Davenport's comeback complete with win in Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. -- Lindsay Davenport's comeback is off to a fine start.
Davenport was impressive in her first tournament match in nine months, beating Anne Kremer 6-3, 6-0 Wednesday night to reach the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.
Looking fit and light on her feet after knee surgery in January, Davenport had her serve broken early, but eventually roared past Kremer by winning 16 straight points to open the second set. She consistently hit triple digits with her serve, including one at 106 mph.
"I've never been happier to be back on the court,'' Davenport said. "I definitely shed a few tears in the locker room. This is where I've wanted to be since I got wheeled out of surgery.''
In the other late match at the Taube Family Tennis Center, third-seeded Monica Seles beat Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.
Davenport's mobility increased along with the speed of her serve in the second set. She needed just 45 minutes to dispatch Kremer, the world No. 21 who played two years at Stanford.
"She looked great,'' Kremer said. "It's hard to play when somebody is overpowering you all the time. I thought she was pretty close to her top level.''
Davenport hasn't played a WTA event since November, when she injured her knee in a match at the Sanex Championships in Munich, Germany. She spent nine weeks on crutches, working out in a pool and watching the Grand Slam tournaments on television.
Davenport returned to action with two Fed Cup matches last weekend against Israel, but she'll need every match she can get to reach the form necessary to contend at the U.S. Open in five weeks.
"I'm definitely not back to where I want to be yet,'' Davenport said. "It takes time, and I'm going to have to fight through a lot of matches where I'm not playing great. Some of the things you lose are just knowing where to run on the court and when to hit the ball -- just match situations.''
She finished 2001 ranked No. 1, but has slipped to No. 9. Davenport received a special injury exemption to take the second seed in the Bank of the West, where she won in 1998 and 1999.
Her quarterfinal opponent will be fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic, who beat Conchita Martinez 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 in an early match Wednesday. Dokic, the world No. 6, dropped the first set in just over 15 minutes, but recovered in plenty of time.
"I didn't run in the first set,'' Dokic said. "I wasn't in the match at all.''
Seles, who won the tournament in 1990 and 1992, fought through a difficult match against Tanasugarn, a native of Thailand whose court coverage caused problems for Seles, who connected on just 55 percent of her first serves in consistent winds.
"It was a very tough match in tough conditions for me,'' Seles said. "I'm happy I started playing better in the third set, but it really could have gone either way.''
In other early matches, seventh-seeded Daja Bedanova beat Tatiana Panova 6-3, 6-4, and Jelena Jankovic beat Sarah Taylor 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles, third-seeded Anna Kournikova and Meghann Shaughnessy beat Jill Craybas and Sarah Taylor 6-4, 6-0. Kournikova ended her five-match singles losing streak Tuesday night with a victory over Anna Smashnova.
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