Roberta Vinci loses against Alexandra Krunic in her farewell match in Rome

Roberta Vinci loses against Alexandra Krunic in her farewell match in Rome

Italian tennis star Roberta Vinci played her farewell match today at the Foro Italico in Rome and said good-bye to tennis after losing the final match of her career against Alexandra Krunic in the famous Nicola Pietrangeli Court during the first round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Krunic came back from one set down to beat former world number 7 Vinci 2-6 6-0 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes.

After the match Vinci was given an emotional reception from the crowd before the match on Court Pietrangeli. The 2015 US Open finalist received a wild card to play her final tournament in front of her home fans.

Vinci went up a break in the fourth game at 30 to take a 3-1 lead. Krunic broke straight back in the fifth game at 15 for 2-3 but Vinci got two consecutive breaks in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2.

Krunic hit 13 winners to just 4 unforced errors and broke three times in the second set, as she won 12 of the 15 points played on her return.

The Serbian player won eight consecutive games and to build up a 6-0 3-0 lead in the third set, before holding off a late charge from Vinci, who broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3.

Krunic won 12 of the final 14 points including two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games. Vinci fended off the first two match points she faced on serve, but Krunic closed out the match on her third opportunity, when Vinci netted her forehand.

“It’s just tough, because I personally like her very much. I played against Roberta three times and I knw her very well. In the first set I definitely did not deal well with my nerves. She played really well, but I was very nervous, very annoyed by everything. The crowd was amazing towards her. They were very loud, and it was tough to focus. I tried to keep my arm loose and let myself play my shots in the second set”, said Krunic.

Vinci ended a long career highlighted by her sensational win over Serena Williams in the semifinal of the 2015 US Open ending the US player’s dream to win the calendar Grand Slam. She then lost the final against her compatriot and close friend Flavia Pennetta at Flushing Meadows. She completed a career doubles Grand Slam and held world number 1 position in the doubles ranking. She was the fourth Italian player in history to reach the top 10 in the singles together Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani. Vinci became the oldest player to make her first appearance in the top 10 at 33 years.

Vinci won 10 singles titles and 25 doubles titles including the French Open and the US Open in 2012, the Australian Open in 2013 and 2014 and Wimbledon in 2014 together with her friend and teammate Sara Errani

“I am crying now, but I am happy. I am proud for what I have accomplished.. I will take a period of rest and I will reflect on my future plans. Today was a mix of relief and sadness when I was playing the final match of my career”, said Vinci.

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