Roberta Vinci, who was ranked 43rd, outlasted Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the quarterfinals Tuesday. Vinci has reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at age 32.
The 22-year-old Mladenovic, who had never been past the third round at a major before this tournament, struggled with cramping on a steamy afternoon. Her fourth-round singles match didn't end until 1 a.m. Monday, then she played doubles later that day.
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Vinci, an Italian, had advanced into the quarterfinal without taking the court Sunday, when 25th-seeded Eugene Bouchard withdrew after sustaining a concussion when she slipped and fell in the locker room two days earlier.
Mladenovic rallied from down a break in the second to force a third set, but had trainers rubbing ice on her legs during changeovers.
At 3-3 in the final set, the two played a 15-minute game with 10 deuces. Mladenovic had six game points she failed to convert.
After getting broken, the 40th-ranked Frenchwoman asked for a medical timeout. Not eligible under the rules to receive more treatment for cramping, she said it was a different injury. Vinci protested to the chair umpire as Mladenovic had her left thigh wrapped.
It wouldn't make a difference. Mladenovic repeatedly bent over in discomfort between points, and Vinci won her last two service games to clinch victory after 2 hours, 32 minutes.
Vinci has played on the biggest stages before, winning five major doubles titles with former partner Sara Errani. She had been 0-2 in Grand Slam singles quarterfinals, both at the U.S. Open.
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