Roberta Vinci Stuns at the US Open

Serena Williams and Roberta Vinci shaking hands after their game.

Roberta Vinci, the 33 year old Italian ranked 43rd in the ATP Tennis Rankings, booked herself a ticket to her first ever US Open Finals after upsetting the world no. 1 Serena Williams in the semi-final round on Friday.

Roberta Vinci who had a 0-4 record against the World. No.1 , entered the match as the clear underdog. After losing the first set, Vinci played incredibly and probably the best tennis she has ever played in her whole career to defeat the defending champion in the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.

Williams, who has 21 Grand Slam titles under her belt, started the tournament off strong, powering her way through the first 4 rounds in just under 9 sets, and even managing to defeat the former World No.1, Venus Williams, in a convincing 3-set match (6-2, 1-6, 6-3) in the quarterfinals. To have it end in a loss against a world 40-something was unexpected to many people.

All Williams had to do was win 2 more games, and she would have tied Steffi Graff as the second female tennis player to ever win 4 consecutive grand slams in a single year. Although it was quite hard to believe, Williams failed to overcome the hurdle, losing what could be her final shot in joining the most prestigious club in tennis history.

Many believed that Williams was affected by the pressure. “She lost her way, mentally” said her coach Patrick Mouratoglou in an interview following the match. When she was asked if she was affected by the pressure at all, she rejected the idea and responded by saying “No, I told you guys, I don’t feel pressure… I said that from the beginning.”

It was upsetting not only for Williams, but also for the tennis world who anticipated a sweet ending for Serena’s year. For this, Vinci kindly apologized; “For the American people, for Serena, for the Grand Slam and everything. But today is my day, sorry guys”.

Vinci, however, was not the only Italian to upset the crowd favorite. On the other side of the bracket, Flavia Penneta, the rank  No.26 defeated the rank No. 2, Simona Halep in an incredible 6-1, 6-3 run. Both Pennetta and Vinci will then face each other in the first ever all-Italian finals in the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.

Serena’s 26-0 run was nonetheless impeccable and it had to be broken at some point in time; it just happened to be the World No. 43, Roberta Vinci.