The U.S. Open tennis championships will continue through the weekend, but will do so without Serena Williams. The world’s top-ranked tennis player, vying to complete the first Grand Slam of her career (and the fourth, historically, in women’s tennis), fell in defeat to Italy’s Roberta Vinci. Vinci defeated Williams in three sets, 2-6, 6-4 and 6-4. Vinci was a 300-to-1 underdog headed into Friday’s match with Williams, the tournament’s top-seeded woman.
Serena commented after the loss, giving credit to her opponent.
“She played literally out of her mind… I don’t feel pressure, I never feel pressure.”
Vinci was elated at her victory, citing it as a dream come true.
Vince will face Flavia Pennetta, victorious in an upset of her own, in the U.S. Open women’s final on Saturday. Pennetta, beat the No. 2 seeded player in the tournament when she got a straight-sets win over Simona Halep. Vinci, unseeded in the U.S. Open, is the number 43 ranked player in the world.
Saturday’s final will mark the first time two Italians compete in the U.S. Open women’s final, as well as the first time it will be contested by two women over the age of 30.
Serena overcame a quarterfinal match-up with her sister, Venus, prior to facing Vinci in the semifinal round. Williams cited being tired but appeared ready for a Friday showdown that was delayed a day due to rain.
Serena sat down with CNN’s Rachel Nichols to put her U.S. Open bid into perspective.
As Serena noted in the interview, she has completed two career Grand Slams already, winning the four major championships in succession, just not in the same year. The last time Serena won a non-calendar-year Grand Slam, she lost in the semifinals.
In her career, Serena Williams has won an astounding 21 Grand Slam events, dating back to her 1999 victory over Martina Hingis in the U.S. Open finals. Her record in Grand Slam finals stands at 21 wins against four losses, although she will not get an opportunity to better that mark this weekend.
Serena’s first non-calendar Grand Slam came with her 2003 Australian Open victory, defeating her sister Venus in the finals. In total, eight of Serena’s Grand Slam victories have come over her sister.
The 2015 Wimbledon Championship marked Serena Williams’ second non-calendar-year Grand Slam, completed in July of this year.
[Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]