Flavia Pennetta is undoubtedly one of the greatest Italian tennis players in the history of the Game. The now former Apulian player won the US Open in 2015 in the historical all-Italian final with Roberta Vinci, and amazed all tennis fans with incredible performances.
It is therefore no coincidence that her name ended up among the candidates to enter the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Pennetta's rivals will be Carlos Moya, her former partner, Ana Ivanovic, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Cara Black and Lisa Raymond.
In a recent interview to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pennetta talked about the competition to enter in the Newport Hall of Fame, but also telling some anecdote on Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic. She said: "I'm sending messages to friends, I'll use Instagram, I see many enthusiastic Italian tennis fans, I am struck by the media attention given to the news.
Okay, everything is broth to keep visibility high compared to the other candidates. Ivanovic? Along with Serena Williams, my worst rival, by the way.
Pennetta: "In my day Emma Raducanu would never have won a Slam"
I couldn't figure out where she was pulling her, she was driving me crazy.
Five matches, between singles and doubles, and five defeats from Wimbledon 2005 to Miami 2014. What a anger! Clashing with Moya is funny, it makes me laugh: it will be a tough nut to crack because he stayed on the Tour with Rafael Nadal and enjoys great visibility.
Ferrero worries me less. I gave body and soul to tennis, I had fun always respecting my opponents, I had a wonderful career, which ended with a Grand Slam victory at the age of 33. I think I have given something, in terms of results and emotions, to my sport."
Pennetta finally commented on the great balance present in the WTA Tour, especially talking about Emma Raducanu, winner of the US Open 2021. She said: "I don't like it. What is happening, this very strong discontinuity, in my opinion is not good for tennis.
In my time it could never have happened that a young girl played from qualifying, like Emma Raducanu in New York, to win a Grand Slam. Top athletes made too much difference. There is something wrong. Charisma is missing, so women's tennis is more difficult to sell."