Twenty-six times, Serena Williams had played a grand slam match in 2015. And all 26 times she emerged triumphant.
Williams had toiled in quite a few of her past grand slam tussles this year but always found a way to win. Not against the 43rd-ranked Vinci, though, who not only overturned a set deficit but came back from 2-0 down in the third against the three-time defending champion.
So, instead of Williams trying to emulate Steffi Graf’s achievement of 1988, it will be an all-Italian U.S. Open final Saturday after Flavia Pennetta upset second-ranked Simona Halep 6-3 6-1 in Friday’s first women’s semifinal. That was a minor upset in comparison to Vinci’s scalp.
“I made a couple of tight shots, to be honest, but maybe just about two.