Serena Williams is out of the US Open after being upset at the hands of unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci on Friday, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Williams' bid for a 22nd Grand Slam overall and all four major titles in a single season has come to an end in the semifinals, in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.
Williams was broken early in the first, but fought back to dominate that set. In the second, she looked close to fighting off a break, but was ultimately broken and it was all downhill from there. Vinci held her next game and picked up the momentum she needed to win it all and secure her spot in the final.
The opening set wasn't exactly close, but it looked like it might have been from the onset. Vinci started it off by holding serve, and then broke Williams to go up, but the world No. 1 immediately broke back and dominated the remainder of the set from there to take it at 6-2.
In the second set, Vinci again started off well, and had a triple break point opportunity on Williams, but couldn't finish as Williams fought to deuce and then took the point to hold serve. Williams herself threatened a break on the next game, but couldn't seal the deal and they stayed on serve. Once again, Vinci threatened a break on Williams next serve, with a 40-0, but Williams served up a pair of aces to to make it tough for her. Unfortunately for Williams, she hit a shot wide -- one that she typically makes, and Vinci scored the break.
Vinci only needed to keep holding to take the second set and force a third, and she did, though Williams threatened a break, once again. In that third set, Williams looked rejuvenated from the start, holding her opening serve and breaking Vinci to go up 2-0. Unfortunately for Williams, Vinci broke right back and then held serve to get things back on track. Vinci scored another break though, and the upset was on from there.
As noted above, Williams was going for her 22nd Grand Slam win, which would have tied her all time with Steffi Graff. Speaking of Graff, she was the last person to win all four majors in a single season, all the way back in 1988. Serena still completed a "Serena Slam" this year, which involves holding the titles of all four major tournaments consecutively (in her case, winning the Australian, French and Wimbledon this season, as well as the US Open in 2014).
Still, it's a disappointing end for Williams' run. She was playing excellent tennis and while she's struggled at times, she's always been able to tap into a reserve that other players simply don't have. The well went dry on Friday, and Vinci advances to the final, where she'll face fellow Italian, No. 26 seed Flavia Pennetta. The women's final is set for Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.