Tennis

Sharapova advances; Halep, Venus bow out of US Open

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The Sports Network
8/29/2014 10:20:04 PM
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Flushing Meadows, NY - Five-time major titlist Maria Sharapova moved on, while second-seeded Simona Halep and two-time champion Venus Williams were a pair of third-round losers Friday at the U.S. Open.

Sharapova, seeded fifth in the tournament, defeated No. 26 Sabine Lisicki in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 to close out play on Friday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The reigning French Open victor and 2006 champion here in New York will face 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki next in the round of 16.

Wozniacki cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 result over 18th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic. Wozniacki posted a runner-up finish in New York in 2009.

The French Open runner-up Halep succumbed to 32-year-old Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 on the famed Grandstand court. Halep is just 4-3 since titling in her native Romania last month.

Halep had reached at least the quarterfinals at the year's first three Grand Slam events.

Lucic-Baroni cried tears of joy after the stunning result.

"This is incredible," said the former teen phenom. "I believed the whole time."

"After so many years, my God, this is just incredible," Lucic-Baroni added. "Every painful moment was worth it."

Meanwhile, 13th-seeded gritty Italian Sara Errani outlasted the 19th-seeded former world No. 1 Venus in 6-0, 0-6, 7-6 (7-5) fashion.

After swapping a pair of bagel sets, Errani and the seven-time major champion Venus got down to business in the third, where Venus blew a 5-3 lead as the Italian eventually forced a tiebreak.

The former French Open runner-up Errani set up a match point with a backhand winner and closed out the entertaining bout with a forehand winner into an open court after just over two hours of compelling tennis.

"It was a really tough match, even if I won the first set 6-0," said Errani. "She's an amazing player. I just tried to focus on every point. I tried to keep going, not thinking too much about the score."

Errani finished with 18 winners and 25 unforced errors, while Williams was hurt by 52 miscues.

The 34-year-old Venus was the back-to-back U.S. Open champ in 2000 and 2001 and is also a two-time runner-up in New York.

Errani will face Lucic-Baroni in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, ninth-seeded former No. 1 and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Jelena Jankovic swatted Swede Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-0 in 58 minutes at Ashe and 17- year-old promising Swiss Belinda Bencic ousted sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-1, 7-5. The Serbian Jankovic will face Bencic in her next outing.

Four of the top-10 seeds have been knocked out of the depleted women's draw.

Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova, seeded 14th, snuck past 22nd-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 in 2 hours, 25 minutes.

A mild upset came when Chinese Peng Shuai took out 28th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3 on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Peng ousted fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska here on Wednesday.

Maria Sharapova (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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