I’m trying to put words together but AHHHHHHH!
In all my years of watching tennis, i’ve never witnessed anything quite like that. Roberta Vinci created one of the upsets in tennis history to defeat Serena Williams and set up an all-Italian US Open final against Flavia Pennetta.
Wow it’s actually happening.
Most of the post-match analysis will be centered around Serena naturally. Calendar Slam and all that, I don’t think there were many (31 people in the pre-match poll!) who thought that this was a real possibility. I think it’s important to first give hugeeeee credit to Vinci. Even in that winning position and with what was going through Serena’s head, to close that match out was a magnificent effort. Vinci played some fantastic tennis in that final set and while Serena provided little resistance in the final game, it was PEAK Vinci for much of the final set, playing aggressively and producing some majestic tennis at the net.
And Roberta was so endearing in her post-match interview. I was just sat there half laughing, half crying at what just happened. You could see her shaking so much! I was doing the same to be honest…
There were a couple of incredible points in the final set and Serena was so incredibly pumped in that final set beyond belief.
At the start of the third set it still felt inevitable for Serena because of what she’s done in the Slams this year. Serena has gone to a third set in 11 of her 26 Slam matches prior to this semi-final and every time, had pulled it out of the bag. This will be a tough one for Serena but I think it’s important to state that still, what she has done this year has been incredible. Four Slams in a row. The Serena Slam… An amazing achievement.
While it feels about nine years ago now, Flavia Pennetta caused an upset in the first of the semi-finals, beating Simona Halep, 6-1 6-3 in less than an hour. While I wasn’t surprised at Pennetta winning (despite the prediction!), the scoreline was a shock. While Pennetta rose to the occasion, Halep didn’t. The Romanian player hit a whopping 23 unforced errors, four more than she produced in her victory over Victoria Azarenka in a three set quarter-final. Furthermore, she failed to win less than half of her first service points, a far cry to the match against Azarenka where she was owning it on serve. Pennetta though, was on point, coming from 1-3 down in the second set (Halep had a game point for 4-1), winning a couple of games in super quick time and finishing with stats of 23 winners to 16 unforced errors.
This final was so heavily hyped pre-tournament, so much so, that that women’s final sold out before the men’s. While I am gutted we won’t see Serena go for the Calendar Slam, the fascination of seeing two players, both Italians and good friends, battle it out for a first ever Grand Slam is definitely there for me. Last year we saw Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic upset the top two seeds in the semi-finals but this just feels X100 in the crazy stakes. I mean, Pennetta v Vinci could have been a first round match………
So who’s going to win?! Hahahahaha. It’s all a mess in my head.
Trying to bring back some kind of normality and reason in my head, i’d have to go for Pennetta. While she will go in the favourite and with a little more pressure, I imagine it will be tough for Vinci to put that win over Serena behind her to concentrate on this final which comes around so quickly. It’s going to be a strange one but i’m really, really, really looking forward to it and I hope tennis fans will embrace this moment.
Great match, ladies.