• Indian Wells

Pennetta powers past injured Radwanska

ESPN staff
March 16, 2014
Flavia Pennetta became the lowest ever seed to win the Indian Wells title © Getty Images

Flavia Pennetta routed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-1 at Indian Wells on Sunday to claim the biggest title of her career.

Pennetta became the third-oldest winner of the desert tournament after Martina Navratilova, who won at age 33 and again at 34 in 1990-91. It was Pennetta's first title since winning at Marbella in 2010.

As the 20th seed, Pennetta also became the lowest seed to win the title. She came in ranked 21st and is projected to rise to No. 12 in the world in Monday's WTA Tour rankings. She beat top-seeded Li Na in the semi-finals on her way to winning the title worth $1 million.

The green-white-and-red Italian flag fluttered in the breeze from the stands as Pennetta ran to hug her team, getting doused by a bottle of water in celebration.

Radwanska, seeded second, was bothered with a left knee injury during the final. She twice called for the trainer in the second set and had her knee heavily taped. She was in tears apologising to the sympathetic crowd afterward, saying she was unable to run.

Pennetta threatened from the first game of the match, when she held two break points and had one more in the third game. She finally converted in the fifth game on Radwanska's errant backhand, then broke again in the seventh game on the Pole's forehand error. Pennetta won the final five games to wrap up the first set 6-2.

Radwanska held for a 1-0 lead in the second before she got the trainer on court and Pennetta called for her coach. Pennetta staved off a break point to hold at 1-1, the last challenge Radwanska could offer before it became evident she was not herself.

Pennetta's lob over Radwanska, who didn't even try to go after it, helped her earn the break and a 2-1 lead. The Italian swept the last six games, with Radwanska ending the match on three consecutive errors.

Pennetta's previous biggest title came at Los Angeles in 2009, a Premier-level event that no longer exists.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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