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Pennetta: Women’s tennis lacks a superstar after Serena Williams & Maria Sharapova

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Former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta says that the women’s game currently lacks a new young superstar after Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

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Flavia Pennetta says that women’s tennis lacks a superstar after Serena Williams & Maria Sharapova
In an interview for La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Pennetta says, “In the men, there is Federer, Nadal and Djokovic who have created an incredible history of tennis in the last 15 years, but behind them there are already solid and consistent young people.

In the women, there is no longer the icon, the one that “sells” tickets. Serena Williams is still there, but she too is starting to struggle. Sharapova retired and was an icon, even off the court. On one hand, every tournament is fun because almost anyone can win, but this makes us think because before the top 10 were one notch, or rather two, above the others.”

While Pennetta has ruled out a comeback to tennis although her husband Fabio Fognini would like her to do so, she says she will always remain connected to the sport. “There is still tennis in my life. I like to play, I like to follow it.

It is something that I am not very close to today because I have small children. And I focus on them, but I think I will always remain tied to tennis in some way. Even if I don’t know yet which one.” Pennetta also says that she misses the tennis of the earlier generation which she grew up with.

“Tennis of the time of Sabatini, Agassi, Graf, Seles, Capriati is wonderful. I grew up with them, I had Monica’s poster behind the door. It is tennis that I personally miss, because it is what I grew up with. Probably the young people of today do not even know who they are.”

Maria and Williams

38 year old Flavia Pennetta became the first Italian to be ranked world No. 1 in doubles in February 2011. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in 2015. She won ten other WTA singles titles, including the 2014 Indian Wells Masters and helped Italy win the Fed Cup team competition four times in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2013.

Her highlights in doubles include winning the 2010 WTA Finals and the 2011 Australian Open. Maria Sharapova retired in January this year. Serena Williams is still ranked in the Top 10 currently and turns 39 years old in September.

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“Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Opens up on His Relationship With Rival Novak Djokovic

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Many tennis fans wonder how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic get along outside the tennis court. Their conduct towards each other on the tennis court is always respectful, and that translates outside the court as well, as admitted by Nadal. The Spaniard spoke about his relationship with Djokovic, whom he called a good person.

“I have a good relationship with him. Is a good person. We must relativize things between us,”  Nadal said, in a recent interview, throwing light on his camaraderie with Djokovic.

There was also speculation among fans as to what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spoke about at the end of their French Open 2020 final. Interestingly, it was one of the most one-sided battles they have played over the years. However, Nadal said that Djokovic, with whom he shares a strong relationship, simply congratulated him and nothing more.

Rafael Nadal understands why Novak Djokovic did not say much

I could not talk to him. He congratulated me on the track and that’s it. It is normal,” Nadal said. He said he understands that Djokovic was not in a mood to talk, as no one usually is, after a heartbreaking loss.

When you lose a game like that, you don’t really want to talk. I understand it,” Nadal added.

Nadal avenged his one-sided loss in the 2019 Australian Open final against Djokovic. The two men also shared a respectful exchange during the trophy ceremony post their match. Nadal lauded Djokovic and said he hopes to keep facing him, further adding to their already great rivalry.

What you’re doing in tennis is very very special. Hope to keep facing you [Djokovic] on the court for the next couple of years,” Nadal said to Djokovic.

The mutual respect between the two stars

Despite not having a conversation with Nadal after the match, Djokovic spoke highly of Nadal in his post-match presser. Djokovic highlighted why Nadal is a great champion. He also admitted that it was one of those days where Nadal was simply the better player and there was not much he could do to tame the ‘King of Clay’.

I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today,” he said.

The two champions are expected to resume their rivalry at the ATP Finals next month. While they will not face each other in the Round Robin stage, the anticipation of another Nadal-Djokovic final is already running high.

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