Flavia Pennetta is an Italian professional tennis player who turned pro in February 25, 2000. Born on February 25, 1982 in Brindisi, Puglia, she was introduced to tennis by her father at the age of five. She has six Women’s Tennis Association singles titles under her belt. She played in the ITF circuit in Italy in 1997 and in 1998 won two ITF Circuit doubles titles. Pennetta fell in the qualifying matches at Rome and Palermo in the following year but rebounded with two more doubles titles and well as two singles titles.
2000 and 2001 were uneventful years for the Italian player, although by 2002 she broke in to the top 100 on September 23. In 2003 she made her draw debuts at all four Grand Slams, reaching the 3rd round at Roland Garros. Pennetta finished in the top 50 in 2004. She won at Sopot beating Zakopalova in the final and rose to no. 45 on August 16.
Her first top ten win was in Rome over no. 6 Petrova. She also won another ITF Circuit singles title in the same year. Her second top ten win was against no.5 Henin, and she went on to reach the fourth round in Wimbledon. Pennetta lost the match to Pierce, a loss that she made up for by winning the Los Angeles title and finishing as a runner-up at the US Open.
She started 2006 with an impressive first half, which was unfortunately cut short due to injuries (right ankle sprain in the spring and a left wrist injury). She rose to the no. 16th spot and won her second career Tours title in Bogota.
She nearly fell out of the top 100 in 2007 but regained her footing in the fall, eventually placing at the top 40 in the ranks for the fourth straight year. Notable wins in 2007 include her defeat of Venus Williams on the way to her 4th WTA title at the PTT Bangkok Open in 2007. She again defeated Williams, seeded at no.8 in the third round at the 2008 French Open, despite being seeded at 26.
Pennetta has nine Women’s Tennis Association singles titles and 14 WTA doubles titles. She reached the fourth round at the 2008 French Open and at Wimbledon in 2005 and 2006, and the third round at the 2006 Australian Open. She is currently at No. 18 as of October 2011, but her highest ranking in singles is at No. 10 which she achieved in August 17, 2009. Her highest rank in doubles, on the other hand is at No. 1, which she reached in February 2011.