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Zvonareva no match for top seed

8/22/2004

MASON, Ohio -- Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport won her fourth
consecutive WTA championship on Sunday, defeating second-seeded
Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 in the Western and Southern Women's Open
finals.

Davenport has won 18 consecutive matches, including a walkover
win over Marion Bartoli in Saturday's semifinals. Bartoli dropped
out with a right hand injury.

"Unfortunately, I know it has to end at some time," said
Davenport. "Hopefully, it won't be until October. It's been a
great summer. It's beyond expectations that this could happen at
this point in my career. I'm really excited."

Davenport, ranked fourth in the WTA, is the first this year to
win four straight tournaments, and her six overall is tops on the
tour. She's lost only three sets in her last 17 matches.

She faced just two break points on Sunday, both in the first
set.

"It's tough to play against the top players, especially when
there's no opportunity to break their serve," Zvonareva said.

Davenport's last loss came in the Wimbledon semifinals against
eventual champion Maria Sharapova. She's playing her best string of
tennis since she won 21 straight in 2000.

Davenport quickly gained an edge against Zvonareva, holding
serve at love to open the match and breaking the ninth-ranked
player's serve in the second game of the first set.

"I wanted to play well from the start," Davenport said. "A
couple of aces and a couple of winners is the way you want to
start. I never really got into trouble in the first set."

Both players stayed on serve in the second set until Davenport
broke Zvonareva in the fifth game. Zvonareva double-faulted on
break point in the seventh game to give Davenport a 5-2 lead.

"When I was serving, I felt like I was in control of some of
the games," Zvonareva said. "It was really tough because she was
serving so well. I was feeling pressure on my serve, knowing that I
had to hold."

"I know when I'm returning well that it's important to keep the
pressure up," Davenport said. "Even when I wasn't breaking her, I
felt like I was in the return games. I just wanted to keep applying
the pressure when she was serving and hit the ball deep and hard."

Davenport won 81 percent (29-of-36) of her first-serve points,
compared to 67 percent (24-of-36) for Zvonareva. The 19-year-old
Russian had 19 unforced errors to Davenport's nine.

Zvonareva, who has beaten Serena Williams and Sharapova in the
last month, fell to 0-5 in her career against Davenport.

In doubles play, the third-seeded team of Jill Craybas and
Marlene Weingartner beat unseeded Emmanuelle Gagliardi and Ana-Lena
Groenefeld, 7-5, 7-6 (2) to win the championship.