Pennetta stunned the tennis world by announcing her retirement during the trophy ceremony, by saying that she had "made a big decision a month ago" and that "this is how I say goodbye to tennis."
She later clarified in post-match press conference that this was her last U.S. Open but that she would continue playing until the end of the year. She became the oldest first-time Grand Slam winner ever, and also the person who played the most major tournaments (49) before capturing a title. (The previous record holder was Marion Bartoli who had played 47 majors before winning Wimbledon in 2013; she decided to retire within a month of that victory.)
By winning this match, Pennetta will receive $3.3 million, almost 30% of her previous career total of $10.5 million. In the stands was not only the Prime Minister of Italy who flew from Italy through the night, but also Pennetta's fiance' Fabio Fognini (ATP player currently ranked #32 who made a big splash at the tournament himself by eliminating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd round.)
Pennetta will move to World #8 in the rankings on Monday and could possibly qualify for the year-end championships in Singapore. Even though Serena's bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam ended yesterday against Vinci, she tweeted out her support for Flavia's win and reaction to the retirement news.