Pennetta stuns Halep to reach US Open final
Flavia Pennetta of Italy celebrates after defeating Simona Halep of Romania during their 2015 US Open Women's singles semifinals match
The 33-year-old's victory insured an over-30 women's final on Saturday as she waits for an opponent from a match between top seed Serena Williams and Italian countrywoman Roberta Vinci.
Williams will have all of the pressure as the 33-year-old plays to move within one win of a calendar-year grand slam title sweep.
The last to win all four majors in the same year was Steffi Graf in 1988.
Pennetta, a decade the elder of Romanian Halep, went on a six-game winning streak after the third game of the match and won 15 consecutive points in the second to stamp her dominance on the seed, whose game was well off the boil.
Pennetta will play for her first singles title at a major in her 49th career grand slam appearance.
"This win just means everything for me," said the veteran, who admitted she came to the US Open with few expectations after a so-so season.
"This is so amazing," she said. "I never thought I would get this far.
"I played very well. I don't know how I handled all the pressure. I've been playing it match by match and not thinking ahead. I focus only on what I must do on the court."
Pennetta was contesting her second grand slam semi-final, having lost to Victoria Azarenka at the 2013 US Open.