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tennisIlove09
Mar 25th, 2003, 07:36 AM
Venus, Davenport, Mauresmo ousted at Nasdaq-100 Open tennis


March 25, 2003
MIAMI (Ticker) - A rare loss by Venus Williams to someone other than her sister has the second-seeded American looking to reclaim her self-confidence.

No. 23 Meghann Shaughnessy stunned the three-time champion, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, Monday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the $6.21 million Nasdaq-100 Open.

Williams endured just her second loss in three events this season. She lost to Serena for the fourth time in a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January and won her 29th career title at Antwerp last month.

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Since last May, the 22-year-old American had been beaten by just four different players - Serena (four times), Magdalena Maleeva (once), Kim Clijsters in a match Williams was forced to retire with an injury, and now Shaughnessy.

"It's always disappointing to lose but I think she played real well and stayed in there," Williams said. "She hit a lot of good shots. I had a pretty good start. You know, it's impossible to win every match. I tried. But I couldn't seem to get the ball to go in today. I think that if I played really well, then there was a really good chance that I would have won the match for sure. But more than anything, I think she played some real good tennis."

Williams, who committed 32 unforced errors, will now prepare for the claycourt season and the United State's upcoming Fed Cup campaign.

"I'm not preparing to lose when I'm on the practice court or in the match," she said. "I'm not playing to hope to win; I do have the expectation, of course, that the match will be a win for me. More than anything, I think once I have a loss, then I'm able to go out and work harder. So it's just back to the drawing board."

Shaughnessy notched her second win against Williams in seven career meetings, but had trouble closing things out. She won on her eighth match point.

"It feels great," the 23-year-old said. "These are the moments that I play tennis for, is to get on the center court, featured match against a player like Venus, that I really respect. So I live for these times and that's what all my training goes into. So I'm feeling really, really happy right now."

No. 7 Lindsay Davenport of the United States and No. 8 Amelie Mauresmo of France also made exits Monday afternoon.

Davenport, who missed this event last season after knee surgery in January 2002, suffered a thigh injury and retired after failing to win a game in the first set against Marion Bartoli.

The 18-year-old French qualifier advanced to the quarterfinals of a Tier I event for the first time. However, she now has to play world No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams, a 6-0, 6-4 winner over Uzbekistan's Iroda Tulyaganova.

Mauresmo, who had been suffering from a virus in Indian Wells last week, endured a dismal 6-0, 6-2 defeat to No. 12 Chanda Rubin of the United States.

"I will definitely take days like this. They don't come often," Rubin said. "She didn't play quite as well as she would have liked. But I felt I played a really great match. I felt like I started off from the beginning and really stayed on her for most of the match."

These are triumphant days for Rubin, who has taken seven years and three surgeries to win back a place in the world's top 10, and whose intelligently fluent game is now almost as effective, in the power game era, as it ever has been.

Whether Davenport will also regain her former effectiveness, as the women's game needs her to, remains in the balance.

"The leg felt tight when I woke up in the morning, and I felt something go in the second game," she said. "It was impossible to go on."

Bartoli has had a fortunate run to the quarterfinals, having played a local wild-card player, a lucky loser, a qualifier and an injured player in successive matches. She came to Miami on a five-match losing streak.

Meanwhile another former world No. 1, Jennifer Capriati, had no such difficulties. She ended the run of her American compatriot Sarah Taylor, 6-1, 6-0, and next faces Shaughnessy.

Also into the last eight are third seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium, fourth-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, and No. 9 Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia.

Clijsters toasted No. 13 Anna Pistolesi of Israel, 6-1, 6-1; Henin-Hardenne dispatched German qualifier Marlene Weingartner, 6-2, 6-2; and Dokic defeated Australian Alicia Molik, 6-1, 6-4.

On the men's side, Andre Agassi routed No. 32 Jarddo Nieminen of Finland, 6-2, 6-0, to reach the fourth round. The second-seeded American is looking to become the second player to win this event three straight years. His wife, Steffi Graf, did it from 1994-1996.

No. 16 Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco ousted 10th seed David Nalbandian of Argentina, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

In other third-round action, fourth seed and last year's runnerup Roger Federer of Switzerland held off No. 30 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; ninth-seeded Spaniard Albert Costa topped Chile's Nicolas Massu, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2; and No. 14 Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands beat Argentine Franco Squillari, 6-4, 7-5.

This Tennis Masters and Tier I event awards $500,000 to the men's champion and $393,000 to the women's winner.