FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The Maria Sharapova Express hit a derailment today.
The 2006 US Open Champion was supposed to go pretty far in this tournament after fully coming back from her shoulder surgery and receiving the No. 3 seed.
But Italian Flavia Pennetta had something else to say about that with a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over the Russian by the way of Florida in the third round of the US Open.
“I made way too many unforced errors,” she said. “I fought back to get myself back in the match in the third set. I think the first three, four games on every game I had a chance to win that game, whether it was a breakpoint or it was a game point on my serve, and I didn’t win those games.
“When you’re done 1‑4 and you get yourself back in a position where can you win again and start making errors, it’s just too inconsistent to win the match against her.”
Sharapova committed 60 unforced errors with 29 coming in the first set and 12 double faults in the match compared to only 35 self inflicted wounds by her Italian counterpart and only six giveaways.
She said she didn’t “feel comfortable” all game and just couldn’t get on track.
And when she got it in the third Sharapova couldn’t sustain her undefeated 2011 in third set. And even with that kind of confidence, it didn’t matter.
“I never think I’m going to lose the match, no matter if I’m 1‑4 or 0‑5,” she said. “I don’t have that mentality that I’m going to lose no matter how bad or how good I’m playing. You can’t have that mentality.”
And thus another disappointing Open for the Russian. Even though she went to the Finals at Wimbledon, the 24 year-old leaves Flushing before Labor Day with the hopes of maybe a better Asian season this fall.
“I’m not really looking forward to a 14‑hour flight in a couple of weeks,” she said dryly. “Yeah, the year is not over. We’ve still got ‑‑ I think I still have three tournaments to go or so.
“Yeah, once they come then it will be time to play again and raise my level. Until then, I just have to, you know, keep working in order for me to go out in the match and raise it.”