Flavia Pennetta reached her first grand slam semi-final after beating Roberta Vinci 6-4 6-1 in their all-Italian quarter-final at the U.S. Open on Wednesday.

Pennetta, ranked 83rd in the world, will face the winner of Wednesday's night match between Belarussian second seed Victoria Azarenka and Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

The two women from Puglia put on an energetic performance as heat and sunshine returned to Flushing Meadows but they both struggled to hold serve in a first set which saw five combined breaks of serve.

Tenth-seed Vinci put up some fine resistance saving two set points before finally succumbing to Pennetta and the effort seemed to deflate her as she lost the second set in 24 minutes. 

(By Simon Davis)