Vinci defeated Serena Williams in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, a cataclysmic upset which denied her a calendar-year Grand Slam and a record-equalling 22nd major title.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here as the victor”, Williams confessed during her on-court interview.
Besides Beck, the only other seeded player left in the draw is Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, the fourth seed. “She’s had a wonderful summer as well. It felt so good”.
The Serbian former world number one won the first set but it was one-way traffic thereafter as Muguruza suddenly rediscovered her mojo and romped home 4-6, 6-1, 6-0. She will face 15th-seeded Roberta Vinci for a spot in the final.
Konta had never been past the second round of a grand slam before a spirited run to the last 16 at the US Open earlier this month.
“I wasn’t really thinking ahead or behind”, Konta said afterwards. “So here we go tomorrow”. “I thought she was moving the ball around”.
Watson had gone into the tournament with a world ranking of 60 and Konta was 66th, but the two players have been travelling in different directions recently.
Konta was on a roll, but would surely live to regret a missed break chance in the second game.
Breaking in the fifth game, Konta issued a confident hold for 4-2.
Muguruza could break into the top five after reaching the Wuhan semis, where she will meet German sixth seed Angelique Kerber who profited from a retirement by America’s Coco Vandeweghe.
She fell 15-40 down but Williams rediscovered her serve and hit back to deuce.
The depth of Konta’s drive often denied Williams angles.
“She really raised her game and played a few incredible tennis towards the end”. A long cross-court shot was called out on the line to give Konta another life but Williams ensured it was short-lived.
Raising her arms in exasperation toward coach David Witt, Williams got back to work.
Digging in closer to the baseline, Konta reeled off seven straight points earning triple break point. I said, look, I’m going to fight again and see what happens.
While the journey is over in the short-term for Konta, she has shown signs that she could be a name to watch out for in the future.