Maria Sharapova lost to Flavia Pennetta in the third round of the 2011 U.S. Open. Pennetta, the No. 26 seed in the tournament, won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Tuesday and has now equaled her best ever performance at one of tennis's four grand slams.
In the deciding game, Pennetta was able to break Sharapova at love, firing a back-handed winner down the line on match point. Sharapova struggled all day with her serve, double-faulting 12 times, including once in the final game. She did not have a single ace and was broken seven times. She won just 50 percent of her service points and only 38 percent of the points on her second serve. Sharapova also had 60 unforced errors to 30 winners.
Pennetta wasn't exactly having a great service match, either. She was broken six times and had six double-faults to just two aces. Mostly, she allowed Sharapova to beat herself, as Pennetta had just 18 winners.
Up until now, Sharapova was actually having a pretty decent season. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon and made the semifinals of the French Open. She entered the match as the No. 4 ranked woman in the world, her highest ranking since 2008.