NEW YORK (AP) — Sara Errani didn't feel like a big favorite at the U.S. Open, even though her seeding said she was.
On Thursday, against her friend and Italian teammate, she lived down to her expectations.
Flavia Pennetta ousted fourth-seeded Errani from the year's last major, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round for the biggest upset of the tournament so far.
It was a loss Errani all but admitted she could see coming after she began her tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking over a 152nd-ranked "lucky loser" on Tuesday. Afterward, she spoke of the pressure of being seeded so highly. She is, in fact, the highest-seeded Italian woman ever at a Grand Slam tournament.
"Definitely, from the outside, everyone expects a lot," Errani said. "Everyone expects me to win 6-0, 6-0, or thinks that I can only lose against three other women in this tournament. But that's not the way it is. I definitely don't feel like a big favorite, the way other top seeds might be."
Playing in half-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium, Pennetta took control of this match by breaking Errani's serve in the first game, then never looked back. She finished with 33 winners to 12 for Errani, who made the semifinals here last year after reaching the final in the French Open.
Pennetta improved to 4-2 lifetime against Errani. At 31, Pennetta is five years older than her Italian Fed Cup and Olympic teammate, and she is no stranger to the big stage.
Four years ago, Pennetta became the first Italian woman to crack the top 10. She's a three-time quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open but came to Flushing Meadows this week an underdog — ranked 83rd, a slide that began when she missed the end of last year with a wrist injury.
"I tried to play aggressive from the very beginning and I was perfect today, I think," Pennetta said.