Pressure gets to Errani as she bows out to fellow Italian Pennetta at the US Open

No such problems for Serena Williams who defeats Voskoboeva 6-3, 6-0


Sara Errani admitted she felt so weighed down by pressure that she did not want to go on the court before losing to Flavia Pennetta in the second round of the US Open.

The Italian rocketed up the rankings last year from 45th to sixth, reaching the final of the French Open and the semi-finals in New York and winning four WTA Tour titles.

She has had another good season but has struggled over the last month on the hard courts of North America.

Maria Sharapova’s withdrawal meant she was elevated to fourth seed, which for Errani was the worst thing that could have happened.

She was no match for her fellow Italian Pennetta today, losing 6-3 6-1, and afterwards was distressed as she explained her troubles.

“She played a really good match,” Errani said. “For me it was difficult. I think the worst thing was the fight. Normally it’s my best thing that I do on the court, and today was not good.

“I think it’s the pressure. Everything is very difficult for me. I have never been in this situation, so it’s a new situation for me. And also for my team, not only for me, my coach.

“We have to find the solution, because I think these things happen to everybody when you feel at the top and people are playing against you with no pressure and you have a lot of pressure.

“I don’t want to go on the court. I don’t want to go to play. I don’t want to stay there on the court. I feel very bad.

“So that is the problem for me. I have to find a way to find the motivation to go there, because if I go there and I know that if I lose it’s very bad and if I win it’s normal, it’s not a good thing. It’s not the way.

“I have to find a way to stay there and fight. That is important. I hope to find it.”

Pennetta, who missed last year’s tournament through injury, has been a consistently good performer in New York, reaching the quarter-finals three times, including two years ago when she beat Sharapova.

Serena Williams wasted little time reaching the third round of the US Open with a comfortable victory over Galina Voskoboeva. The Kazakh, ranked 77th in the world, put up a better fight than the 6-3 6-0 scoreline suggested but it was still nowhere near enough to threaten the world number one.

In her first-round match against Francesca Schiavone, Williams had won the first 10 games and looked on course for a ‘double bagel’ until the Italian at last managed to win a game. Voskoboeva must have been more than a little relieved, therefore, when she held serve in the opening game, and she even had a break point for a 3-1 lead.

But Williams saved that, and from there things went downhill for her opponent, who won only one more game in the match. The games were often close, and Voskoboeva was certainly not afraid to attack Williams, but the American was too solid when it really mattered.Eighth seed Angelique Kerber had a tricky draw against rising star Eugenie Bouchard, and she was given a real battle before coming through 6-4 2-6 6-3.

Ninth seed Jelena Jankovic is also through, beating Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-2 to end the Russian’s first grand slam since she recovered from cancer.

Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, 10th seed Roberta Vinci and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova were other winners.