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Davenport needs to use experience

6/28/2004

One thing that stands out about Lindsay Davenport's half of the draw is that no one besides her has been to the quarterfinals before. This is Davenport's seventh Wimbledon quarterfinal.

That doesn't automatically mean anything, but she does have the experience. She needs to call on it now.

Quarterfinals

Lindsay Davenport (5), United States, vs. Karolina Sprem, Croatia
Sprem has arrived before our eyes at this Wimbledon. It's going to be a great match. Davenport has to have her best competitive mindset. She needs to stay as positive as possible because Sprem is tough and riding a high. Davenport needs to show her positive side throughout this match.

If she does all that, she'll win. Davenport's shots are a little more on than the Croatian's, and her serve is a little better. But Sprem's big leg-up is her mobility.

Based on Davenport's past experience as a champion, she has the slightest advantage -- yet I wouldn't be surprised if Sprem keeps her run going.
Pick: Davenport

Ai Sugiyma (11), Japan, vs. Maria Sharapova (13), Russia
Sharapova won an awkward match against Amy Frazier, who played well on Monday. It was a pressure match because just like here with Sugiyama, Sharapova is favored to win. Sharapova's bigger serve and teen-age ambition will be too much for Sugiyama, who is really proving to be a formidable veteran and is tough to beat on all surfaces.

Round of 16

Serena Williams (1), United States, vs. Tatiana Golovin, France

This is a good round of 16 for Serena against the up-and-coming 16-year-old Golovin. Golovin's most powerful shot compares to Serena's fifth most powerful shot.
Pick: Serena

Nadia Petrova (10), Russia, vs. Jennifer Capriati (7), United States

The most interesting round-of-16 match could be this one. Just over a year ago they played at the French in an entertaining match, with Petrova winning. Both can use grass courts to their benefit. Capriati, who is working with Tom Gullikson, should have the good frame of mind to give her a slight edge. However, Petrova is one to watch for a breakout.
Pick: Capriati

Amelie Mauresmo (4), France, vs. Silvia Farina Elia (14)

Mauresmo can't mail this one in. Farina Elia is stubborn and gets a lot of balls back. She plays smart. Still, Mauresmo should have too much game. She plays better at Wimbledon than the French Open because she faces less pressure.

Mauresmo is the heavy favorite to get through to the semifinals in that part of the draw. It's not uncharted territory; she's been this far at Wimbledon before. All four players in her part of the draw play the same kind of game. Farina Elia doesn't have the power to force Mauresmo to play an off match; the Frenchwoman will have to beat herself.
Pick: Mauresmo

Paola Suarez (9) Argentina, vs. Rita Grande, Italy

In this matchup, Suarez is the slight favorite on grass based on her singles results and success in doubles, though Grande is one of the few players who can serve and volley. This is another match that could go the other way, but the pick is Suarez.
Pick: Suarez

ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles.