‘I retired with no regrets, having received more than what I would have ever expected’. Flavia Pennetta spoke to Vanity Fair about the retirement decision showing conviction in what she did and much serenity, given also thanks to her love with fellow countryman Fabio Fognini.
Asked when the friendship became love between her and Fabio, she said: ‘Two years and a half ago. We did not expect it: from a friendship and funny relationship, that had been going on for years when we were both engaged, we found ourselves one day speaking the same way but having different expressions and feelings. And one evening on the sofa we kissed. It was strange to kiss: it seemed like we have always known each other like we had already kissed for all our life’.
According to Repubblica, they will get marry next 11 June in Ostuni, Italy (in Puglia) and will celebrate the wedding in Fasano in a luxury resort.
But does the Italian miss tennis? ‘At the moment no, I don’t. I played two Saturdays ago, after two months since I last touched a racket, and only because Fabio was at his home in Arma di Taggia (Italy, they live in Barcelona) and did not know who to practice with.
I couldn’t stop laughing even for a minute! Why? I enjoy tennis, I like it. It has always been a family passion but no one thought I would have become strong.
My father was focused on my sister, who is six years older, but she decided to stop at 16. Meanwhile, I used to practice against the wall’.
Becoming a professional tennis player means to make sacrifices. Asked about what she has missed of her childhood, US Open champion said: ‘When you are young everything seems beautiful, you do not think about pieces of the life you are losing: friends birthdays, your father that turns 60. Then one day you come back home and you see your grandmother who has become older and then you suddenly realize all that you have missed. To me, it happened at 27. For years in the interviews, I kept saying again and again that I would have stopped to play at 30. Instead, I continued three more years: I still had energy and I had lost nine months in 2012 when I had wrist surgery’.