Tennis-Pennetta expects Italy to go crazy after reaching top 10

CINCINNATI Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:54pm BST

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CINCINNATI Aug 14 (Reuters) - Flavia Pennetta became the first Italian female to reach the world's top 10 on Friday and said she expected a "crazy" reaction when she returned home next month.

The 27-year-old beat Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open and extend her winning streak to 15 matches, ensuring she will break into the top 10 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"It's a dream come true," 14th seed Pennetta told reporters. "I always hoped to be one of the best players in the world and now I'm there so it's crazy.

"It really means a lot. Everyone expected something like this from the beginning of the year because I was number 11 in February."

While Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzuti made the top 10 in the men's game, Pennetta is the first Italian female to do so but she will be unable to witness the reaction back home until her U.S. Open campaign ends.

"I have only spoken with my mum so far. I've already received I don't know how many SMS's so I think it's going to be crazy," said Pennetta.

"Maybe it's better for me to be here (for now). I can be more focused. Then after this long trip of tournaments I'll go there and really enjoy this moment."

The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 31.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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