Davenport regains No. 1 ranking at Kremlin Cup
/ Associated Press
Posted: 36 minutes ago
MOSCOW (AP) - American Lindsay Davenport defeated Dinara Safina of Russia 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup Thursday to regain the No. 1 position in the WTA rankings.
"I'm amazed that I was able to get back to No. 1 after a tough couple of years," said Davenport, who was last at the top on Jan. 13, 2002.
Davenport will overtake Amelie Mauresmo next week to go top of the rankings for the fifth time. She trailed Mauresmo by just 15 points, 4,395 to 4,380 after winning the Porsche Grand Prix on Sunday.
In the finals at Filderstadt, Mauresmo retired after aggravating her strained left thigh. She was the top seed in Moscow, but withdrew because of the injury.
"I'm excited. But I'd like to be able to keep on going and win the tournament as a new No. 1 and not be completely satisfied just by winning today's match," said Davenport.
Davenport lost to Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria in the final in 2002 - her only previous appearance at the Kremlin Cup.
Safina, an 18-year-old wild card, could offer resistance only in the first set of her first match against Davenport.
She fought off three break points in the third game before sending a forehand into the net to give Davenport the lead.
She broke back in the next game and had a break point in the sixth, but Davenport saved it and made a decisive break in the ninth game when, 40-15 down on her serve, Safina sent a forehand wide.
"Conditions here are much different than last week in Germany and it took me a number of games to feel comfortable on the court," Davenport said.
"In the beginning I made a lot of errors but got better as the match went on and was able to end the match better then I started."
Safina called a trainer after the first set to treat a split left toenail.
The Russian failed to convert a break point in the second game of the second set, and after that it was a one-way match. Davenport won four consecutive games for a 5-1 lead and closed the match with a service winner. Safina said: "I served badly today and when you serve this way against such opponents they start to press you. She served hard. She fired three aces in a game - I couldn't even see where she was serving."