Did this really happen? Yes, it did. Serena Williams, for the first time this year, left a grand slam match as the loser. Roberta Vinci pulled off the feat at the U.S. Open.
Williams' forehands and other parts of her game deserted her, especially in the third set. She lost 2-6 6-4 6-4 and so there will be no calendar year grand slam.
Williams, as she has done this year when in trouble, willed herself on with shouts of, "come on." But in Friday's semifinal ...
She was matched by Vinci, who was unseeded and ranked 43rd. The Italian had lost all four of her previous matches against Williams and didn't claim a set.
Vinci was delighted to win and charmed the crowd with her post-match interview. But she also spared a thought for Williams, who was the crowd favorite playing at home in the U.S.
Williams made a quick exit and was also brief in her press conference. She said all the pressure of trying to win four majors in one season -- something not accomplished since 1988 -- didn't affect her.
For the first time, there will be an all-Italian grand slam final because Flavia Pennetta beat No. 2 Simona Halep in another upset, 6-3 6-1.
Pennetta served well from the middle of the first set onward and at one stage in the second set claimed 15 straight points.
But there was disappointment for Halep, who said she succumbed to nerves. It wasn't the first time it happened at a grand slam.