Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sharapova falters in three shaky sets

NEW YORK — That Maria Sharapova's shaky serving, with a dozen double faults, contributed to her early exit at the U.S. Open came as no surprise.

That her other strokes were problematic Friday could be explained away by the perpetual motion of her third-round opponent, 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta.

That three-time major champion Sharapova's nerve would fail her in the crucible of a third set? Now that was the real stunner.

Unbeaten this year in 12 previous matches that went the distance, the third-seeded Sharapova dropped the last seven points of a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 loss to the Italian that took 2½ hours.

"She's a good fighter, you know. You can never give up with her. You have to be focused until the last game; until the last point, actually," Pennetta said. "But I think (at) 5-4, she's starting to feel a little bit of pressure."

After trailing 3-0 and 4-1 in the last set, Sharapova turned things around briefly, getting to 4-all, 15-30 on Pennetta's serve. But the 2006 U.S. Open champion didn't win another point.

"I came back. I had chances. There's no doubt I had chances," Sharapova said. "But I guess (Friday) was the day I didn't take them."

Aside from all of those double faults — including two to begin the final game — Sharapova finished with a total of 60 unforced errors, twice as high as her winner count.

Meanwhile, ninth-seeded Sam Stosur, a Tampa resident, edged No. 24 Nadia Petrova 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (5-7), 7-5 to reach the fourth round in a match that took 3 hours, 16 minutes — the longest women's match in tournament history (the previous mark: Sybille Bammer defeated Marion Bartoli in 3:05 minutes in 2008).

On the men's side, No. 4 Andy Murray lost the first two sets against 41st-ranked Robin Haase but rallied to win 6-7 (5-7), 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4.

"At the beginning, I felt sluggish, felt slow," Murray said. "I started forcing myself to get every single ball."

Defending champion Rafael Nadal built a 6-2, 6-2 lead before Nicolas Mahut quit because of an abdominal injury. In an all-American matchup, Andy Roddick reached the third round by beating 18-year-old Jack Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Other winners included 18th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and three Americans: Donald Young, who upset No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka; No. 28 John Isner, a Tampa resident; and Alex Bogomolov Jr.

.Fast facts

Today's key matches

Men: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. Nikolay Davydenko, No. 3 Roger Federer vs. No. 27 Marin Cilic, No. 8 Mardy Fish vs. Kevin Anderson

Women: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Vania King, No. 4 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 28 Serena Williams, No. 7 Francesca Schiavone vs. Chanelle Scheepers

TV: 11 a.m., Ch. 10; 7 p.m., Tennis

Sharapova falters in three shaky sets 09/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 3, 2011 12:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”