Serena Loses! Williams' Bid For Tennis History Ends Early

Photo: REX USA.
Serena Williams' much-hyped road to the calendar Grand Slam ended today at the hands of 43rd-ranked Italian player Roberta Vinci.

Vinci took Williams to three sets during their semifinal match at the U.S. Open on Friday afternoon, eventually beating her 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Williams was on a quest to win all four major tennis tournaments in the same calendar year — a feat not accomplished by any player since Steffi Graf in 1988.

While Williams is accustomed to overpowering players and keeping rallies short, Vinci matched her, shot for shot. Williams' serve usually gets her out of trouble when she needs it most, but it was not enough to keep her in this match. ESPN's on-air commentators noted that Vinci's odds of winning were 300 to one. Williams beat Vinci in all four of their previous match-ups.

In her post-match interview on court, 32-year-old Vinci described her win as "an incredible moment for me — amazing, like a dream. I'm in the final, I beat Serena... I tried to stay focused and not think about the match."

Vinci also said she was sorry. When the interviewer asked her why, she said, "For the American people, for Serena, for the Grand Slam. But today is my day, sorry guys." Can't argue with that — tennis history will just have to wait.

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