Roberta Vinci bids farewell

Roberta Vinci bid adieu to tennis after losing to Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of Italian Open in Rome on Monday.

Former U.S. Open finalist Roberta Vinci bid her fans an emotional farewell following the final match of her career at the Italian Open on Monday.   -  AP

Former U.S. Open finalist Roberta Vinci bid an emotional farewell following the final match of her career at the Italian Open on Monday.

Vinci wiped away tears as a video of her career highlights was shown on the big screen inside the picturesque Pietrangeli court, which is surrounded by neo-classical statues.

“I’m crying now but I’m happy, I’m happy for what I’ve accomplished,” Vinci told the crowd in an-court ceremony. “I would have liked to do better but it doesn’t matter that I lost.”

Vinci embraced her support crew and parents and was presented with 21 roses one for each year of her career by Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi.

“It’s not easy to talk right now,” Vinci told her box. “I can only say, ‘Thank you.’ These years were splendid.”

Fans held up banners that read, “Grazie Roby.”

“As of tomorrow, I’m on vacation,” Vinci shouted, enunciating each syllable of the Italian word for “vacation” for more effect. “I couldn’t go on anymore.”

Krunic, who improved to 4-0 in her career against Vinci, embraced the Italian for a long while at the net then held up her hands in an apologetic manner to the crowd and said, “I’m sorry.”

At the 2015 U.S. Open, Vinci upset Serena Williams in the semifinals to prevent the American from completing a calendar-year Grand Slam. Then in all-Italian final, Vinci lost to Flavia Pennetta.

Vinci was also ranked No. 1 in doubles, completed a career Grand Slam with partner Sara Errani, and helped Italy win four Fed Cup titles.

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