The Queen wins... 6/2 6/4
By DONNA TOMMELLEO
AP Sports Writer
August 20, 2002
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- Top-seeded Venus Williams maintained her perfect record in the Pilot Pen with a 6-2, 6-4 second-round victory over Meghann Shaughnessy on Tuesday night.
Williams, the three-time defending champion, has not lost a set in 14 matches here and advanced to play qualifier Laura Granville in the quarterfinals.
Williams, tuning up to defend her U.S. Open title next week, breezed through the first set in under 30 minutes, getting most of her powerful first serves in at over 100 mph and quickly tracking down any returns. She made short work of Shaughnessy's defensive lobs and won the battle at the net with her range.
``I played pretty efficiently tonight,'' Williams said. ``I have to come in in order to play my best tennis. I can reach and get to the balls, but the first step is just getting to the net.''
Shaughnessy won just one point off Williams' serves in the first set. Her returns were often easy set-ups for Williams' crushing winners.
``She came out very aggressive today and made a very high percentage of her first serves, which is difficult because I was on the defensive right from the very beginning on every point,'' Shaughnessy said.
Shaughnessy toughened in the second set with more aggressive net play. She broke Williams in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and had her down 40-0 in the next game. But Williams won five straight points to break Shaughnessy. Williams held serve to take a 5-4 lead then quickly broke Shaughnessy at love to close out the match after giving herself a pep talk.
``I said I'm not going to hit any balls into the net and that I'm not going to hit wide for no reason,'' Williams said.
Earlier Tuesday, second-seeded Lindsay Davenport defeated Iroda Tulyganova 6-4, 7-5 (3) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Davenport countered Tulyganova's powerful serve and forehands with precise winners. It was their first meeting, and Davenport admitted being unprepared for Tulyganova's strong service game. Tulyganova recorded eight aces and several service winners.
``I just had difficulties,'' Davenport said. ``Not many girls serve between 110 and 115 miles per hour. I haven't played somebody that served quite that hard except maybe Venus.
``Fortunately, I felt when we were rallying I was hitting the balls well.''
Granville advanced by beating Daja Bedanova 7-5, 6-2.
In first-round play, No. 6 Amelie Mauresmo beat Tatiana Panova, 6-2, 6-2; Daniela Hantuchova eased to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jennifer Hopkins; Anastasia Myskina ousted Conchita Martinez 6-1, 6-4; and Patty Schnyder defeated Marta Marrero 6-4, 6-1.
The Pilot Pen is Davenport's fourth tournament back from knee surgery that sidelined her for most of the season. She combined her powerful ground strokes with dead-on accuracy, routinely running Tulyaganova from sideline to sideline.
``She was hitting winners from everywhere,'' Tulyaganova said. ``I was getting very nervous.''
But it was Davenport who lost concentration late in the match. Up a break in the second set, she struggled with her serve in the eighth game.
She had two double faults in a row and made a couple of unforced errors, allowing Tulyaganova to break her serve and tie the set at 4-all. Davenport regained her game in time and cruised through the tiebreak 7-3, but said she was again disappointed over the mental lapse.
``It's just been plaguing me for the last few weeks,'' Davenport said. ``I get up and then I play some sloppy points and sloppy games. It obviously makes it more of an interesting match.''
During her comeback, Davenport has advanced to two semifinals and a final. She lost the championship in Los Angeles to Chanda Rubin.