Pennetta could delay retirement for Olympics

Italian tennis player Flavia Pennetta could delay her retirement from tennis by playing at the 2016 Rio Olympics but won't "risk" partnering boyfriend Fabio Fognini in the mixed doubles.

Earlier this year Pennetta won the US Open by beating countryman Roberta Vinci in the final to win her only singles grand slam title then promptly announced her retirement from the sport.

The 33-year-old ended her career two months ago at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

At an Italian Olympic Committee awards ceremony on Tuesday, Pennetta hinted that she may yet be available to play at next summer's Olympics.

"Right now I'm taking some time for myself, and if the desire to play returns then I will always have time to go back on my decision," Pennetta said.

"I'm not setting any time limits, whether I go to Rio or not depends on how I feel. At the top level, if you're not in the mood to compete the younger players will walk all over you."

But Pennetta added that she would put her relationship with Fognini at risk if they teamed up in Rio.

"With Fabio, it's best to keep things in the private sphere," she said. "When you mix certain things together you risk breaking them up sooner than expected."