Serena Williams’ grand slam hopes end at U.S. Open

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Serena Williams of the US leaves the court after being defeated by Roberta Vinci of Italy during their 2015 US Open Women's singles semifinals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 11, 2015. Vinci won 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty-six times, Serena Williams had played a grand slam match in 2015. And all 26 times she emerged triumphant.

But in her 27th encounter, Williams came unstuck against an Italian, Roberta Vinci, who wasn’t even seeded at the U.S. Open.

Vinci, best known for formerly being the world’s top-ranked doubles player, stunned Williams 2-6 6-4 6-4 to end the American’s chances of completing the calendar-year grand slam.

Williams had toiled in quite a few of her past grand slam tussles this year but always found a way to win. Not against the 43rd-ranked Vinci, though, who not only overturned a set deficit but came back from 2-0 down in the third.

So, instead of Williams trying to emulate Steffi Graf’s achievement of 1988, it will be an all Italian U.S. Open final Saturday after Flavia Pennetta upset Simona Halep 6-3 6-1 in Friday’s first women’s semifinal.

More to follow.

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