Unseeded Italian tennis player Roberta Vinci pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of women’s tennis, eliminating No. 1-seed Serena Williams in the US Open semifinals.
The victory was a shock to everyone, including Vinci, who admitted in her post-match press conference that she didn’t think she’d win.
When asked by a reporter if the feeling of defeating Williams has set in yet, she struggled for the words in English, saying:
It’s tough to explain, because I don’t have many – maybe also in Italian the words that can I explain really, because it’s amazing. Maybe if yesterday [you] told me, ‘OK, tomorrow you can win against Serena,’ I say, ‘Come on.’ Yesterday I called my travel agency to say, ‘OK, book me a flight,’ because you know … [Laughter] And then now I have my final tomorrow. So it’s incredible, yeah.
When a reporter asked if she had booked a flight home for Friday, after the semifinals, Vinci clarified:
No, no, no, tomorrow. Because I played on second I don’t want to do quick. So, OK, I lost today against Serena and tomorrow I will go home.
Vinci then joked that the flight isn’t until 10 p.m., so maybe she can make it in time after the finals.
In her brief spotlight in the public eye, Vinci is already winning people over. Immediately after the match, she gave a great interview, describing it as a dream to advance to the US Open finals.
Later during the same press conference, a reporter noted that Vinci had predicted earlier that there might be two Italians in the finals – her opponent, Flavia Pennetta, is also Italian.
Vinci responded, “And tomorrow one Italian win for sure” before giving a thumbs-up.
While it was a shame to see Williams’ quest for another calendar Grand Slam go out the window, Vinci brings new, exciting blood into the world of tennis, and it’s hard not to root for her.