Shelby Rogers stuns Serena to reach Top Seed Open semifinals

Shelby Rogers earned a surprising upset over No.1 seed Serena Williams at the inaugural Top Seed Open

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Courtesy: Getty Images

LEXINGTON, KY, USA (WTA) — It came down to the wire, but Shelby Rogers earned an thunderous upset at the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics on Friday, ousting top seed Serena Williams 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) in an all-American affair to claim a spot in the semifinals.

In her first-ever meeting with Williams, Rogers fought back from a set down to grab the win after a hard-hitting two hours and seven minutes of play, collecting her third career victory over a Top 10 player in the process.

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“It was important for me going onto the court thinking I could win that match, and knowing I could take care of my service games,” Rogers said, during her post-match press conference. “Because [Williams] has probably the best serve of all time, and when she wants to, she can win a point on her serve.”

“I just tried to control what I could control, and that’s mostly my service games, and then if I had an opportunity, I tried to capitalize,” Rogers added. “I think the few that I did have today, I was able to do that.”

The stunning result continues a sterling run this week for the the former Top 50 player and 2016 Roland Garros quarterfinalist, who is currently ranked World No.116. Rogers missed over a year of action in 2018 and 2019 due to knee surgery, and was unranked at one point in 2019.

“Six months after [I had] surgery, I didn’t think I was going to be able to play again, ever,” said Rogers. “I’m pretty thankful to gain that perspective after going through that, and be grateful to be on the court competing again.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com