| By Eric C. Peck
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

In Friday afternoon action at the 2011 U.S. Open, number three-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova was upset by the number 26 seed, Flavia Pennetta of Italy, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The runner-up at this year's Wimbledon, Sharapova fought back from a 3-0 deficit in the third set and evened the match at 4-4 with a backhand winner. However, Pennetta proved too strong for Sharapova to overcome and took the match from the 24-year-old Sharapova.

"I made way too many unforced errors. I fought back to get myself back in the match in the third set," said Sharapova in her post-match press conference. "I think the first three, four games on every game I had a chance to win, whether it was a break point or it was a game point on my serve, and I didn't win those games."

Pennetta, currently ranked 26th in the world, will advance to face the number 13 seed, China's Shuai Peng, who was victorious on the day over the number 19 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-4, 7-6.

"It's disappointing," said Sharapova on her loss to Pennetta. "It's disappointing to lose in the middle of nowhere. It's disappointing to lose in New York. Losing isn't fun for anyone because we work to win. We don't work to try to lose."


Eric C. Peck is Editor-in-Chief of Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at eric@litennismag.com