It was the Italian who ended Serena Williams' Grand Slam charge, stunning the American in the semi-finals in New York.
Vinci showed her ability to mix things up in that match with her slices and drop shots honed on the claycourts proving frustrating for a nervy-looking Williams.
She came up short against now-retired compatriot Flavia Pennetta in the final but Vinci will never forget her run in the Big Apple.
Vinci returns knowing she has a stack of ranking points to defend and likely to lose her top-10 ranking as a repeat cannot really be envisaged.
She's only won back-to-back matches once since April and has failed to reach the second week at any of the 2016 Slams.
Still, no-one saw last year's run coming either and after her bubbly personality wowed the New York fans 12 months ago, she is still to garner plenty of support.