Sports News »Lindsay Davenport
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Posted: 25 July 2004 0652 hrs
Tennis: Davenport advances as right wrist injury foils Venus Williams
LOS ANGELES : Lindsay Davenport advanced to the finals of a 585,000-dollar WTA hardcourt event after Venus Williams was forced to retire with an injured right wrist.
Third seed Davenport won 7-5, 2-0, when second seed Williams retired due to a wrist injury she said she caused Saturday morning before a practice session when she pushed off the ground with her wrists after tying her shoes.
"I kind of tweaked it there," Williams said. "I'm hoping this will clear up in a few days and I'll play next week. I don't know. It just happened."
Williams won the first five games of the match, then lost the final nine as fellow American Davenport advanced to Sunday's championship match.
Davenport will face the winner of a later semi-final between top seed Serena Williams and Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva.
Williams had her wrist taped and was rolling past Davenport before the pain began and ruined her game.
"The tape was really holding up," Williams said. "Maybe at 3-0 I started to have issues. I just couldn't control my forehand too much. She saw that and starting hitting there more."
Williams has struggled with ankle and leg injuries earlier this season after missing six months with an abdominal strain. The extent of the wrist injury was not known but she could miss next week's event at San Diego as a result.
"(The WTA trainer) thinks I just sprained it or something," Williams said. "It happened so quickly before the match, it was just trying to have it taped to help me play more than figuring out what it was."
The injury ensured Williams will not face her younger sister in the final. The two have met in six Grand Slam finals with Venus winning only in their first such meeting, at the 2001 US Open.
Davenport was barely on the court before she was being blasted away, then just as suddenly was overpowering Williams.
"I definitely didn't start off the match that well, a lot of errors, but I slowly started getting back into the match," Davenport said.
"I noticed in the latter stages of the match that something was wrong with her. She has been through a lot of injuries. It's unfortunate.
"Every service game she had I thought I could have broken. It was important to hang in there, just to get a couple games.
"I was trying to get some momentum going into the second set. I never imagined I would win so many games in a row. The last few games were ridiculous. Everyone knew she was hurting so much."
Davenport, who beat Venus Williams last week in a three-set thriller final at Sanford, California, evened her career rivalry with the elder Williams at 12-12. Davenport makes her eighth finals trip in nine appearances here. She has won this event three times.
"The last few weeks have been such a step forward," Davenport said. "It has been a long time since I have felt so in control and positive about my game. The next Grand Slam (US Open) means a lot to me and I feel I'm on the right road to doing well there."