Roberta Vinci adorns her long career with first Grand Slam semifinals in singles

Roberta Vinci/

Roberta Vinci is the first player to advance to the semifinals of the 2015 US Open and it’s the biggest Grand Slam singles achievement of her pro career that started back in 1999. The Italian boasts outstanding results in doubles, having won all the four Grand Slams with partner Sara Errani, but in singles her US Open quarterfinal appearances in 2012 and 2013 used to be her biggest successes. Now it’s true more than ever that it’s never too late in women’s tennis and the 32-year-old reached the final four in New York with a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory over Kristina Mladenovic on Tuesday.

The 43rd-ranked Vinci cruised through the first set in 24 minutes, hanging on to the break of serve she pocketed in the second game. Things became much trickier in the second set and complicated even further in the decider.

In the second game of the second set Vinci found herself at 0-40, but eventually saved a total of six break points, held serve and broke Mladenovic in the following game. The world No.40 Mladenovic then won three straight games for a 4-2 lead and even though Vinci managed to level to 4-all, the Frenchwoman eventually won the 64-minute second set.

The decider had two very long games: the nine-minute fourth game in which Mladenovic wasted three break points and the 13-minute seventh game that featured as much as ten deuces and in which Vinci finally made the first break of the set, which proved to be crucial, as she soon afterwards took hold of her biggest Grand Slam victory.

The experienced Vinci, who used to be No.1 doubles player for a long time, will next play the winner of the clash between the Williams sisters. Let me remind you that Vinci had quite an easy passage into the quarterfinals, as Eugenie Bouchard handed her a walkover as a consequence of the concussion she suffered due to a fall in the locker room, while her earlier opponents were all ranked outside the Top 75. (photo: Jimmie48)

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