Jankovic avenges defeat, will play Szavay in China Open final

Updated: September 22, 2007, 10:30 AM ET
Reuters

BEIJING -- Lindsay Davenport got her first taste of defeat in a year when she lost 6-3, 7-5 to second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals of the China Open on Saturday.

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Davenport had won eight straight matches and last week's Bali tournament on her return to tennis after a year in retirement and just three months after giving birth to a son.

"It's been so much tennis for me over the last two weeks and for the first time my legs felt heavy and I couldn't move as quickly as I would have liked to," Davenport said. "But it's been a wonderful couple of weeks, I've really enjoyed it and have exceeded my expectations."

Jankovic was a break down in both sets, but Davenport made 20 unforced errors and Jankovic battled back to beat the American for the first time and claim her place in the final.

Jankovic will be chasing her fifth title of the season in Sunday's final against Hungarian No. 6 seed Agnes Szavay, who silenced a partisan home crowd by crushing China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-2.

"This time it was a different story, I tried to play tight and tried to move her around," Jankovic said. "I tried not to give her the shots that she likes because it's amazing how clean she hits the ball."

The match became a little bad-tempered late in the second set when Davenport complained to the umpire after being hit by a ball Jankovic had tossed into the air.

"There's no room to act like you're 12 years old, this is the pros," Davenport added. "I think at 5-5 in the second set when you're about to serve, you shouldn't have to worry about being hit by the ball out of play."

Jankovic said she had apologized to Davenport on court.

"I was really frustrated but it was an accident," she said. "I really apologize, I didn't do it on purpose for sure."

Peng had beaten Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo on her way to a second successive semifinal, but Szavay put her under pressure from the start.

The Hungarian teenager, who reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals earlier this month, broke in 21-year-old Peng's first service game and wrapped up the first set in less than half an hour when the Chinese player double faulted.

Peng had come from a set down against Mauresmo, but found no way back in an equally one-sided second set.

Szavay, who has risen from 207th to 23rd in the world this year and won her first WTA title in Palermo in July, will be playing her third final of the season in her first match against Jankovic.

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