Roberta Vinci on Friday stunned world number one Serena Williams 2-6 6-4 6-4 to set up an unprecedented all-Italian final at the US Open against Flavia Pennetta. Earlier on Friday Pennetta stormed past Romania’s Simona Halep, 6-1 6-3, to become the first Italian woman to reach the singles final of the Flushing Meadows grand slam. Unseeded Vinci, 32, refused to lie down after losing the first set of the semi and stormed back to one of the sport’s biggest ever upsets.
In the process the 43rd-ranked player ended American Williams’ drive for a 22nd major title and to become the first player to win all four majors in the same year since Steffi Graf in 1988.
Pennetta, seeded 26th, showed skill and a cool head as she took advantage of an array of unforced errors by her opponent to take the first set at a canter. She then held her nerve in the second set, coming back from 3-1 down to stun the second-seeded Romania.
Pennetta was the first Italian woman to get into the top 10, in August 2009, but she neither she nor Vinci had previously reached the final of a grand slam.