At the start of the US Open 2015, the tennis world was buzzing about Serena and the Calendar Grand Slam. With the dominance shown by her in the other majors this year, most people picked her to win the title at Flushing Meadows.
She was picked by most pundits to win her semi final against Roberta VInci. In fact, the odds were at 300:1. But little did they know that Vinci would play spoilsport. In what is being dubbed as the upset of tennis history, the grit and determination of the Italian veteran was on full display as she took out Serena in three sets, thus ending her quest for a Calendar Grandslam, something that had not been done since Steffi Graff won all four majors in 1988.
Awaiting her in the final is her countrywoman Flavia Pennetta. The final promises to be a treat for fans, provided both can bring their best tennis to court on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know about the final and what to look forward to.
Both Italians are in the first Grand Slam Singles finals of their career. However, both have been Grand Slam doubles champions. The fact that they have already dealt with the situation of a major final is sure to settle down some of the nerves both women would have as they walk out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Both Pennetta and Vinci are former doubles World number 1 players. While Pennetta had a successful partnership with Gisela Dulko a few years ago, Vinci was successful with her countrywomen Sara Errani; the latter partnership was broken just prior to Roland Garros this year. What this also means is that there is probably going to be more volleys and rushing forward to the net to finish off points.
Irrespective of who holds aloft the winner’s trophy on Saturday evening, US Open will get its oldest women’s singles champion in the Open Era. The present record is held by Margret Court, who won the 1973 edition of the tournament at the age of 31 years 1 month and 23 days.
The head to head between the two is 5-4 in favour of Pennetta with their matches on hardcourts tied at 1-1. Their last three matches have been relatively quick and easy for the winner. The last time they played was at the 2013 US Open quarterfinal stage which Pennetta won 6-4 6-1.
Ticket sales have suffered at the venue after Williams’ withdrawal, however.
The final has everything in it to be a classic, provided both bring their best games to the court come Saturday evening. It might just turn out to be who handles the pressure more. Vinci is coming off the biggest win of her career, and how ready she is mentally for the final might be crucial for a good match. After all, mind games play a huge role in every sport, and it’s not going to be any different for either women on Saturday.
Predictions: Pennetta to win in three sets