STANFORD, California (Ticker) - In a riveting encounter between evenly matched foes, Lindsay Davenport was just a little bit better than fellow California native Venus Williams in the final of the $585,000 Bank of the West Classic. Davenport, the second seed, outlasted the top-seeded Williams, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), on Sunday to win the title here for the third time.
The third-set tiebreaker was tied, 3-3, when Davenport ripped a forehand winner down the line. Williams hit forehands into the net on the next two points to fall behind 6-3 and, after Davenport netted a backhand, Williams hit a backhand long to end the match. Davenport won the title here over Williams in 1998 and 1999 before Williams returned the favor the following year. Williams also won the title here two years ago over Kim Clijsters.
Davenport, who improved to 11-12 all time in the rivalry, won $93,000 and Williams - who had won their previous six encounters - claimed $50,000. Before the final, Williams had dropped only nine games in three matches this week. Davenport had dropped 13 games. Davenport has won nine of her 41 career singles titles in her home state, including seven in U.S. Open warm-up events.