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

9/16/2007 - Tennis

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.

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

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.