The U.S. Open tennis tournament this year will have its first Italian woman semifinalist since 1930, thanks to a couple of upsets in the fourth round.
Roberta Vinci, seeded 20th, defeated second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to set up a quarterfinal match against 10th seed Sara Errani, who won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 against Angelique Kerber, the sixth seed from Germany.
The winner of the Vinci-Errani match will become the first Italian woman to reach the U.S. Open’s final four since Baroness Maude Giacomo Levi advanced to the semifinals 82 years ago.
“I’m happy to play against her, for sure an Italian goes to the semifinal,” Vinci said in a news conference. “She’s my best friend, so I’m very happy to play against her.”
Errani, 25, and Vinci, 29, will compete as partners today in the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles, where they are the No. 2 seeds. They’ve already won seven doubles titles this year, including at the French Open.
The previous Italian women’s singles semifinalist at the U.S. Open was a native Chicagoan who grew up as Maude Rosenbaum and then competed for Italy after marrying Baron Giacomo Giorgio Levi in 1927.
The baroness, who died in 1981 in New York at the age of 79, was divorced from the baron in February 1934 and married New York stockbroker H. Walter Blumenthal in 1935.
The last Italian man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals was Corrado Barazzutti in 1977.
Errani reached this year’s French Open final before losing to Maria Sharapova, while Vinci is in the quarterfinals of a major for the first time in her career.