBERTA VINCI: No, I said to her, Congratulation, Well done, enjoy. You played better than me today, so.
That’s it. And she said, This is my last match on the US Open, so now I have to speak and tell to everyone that this is my last match.
I say, No. That’s it.
Q. What did you think at that moment? You must have been very shocked, I would imagine.
ROBERTA VINCI: When she said me that? Yeah. Was incredible. I didn’t expect that.
But just her choice, so it’s okay.
Q. What do you think the difference was today?
ROBERTA VINCI: I was tired. I was tired especially the first set.
I think she played better. She was more solid than me and she play much better backhand, long line, and she served better than me today.
She play better, yeah.
Q. What do you think this weekend means for the sport with all that has happened?
ROBERTA VINCI: I think it’s an incredible moment for all Italian people. So now when I come back at home, I can realize what we made, because now for me not is normal, no. But I’m in New York, okay, I’m in the hotel, just have fun, but I would like to come back and try to understood what I did.
Q. Do you still plan to make that 10:00 flight tonight or…
ROBERTA VINCI: (Laughter.) I have a private jet.
No, no, no, I don’t know. No, no, I don’t take 10:00.
Q. Will you celebrate with Flavia tonight?
ROBERTA VINCI: Maybe not. No, no, I don’t know. No, I don’t think so. Maybe. Maybe. I will ask, but I don’t know. I don’t know her program.
Q. You played the week before this event in New Haven, didn’t you?
ROBERTA VINCI: Si.
Q. Was that an advantage, to make a tournament before the US Open? Because I know a lot of players don’t play the week before.
ROBERTA VINCI: I like to play the week before the slam because I prefer to play — I prefer to play matches because I don’t like to practice one hour in the morning, okay, one hour in the afternoon. I prefer to play one match.
So, yeah, some players doesn’t like. They prefer to rest and practice, but I like to play. So it’s a good choice for me.
Q. Why the Italian women are much more successful than the men, Italian men?
ROBERTA VINCI: Aye. (Laughter) I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s a cycle. You know, sometimes the womens are better than the men, but now in Italy there are good men, good men Italian player.
Fognini, Seppi, they are good. Step by step. Now probably they will come better.
Q. What was it like playing in your first final, first slam final? What was the experience like being out there?
ROBERTA VINCI: I don’t know now. I don’t know. Maybe if you tell me this question in about more days, I can tell you.
But now it’s strange. I didn’t expect this. I’m so happy that I reach the final. Against Flavia is strange, but I’m really happy, yeah, even when I lost.
Q. Did you feel the raindrops? Were you hoping it would start raining and maybe you would get a break?
ROBERTA VINCI: When starts rain, I was 5-2 down and Love-30, so I say, two more points. (Laughter.)
So I say — No, no, I didn’t think nothing. No.
Q. What do you think the two of you proved to yourselves and proved to everybody else this weekend?
ROBERTA VINCI: (Speaking in Italian.) Miracles can happen.
Q. How about in English?
ROBERTA VINCI: What? Miracles can happen. Because I beat Serena, miracle. (Laughter.)
And then two Italian can reach the Grand Slam final, a miracle. Cycle miracle. And, bo…
One Italian player can win a Grand Slam.
Q. There is a famous fellow from your country, I think his name is Leonardo Da Vinci. Any connection?
ROBERTA VINCI: No. (Laughter.)
Q. How was his forehand?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no, no. No, my uncle. No. (Laughter).
Q. Did you and Flavia talk before the match?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yes, yes, yes.
Q. As normal?
ROBERTA VINCI: In the gym, and about the time that we play maybe a little bit late. Normal thing.
Q. If you had played another opponent would your feeling be different? Not that you ever like to lose, but is it easier that you lost to your countrywoman and it was a great day for Italian tennis?
ROBERTA VINCI: (Through translation.) If you lost against Flavia, if you lost against Wozniacki, if you lost against Serena, always the same. You lost, no?
So now I’m happy that one Italian player won a Grand Slam. That’s for sure. But it’s normal. Nothing special.
Q. You said you had nerves yesterday against Serena.
ROBERTA VINCI: Si.
Q. Any today?
ROBERTA VINCI: Also today. Yeah, you know, it’s a final. I try my best. The beginning I was nervous, but also her. Was normal.
I try to, yeah, to play aggressive, but she play better. For me was tough. I was a little bit also tired and long point. I had such…
Q. It didn’t make it easier that it was a friend who you were playing?
ROBERTA VINCI: No. Is tough to play against one friend. I know Flavia for long time, so it’s difficult, especially mentally, mental.
Was difficult for both, I think. Not only for me.
Q. In the last day, what are the best reactions that you have received to what you did yesterday, both the match and your interview after?
ROBERTA VINCI: I receive a lot of congratulations about my interview, but my English is so bad. The press say, Congratulations, Good job. Because I beat Serena? No, for your interview. Grazie. Thank you.
I’m not joking. Is true. Thank you. I need to improve my English, eh?
Q. It was very good.
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no, no, not very good. But I can do it.
Q. How was the crowd different today than yesterday?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, the same. It was amazing. It was a lot of supports, a lot of people. The court is incredible. Is the best court I think in the Grand Slam. Center court is so nice.
Q. What did the it mean that the prime minister was there?
ROBERTA VINCI: It’s a good thing for us and also for I think Italian people is nice to see Renzi, Malagò, and Binaghi all there to support us.
Q. It’s been a great tournament for you. Why do you think you were able to do this at this point in your career?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, maybe because I’m, yeah, I have a lot of experience. I had such result in the past; I had nothing to prove.
I’m almost at the end of my career, so I think I enjoy more the tennis and the practice and this life.
Q. Just to be clear, you’re not retiring?
ROBERTA VINCI: Maybe. No, no, no, no. Not yet (Smiling.) (In Italian.) Almost.
Q. Have you thought actively about retiring?
ROBERTA VINCI: Si. No, really. A lot of time during these years.
But, you know, I like to play tennis, so I have a passion and I work in art. Now I reach one final slam, so I’m happy.
Q. What are your emotions about all of this right now?
ROBERTA VINCI: About all?
Q. About everything. What are your emotions?
ROBERTA VINCI: I love New York. (Smiling.) Today probably this is my last cheeseburger, and then tomorrow pasta, real pasta at home.
But, no, I enjoy all the season, all the US Open season. I play so good. Yeah, my emotion are difficult to say, especially in English.