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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 08:12 AM   #1
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Davenport breezes past Pratt

Davenport breezes past Pratt
No.2 seed wins in 41 minutes
April 16 2003
By Michael DiRocco
Times-Union sports writer
The Florida Times Union

AMELIA ISLAND -- Bausch & Lomb Championships organizers love having Lindsay Davenport in the field, because the three-time Grand Slam winner is a huge fan favorite and that guarantees a big crowd.

If Davenport continues to play the way she did last night, tournament officials will be smiling all week.

Davenport needed just 41 minutes to rout Nicole Pratt 6-1, 6-0 in a second-round match on Stadium Court. The world's fifth-ranked player and No. 2 seed in the tournament dominated the 48th-ranked Pratt, winning 12 consecutive games after dropping the first one.

"I played really well and hit a lot of winners," said Davenport, who won this tournament in 1997. "You can't get off to a much better start than what I did tonight."

It was Davenport's easiest victory in her seven tournament appearances, and her fourth win against Pratt in as many tries. The two had never played on clay before last night, and Davenport clearly had the advantage, but she cautioned against making too much of the easy victory.

"I played her many times before where she played a lot better," Davenport said. "I don't know if she doesn't like clay at all, but we've had a lot tougher matches than that in the past. I think you can't be too critical or too analytical about a match with the score line like that. I think you have to go with what it is -- I played well; she didn't play that well."

Davenport has played well all season, reaching the finals at Sydney, Tokyo and Indian Wells. She lost to Kim Clijsters in Sydney and Indian Wells and beat Monica Seles in Tokyo. That was her first title since she won seven times in 2001.

She went the entire 2002 season without a title, the first time that has happened to her since she turned pro in '93. She missed the first half of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on her right knee, then played well enough to reach the finals in Los Angeles, Moscow, Zurich and the semifinals at the U.S. Open. Still, she finished the season ranked No. 12, the first time she'd been out of the top 10 in seven years.

Davenport hadn't played at Amelia Island since 1999, when she lost to Anna Kournikova in the Round of 16. Injuries kept her out in 2000 (lower back strain) and 2001 (right knee bone bruise), but she is happy that she's back here.

"It's always nice to play in the states and in front of a crowd that enjoys tennis and has supported me," Davenport said.

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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 08:24 AM   #2
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Go Davenport
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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 08:41 AM   #3
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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 08:56 AM   #4
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