(NBC News) In a stunning upset, Serena Williams was bounced from the U.S. Open on Friday and lost her bid for the first Grand Slam in tennis in 27 years.
Roberta Vinci, an unseeded Italian ranked No. 43 in the world, beat Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Williams was aiming for her 22nd major title, which would have tied her with Steffi Graf for the most in the Open Era. She had won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon and needed only the U.S. Open to clinch the Grand Slam.
Until the U.S. Open, Vinci, 32, had never made it past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. She called it the greatest moment of her life.
“It’s an incredible moment for me,” she said on court after the match. Told by an ESPN reporter that she was a 300-to-1 underdog in the match, she said, “Really?”, then repeated it in Italian to coach.
She apologized — “for the American people, for Serena, for the Grand Slam.” But she said, “Today is my day. Sorry, guys.”