Sunday, September 02, 2007

U.S. Open: Early Exit for Sharapova [J. Mark English]

My macho side is disappointed. I wanted to see the gorgeous Maria Sharapova play in the finals of the U.S. Open in Flushing, New York. The defending U.S. Open champ lost to Agnieszka Radwanska. In doing so, Sharapova, the No. 2 seed, lost to a No. 30 seed. Its the first time since 1981 that No. 2 seed had been knocked out before the round of 16.

Here is more from Karen Crouse of the New York Times:

As Maria Sharapova’s United States Open title defense unraveled yesterday, the indignities piled up as fast as the double faults. Her teenage opponent, Agnieszka Radwanska, crept in close to the service line to receive Sharapova’s second serves as if she were playing an advanced beginner and not a two-time Grand Slam champion.

In the third set, with Sharapova trailing, 5-2 and 15-0, her father and coach, Yuri Sharapov, moved from the first row of the guest box to a seat higher up, where he could not be seen so easily. Sharapov has been known to coach his daughter from the stands, but he had to recognize that there was no hand signal appropriate for this occasion except for the sign for surrender.

The 18-year-old Radwanska, seeded No. 30, sent Sharapova packing with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 upset at Arthur Ashe Stadium in a third-round match that was played in the early afternoon, the bright rays of sun illuminating Sharapova’s flaws and Radwanska’s promise.

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