Pennetta and Vinci enjoy La Dolce Vita at U.S. Open
By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Italian flag was waving proudly over the U.S. Open on Wednesday after Flavia Pennetta toppled fifth seed Petra Kvitova to join compatriot Roberta Vinci in the Flushing Meadows semi-finals.
Defying the odds and rankings, 30-somethings Pennetta and Vinci put their names in the record books by becoming the first two Italian women in the Open Era to advance to the last four of a grand slam.
"I think this is really important for our country. We did a lot of good things in the last 10 years. We have me, Roberta (Vinci), Francesca (Schiavone), Sara (Errani), now Camila (Giorgi) is coming also," Pennetta told reporters.
"So I think it's really good for Italian tennis.
" I'm very proud. Of course yesterday when I saw Roberta in the locker, I mean, I hug her and I say -- I mean, she was amazing."
The dream of an All-Italian U.S. Open final, however, will require some special magic particularly from the 32-year-old Vinci, who has the daunting task of facing world number one and three-times defending U.S. Open champion Serena Williams.
The 33-year old Pennetta will take on second-seeded Romanian Simona Halep, who advanced with a three-set win over twice U.S. Open finalist Victoria Azarenka.
Pennetta has always been at home on the New York hardcourts having now advanced to the quarter-finals or beyond in six of her last seven visits to the National Tennis Center. Continued...