Serena Williams, a 30-1 favorite, went down in defeat losing to Italian, Roberta Vinci, in the semifinals of the US Open 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. In losing Williams failed in her attempt to capture the calendar Grand Slam for 2015. She won the first set 6-2, but Vinci broke her serve once in the last two sets to take the win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Williams was on the verge of capturing history with the only calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. Williams would also have tied Graf for number two on the list of Grand Slam singles behind Margaret Court who had 24 single Grand Slams. Serena had won what many are calling, a “Serena Grand Slam,” in which she won four grand slams in a row, but not in the same calendar year. Serena turns 34 next month so she may not have many attempts at this feat left in her career.
Ironically, Williams served better at 65 percent to Vinci’s 50 percent and 74 percent on the first serve to Vinci’s 67 percent. Most tennis analysts had been saying that Williams would win if she was successful with her serve. She also had 50 winners to Vinci’s 19, also a recipe for success. Unfortunately, she had 40 unforced errors to Vinci’s 20. That is a recipe for defeat and it certainly worked out that way for her in this US Open.
The news headlines everywhere will read “Serena Loses US Open,” but Williams has accomplished amazing things along the way in her attempt at making history. Meanwhile, Vinci will face Flavia Pennetta, a fellow Italian, who had defeated Simona Halep earlier in the day. They will meet in the finals. The All Italian-US Open final is made possible by the loss suffered by Williams. This will be the first ever All-Italian final in US Open history.
By Lloyd Gardner
US Open.org: US Scores and Stats Day 18
Photo courtesy of Yann Caradec’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License