Davenport pulls out of Wimbledon with back problem

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The Independent Online

Lindsay Davenport has pulled out of Wimbledon because of the back injury which has troubled her since last year's final at the All England Club. The 30-year-old, who won Wimbledon in 1999 and was also a finalist in 2000, withdrew from the French Open with the same complaint.

She has been suffering with a lower back strain ever since losing in the Wimbledon final to Venus Williams last year in a memorable match. It was the longest-ever women's final, with Williams triumphing 4-6, 7-6, 9-7 after Davenport had served for the match at 6-5 in the second set and had a match point in the decider.

The former world No 1 Carlos Moya has pulled out of the tournament following a shoulder injury. The 29-year-old, who is now ranked 39th in the world, was beaten in the third round of the French Open by Nikolay Davydenko, of Russia, and has enjoyed most of his success away from grass courts.

In Nottingham, the No 1 seed, Thomas Johansson, lost in the first round of the Red Letter Days Open. Johansson, winner of the event in 2001 and a beaten finalist two years ago, suffered a surprise 6-7, 7-6, 4-6 defeat to Jan Vacek. The 29-year-old Czech is ranked 245 in the world, but produced a stunning performance to beat Johansson in two hours and 19 minutes.

At Eastbourne, the British No 3, Katie O'Brien, became the first home casualty in the Hastings Direct Women's Championships. The Italian Francesca Schiavone overpowered the 20-year-old from North Humberside, winning 6-3, 6-1.

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