Maria Sharapova crashes out of US Open after succumbing to Flavia Pennetta
Maria Sharapova's US Open dream was shattered by Flavia Pennetta on Friday.Pennetta, a 29-year-old Italian ranked 25th in the world, stunned an out-of-sorts Sharapova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.
Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts to a point during her match against Flavia Pennetta of Italy at the 2011 US Open in New York. Pennetta won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. PIC/AFP
Pennetta, a two-time US Open quarter-finalist, took full advantge of the third-seeded Russian's 60 unforced errors and 12 double-faults, holding her own after Sharapova's second-set fight-back led to a tense third set and claiming what she called one of the biggest wins of her career.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki battled her way into the fourth round of the US Open with a 6-2 6-4 victory over America's Vania King on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The scoreline was comprehensive but that did not really tell the whole story, with King troubling Wozniacki in a lot of her service games but taking only three of 10 break points before a thigh injury hampered her efforts.
One of those breaks came in the opening game but the Dane hit back immediately and, after King had held for 2-2, Wozniacki went on a run of seven games in a row to clinch the opening set and lead 3-0 in the second. The top seed was struggling for penetration on her forehand, though, and King took advantage to retrieve the break only to fail to hold onto her own serve.
But serving for the match Wozniacki faltered again, and this time King capitalised, powering away a backhand winner to pull back to 5-4. It seemed to come at a price for the 22-year-old, though, who was in tears at the change of ends as she had her left thigh heavily strapped. King's movement was clearly affected and she succumbed the very next game.
Murray, Nadal in Round 3 In men's number four Andy Murray avoided the same fate with a wild five-set victory over Robin Haase. Scotland's Murray appeared to be heading for a second-round exit after dropping the first two sets to Haase. He had turned things around when he suddenly had to fend off a last furious challenge in a fifth set he called "a bit of a blur" to win 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4.
Defending champion and second seed Rafael Nadal reached the US Open third round on Friday when French opponent Nicolas Mahut quit with injury. Nadal was 6-2, 6-2, 3-0 ahead when Mahut retired. The Spaniard will tackle either Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic or David Nalbandian of Argentina for a place in the fourth round. �