Teen titans bounce Safina and Sharapova out of the US Open

WORLD No 1 Dinara Safina and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open at the hands of teen titans on Saturday, aiding fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova's title bid.

WORLD No 1 Dinara Safina and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open at the hands of teen titans on Saturday, aiding fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova's title bid.

Petra Kvitova, a 19-year-old Czech who won her first WTA title in January at Hobart, and US giant-killer Melanie Oudin, two weeks shy of her 18th birthday, became the darlings of Flushing Meadows after their third-round shockers.

Kvitova, ranked 72nd, saved three match points in the 12th game of the final set and eliminated Safina 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5).

Safina will remain atop the rankings after the Open but is still searching for a first Grand Slam title and a way to play her best when it matters most.

Oudin stunned former world number one Sharapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at Arthur Ashe Stadium by holding serve in the final game after six consecutive service breaks to book a quarter-final berth against Russian 13th seed Nadia Petrova.

Reigning French Open champion and sixth seed Kuznetsova dispatched Israel's Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-1, to become the highest remaining seed in her half of the draw with dangerous Sharapova also gone.

Oudin followed her upset of former world number one Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon with a second-round US Open ouster of fourth seed Elena Dementieva and added Sharapova to her victims list.

"I once again proved to myself that I can compete with these top girls," Oudin said.

Sharapovadouble faulted 21 times and committed 63 unforced errors, 19 more than Oudin, who converted on only 8-of-26 break-point chances.

There was no such optimism for Safina, who made 39 unforced errors and nine double faults with only 12 winners. While Kvitova had 59 unforced errors, she fired 47 winners with only five double faults.

"I just thought I must play each point very good because Safina would play every point," Kvitova said.

"She didn't give up." - Sapa-AF

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