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Newz Forum: OTHER: TENNIS: Davenport routs Serena to win Chase final

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posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 05:56 PM
CARSON, Calif.(AP) - Another week, another tournament title over a Williams sister for Lindsay Davenport. Davenport defeated top-seeded Serena Williams 6-1, 6-3 in just over an hour Sunday to win the JPMorgan Chase Open, her fourth career title in eight finals appearances of her hometown tournament.

A week ago, Davenport beat Venus Williams in a riveting three-set match to win the Bank of the West title at Stanford. It was her first win over the older Williams sister in four years. The victories ended Davenport's four-year losing streak to the sisters.

In 1998, Davenport won at Stanford, Los Angeles and Carlsbad in consecutive weeks before winning her only U.S. Open title. She finished the year ranked No. 1. Davenport beat Serena for the first time since the 2000 U.S. Open quarterfinals. She had lost five matches in a row, including the 2001 and 2002 U.S. Opens.

But Davenport was on her game from the start of the match at Home Depot Center. She broke Williams in the third game on a backhand winner to go up 2-1. She held for 3-1 on a smash off Williams' short ball. Then Davenport broke again when Williams hit a forehand wide for a 4-1 lead.

Davenport served a love game to go up 5-1. She closed out the set with another service break on Williams' forehand error -- one of her 29 in the match. Davenport fought off break points on her final three service games of the match. She faced three break points in the last game. She hit a backhand winner off Williams' short service return to save the second one. Then Williams netted a forehand chasing down a ball in the corner and did the splits to waste the third one.

Williams sprayed a backhand service return long to set up match point, and she netted a backhand on match point. Williams connected on 71 percent of her first serves, but managed just three aces. She had only nine winners. Davenport had just one unforced error in the first set, which she called "a miracle." She had 12 total errors.

Williams has gone six tournaments without winning a title, her longest drought since the end of 1998 and beginning of 1999. Her only title this year was at Miami in March, her first tournament coming off an eight-month layoff caused by left knee surgery. The third-seeded Davenport led Venus Williams 7-5, 2-0 in Saturday's semifinals when Venus withdrew because of a right wrist sprain.

Davenport was projected to be fourth and Serena Williams 10th in Monday's WTA Tour rankings. Davenport, who grew up in Palos Verdes and lives in Laguna Beach, and Williams, a Compton native, helped draw 8,161 fans to the final, the largest crowd of the week in the tournament's second year in Carson.


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