(September 11, 2015) The quest for a calendar Grand Slam is over for Serena Williams. Italy’s Roberta Vinci, playing in her first major semifinal, kept her composure and the ball in play to rally past the world No. 1 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the US Open final.
The unseeded Italian ranked No 43 in the world stopped William’s unbeaten streak in majors for this year at 26. Coming into the match, the 32-year-old Vinci had never even taken a set off Williams and was 0-4 against her.
Williams was up a break in the final set 2-0, but Vinci came back to win the match.
“At the end when I made a break, 4-3, and serve, I was a little bit scare(d). “My arms was like,” Vinci said pretending to shake, “I’m not joking. And I said — on my mind I say that I’m 4-3 and serve in semifinal against Serena. So almost to the final US Open.
“So, yes, sometimes. But in my mind, I say, Don’t think about this, because maybe you have more pressure. Stay calm, relax, and breathe during every single points. Don’t think that you have Serena on the other side of the court.
“Try to enjoy. Enjoy. You are in semifinal in the big stadium with a lot of public, so try to take all the positive emotion of this game.”
Vinci denied 33-year-old Williams a chance to be the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a Grand Slam.
For Vinci, it will be a familiar face in Saturday’s US Open final, countrywoman 26 th seed Flavia Pennetta, who dismissed No 2 seed Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 earlier on Friday.
“Sorry for American people, for Serena, for Grand Slam, but today’s my day,” Vinci said in her on-court interview. “Sorry guys.”
As to what her game plan was against Williams, she said: “Don’t think and run. And then I won.”
“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream,” Vinci said during her news conference.
“I’m really happy, but of course I’m a little bit really sad for Serena because she’s incredible player, No. 1, almost career — all the Grand Slams.
“But what I have to say? I’m happy. I don’t know. It’s tough to explain my emotion right now. Maybe tomorrow morning I can tell you something, but now it’s amazing. It’s magic moment for me. You work so hard for a long time, and it’s incredible. Tomorrow final.”
“I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me,” Williams said at the beginning of her shorter-than-normal news conference. “If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”
“I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said to media. “You know, she’s 33 and, you know, she’s going for it at a late age. So that’s good for her to keep going for it and playing so well.
“Actually, I guess it’s inspiring. But, yeah, I think she played literally out of her mind.”
“I don’t think I played that bad,” Williams continued. “I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well. She did not want to lose today. Neither did I, incidentally. But she really didn’t either.”
Flavia Pennetta has also reached her first major final with her win over 23-year-old Halep at the age of 33. There was little drama in her match against Halep, where she only lost four games and won 15 straight points in the second set from 1-3 down.
“I’m really happy,” Pennetta said. “I think I play really well from the beginning. In the second set, I just wait a little bit too much in the beginning of the second set waiting for her mistake and I didn’t push a lot like before.
“But really happy, because I was 3-1 down and I just starting again with what I had to do. Everything was working amazing today, so really pleased.”
“If I play against Roberta, it’s going to be nice for everyone. Doesn’t matter who is gonna win. It’s going to be a big thing.
“Of course you want to win, but you gonna hug her if she gonna win. It’s amazing. Doesn’t matter. When you are at this point, nothing gonna change.”
“True she play really well,” Halep said. “She was strong. She was solid today. Actually, I didn’t play my best, but, you know, she deserved to win. She was better than me today. She had more energy. I can say she was better emotional than me.
“So I accept, and I’m looking forward for the next tournament.”
Pennetta hit 23 winners and was 6 for 10 on break points converted. Halep made 23 unforced errors to 10 winners.
More to follow…………