Women’s tennis’ world number 1 seed Serena Williams has gone into the record books – in opinion at least – for shockingly losing her semi final US Open match against unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci.
The defeat has been described as one of the biggest shocks in tennis history at the US Open, by two-time champion Tracy Austin.
33-year-old Williams went into Friday’s semi-final on a 33-match winning streak in the Grand Slams stretching back to Wimbledon 2014. She was just 2 match wins away from completing the calendar Grand Slam but lost 2-6 6-4 6-4.
Austin said, “This is monumental. It’s a shocker. This is one of the biggest upsets in the history of tennis, because of what was on the line”.
Williams had hoped to match Steffi Graf’s 1988 sweep of all four majors in the same year, and was up against a player she had beaten four times without dropping a set. 32-year-old Vinci is ranked 43 in the world and was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final.
Undoubtedly Serena Williams was not at her best, but Vinci glided across the court covering every inch so impressively; delivering some fine net play in the process. It is definitely one of the biggest shocks in grand slam semi-final history.
Vinci won the crowd over after her post-match interview on court, “Today is my day. Sorry guys!” They applaud heartily. What will make this moment feel real, she was asked. “I don’t know,” she grins. “Ask another question please”.
Even though Williams failed to complete the calendar Grand Slam, former men’s world number 1 John McEnroe said “She’s the greatest female player I’ve ever seen. She’s proven it to me over and over”.
Vinci will now meet her good friend Flavia Pennetta in the final, 16 years after they won the French Open junior doubles title together.