Pennetta defeats Halep, reaches first career major final at 33

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Flavia Pennetta has reached her first Grand Slam final at age 33.

The Italian routed second-seeded Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 at the U.S. Open on Friday. While Pennetta looked calm and moved freely, Halep, a decade her junior, seemed tense and drained.

The Romanian, who made last year’s French Open final, had 23 unforced errors to 10 winners.

Pennetta trailed 3-1 in the second set before winning 15 straight points to move within a game of victory. She broke Halep’s serve to clinch the win, burying her face in her hands in stunned joy after hitting her 23rd winner on match point.

The 26th-seeeded Pennetta faces unseeded Roberta Vinci in an all-Italian final on Saturday.