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Davenport Undeterred

She overcomes a sore foot and a second-set loss to defeat Nadia Petrova and advance to Open's quarterfinals.

September 01, 2003|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The dread of facing a potentially difficult third set with a sore foot didn't unnerve Lindsay Davenport, not the way it might have a few weeks ago.

Davenport lost the second-set tiebreaker against Nadia Petrova of Russia -- after holding a 5-2 lead -- and went to her courtside chair to contemplate the third. The mode was think, not sink.

"I sat down thinking, 'Oh, OK , I'm fine,' " Davenport said. "Sometimes you're really down about those things, and sometimes it really doesn't affect you. I was fine."

And about 36 minutes later, she was in the quarterfinals. The third-seeded Davenport defeated Petrova, 6-0, 6-7 (6), 6-2, in a 1-hour 52-minute fourth-round match Sunday at the U.S. Open, serving 10 aces and four double faults. Petrova helped a bit too, unable to press the advantage when Davenport's mobility became limited.

Davenport has had three painkilling shots in the left foot for the inflamed nerve between her toes, but there won't be a fourth one.

"Toward the end my foot was starting to get a little bit sore -- not major," Davenport said. "But then I just wanted to get off the court, so I just wanted to try and end the match."

In the quarterfinals Tuesday, Davenport will play Paola Suarez of Argentina, who defeated Elena Likhovtseva of Russia, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Davenport has not lost to Suarez in five matches, dropping only one set in their series, at Carson last month.

Davenport has now reached at least the quarterfinals at the Open for the last seven years, winning it in 1998, but her joy at getting through this one was tempered by sad news.

Sunday, she learned that her 93-year-old grandmother had died, and was worrying about her mother, Ann, who is home in Southern California recovering from knee replacement surgery.

The other quarterfinal Tuesday will be between No. 1 Kim Clijsters of Belgium and No. 5 Amelie Mauresmo of France, a rematch of their fourth-round contest here in 2002. Mauresmo won the intense three-setter, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Neither had much trouble Sunday. Mauresmo beat Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, 6-2, 6-2, in 1 hour 17 minutes, and Clijsters defeated Meghann Shaughnessy, 6-2, 6-4, in 1 hour 13 minutes. Clijsters never faced a break point.

The hardest-fought game may have been the first one in Clijsters' match, lasting seven minutes and six deuces. Clijsters finally broke serve on her third opportunity when Shaughnessy double-faulted.

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