Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sharapova dumped out as impressive Pennetta upsets odds

TENNIS

Former champion Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the US Open yesterday by Italian Flavia Pennetta in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

Sharapova, seeded third, struggled in becoming the first big casualty of this year's championship, losing 6-3 3-6 6-4 in two and a half hours.

The Italian has reached the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows twice before, but pulled off one of the biggest wins of her career in a see-sawing match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium centre court.

Pennetta, seeded 26th, raced to a 4-0 lead en route to winning the opening set. But Sharapova, who made 60 unforced errors and served 12 double faults, won the second back then recovered from 4-1 down to square the final set at 4-4.

Pennetta regained her composure to hold her serve to lead 5-4 then broke the Russian again to seal victory and advance to a fourth round clash with China's Peng Shuai.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray's pursuit of his first grand slam triumph remained on track after the World No 4 recovered from a two-set deficit to defeat Dutchman Robin Haase in a thrilling second round match 6-7 2-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 .

The Scotsman squandered a 4-0 lead in the final set and needed a service break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and serve out the three-hour, 23-minute match.

Defending champion Rafa Nadal strolled into the third round when his opponent, Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, retired hurt. The Spaniard already had the match under control, leading 6-2 6-2, when Mahut quit in the first game of the third set.

Juan Martin Del Potro (22) eased into the third round with a 6-2 6-1 7-5 victory over fellow Argentinian Diego Junqueira.

Del Potro is playing in the tournament for the first time since winning the title in 2009 after missing last year with a wrist injury and he is certainly someone the top seeds will want to avoid.

Elsewhere, second seed Vera Zvonareva , who lost to Kim Clijsters in the final last year, edged a tight first set and then let a break lead slip away in the second before winning 6-4 7-5.

US Open,

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