Sharapova shocked by Radwanska at U.S. Open

Sep 2, 2007 - 6:50 AM FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- Maria Sharapova had dropped just two total games through the first two rounds. Amazingly, now she is out of the U.S. Open.

The second seed and defending champion from Russia, Sharapova was shocked by No. 30 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

After dropping the first set, Sharapova rolled through the second and jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the third. But she would not win another game.

"Although I won many games in a row after losing the first and being down 1-0, you'd think I'd have the momentum in the third set with a break," Sharapova said. "But I just didn't really feel that way inside of me for some reason today."

Radwanska, 18, showed great poise in breaking Sharapova to get back on serve in the third game, then did so again two games later to take control of the decisive set. She converted her fourth break point in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead, then moved on to the fourth round when Sharapova hit a forehand that hit off the net and landed wide.

"She destroyed me I think the second set," Radwanska said. "But then I woke up after this eight games in a row I lost. I just hit the ball and I made next six games."

In their only previous meeting, on clay at Istanbul earlier this year, Sharapova struggled before posting a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 win.

"I could sit here all day long and come up with excuses and say how bad I played," Sharapova said. "But at the end of the day my opponent won the match and I lost it."

Radwanska, who matched her greatest Grand Slam showing, at Wimbledon last year, lifted her arms and right leg in celebration. She awaits either No. 13 Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic or No. 18 Shahar Peer of Israel, who will play a night match.

Also upset was another Russian, No. 7 Nadia Petrova, who was felled by Hungarian Agnes Szavay, 6-4, 6-4, at the Grandstand. It was the second straight year that Petrova failed to progress beyond the third round here.

Szavay, 18, is playing in her first U.S. Open. Ranked 31st in the world, she next will face Ukrainian Julia Vakulenko, who beat Russian Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-4.

"I'm really happy," Szavay said. "I try to keep going and try to concentrate on my game."

Fourth seed and 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova avoided joining her fellow Russians, Sharapova and Petrova, as an upset victim by dominating No. 31 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, 6-3, 6-1.

Kuznetsova returns to the fourth round for the second consecutive year after she controlled every facet of the Saturday's match, holding huge advantages in first-serve points, net approaches, and winners.

Next up for Kuznetsova is Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. The 18-year old Belarussian, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, also sprang an upset by storming past 16th seed and 1997 winner Martina Hingis of Switzerland, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0.

Sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze of Russia cruised into the round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 26 Sania Mirza of India. Chakvetadze awaits Austrian Tamira Paszek, who upset No. 11 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

Also advancing was 18th-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel and Julia Vakulenko of the Ukraine. Peer topped No. 13 Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), while Vakulenko beat Russian Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-4.






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