Davenport advances to Chase Championships semi-finals

Lindsay Davenport and Nathalie Tauziat completed the semi-final lineup for the season-ending Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Lindsay Davenport and Nathalie Tauziat completed the semi-final lineup for the season-ending Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Davenport easily defeated Anke Huber of Germany 6-3, 6-1 before the sixth-seeded Tauziat stopped Dominique Van Roost of Belgium 6-3, 6-2 on Friday night.

Saturday's first semi-final will pit defending champion Martina Hingis against No 3 Venus Williams.

Both Davenport and Tauziat are playing some of their best tennis of the year, Davenport winning in Philadelphia last Sunday and Tauziat capturing two titles in recent weeks in Moscow and Leipzig, Germany.

"I'm playing very good right now," Tauziat said following her 70-minute quarterfinal victory. "I'm very confident."

She struggled to close out the opening set, finally doing so on the eighth set point. But that was the only time that Van Roost was able to battle evenly against her 32-year-old French opponent.

"I put a lot of pressure on her and she doesn't like that," said Tauziat, one of the few serve-and-volley players on the women's tour.

Van Roost, who received on-court massage twice for a crick in her neck, won her first two service games in the match, then lost 10 of the next 13 games. The only time she threatened Tauziat's serve was when the veteran right-hander was serving for the first set.

It will be the 14th time Davenport and Tauziat have met, and the American has won 11, including the last two. Davenport, however, is still wary.

"It's not like I'm playing nobodies here," Davenport said. "Nathalie is very dangerous in the serve-and-volley game."

Huber, a finalist in this year-ending event at Madison Square Garden in 1995, when she lost to fellow German Steffi Graf, started off slowly against Davenport and never was allowed to get back into the match.

"I've been getting better as the tournament goes along," Davenport said.

Davenport, the reigning Wimbledon champion, broke Huber's serve five times while losing her own only once.

In the third game of the second set, Huber grabbed a love-40 lead, only to have Davenport blast four consecutive service winners before closing out the game when a Huber error.

"She made five first serves where I didn't touch three, I think," Huber said. "I just had no chance in this game."

That began a streak of 14 straight points won by Davenport, by then her game racing along in high gear. The right-hander ripped through the final five games of the match to claim her spot in the semifinals for the second year in a row.

Huber was her own worst enemy in the final game of the first set - an 18-point game that took eight minutes to play. The German staved off five set points, but was her own worst enemy by committing four double-faults.

The final double-fault, her sixth of the night, gave Davenport her sixth set point. She cashed this one in when Huber was wide with a backhand down the line.

"Anke is a great player," a gracious Davenport said. "Unfortunately for her, she didn't play her best tonight."

Davenport began the match with her left thigh taped, but took off the wrap early in the match.

She lost last year's title match on the blue Garden carpet to Hingis in four sets. In 1994, she also was in the final, losing to Gabriela Sabatini.

"Any tournament you win is great," Davenport said. "When you can finish the year off well, it's very good. And this is the tournament with the best players."

The doubles championship pairings were completed Friday night when the top-seeded team of Hingis and Anna Kournikova defeated Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0. Hingis and Kournikova will play Larisa Neiland and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who won their semifinal Thursday night.

This year, the singles final will be only a best-of-3-sets in the title match, which is worth dlrs 500,000 to the winner. For years, the women had played a best-of-5 sets final.

Quarter-finals: (2) L Davenport (US) bt A Huber (Ger) 6-3 6-1, (6) N Tauziat (Fra) bt D Van Roost (Bel) 6-3 6-2

Doubles semi-final: (1) M Hingis & A Kournikova (Swi/Rus) bt (3) L Raymond & R Stubbs (US) 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent