DAVENPORT RECLAIMS HER TITLE
By Barry Wood
Few people probably expected it was possible, but Lindsay Davenport re-captured her Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic title with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over second seed Daniela Hantuchova.
In winning the title, Lindsay has what is probably a unique record in Bali, because she has never left without a title. It is doubtful that she has done that anywhere else, and certainly she couldn’t think of anywhere. On her first visit in 2005 she won the singles, last year she claimed the doubles, and now she’s won the singles again.
Having not played for a year, having given birth in June, was she surprised to win in her first tournament back?
“I’m a little bit in shock,” said Davenport. “It’s just overwhelming and exciting. Obviously, playing my first tournament back I was unsure physically how I would respond, and I swear this is probably the first tournament I’ve played in four years where I didn’t have anything wrong with my lower extremities.”
It wasn’t the greatest of matches to be honest. The pair are too evenly matched, even though the American has now won all seven of their meetings. There were a lot of baseline rallies and some decent serving from both, but no real flair, nothing spectacular, nothing that made you go ‘Wow!’
There wasn’t much to separate them in the first two sets, with Davenport earning the first break for 2-1 but allowing the Slovak to level in the following game.
Hantuchova then held a break point to lead 5-3 but made an error on her forehand, and Davenport took advantage of the let-off by breaking in the next game by making a good return that forced Hantuchova to mis-hit a forehand.
The second set was decided by just one break of serve for 3-1, and the final set turned on a one-sided period when Davenport won 15 out of 17 points.
“I was definitely getting tired there in the second set but was able to re-group and get a second or third wind for the third set,” said Davenport. “That was important and I don’t know exactly where that comes from, but I definitely felt a little bit fresher in the third than I did in the second.
“I finally got a lot of confidence and was able to break her to go up 3-1. She threw in a couple of errors and I hadn’t broken her in so long and that really gave me a lot of confidence and momentum. That relaxed me a little bit more in my service games and I was able to make some more first serves.”
Hantuchova received treatment for a blister on her right heel when down 4-1 and she played more positively after that, but it was too late.
“It was just a blister, nothing serious. There’s no excuse,” said Hantuchova. “I was trying to do the right things. I think I had the right tactic, which was to move Lindsay around to make her play that extra shot, but all credit to the way she was playing. She was serving great. She got out of trouble a lot with her first serve.
“But I had a fantastic week. I’ve really enjoyed it, coming here after the US Open. I was just looking to get some matches under my belt and didn’t really expect to be in the final so it’s really a good one for me.”
The doubles was won by Chinese pair Chunmei Ji and and Shengnan Sun, who defeated American Jill Craybas and South Africa’s Natalie Grandin 6-3 6-2.
New USTA Tri-Level Team Format Has Arrived for 2007 Summer League
San Fernando Valley – In an effort to promote team spirit and provide more league play, the USTA has introduced a new Tri-Level format. Braemar Country Club in Tarzana and Paseo Tennis Club in Valencia have formed new USTA Tri-Level teams. Each team consists of 4.5, 4.0, and 3.5 players. The league winners will advance to Sectionals at Indian Wells in February 2008. These teams will also be eligible to play in the Invitational National tournament next March during the Pacific Life Open.
Braemar Country Club – (L to R) Debby Moss, Lety Alcala, Karen Mendelson, Suzy Miller, Patsy Rowan, Diane Perryman, Lisa Gechtman, Tiffany Grana, and Captain PJ Rivera. Not pictured – Lee Gummeson, Cynthia Neiman, Julie Perron, and Elisa Hamed.
Paseo Tennis Club – (L to R) Betsy Skidmore, Annie Kellog, Seleste Sakato, Carol Hogan, Susan Amico, Cindy Beals. Not pictured – Captain Lisa Balmain, Jane Pascoe, Diane Sexton, Christy Manetta, Wendy Littge, and Erika MacArthur
|Long Beach - The USTA District Area Playoffs July 27 - 29, 2007 at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.|
Winners advance to the Southern California Sectionals August 17 - 19, 2007 at Los Caballeros Sports Club, Fountain Valley.