Davenport destroys Williams sisters

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The Independent Online

Little more than three weeks after leaving Wimbledon, saying she would be surprised to be back, Lindsay Davenport seems revitalised after trampling on the Williams sisters on the concrete road to the US Open.

Little more than three weeks after leaving Wimbledon, saying she would be surprised to be back, Lindsay Davenport seems revitalised after trampling on the Williams sisters on the concrete road to the US Open.

The 28-year-old Californian, beaten by the teenaged Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon semi-finals, won her second title in consecutive weeks on Sunday after defeating Serena and Venus Williams on successive days.

Having overcome Venus Williams after two hours, 53 minutes in the Stanford final the previous week, Davenport advanced to the J P Morgan Chase Open final in Los Angeles when Venus retired injured during their semi-final on Saturday. Davenport was leading, 7-5, 2-0, after Venus had won the opening five games of the match.

Davenport then defeated Serena Williams in the final, 6-1, 6-3 - only her third win in 12 matches against the younger Williams sister, and her first since 2000. That was the year Venus defeated Davenport in the Wimbledon final at the start of the family's four-year domination on the lawns of SW19.

Since then, Davenport, who also numbers the US Open and Australian Open among her 42 singles titles, has been beset by injuries, hence the note of pessimism after losing to Sharapova at Wimbledon.

Davenport has been able to lift her game and her spirits on returning home to California. After defeating Venus to win in Stanford, she said: "I finally feel excited that I don't have to have negative energy with injuries and other stuff going on. I just feel like it could be a good summer." Such was Davenport's confidence when facing Serena Williams in Los Angeles on Sunday that she only committed one unforced error in the opening set.

"I don't know why it all clicked all of a sudden," Davenport said. "One unforced error for me in the the first set is a miracle. I was in control of the points, which I had a difficult time doing against her in the past. Luckily, her serve didn't faze me. Usually, if Serena's serve is on, I'd be in trouble. I was happy that I got a lot of her serves back."

Although Williams showed more resolve in the second set, she was unable to convert any of three break points before Davenport broke for 4-3. Williams also held three break points as Davenport served for the match at 5-3, but failed to unsettle her opponent.

Williams, competing in her first event since losing to Sharapova in the Wimbledon final, was self-critical. "I've got to stop playing 1,000 feet behind the baseline and move up to the ball," she said. "I've got to get serious."

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