Roberta Vinci was so certain she would lose to Serena Williams she booked a flight home for the day of the final

Unseeded Italian tennis player Roberta Vinci pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of women’s tennis, eliminating No. 1 seed Serena Williams in the U.S. Open semifinals.

The victory was a shock to everyone, including Vinci, who admitted in her post-match press conference that she didn’t think she would win.

When asked by a reporter if the feeling of defeating Serena has set in yet, she struggled for the words in English, saying:

“It’s tough to explain, because I don’t have many — maybe also in Italian the words that can I explain really, because it’s amazing.

“Maybe if yesterday [you] told me, ‘OK, tomorrow you can win against Serena’, I say, ‘Come on.’ Yesterday I called my travel agency to say, OK, book me a flight, because you know… (Laughter.)

“And then now I have my final tomorrow. So it’s incredible, yeah.”

When a reporter asked if she had booked a flight home for Friday, after the semifinal, Vinci clarified:

“No, no, no, tomorrow. Because I played on second I don’t want to do quick. So, ok, I lost today against Serena and tomorrow I will go home.”

Vinci then joked that the flight isn’t until 10 o’clock at night, so maybe she can make it in time after the final.

In her brief spotlight in the public eye, Vinci is already winning people over. Immediately after the match, she gave a great interview, describing it as a dream to advance to the U.S. Open finals. In the same press conference later, a reporter noted that Vinci had predicted earlier there might be two Italians in the final (her opponent, Flavia Pennetta is also Italian), and Vinci responded, “And tomorrow one Italian win for sure” before giving a thumbs up.

While it was a shame to see Serena’s quest for another calendar grand slam go out the window, Vinci brings new, exciting blood into the world of tennis, and it’s hard not to root for her.

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