A sore knee knocked Lindsay Davenport out of the Hopman Cup. A bout with bronchitis forced the world No. 1 out of Sydney. Today, nagging pain posed by second-round opponent Michaela Pastikova plagued Davenport for a set before the top-seeded American recovered to win 12 of the final 16 games in scoring a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.
The 2000 Australian Open champion didn’t exactly carry an extensive scouting report on Pastikova with her on court. In their first career clash it didn’t take long for the 24-year-old from Prague to make an immediate impression on the world No. 1. Pastikova broke Davenport’s serve three times to take the opening set in 25 minutes.
"She came out firing from both sides and really kind of caught me off guard a little bit," Davenport said. "I really thought it had a lot to do with her play and me having a slow start."
Finding the range on her fast, flat groundstrokes, Davenport dominated the final set and a half of play to reach a third-round match with either teenager Nicole Vaidisova or 31st-seeded Croatian Jelena Kostanic.
"I know Nicole has a big game," Davenport said. "I still think I have another chance to win a Grand Slam before I call it quits so that’s why I’m here."
Several seeds advanced on the fourth day of play in Melbourne. Third-seeded Russian Anastasia Myskina dissected Tzipora Obziler, 6-4, 6-2; 14th-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone defeated Tatiana Perebiynis, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0; 2004 quarterfinalist Lisa Raymond, seeded 25th, crushed Klara Koukolova, 6-0, 6-1; and 26th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova beat Barbara Schett, 6-4, 6-0, in what may well have been the final match of Schett’s career.
American Abigail Spears continued to make an impression in her Australian Open singles debut. The 96th-ranked Spears surprised 20th-seeded Tatiana Golovin, 7-5, 6-1. The 16-year-old Golovin advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open in her tournament debut last year, but hurt her cause with 10 double faults today. Spears’ victory came just two days after she rallied for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over compatriot Meghann Shaughnessy. The 23-year-old Spears will play either 12th-seeded Swiss Patty Schnyder or Michaella Krajicek for a spot in the round of 16.