Davenport confirms participation for Tokyo
Davenport spearheads Pan Pacific Open tennis
Tokyo, December 3
Three-time champion Lindsay Davenport will return to Tokyo in February to defend the only title the American has won this season at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament, organizers said on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old former world number one had surgery for a nagging left foot injury in October, which bothered her almost all year, and missed the remainder of the season.
Davenport hopes to recover in time for the Australian Open in Melbourne, which begins January 19.
The 1.3 million dollar indoor event, starting here from February 3, will be Davenport's third attempt at defending the title with victories in 1998, 2001 and last year.
Her main rivals include fellow American Jennifer Capriati, who will make her first appearance after a second-round defeat in the 1992 event, and Sydney Olympic silver medallist Elena Dementieva of Russia.
Sydney Olympic champion Venus Williams, who pulled out of the event at the last moment several years ago without giving a reason, will finally make a Japan debut alongside Slovakian star Daniela Hantuchova and Slovenia's Tina Pisnik.
French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Ai Sugiyama of Japan, fifth highest player in the field at 10th in the world, will carry the best local home with wild card entrant Yuka Yoshida.
QUEEN LINDSAY DAVENPORT