One of the greatest shocks ever witnessed in the tennis world occurred on Friday as Serena Williams, in the chase of a calendar Grand Slam, was shocked in the semis by Roberta Vinci in three sets of 6-2 4-6 4-6.
The finals will now be competed for by two Italians – Vinci and Flavia Penneta, who also shocked No.2 seeded Simona Halep.
It had all seemed a matter of time when she won the opening set 6-2, but the Italian, more successful in the doubles circuit dug in her heels and ultimately produced the shock of the tennis season.
Afterwards, the Italian at 300-1 to win the match said, “It is the greatest moment of my life.”
She added that when she woke up, she wasn’t even thinking of winning but the thoughts were to enjoy the moment and not think of Serena.
She said she was only thinking about putting the ball in the court and not about the position or Serena on the other side of the court.
She also said sorry and when she was pressed on why she said sorry – she replied, “For the Americans, for Serena, the Grand Slam – I am sorry.”
Despite hitting more winners, Williams was undone by an uncharacteristically high number of unforced errors. The world No.1 hit 50 winners to Vinci’s 19 but she accumulated 66 errors as against the Italians’s 43.
The 33-year-old has always prided herself on getting the job at hand done first before thinking of the next match but the prospect of playing for a calendar Grand Slam must definitely have been playing on her mind as she tightened up in the third set. Even when she went up 2-0, there was no assurance as she normally prays, especially on her service games.
At the end, Vinci just stayed strong and made sure that Williams had to hit an extra shot. Serena served 16 aces in the match but could not produce the canons when they were really needed. She will now have to go again in January to equal Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam titles
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