10 Jan 2012

Beaten Pennetta has one eye on Australian Open

3:11 pm on 10 January 2012

The beaten finalist in Saturday's ASB tennis Classic, Flavia Pennetta, concedes the Australian Open was on her mind when she retired hurt from the Auckland final.

China's Zheng Jie is the new champion after Pennetta pulled out of the final, which was moved indoors due to bad weather, with a back injury.

The Italian took the first set 6-2, but Zheng took the second 6-3 and led 2-0 in the third and decisive set before Pennetta retired.

The fourth seed says putting her participation in the year's first grand slam in jeopardy, was a risk she wasn't willing to take.