STANFORD, California (Ticker) - American Lindsay Davenport had to exert a lot more effort but nevertheless advanced to the semifinals of the $585,000 Bank of the West Classic on Friday. The second seed, Davenport outlasted compatriot and lucky loser Mashona Washington, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, to reach the penultimate round.
On Thursday night, Davenport crushed Russian Lioudmila Skavronskaia, 6-1, 6-1. Davenport got the key break in the third set in just the second game, which went to deuce four times before Washington double-faulted on break point. "The biggest impact on my game was breaking her in the second game (of the third set)," Davenport said of Washington. "I played a little more calm and played a little more smarter tennis (after that)." "In the third set it was important that I didn't get broken early, which I did," Washington said before chuckling.
Washington entered the tournament ranked 101st in the world and said she gained experience playing a top-10 player like the fifth-ranked Davenport. "It definitely tells me where I am. I can compete at a higher level," Washington said. "My game is pretty strong. I definitely won't have the fear when it comes to playing top players now when coming into the net." Davenport, who had not faced Washington, awaits No. 8 Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela, who eliminated fourth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 6-4, 6-1.
Top seed Venus Williams of the U.S. had a much easier time in her quarterfinal than Davenport, defeating Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi of Israel, 6-0, 6-3. Williams, who improved to 2-0 lifetime vs. Smashnova-Pistolesi, has dropped just five games in two matches here. American Amy Frazier, the sixth seed, was the first to reach the semifinals, dispatching third seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), earlier Friday. Frazier, who also reached the final four here in 1999, will meet Williams in the semifinals. First prize is $93,000.