Roberta Vinci set to move into world's top 10 for first time
Vinci will become oldest woman to debut in top 10 aged 33 years and four days
Italian won St Petersburg Ladies Trophy title last week
Netherlands' Betty Stove held previous record, aged 31 years and 100 days
Age is just a number.
Roberta Vinci may have turned 33 on Thursday but that’s not getting in the way of her making history on the tennis court.
After defeating Belinda Bencic, 14 years her junior, last week to capture the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy title, Vinci is set to become the oldest woman to debut in the world’s top 10.
The Italian, who will be 33 years and four days old when she enters the top 10 Monday, had before only reached as high as number 11 in the rankings in 2013.
Netherlands’ Betty Stove had held the previous record, debuting in the top 10 aged 31 years and 100 days in 1976.
“It’s a lot for me. It’s an amazing moment. I’m not young,” Vinci, currently ranked 13th, said on the WTA’s official website.
While Vinci has previously scaled the heights of the doubles game, completing a career grand slam at Wimbledon in 2014 alongside Sara Errani and becoming world No. 1, she is currently enjoying the best spell of her singles career.
The 6-4 6-3 victory in Russia against top-seeded Bencic, who is currently ranked ninth in the world, saw her land her biggest solo title yet.
That triumph has capped off a whirlwind six months for Vinci.
She made her first grand slam final appearance at the U.S. Open, where she succumbed to compatriot Flavia Pennetta after seeing off Serena Williams in the last four, ending the American’s quest for the calendar year grand slam in the process.
A quarterfinal placing at the Brisbane International and progress to the third round at the Australian Open followed in 2016 for Vinci – a career-best Australian swing.
“For me this tournament was a fantastic moment,” Vinci said after winning the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy title. “I’m really happy. I always tried to my best.”
“I’ve won a lot of matches [recently],” she added. “I reached one final in a grand slam for the first time, I beat Serena. So of course now is my time, no?”
Vinci had previously announced that 2016 was set to be her last season in the game.
After her recent exploits, however, she looks to have reconsidered.
“No, two, three years, no,” Vinci said. “One more, but maybe. Why not?”