After taking nearly a year off, Davenport earns Bali Open title

Updated: September 16, 2007, 11:27 AM ET
Associated Press

NUSA DUA, Indonesia -- Lindsay Davenport defeated second-seed Daniela Hantuchova at the Bali Open on Sunday to claim her first singles title after an absence of almost one year.

Lindsay Davenport
AP Photo/Achmad IbrahimLindsay Davenport's win Sunday at the Bali Open comes just three months after she gave birth to her son Jagger.

Davenport, the 2005 champion, stopped Hantuchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Earlier in the tournament, she defeated No. 3 and top-seed Jelena Jankovic and eliminated fifth-seed Eleni Daniilidou.

The 31-year-old American played in her first singles tournament since having a baby in June.

"I'm a little bit in shock," said Davenport. "It's just overwhelming and exciting. I swear this is probably the first tournament I've played in four years where I didn't have anything wrong with my lower extremities."

Davenport, who was teamed with Hantuchova in doubles, withdrew from the doubles semifinal Friday because of a left forearm strain.

The Chinese duo Ji Chunmei and Sun Shengnan defeated American Jill Craybas and Natalie Grandin of South Africa 6-3, 6-2 to claim the doubles title.

Davenport had not competed on the WTA Tour since reaching the Beijing quarterfinals in September 2006, when she lost to Amelie Mauresmo. She gave birth to her first child with husband and former tennis player Jon Leach -- a son named Jagger -- on June 10.

Davenport had the first break for 2-1 but allowed her opponent to even it in the following game.

Hantuchova later held a break point for a possible 5-3 lead, but made a forehand error, and Davenport responded by breaking in the next game when a strong return forced her opponent to mishit a forehand.

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The second set was settled by a break for 3-1, and the final set turned one-sided from 2-1 when Davenport claimed the next three games at love.

"She threw in a couple of errors ... that really gave me a lot of confidence and momentum," Davenport said. "That relaxed me a little bit more in my service games, and I was able to make some more first serves."

Hantuchova's lapse was explained when she summoned the trainer for attention to her right heel, but the Slovak refused to blame a blister for her defeat.

"It was just a blister, nothing serious," Hantuchova said. "I was trying to do the right things ... but all credit to the way she was playing. She was serving great."

It was the first title since winning Zurich nearly two years ago for the American, who became the second mother this year to claim a title, alongside Sybille Bammer of Austria.

Davenport has reached No. 1 in singles and doubles and won three Grand Slams and a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press