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Roberta Vinci Pulls Massive Upset, Defeats Serena Williams Ending Her Grand Slam Chase

Serena Williams’ run at the Grand Slam was improbably denied by Roberta Vinci in the U.S. Open semifinal. Vinci, 32, was not seeded entering the tournament and reached her first career Grand Slam final. It was a masterful performance of wearing Serena down with long points and excellent defensive play, and keeping all the pressure on Serena to perform after Williams had charged out and won the first set.

It’s a gigantic missed opportunity in terms of the calendar Grand Slam. As good as Williams has been throughout her career—and she should continue to serve as a top contender at majors moving forward—this was probably her best chance to accomplish the feat. She let it slip away.

Vinci moves on to face Flavia Pennetta in a championship match that suddenly carries far less intrigue. That’s no disrespect to the finalists, who both earned their place, but there would have been a lot more interest in Williams trying to win the Grand Slam on home soil.

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