Davenport begins Australian Open tuneup with 1st-round win
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Lindsay Davenport got off to a good start in her first tuneup for the Australian Open, beating fellow American Laura Granville 6-2, 6-3 Monday in the first round of the ASB Women's Classic.
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Davenport won in 66 minutes and looked fit and sharp as she prepares for her first Grand Slam in more than a year, beginning Jan. 14 in Melbourne.
"I had a lot of fun. I was really enjoying myself playing out there," Davenport said. "There were a few things I'd like to be doing better, but the first match of the season is always tough and I haven't had much match play recently."
The 31-year-old Davenport spent 11 months away from the tour in 2007 for the birth of her first child, son Jagger. She's 14-1 since her return, winning two titles.
Davenport, ranked 61st, broke Granville in the first game of the first set and again in the seventh game. Davenport stumbled only once, when she lost serve with two double-faults in the sixth game of the second set. But she recovered her momentum to win the set in 38 minutes with more than 30 winners.
Davenport has won three Grand Slam titles -- the U.S. Open in 1998, Wimbledon in '99 and the Australian Open in 2000 -- along with an Olympic gold medal in 1996. She finished four seasons ranked No. 1: 1998, 2001 and 2004-05.
Third-seeded Katerina Srebotnik of Slovenia, a former winner in Auckland, advanced to the second round when her Russian opponent, Anastasia Rodionova, retired in the second set. Rodionova was trailing 6-0, 3-0 when she was forced to quit due to an eye irritation.
Ashley Harkleroad of the United States upset eighth-seeded Emilie Loit of France 6-4, 6-1. Former winner Meilin Tu of the United States, playing in the tournament for the 11th straight year, was beaten 6-3, 7-5 by Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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