Ticket prices to the U.S. Open women’s singles final quickly tumbled after Serena Williams, bidding for a Grand Slam, was defeated by unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci in their semifinal match.
It was a picture of the two Italians when they teamed up to win the 1999 French Open junior doubles title, a reminder of their shared past, growing up 40 miles (65 kilometers) apart in coastal towns in Puglia, a region on the heel of their country’s boot-shaped peninsula.
She was unbeaten and, seemingly, unbeatable, nearing the first Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century.
“It was a boost for the US Open in general”, said McEnroe.
When Williams smashed her racquet after dropping the second set it was clear that the tension was beginning to boil over, and her cries of “Come on!” in the third set took on an increasingly desperate air. I think she played literally out of her mind. “And run.’ And then I won“. I never felt that pressure to win here. “I was calm”.
For her part, Serena rejected the notion that she felt pressure in her postmatch news conference. Williams bristled when asked how she’d recover from the disappointment. She obliged.
By the time Vinci recovered an early break to level at 2-2 in the decider, Williams was screaming at herself just for winning points on serve.
Pennetta was seeded 26th.
The American had survived 11 final sets in 25 Grand Slam matches during 2015, but at the 12th time of asking came up against an opponent who simply grew stronger.
Fresh off her remarkable upset win over Serena Williams, Roberta Vinci will face childhood rival Flavia Pennetta later Saturday. “But let’s wait and see whether Serena makes it to the final”.
This time, for once, the No. 1-ranked Williams could not pull it out.
Dreams of a calendar Grand Slam were crushed Friday.
Vinci’s slices and half-volleys and net rushes threw off Williams.
“I could feel it since the morning she was not having a good day”, Mouratoglou said.
Williams was not at her best, and Vinci noticed the nerves.