US Open: Federer, Sharapova sent packing

In the early hours of yesterday, Roger Federer was sent packing by Australian John Millman, 3/6; 7/5; 7/6 (7); 7/6 (3), while Maria Sharapova was a shadow of herself in a straight sets loss to Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain, 6/4; 6/3.

The second seeded Federer won the first set 6-3 from a single break of serve, and it seemed he would continue the winning streak of previous three matches. In the second set, Federer got the crucial break, in the ninth game. Serving for the set, he was ahead 40-15 but lost the game. Millman held serve and broke Federer in the 12th game to win set 7-5.

It was a signal of a battle in the offing. Federer, a six-time U.S. Open champion also had a set point in the third set tie breaker, but hit a return of Millman’s second serve into the net. In the fourth, he broke Millman’s serve early but could not consolidate. At match-point, Federer hit a forehand beyond the lines. It just wasn’t his day.

Prior to the early morning encounter, Sharapova led Suarez-Navarro 4-1 in career head-to-head matches, and as the 22nd seed, looked the favourite to win against the 29th seed.

From the outset, however, things did not go Sharapova’s way. Suarez-Navarro broke Sharapova’s serve to lead 3-1 in the first set and faced 30-40 break point but survived weak second serve to deuce and then held to lead 4-2.

Sharapova lost the first three points of the fifth game and suffered a second break. Suarez-Navarro returned the favour in losing her serve with a double fault at game point. Serving for the set at 5-4, Suarez-Navarro recovered from 0-30 to win the game and set 6-4. Sharapova suffered a break in the second set opener but battled to level. Games proceeded with serve until Sharapova delivered her seventh double fault to lose the fifth game.

Serving in the sixth game, Suarez-Navarro fell behind 30-40 but leveled and held to lead 4-2. Serving at 4-5, Sharapova was up 40-15 but double-faulted to deuce and lost the first advantage. The second advantage went to Suarez-Navarro, who sealed the game and match after 71 minutes. It was a fitting birthday achievement for the 30-year old lady from Barcelona. The petite Spaniard reached her first quarter-finals in New York since 2013. Sharapova last reached the last eight in 2012, Guardian reports.

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