Thanks to Ben Rothenberg, I came across this wonderful 16-year-old photo of our US Open finalists Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, who together won the girls’ doubles French Open title in 1999 as teenagers. You know I love these throwbacks and have the entire Little Tennis Stars section dedicated to old photos of WTA players. Actually, Pennetta has already been featured, her first tennis photos and young pics in a romantic white dress.
The upcoming US Open final is historic in so many ways, but let’s mention just the most important facts that make it stand out:
- It’s the first all-Italian Grand Slam final in the Open Era;
- Pennetta (33 years, 6 months) and Vinci (32 years, 6 months) are the oldest Grand Slam finalists in the Open Era and also with their combined age (66 years, 19 days) this is the oldest Grand Slam final;
- This is the first time at the US Open since the inception of computerized rankings (November 1975) that both finalists have been ranked outside the Top 20 (Pennetta No.26, Vinci No. 43).
When it comes to their head-to-head stats, Pennetta leads 5-4, while their last meeting was at the 2013 US Open and Pennetta beat Vinci to advance to her career-first Grand Slam semifinal. This fortnight, Vinci recorded the biggest surprise of the tournament by stopping world No.1 Serena Williams in the semis, but overall Pennetta’s road to the final included higher ranked opponents on average (No. 49 to Vinci’s No.126) and Pennetta spent less time on court on average (1h 26 min to Vinci’s 1h 53 min).