Heavily favored to win the women’s final at the U.S. Open and with it, the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it in 1988, the world’s top-ranked player, Serena Williams, did something no one expected in the semifinal against unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci: she lost.
Williams played the first set with calculated power, taking it 6-2. Williams faltered in the second set, losing it to Vinci 4-6, forcing a third set. This was the first time Vinci has taken a single set in the four times they’ve met before. The third set started out in Williams’ favor but she couldn’t put it together, losing the set and the match 6-4.
Vinci, who has never made it to a major final, will go on to play fellow Italian Flavia Pannetta for the title.
Simona Halep has been hanging on viciously in her quest to the title. She’s spent a good amount of her run coming out strong before stumbling in the second set and regaining control of the third set to win. However, #26 Flavia Pennetta (Italy) – who has won against Halep three out of four times they’ve faced each other – wasn’t having it and she made that abundantly clear as she took the first set 6-1. Halep spent the second and final set chasing down balls that Pennetta strategically placed out of reach, resulting in 6-3 loss for Halep.
Pennetta will face Roberta Vinci in her first-ever major final.
Novak Djokovic went up against the defending US Open champion, #9 Marin Cilic (Croatia) in the semifinals. Djokovic seemed to not break a sweat, defeating an injured Cilic 6-0, 6-1, 6-2. This is the first time in Djokovic’s career he’s made it to the finals in every major this year.
Djokovic will face #2 Roger Federer in the finals.
Roger Federer quietly crushed fellow Swiss #5 Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Federer will face #1 Novak Djokovic in the finals. As seamless as their journeys have been to reach the finals, Federer and Djokovic will need their best games against each other in the fight for the title. The two have faced each other 41 times and the record stands in Federer’s favor 21-20.