Flavia Pennetta beat Coco Vandeweghe 6-1 6-2 in the fourth singles rubber of the Fed Cup final in San Diego, secured the second straight Fed Cup title for Italy and their third in five years. Italians believe that their close friendship, love of the game and their country plays a great role in their Fed Cup achievements.
Here are the words of Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti:
The secret is this is a team which has played with each other a lot and they all respect each other. And they love to play in this competition. In some way, they feel that this competition is their competition, our competition. It is almost like a love affair. They feel it's something very important to play for Italy, for their country.
And here’s what Pennetta said after winning her eighth successive Fed Cup match:
I really enjoy playing for my country and I really enjoy playing for this team. We are all friends with each other and we spend so much time together.
The final score of the Italy vs. the United States Fed Cup final is 3-1. Italy won the first two matches with Francesca Schiavone defeating Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-4, and Flavia Pennetta beating Bethanie Mattek Sands 7-6(4) 6-2. Melanie Oudin won that sole match for the US with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Schiavone. And finally, as mentioned, Pennetta clinched the victory.
The leader in the number of Fed Cup titles is still the US with 17, Australia has seven, the Czech Republic and Spain follow with five, Russia has four, and Italy has three now. (source: Reuters, photo via Fed Cup)