Davenport wins 40th career title

Posted: Monday, April 12, 2004

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. You don't collect 40 titles on the WTA Tour without knowing how to size up an opponent.

Lindsay Davenport watch-ed Amelie Mauresmo win a long, tough match over top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semifinals of the Bausch & Lomb Champ-ionships and knew what she needed to do Sunday to win the tournament for the second time.

Attacking relentlessly and setting the tone with big serves, Davenport beat Mauresmo 6-4, 6-4 to become just the 10th woman to own 40 singles titles.

''I came out with the game plan of wanting to be aggressive, to try to dictate the points and not get into long rallies,'' the fourth-ranked Davenport said.

''I figured I was going to have a lot of unforced errors because I just wanted to go for it, keeping the points short and looking to attack. I felt like I did that well.''

She did have 19 unforced errors the same number as Mauresmo but Davenport also had 26 winners, seven more than her opponent. And Mauresmo hurt herself with five double-faults, perhaps a sign of fatigue.

Davenport's $93,000 winner's check pushed her over $17 million in career earnings. Only Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis tied with Davenport for ninth on the career singles title list have won more money in women's tennis.

A day after starting slowly in the semifinals against Nadia Petrova, Davenport dropped the opening game against Mauresmo before winning five straight to take control of the match on green clay.

The third-ranked Maur-esmo erased a second-set match point en route to upsetting Henin-Hardenne on Saturday. But that grueling 2-hour, 45-minute semifinal clearly took its toll on the Frenchwoman.

''I think mentally and physically it took a lot out of her,'' Davenport said. ''I knew going in that that would be the case. ... I just tried to take advantage of that.''

Still, Mauresmo didn't go quietly. She won three straight games to tighten the first set, then fought off match point twice before Davenport finally closed out her second title of 2004.

Roddick leads U.S. into Davis Cup semis

Andy Roddick led the United States past Sweden and into a Davis Cup semifinal against newcomer Belarus, while France and Spain set up a meeting between past champions.

Roddick hit a record 152 mph ace on the final point of his straight-set victory over Jonas Bjorkman, and Mardy Fish made the final score 4-1 by beating Thomas Johansson.

Belarus, which will be the visitor in the Sept. 24-26 semifinals, finished off a sweep of Argentina on Sunday.

Spain will host France in the other semifinal. France has won the Davis Cup nine times, most recently in 2001, while Spain was the 2000 champion and 2003 runner-up.



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