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US OPEN: Roberta Vinci stuns Serena Williams to end calendar grand slam dream

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Roberta Vinci produced an astonishing comeback to shock Serena Williams and in the process crushed the world number one’s hopes of completing the calendar Grand Slam. Vinci will face her compatriot Flavia Pennetta, who also claimed an upset in defeating Simona Halep.

As the women’s semi-finals matches were postponed for Friday due to the rain, play finally got underway as Serena Williams resumed her bid to win all four grand slams this year against Roberta Vinci. In the opening set, the American started slowly and was broken early on to give the Italian the lead. However, Williams responded emphatically to swiftly break back and raised her level to take control of the set, breaking her opponent again as Vinci started to feel the pressure. The world number one consolidated her advantage with some impressive tennis, and produced some blistering winners en route to clinching the set with another break.

The second set saw both players hold their service games as Vinci started to pressurise Williams, but she was unable to convert early break point opportunities. Despite this, the Italian just managed to stay with the American, and she finally capitalised on a few impressive returns to gain the crucial break. The Italian was growing in confidence as her variety and crafty tennis appeared to rattle Williams, who donated uncharacteristic errors at times to allow her opponent to maintain her lead. Although the world number one tried to retrieve the deficit, the Italian stood firm to eventually seal the set and force a decider.

In the third set, Williams seemed refocused and her aggressive play was rewarded when she broke Vinci to take the lead. However, the Italian refused to lie down, and a double fault from Williams gifted Vinci the break back. Both players held serve from that point on to eventually level the scoreline at 3-3. But, in a titanic seventh game, Williams was under pressure again and even though both players were understandably nervous as the match reached the critical stage, eventually Vinci made the breakthrough when the world number one committed another error. Williams immediately threatened to force her way back into the match but the American was indecisive and the resilient Italian just managed to hold onto her advantage when Williams produced more unforced errors. Even though the world number one forced her opponent to serve for the match, Vinci produced a nerveless game to close it out and completed a quite remarkable 2-6 6-4 6-4 win.

Vinci will face her compatriot Flavia Pennetta in the final, as she caused another shock in dismissing Simona Halep 6-1 6-3. 


Flavia Pennetta Roberta Vinci Serena Williams Simona Halep US Open

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