“She Played Literally Out of Her Mind”: When Serena Williams Had to Deal With the Biggest Loss of Her Career

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US Open 2015 was set to be a historic tournament for Serena Williams. The American crowd favorite was chasing history, a calendar Grand Slam, in front of her home crowd but the dream turned into a nightmare at the semi-finals. Roberta Vinci, the world number 43 at the time, caused a huge upset with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the American. Vinci played that game of her life and dealt a heartbreaking loss to Williams, who described it as the toughest loss of her career.

This was also the only time that Roberta Vinci could beat Williams and it was one of the best matches of her career. The Italian could not reach similar heights, of a Grand Slam final, again in her career. This is also often looked at as the start of a bit of a downfall for Williams, who could only win two more Majors following this.

Serena Williams misses chance for calendar slam

2015 was a dream year for Serena Williams. The American was the undisputed best women’s player in the world and stamped her authority by winning all the Grand Slams before US Open. She won the Australian Open, The Wimbledon and The French Open convincingly before aiming for the rare feat of a calendar slam.

Williams was heavy favorite to win going into the semi finals where she faced Vinci, who was in her maiden semi-finals at a grand slam. The American won the first set 6-2 before losing the next two sets and getting knocked out at the semi finals stage.

Williams was clearly dejected while talking to the press post match and mentioned how Vinci played ‘out of her mind’ on the night to beat the-then world number 1. The American further mentioned how Vinci was an inspiration for her, after her performance at the age of 33. Talking about her own game, Williams felt that she did not play badly at all, but could have avoided some unforced errors.

“I think she (Vinci) played very well. Probably the best match of her career. She played literally out of her mind and credit goes to her. She is 33 now and she is giving it her all at the end of her career, she’s an inspiration for sure. I don’t think I played too badly, but I could have avoided some unforced errors,”

Roberta Vinci could not follow up her incredible victory against Williams, as she lost the US Open 2015 final to Flavia Pennetta 7-6, 6-2. This all Italian final was the dream ending for Pennetta, who retired at the end of the season after winning the US Open, in what was also her first and only Grand Slam singles title.

Never again for Williams

The heartbreak of 2015 would last with Williams for a life-time, as the American never got a shot at winning a calendar Grand Slam again. Titles and Grand Slams started to dry up for the American star as well, as she could only muster 2 more Grand Slam titles before eventually hanging up her racquet in 2022.

Williams will forever be known in the history books as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but she would be the first to admit that she could have won much more. The American did win a record 23 Grand Slam titles, but would have expected to win more given her dominance in the women’s sport.


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