When #1 in the world Serena Williams defeated big sister Venus on Tuesday evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was thought that she would cruise to the calendar Grand Slam and her 22nd title overall with two more US Open victories. Down a break early in her match against Roberta Vinci, Serena, with her family, including her mother and sister Venus, and hip-hop artist Drake in attendance to cheer her on, came back to win the first set 6-2, and all seemed on track for her to move on to the US Open Final tomorrow. Then her history-making run was derailed.
With a combination of tennis designed to keep Williams guessing and off balance, the unranked Vinci played a great game, helped by errors from Serena, and pulled off one of the biggest upsets on a tennis court in recent history, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Serena clearly looked dejected as she immediately picked up her belongings and left the court, waving to the US Open crowd that wanted to be a part of her history-making run. Williams showed her frustration on the court by smashing a racket, and showed her frustration to the media by her quick appearance and departure from the press conference room after just three minutes.
“I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me. If you have any other questions, I’m open for that,” Serena said in response to the first question. Serena admitted to making many errors, but did not take credit away from Vinci. “I don’t think I played that bad. I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well.”
Serena closed on a positive note, reflecting on her excellence, including the Serena Slam. “I felt very happy to get that win at Wimbledon, you know. I did win three Grand Slams this year. Yeah, I won four in a row.” But her perfect year at Grand Slam tournaments ended today to a 300-1 underdog, as Serena’s quest for Grand Slam singles title #22 comes up short.