Flavia Pennetta sealed Fed Cup victory for Italy with a straight-sets win over US teenager Melanie Oudin in Reggio Calabria.
After comfortable wins for Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone yesterday, the world number 11 defeated 18-year-old Oudin 7-5 6-2 to give the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Without the Williams sisters, the USA were always up against it on the clay - and Italy’s greater experience told as they added a second Fed Cup title to their previous victory in 2006.
“It’s a very nice feeling,” said Pennetta, who this year became the first Italian woman in history to break into the top 10, on www.fedcup.com.
“We worked hard to get to this point and finally we make it. In the beginning of the week everyone expects so many things, and we were very nervous. But now we are 3-0 – and we can enjoy.”
Oudin has shot to fame this year with impressive runs at Wimbledon and the US Open and is seen as the great hope of American tennis.
“I think I could have played better on some points,” she said.
“In the first set it was so close, and I had a lot of chances – so I feel like if a couple things had gone my way or if I had hit this shot on that point, then it would have changed the momentum in the match.
“Some day, when I’m in the Fed Cup final again, I hope I’ll be able to pull on the win.”