- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

MILAN (AP) - Newly crowned U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta is backing Rome’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Pennetta says “after this great year for me in 2015, now it’s the time for Rome.”

Pennetta beat fellow Italian Roberta Vinci in New York on Saturday to claim her first Grand Slam title and immediately announced her retirement.

The 33-year-old Pennetta says “I think Italy has good cards to play all the way and I call on everyone to put your heart into the bid. If Rome will need a winning smash, I’m ready.”

Rome was officially confirmed by the IOC on Wednesday as one of five candidate cities to host the 2024 Games - along with Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles and Paris.

The vote takes place in Lima, Peru in Sept. 2017.

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