SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Lindsay Davenport ended Monica Seles’ season-opening victory streak Friday, beating the nine-time Grand Slam champion 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the State Farm Women’s Tennis Classic.
Davenport improved to 12-1 this year and dropped Seles to 6-1, using a strong serve and corner-seeking groundstrokes to win the last five games of the second set.
To come back from 4-1 against Monica Seles is pretty tough to do,'' Davenport said.It was just being more consistent with my shots and trying to get them a little deeper. If I hit it short, she was just stepping into the ball today.”
Davenport had six of her 13 aces in the match while holding service three times from that point.
She also broke Seles’ serve in the seventh and ninth games, taking advantage of a double fault in each. At 30-30 in the ninth, Davenport hit a rocket into the corner off Seles’ second serve and went ahead, then won the game when Seles returned a volley into the net.
Davenport finished it with her second ace in the 10th game, winning her fifth straight in seven meetings with Seles.
I really wasn't tired,'' said Seles, who won her 45th career title last week despite not having played since she broke her right foot in September.I think I got more frustrated which — looking back now — I shouldn’t have, because I wound up serving not as well after I started battling myself.”
Seles was No. 5 at the time of her injury, but tumbled to No. 14 because she couldn’t compete.
She rebounded to No. 9 after her triumphant return in Oklahoma City, and this week beat Silvija Talaja and eighth-seeded Barbara Schett in straight sets to advance in the acknowledged toughest draw in Scottsdale.
It's tough,'' said Davenport, who sat out five weeks after pulling a hamstring while winning the Australian Open in January.She’s been coming off a long layoff, and the other night after only being off one month, I felt awkward. I can’t imagine being off six months and trying to come back.”