Serena Williams lost her chance at making history during the U.S. Open semi-finals on Sept. 11 — and it was all at the hands of Italian tennis pro Roberta Vinci. But who exactly IS this headline-making underdog? Here’s what you need to know!
Roberta Vinci shocked us all by taking down the No. 1 tennis player in the world, Serena Williams, during the 2015 U.S. Open. The incredible victory dashed Serena’s hopes at winning a Grand Slam, something that hasn’t been done since 1988. Here are 5 things you need to know about Roberta!
1. She was ranked No. 43 at the time of the U.S. Open
Before Serena and Roberta’s match, it almost seemed like no question that Serena would win and cruise right onto the finals against someone ranked No. 43! But anything can happen, and Roberta pulled out the victory. The 32-year-old has never been ranked higher than No. 34 — in singles, at least (see below for more on that)!
2. Her real strength has always been doubles
Although Roberta beat Serena in the singles tournament, she’s found most of her success playing doubles with her partner and friend, Sara Errani. As a pair, the ladies won the 2012 French Open, 2012 US open, 2013 Australian Open and 2014 Wilmbledon, but they discontinued playing together in 2015.
3. She’s never won a Grand Slam tournament solo
Roberta has never won a singles Grand Slam tournament, but, of course, that could all change after the Sept. 12 U.S. Open Finals! Now that her focus is completely on her singles career, this might be the year. I mean, after defeating Serena, she HAS to be on a major high, and we know how helpful adrenaline is!
4. Before the Open, she had never beaten Serena
This match was actually the first time Roberta found herself victorious against the greatest female tennis player in the world. They played each other four times before this, and Serena defeated the 32-year-old every time. Oh, how the tables have turned!
5. Her strongest shot is her backhand
Roberta has one majorly unique shot in her tennis game — a one-handed backhand! She uses the ‘backhand slice’ to make sure the ball stays low.
HollywoodLifers: Were you shocked Roberta won?!
— Alyssa Norwin