Angelique Kerber, 2016 Us Open

Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber is in the semifinals of the US Open for the first time since 2011 (she lost to eventual winner Sam Stosur). Kerber dispatched last year’s finalist Roberta Vinci 7-5 6-0. She will next face Caroline Wozniacki who defeated the surprising Anastasija Sevatsova 6-0 6-2.

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber
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Nick Kyrgios, Australian Open 2016

Lots of people watching defending champion Novak Djokovic at practice:

Novak Djokovic

 

Novak Djokovic

 
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2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta:

“Before this tournament, I never thought to be this far, to be a champion. It’s been a long time getting here. It’s a dream come true. It’s also nice to play against a friend. She has had an incredible two weeks. We know each other since we were really young. Our first match, I was nine years old.”

Roberta Vinci:

“It was tough, over 24 hours there were a lot of things on my mind, a little tired. But I’m really happy to be in the final, really happy for Flavia. It’s tough to play someone you have known for a long time. Flavia played a great match.”

Congrats and thanks to bothchampions and all the best, Flavia for your new life!

A few pictures from the final:

US Open Womens Finals Vinci

US Open Womens Finals Vinci volley

US Open Womens Finals Vinci rest concentration

US Open Womens Finals Pennetta backhand
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2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta defeated Roberta Vinci 7-6 6-2 to win her first Gand Slam title, and announced her retirement during the trophy ceremony. Current and former players took to Twitter to congratulate her.

Among them of course, Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone:

and boyfriend Fabio Fognini:

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Roberta Vinci, 2015 US Ope,
Roberta Vinci’s road to the final
Round Opponent Score
R1 Vania King 6-4 6-4
R2 Denisa Allertova 2-6 6-3 6-1
R3 Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1 5-7 6-2
R4 Eugenie Bouchard [25] wo
QF Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 5-7 6-4
SF Serena Williams [1] 2-6 6-4 6-4

Roberta Vinci defeated just one seeded player en route to her first Grand Slam final, but what a win it was! In one of the greatest upsets in tennis history, she beat world No 1 Serena Williams in three sets and ended her Grand Slam dream.

This is the best match that I played in my life. At the end when I made a break, 4-3, and served, I was a little bit scared. But in my mind, I say, ‘Don’t think about this, because maybe you have more pressure. Stay calm, relax, and breathe during every single point. Don’t think that you have Serena on the other side of the court.

She will face Flavia Pennetta, with whom she won the Roland Garros junior doubles title, in an all-Italian final.

“It’s an incredible moment, but one Italian will win for sure,” said Vinci.

Flavia Pennetta’s road to the final

Flavia Pennetta - US Open Tennis 2015

Round Opponent Score
R1 Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2 3-6 6-1
R2 Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-4
R3 Petra Cetkovska 1-6 6-1 6-4
R4 Sam Stosur [22] 6-4 6-4
QF Petra Kvitova [5] 4-6 6-4 6-2
SF Simona Halep [2] 6-1 6-3

After victories over 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur and 2-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Flavia made a quick work of world number 2 Simona Halep in the semifinal. She was surprised by her own performance:

I never thought I’d be so far in the tournament, so it’s something special. I didn’t play really well in the last week and the feeling was not that good. I just come here and try to practice, try to find the good feeling with the ball, with the atmosphere here, and everything seems to be working.

Flavia Pennetta – Roberta Vinci head to head: 5-4

Flavia leads their head to head 5-4 but it seems tough to designate a favorite: nerves will play a big part in this match as they both will play their first Grand Slam final ever.

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2013 US Open QF Hard Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-1
2010 Roland Garros R64 Clay Flavia Pennetta 6-1 6-1
2009 Tokyo R64 Hard Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-2
2009 Palermo R16 Clay Flavia Pennetta 7-5 6-1
2009 Barcelona R16 Clay Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-2
2007 Acapulco R16 Clay Flavia Pennetta 6-0 6-2
2007 Bogota SF Clay Roberta Vinci 3-6 7-6 6-2
2005 Palermo QF Clay Flavia Pennetta 6-1 4-6 7-6
2003 Ortisei R32 Carpet Roberta Vinci 2-6 7-6 6-3

Roberta or Flavia? Anything can happen today, but the only sure thing is one of the two will become the 4th Grand Slam singles champion from Italy after Nicola Pietrangeli, Adriano Panatta and Francesca Schiavone. The winner will also be the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion.

Photo credit: Maryland Male, Richard Wentworth