maria sharapova us open 2011 gi Maria Sharapova: Poor serve serves tennis star poorly at the U.S. OpenIn 2006, Maria Sharapova won the U.S. Open. Since then, she hasn’t made it past the fourth round. On Friday (Sept. 2) she was eliminated in Round 3. Sharapova, 24, was the tournament’s third-seeded player but that didn’t help her from losing to 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta.

While much of her game was off, everyone keeps coming back to her serves — the cornerstone of any player’s game — failing her again and again.

“A central theme to the match was Sharapova’s serve. Her feet angled, her body rocking, her racket practically tapping her spine on her backswing, Sharapova struggled with a tempestuous delivery,” reports Sports Illustrated.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with most of my game,” Sharapova told reporters after the match. “Sometimes I come in on a day and I don’t quite have my rhythm and run into those errors where not only do I feel like I have to get a high percentage of first serves, but my opponent gains a tremendous amount of confidence on their return.

“So it’s kind of a lose/lose situation.”