Career

EARLY YEARS

1996

In 1996, she first makes her mark on the world of tennis by winning the Italian U14 Doubles Championship.

1997

In 1997, she wins the Italian U16 Championship, taking victory in both the singles and doubles competitions. She enters the ITF tournament circuit for the first time (three tournaments), but is knocked out in round two.

1998

In 1998, she is knocked out in the first round of qualifications for the Internationals in Palermo. She competes in five ITF tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals three times and winning two titles in the doubles. She wins the World Cup in the U18 doubles.

1999

In 1999, she fails to qualify for the Internationals in Rome and Palermo. She wins two tournaments on the ITF circuit (Grado and Cagliari), as well as securing two victories in the doubles (the third and fourth of her career). Together with Roberta Vinci, she wins the Roland Garros U18 doubles and the Bonfiglio trophy in Milan.

PROFESSIONAL

2000

On 25th February 2000, she enters the professional circuit. She is unsuccessful in her attempts to qualify for five WTA tournaments, including Wimbledon, Rome and Palermo. She competes in twelve ITF tournaments and reaches the quarter-finals in three of them. She reaches the final of the Italian Championship in Roseto.

2001

2001 is a disappointing year for Flavia: due to food poisoning, she only reaches the singles final at Alghero. She goes on to compete in another ITF semi-final. Fortunately, 2002 proves to be her best year yet: she wins $50,000 singles titles at three different ITF tournaments (Ortisei, Fano and Biella), and $10,000 at Rome Lanciani. In the doubles she takes home five titles: Brindisi, Fano and Bordeaux with Romania’s Andreea Vanc, the Bronx with Estonia’s M. Ani and Rome Lanciani with Claudia Ivone. She debuts at No. 215 in the WTA Tour in Memphis but is defeated in the first round against No. 131, Asagoe. She loses in the second round of qualifying for Wimbledon. She loses against world No. 122 and 8th seed, Beigbeder, in Palermo. As No. 138 in the world she defeats No. 55 Poutchek in the first round at Sopot, only to lose against Russian No. 55, Zvonareva. She fails to qualify for the US Open. These results take her to No. 95 in the singles (11th November) and No. 129 in the doubles (14th October).

2003

is the year that should change everything for her, vowing to “reach the top 50 tennis female tennis players in the world by the end of 2003”. Indeed, she has a promising start to the season and is well on her way to achieving her ambition. However, due to a series of injuries, a loss of focus, as well as issues with her fitness, she is unable to realise her goal. Nevertheless, in February she reaches the first semi-final of her career and in March debuts at the Federation Cup, making her mark with victories in all three matches. Overall, it is a positive season.

2004

In 2004, she takes the first victory of her career in a tournament on the WTA circuit. Flavia reaches the final three times in 2004, in Acupulco, Palermo, and Sopot, winning this last tournament. Due to an injury, the season starts two weeks late for her and for a while, it is touch and go. As a result, she misses out on several points. Nevertheless, thanks to her winning drive and excellent physical fitness she continues to achieve brilliant results up until the Vienna tournament, when she is once again injured. Following a difficult month, she returns to form and takes two finals in three weeks. By the end of the season and very tired, she is unable to improve her standing in the world ranking and stays at No. 38, consolidating her position amongst the best 50 of the year.

2005

2005 is without a doubt one of her best years yet, as she wins the singles tournaments in Acapulco and Bogotà. Together with Elena Dementieva, she wins the doubles in Los Angeles and, again with the Russian player, reaches the final of the US Open. On 8th August, she reaches No. 23 in the world singles ranking and, on 14th November, No. 22 in the doubles.

2006

2006 brings international victory for Flavia. Representing Italy, she wins the Federation Cup, beating Justine Henin of Belgium 3-2. On the national team with her are Francesca Schiavone, Mara Santangelo and Roberta Vinci, captained by Corrado Barazzutti. She reaches her highest place yet in the WTA classification: No. 16 in the singles on 30th January and No. 14 in the doubles on 10th July.

2006

2006 brings international victory for Flavia. Representing Italy, she wins the Federation Cup, beating Justine Henin of Belgium 3-2. On the national team with her are Francesca Schiavone, Mara Santangelo and Roberta Vinci, captained by Corrado Barazzutti. She reaches her highest place yet in the WTA classification: No. 16 in the singles on 30th January and No. 14 in the doubles on 10th July.

2007

2007 proves to be a difficult year. An operation to her wrist at the very end of 2006 leaves her on sub-par form and she risks dropping out of the Top 100 altogether, slipping down to No. 92 in thirteen consecutive defeats during the first round. However, she bounces back at the end of the year by taking victory on hard court in Bangkok, overtaking Shahar Peer and Venus Williams.

2008

The beginning of 2008 sees her on top form as she wins tournaments at Viña del Mar, Chile, and, for the second time, in Acapulco, beating the Czech Republic’s Klara Zakopalova (6-4, 5-4 ret.) and France’s Alizé Cornet (6-0, 4-6, 6-1). She represents Italy at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she is knocked out in the first round of the singles, and, together with Francesca Schiavone, is defeated by the Bondarenko sisters in the quarter-final of the doubles competition. On 16th October in Zurich, she beats world No. 1, Jelena Jankovic, in the third set; only to be defeated in the final by Venus Williams. She reaches the final in Los Angeles, losing against Russia’s Dinara Safina (6-4, 6-2). In September, she achieves her best victory yet in a Grand Slam qualification competition, reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open.

2009

On 9th February, she reaches No. 11 in the ranking. At Wimbledon on 27th June, she is knocked out in the third round in two sets by France’s Amélie Mauresmo (7-5, 6-3). On 19th July, she wins her seventh WTA tournament in Palermo, beating fellow Italian Sara Errani in the final in two sets (6-1, 6-2).

On 9th August, she wins the Los Angeles tournament, having defeated Nadia Petrova and Vera Zvonareva in the quarter-final, and Maria Sharapova in the semi-final. In just 1 hour and 21 minutes she beats Australia’s Samantha Stosur (6-4, 6-3), taking her the next day to No. 12 in the WTA classification.

Beating Venus Williams at the next tournament in Cincinnati in the eighth-finals, she equals the points total of No. 10, Ana Ivanovic. However, because the WTA does not permit tiebreaks, she fails to enter the Top 10 due to the better results of the Serbian player in the Grand Slam tournaments. The guarantee of Flavia’s entry into the Top 10 the following week is postponed by a day and coincides with her victory in the quarter-finals against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchová. This series of fifteen consecutive victories on the WTA circuit is the longest ever for a female Italian tennis player.

The following week, at the tournament in Toronto, Flavia easily passes the first round, beating Russian player Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-3. In the second round, however, the fatigue of recent games proves to be too much and she is beaten 6-3, 6-1 by her French opponent, Virginie Razzano.

On 6 September, she once again qualifies for the quarter-finals of the US Open, beating Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in three sets in the eighth-finals. On this occasion Flavia manages to knock a whole six match-points off the Russian’s total in the second set. Having won the set in a tiebreak, she secures a comfortable 6-0 victory in the third set.

In the next round, she is defeated by America’s Serena Williams, world No. 2 and favourite to win the tournament, in two sets (6-4, 6-3) decided by just two breaks. On 8th November, she wins her second Fed Cup for Italy, defeating Glatch and Oudin 6-3, 6-1 and 7-5, 6-2 respectively.

2010

The year begins with excellent performances in the final at Auckland (only to be defeated by Yanina Wickmayer) and the semi-finals in Paris (defeated in the third set by Lucie Šafářová). On 4th April, together with Gisela Dulko, she wins the doubles final in Miami, beating opponents Petrova and Stosur 6-3, 4-6, 10-7. On 11th April, in Marbella, she beats Spanish opponent Carla Suarez 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the final and takes the 9th WTA singles title of her career. In May, she wins the Stuttgart tournament, beating Peschke and Srebotnik in the doubles finals. The following week, she wins the Italian International Championship in Rome, beating Spanish players Martinez Sanchez and Llagostera Vives 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

At her next tournament in Madrid she once again reaches the doubles final, only to be beaten by the Williams sisters. At the end of the month, she reaches the eighth-finals of the Roland Garros tournament in Paris, where she is beaten 6-7, 7-6, 2-6 by No. 3 Danish player, Caroline Wozniacki, in a match lasting three hours. The following Monday, 7th June, she once again finds herself No. 10 in the world in the WTA rankings.

On 15th June, she is knocked out in the first round at Eastbourne by Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, who goes on to win the tournament. On 21st June 2010, she enters the Top 10 for the third time at No. 10.

At Wimbledon, from 22nd June, she misses out on victory against surprise opponent, Klára Zakopalová. Having defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues and Monica Niculescu, she tastes defeat at the hands of Zakopalová, who earlier came from nowhere to knock out series No. 1 seed Aravane Rezaï. Nevertheless, things move forward in the doubles, arriving at the semi-finals together with Dulko, where they are defeated 6-3, 6-1 by Russia’s Vera Zvonarëva and Elena Vesnina. Following Wimbledon, she reaches the final in Palermo and the semi-finals in Bastad. On the American hardcourt, she reaches the semi-finals in San Diego and the quarter-finals in Cincinnati.

On 22nd August, she takes victory in Montreal against Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in three sets 7–5, 3–6, [12–10]. It is her 11th WTA doubles title. She and Dulko have now established themselves as the world No. 1 couple in the doubles, having overtaken the Williams sisters in the points table by a wide margin.

At the US Open she is knocked out in two sets in the third round by Israel’s Shahar Peer. On 23rd October, she takes yet another doubles victory in Moscow. One week later, the two players beat Peschk and Srebotnik to take victory in the Masters at Doha, a first for an Italian tennis player in this sort of competition. Thanks to this last victory, she closes the year at No. 2 in the doubles, just behind her Argentine partner, Gisela Dulko.

On 7th November, she takes victory with the Italian team at the Fed Cup, having beaten the US team in the final. Having defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands the day before, Flavia secures victory by beating the young American player, Coco Vandeweghe.

2011

In the singles tournament at the 2011 Australian Open she reaches the eighth-finals, beating Anastasija Rodionova, Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Shahar Peer; only to be eliminated in three sets by the young Czech talent, Petra Kvitová, fresh from victory at Brisbane (the following week she would also go on to win the Australian Open and the indoor tournament in Paris).

She takes victory in the doubles tournament, where, together with partner Gisela Dulko, she secures the first Slam of her career, beating Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the final. With equal points totals, it is the confirmation of their supremacy at the top of the doubles rankings.

On 28th February 2011, she becomes No. 1 in the doubles rankings of single female tennis players. Tied at 10,070 points with Gisela Dulko, she is the first Italian player in history to reach No. 1 in the doubles.

In March, she plays in the United States. She is knocked out in the third round at Indian Wells by Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova; followed by defeat in the second round at Miami against the Czech Republic’s Iveta Benesova.

In April, Flavia should have returned to defend her title in Marbella, but is forced to pull out following muscle strain in her shoulder. She returns to the court at the beginning of May for the Madrid tournament, but is knocked out in the first round by her Spanish opponent, Arantxa Parra Santonja.

At Wimbledon, having beaten Irina Begu and Lourdes Domìnguez, she loses 7-5, 4-6, 7-9 in a well-fought match against Marion Bartoli.

At the US Open she passes the first and second rounds, facing No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova in the third, sealing victory 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Following a deciding moment at the end of the second set, she beats Chinese player Shuai Peng 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the fourth round. Having fallen victim to the punishing heat and humidity (the match is played under full sun at 11 o’clock in the morning) and following two warnings for timewasting as she tries to recover at the back of the court, Flavia plays an unforgettable tiebreak. Finding herself down 0-5, and then 2-6 in the tiebreak, she staves off all four set points, taking the match by 6-6 when her opponent puts a straightforward volley into the net; a winning serve (7-6), followed by an error from Peng (8-6) catapults Flavia into the final. After rain stops play for two days, Flavia returns to face left-handed German player, Angelique Kerber, in what is a match peppered with missed opportunities, most notably in the third set. It is the No. 92 who reaches the semi-finals, beating Flavia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and forcing her to bow out of the US Open with the considerable disappointment of having felt the semi-final within her grasp, only to be let down by an inconsistent performance in the presence of an otherwise equal opponent.

She reaches the third round in the doubles tournament with long-time partner Gisela Dulko, before being knocked out in the third set in a tense match against Italian pairing Errani and Vinci.

Following her adventure under the Stars and Stripes, Flavia heads to the Land of the Rising Sun. At the Tokyo Open, however, she is knocked out in the first round 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 by No. 43 Estonian player, Kaia Kanepi.

Fortunately, she has better luck in the doubles tournament, where she reaches the final without too much trouble, only to be defeated by the American couple Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond with a final score of 7-6, 0-6, 10-6.

Instead of causing her to waver, this defeat in the singles makes Flavia even more determined to succeed. At the next tournament, the Beijing Open, Flavia gets off to a flying start by defeating home favourite, Shuai Peng, 7-6, 7-5. From that moment she goes from strength to strength, arriving at the semi-finals having defeated (in order) Slovakia’s Hantuchova and Cibulkova, as well as world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacky. However, in the semi-final she is forced to concede to the tenacity of her Polish opponent, Agnieszka Radwanska, who wipes her out with a clean 6-2, 6-4. In the doubles she once again finds herself in the final, having beaten the American pair Huber and Raymond 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-final. However, her victory is short-lived when she comes face-to-face with Czech couple, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, who once again thwart Flavia and Gisela’s hopes of victory in the final. Thanks to her success in China, Flavia rises from No. 26 to No. 18 in the world rankings.

The season closes on the hardcourt of Linz, where Flavia gains the upper hand over Russia’s Vesina by 7-6, 6-2; nevertheless, she is forced to retreat when faced with Australia’s Rodionova. It is the same story in the quarter-final of the doubles against Lithuanian pairing Liga Dekmeijere and Petra Martic. In Luxembourg, Flavia is knocked out in the first round by Lithuania’s Lituana Sevastova with a score of 6-3, 6-2. She reaches the semi-final in the doubles, before being sent home in the third set by the usual suspects, Americans Huber and Raymond.

2012

As always, the season begins far away in New Zealand. In Auckland, Flavia gets off to a winning start, sealing a series of clean victories which bring her straight to her first final of the season. This time she’s up against China’s Zheng, but is forced to retire in the third set due injury. It’s the same story and outcome for the doubles, but this time with a different dynamic. Here Flavia and Gisela reach the final against the Czech pairing, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, but are defeated in the third set 6-7, 6-2, 10-7.

It is from this moment that Flavia hits a bumpy patch, not helped by the injury to her wrist, which will see her knocked out in the first round of the singles and third round of the doubles at the Australian Open; followed by the second round of the singles and the first round of the doubles in Dubai.

In Doha, Flavia tastes defeat in the second round of the singles at the hands of qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko. After numerous victories with her friend Gisela Dulko, the same tournament sees Flavia take to the court with fellow Italian, Francesca Schiavone, both of whom have the London Olympics in their sights.

Changing continent, Flavia heads to Acapulco in Mexico, a location which always promises high emotion. Perhaps it is for this same reason that Flavia is able to find her swing, reaching the final with ease following the defeat of (in order): Parra-Santonja, Arvidsson, Duque-Marino and Begu. The last remaining obstacle between her and the title is fellow Italian and Federation Cup teammate, Sara Errani. On top form, Sara manages to gain the upper hand over Flavia, defeating her 5-7, 7-6, 6-0.

As always, Apapulco is followed by the United States, where she finds herself under the Californian sun. At Indian Wells, Flavia is defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round. In the doubles she once again changes partners, taking to the court with Spain’s Medina-Garrigues. However, the new pairing find themselves defeated 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 in the first round by none other than her old partner, Gisela Dulko, playing alongside Suarez.

Having changed coasts, it is time for Florida and the courts of Key Biscayne. It is not to be, however, and Flavia is defeated by Spanish qualifier, Garbine Muguruza, with a score of 6-2, 1-6, 7-6. In the doubles, still with Garrigues, she reaches the quarter-final, before being knocked out by the American couple King and Niculescu with a score of 7-5, 6-2.

Putting the American experience behind her, she returns to Europe and the red clay of Barcelona, a city which Flavia practically considers her second home. Unfortunately, however, it is not to be a happy homecoming, as Flavia is knocked out in the second round by Yuliya Beygelzimer of the Ukraine with a score of 6-2, 6-7, 6-4. It is a much better story in the doubles, however: having reached the final together with Francesca Schiavone, the local crowd are treated to an Italian showdown. Facing Flavia once again are Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who manage to gain the upper hand over their fellow teammates, securing victory with a clean 6-0, 6-2.

The domination of Italy at Barcelona lays the ground perfectly for the next tournament: the Italian Internationals. Flavia appears on dazzling form, defeating (in order) Maria Kirilenko, Sloane Stephens and Petra Cetkovska, to reach the quarter-final. There to steal her thunder, however, is Serena Williams. In the end, though, it is not the American who blocks her path to victory. At the beginning of the match, Flavia experiences a searing pain in her right wrist, the result of a problem which has dogged her since the beginning of the season, only to be made worse by having to field the powerful volleys of the American player. Flavia is forced to retire, cutting short her hopes of victory in the doubles in the quarter-final.

Flavia is left deeply disappointed but gets straight to work and, together with her physiotherapy team, sets out on the road to recovery. The next stop is France and the courts of the Roland Garros tournament, where Flavia easily wins the first two rounds against Hsieh and Glatch, before being defeated in the third by Germany’s Kerber with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. In the doubles, however, she succeeds in beating Kerber and partner Radwanska, but is forced to concede defeat at the hands of Spanish duo Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Setting aside the red clay of Italy and France, she moves on to the smooth grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. These new conditions, however, prove unable to alleviate the pain in her wrist which has pursued her since Rome and Flavia is knocked out in the second round against Radwanska by a clean 6-1, 6-1. In the doubles competition, together with Francesca, she succeeds in arriving at the semi-finals against the pairing of Kirilenko and Petrova, before conceding a walkover.

It is time for Wimbledon, which ends all too soon in the singles tournament thanks to the young, but confident player Camilla Giorgio, who defeats Flavia in the first round by 6-4, 6-3. In the doubles, however, she fares better and the results start to show, with Flavia and Francesca reaching the semi-finals, before being knocked out by the Czech pairing Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka by 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Staying at the historic London venue, it’s time not for another WTA tournament, but the Olympic Games. For many professional tennis players, it is not a tournament that’s taken very seriously. Quite the opposite, Flavia appears encouraged by her strong performance in the doubles a few days earlier and tackles the first matches of the singles in a different frame of mind. In the national colours, Flavia succeeds in reaching the third round where, unfortunately, she is unable to gain the upper hand over Petra Kvitova, who defeats her by 6-3, 6-0. She remains, however, the best performing Italian of the Olympic tournament.

In the doubles, having defeated Spanish couple Garrigues and Santonja, Flavia and Francesca are knocked out of the competition by Taiwanese opponents Chia-Jung Chuang and Su-Wei Hsieh.

After a few days’ rest and with the Olympics behind her, she flies to Canada to take part in the Montreal tournament. Flavia takes to the court in the second round against South Africa’s Scheepers, but the match ends for her at 1-4. The pain in her wrist is unbearable and she is forced to retire from the competition.

From this moment forth, Flavia begins a period of recovery which, on 30th August, sees her undergoing a surgical cleaning of the scapholunate ligament in her right wrist in order to fix the tendon damage which has dogged her for some time. Flavia is operated on at the Clinica Cima in Barcelona by Professor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, the same doctor as Nadal. All goes well and Flavia is ready to begin four weeks of immobility, after which she will be able to start a regime of physiotherapy.

2013

At the start of the New Year, after many long weeks of training and rehabilitation, Flavia returns to the court in a WTA tournament. It is February and time for Bogotà. Her wish to return to the court is finally granted as Flavia faces Russia’s Alexandra Panova in the first round, securing her first victory in months, with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. However, she is stopped short in the second round against Spain’s Arruabarrena, who defeats her 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

In Acapulco, Flavia is knocked out in the first round by Spain’s Dominguez-Lino, with a final score of 7-5, 6-3. It would be fair to say that Flavia still needs time to get back into the swing of the game.

It is March and time for Indian Wells. The hard surfaces certainly do nothing to help Flavia, who has only just recently returned to the game, and she is defeated by Francesca Schiavone by 7-5, 6-1.

The Californian tournament sees the first official outing for the new doubles pairing of Flavia and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova. Their debut, however, could go better and they are immediately knocked out by the Taiwanese couple of Hsieh and Peng by 6-4, 7-6.

There is more to come from the hard surfaces of the American tournaments as Flavia finds herself at the Miami Open. Due in part to her ranking (she is currently No. 103), the draw does not prove to be in Flavia’s favour and after having defeated Sweden’s Larsson by a clean 6-4, 6-1, she finds herself face-to-face with world No. 1, Serena Williams, who sees her off with 6-1, 6-1.

Flavia fares better in the doubles. The new pairing succeed in reaching the semi-finals, beating both the No. 2 couple, Hlavackova and Hradecka, as well as the No. 5 pairing Huber and Martinez Sanchez. However, they are unable to reach the final and are defeated 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 in the third set by Russian couple Huber and Martinez Sanchez, who later go on to take the title.

Flavia returns to training, first in Barcelona, followed by Italy, in preparation for the semi-finals of the Federation Cup. The National team has finally called Flavia back to Palermo, where she will play against the Czech Republic.

Semi-final of the Fed Cup, which sees a clear 3-1 victory against the returning title-holder.

Having conquered the final, Flavia makes it to Morocco, to take part in the Marrakesh tournament. Here she beats Hungarian rival Czink 6-1 7-6 in the first round, but she is not as successful in the second round against Bertens, exiting the tournament with a score of 6-7 6-4 4-6.

Flavia advances in the European tournaments, but is unable to achieve consistency in her results; she bows out in the first round both in Madrid against Kanepi (3-6 7-6 2-6), and in Rome against the rising star of American tennis, Sloane Stephens (3-6 3-6).

In Strasbourg, Flavia is at last able to secure a brief run of positive results which boost her morale. After six victories, she is prevented from reaching the final by the Czech Hradecka, who beats her 6-1 3-6 1-6.

Flavia finds a good rhythm, and trains in the best possible way for the start of Roland Garros. Unfortunately, however, the draw does not help her, immediately putting her up against one of the most in-form players on the circuit; the Belgian Flipkens beats Flavia 6-2 4-6 0-6.

Now her preparation is fully focused on Wimbledon. The warm-up tournament in Eastbourne sees her immediately confronted with old hand Marion Bartoli, to whom she loses 6-2 6-3. It is time to move to the historic grass courts on the outskirts of London, where Flavia arrives in the lowest position of her career (no. 166). Once again the draw is not ideal, but eventually even Flavia’s luck had to turn; having made it ably to the second round, she is given a free pass to the third by way of the withdrawal of Vika Azarenka. In this round Flavia defeats the French Cornet, rescuing one set, 0-6 7-6 6-2. However, she is once again stopped in her tracks by Flipkens in the following round, losing 6-7 3-6. It is nonetheless a successful tournament for her, as it pushes her back up the rankings into 31st place.

We return to Italy and to Palermo, sadly without the results achieved in the Fed Cup. Flavia loses in three sets to Zakopalova 2-6 6-2 3-6.

In the last tournament before her trip to the USA, Flavia manages to shake off her bad result in Palermo and makes it to the semi-finals of the Swedish tournament in Bastad, where she is beaten by Sweden’s darling, Larsson, 6-2 3-6 4-6.

Flavia then travels to the States, where she racks up victories in almost all of her tournaments, in Carlsbad, Toronto, Cincinnati and New Haven. The moment has arrived to go to New York for the US Open; the draw is not bad for Flavia, who, after eliminating Gibbs easily with in straight sets 6-0 6-0, also takes out her compatriot Errani, winning 6-3 6-1. Flavia is in high spirits, and defeats her friend and doubles partner Kuznetsova 7-5 6-1. The second week rolls around and Flavia’s next target is the Romanian Halep, who is defeated 6-2 7-3. Fate decrees that in the quarter-finals she should play another compatriot and friend, Roberta Vinci, but she too is beaten 6-4 6-1, and Flavia flies into the semi-final. Here again she meets Azarenka who, this time, is on top form and beats Flavia 6-4 6-1. However, with this splendid set of results Flavia rises back up to to 31st in the rankings.

After some less thrilling participation in the Asian tournaments, Flavia returns to Italy for the final of the Fed Cup against Russia; it is a straight 4-0 victory. Italy and Flavia win their fourth Federation Cup.

2014

The season starts with Flavia 31st in the WTA rankings. The return to the court begins in Australia with the Hopman Cup where Flavia, after having won her matches against Radwanska and Stosur, is forced to withdraw from her match against Bouchard, due to a return of the pain in her wrist which has caused her such trouble. For this reason she decides to spend a week in recovery, and not to participate in the Hobart International, in preparation for the Australian Open.

The rest clearly does her good, because she plays the best Australian Open of her career. Flavia reaches the quarter-finals for the first time, eliminating first Cadantu (6-0 -6-2), then Puig (6-3 6-4), then Barthel (6-1 7-5) and finally Kerber (6-1 4-6 7-5). The adventure in Melbourne stops only with the Great Wall of China that is Na Li, who eliminates her 6-2 6-2. However, thanks to her excellent performance, Flavia is a whisker away from the top 20, currently residing in 22nd position.

SPONSORS