Double-faulting Mauresmo ousted by Pennetta

NEW YORK Mon Sep 1, 2008 10:00pm BST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amelie Mauresmo's U.S. Open hopes ended in a clutch of double-faults and a 6-3 6-0 hammering by Italian Flavia Pennetta in the fourth round on Monday.

The 29-year-old coughed up 14 doubles and 40 unforced errors to help 16th seed Pennetta reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

"I think the conditions were pretty windy out there today," Mauresmo told reporters, when asked why she had struggled so badly on serve.

"It's definitely something that we will try to analyse and work on for the next tournaments."

After an injury-hit year, Mauresmo had recently shown signs of the form that took her to the top of the rankings in 2006 but her serve was appalling from the start.

Once Pennetta had broken a second time to lead 4-3 in the first set, she was in total command and eased through to a showdown with Russian sixth seed Dinara Safina.

"Of course I am very happy about this tournament," Pennetta said.

"In the beginning I never thought I could get to the quarter-finals... because I was so tired after (the Olympics) in Beijing.

"The first match was very tough for me. I didn't play my best tennis but I just tried to fight every point and keep going."

Pennetta said she would need to be on top form to stand a chance against Safina, the runner-up at both the French Open and the Olympics and one of four women who can overtake Ana Ivanovic as world number one at the end of the event.

"It's going to be tough for sure," she said.

"She's a good player and she's in good shape. For sure, I have to play my best tennis to beat her. In this moment I just want to enjoy. Tomorrow we don't play, so I have one day off and just prepare for this match."

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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