Tipped to win the U.S. Open once again, world No.1 Serena Williams lost to Roberta Vinci, the world No. 43, in the semifinals. Vinci, the former world No. 1 doubles player, had been largely known as a doubles champion until now; Williams had been hotly favored to win not only the match, but the entire U.S. Open. Having lost the first set 2-6, Vinci then came back to win the second set, which paved the stage for a showdown between two clearly tense players. Williams was visibly devastated as she walked off the court after Vinci clinched the third set as well, winning the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. "I think it's the best moment of my life," Vinci told the crowd after her victory.
Williams was, until now, on track to win a calendar Grand Slam, which only three women have ever pulled off. The loss comes as a huge blow to not only Williams, but also her supporters, who had all but expected her to make it into the women's finals and add another U.S. Open win to her belt. After one particularly difficult point loss, Williams seemed visibly shaken by the situation and was narrowly beaten by Vinci.
Williams had ascended to the semifinals after beating sister Venus in a long and difficult match in the quarterfinals. Vinci will now go on to the finals.
"I don't want to talk about how disappointing this is for me," was the first thing Williams said at the ensuing press conference. Instead, she answered questions about her match, her opponent's skill, and how she'd played.