Davenport cruises in comeback match at Bank of the West Classic
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Jul 25, 2002 12:17 AM (EDT)
By GREG BEACHAM
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Lindsay 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 she eventually roared past Kremer by winning 16 straight points to open the second set.
"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."
Her serve got faster in the second set as well, hitting 104 mph several times. Davenport 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."
Monica Seles faced Tamarine Tamasugarn in the other late match.
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 before getting back on the court, and she returned to action with two Fed Cup matches last weekend against Israel.
She finished 2001 ranked No. 1, but has slipped to No. 9. She received a special injury exemption to take the second seed in the Bank of the West, where she won in 1998 and 1999.
"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."
Her quarterfinal opponent at the Taube Family Tennis Center will be fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic, who beat Conchita Martinez 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 in an early match Wednesday.
Dokic 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."
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.