Williams: The pressure didn’t get to me

Serena Williams has rejected suggestions that the pressure of a calendar Grand Slam bid was responsible for her shock defeat in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Williams was bidding to become the first women since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four grand slams in the same year, but was knocked out in the last four by unseeded Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Speaking after the match, the world number one denied that the pressure had gotten to her against the 33-year-old Vinci.

"I told you guys, I don't feel pressure. I never felt pressure," Williams said. "I don't know. I never felt that pressure to win here. I said that from the beginning."

It was just Williams' third loss in 52 matches this year, and against a player who had never previously taken a set off of her. Vinci was so sure that she would lose on Friday that she had already booked her ticket home.

Williams was unsurprisingly not in the mood to talk after the match, adding: "I don't want to talk about how disappointing it is for me."

Key to the top seed's downfall was her high error count, with the American stumbling with 40 unforced errors to chip away at that 50 winners that she hit. Indeed, Williams won more points across the contest, claiming 93 to the 85 of Vinci, but it was the Italian who claimed the vital lone break in the third set.

"I don't think I played that bad. I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well," said Williams.

"She did not want to lose today. Neither did I, incidentally."