Davenport Dominant in Return

August 23, 2005 11:00 PM
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Lindsay Davenport easily won her first full match since losing to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon final, beating the Czech Republic's Kveta Peschke 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday night in the Pilot Pen tournament.

Davenport, who lost the world's top ranking Monday after missing several weeks because of a back injury, appeared confident in the second-round match. The top-seeded Davenport is using the event as a tuneup for the U.S. Open next week.

"I was a little, actually, scared going out,'' Davenport said. "The last time I tried to play, it didn't go so well.''

She pulled out of the Bank of the West Classic last month in the first set of her opening match. On Monday, she fell to No. 2 in the world behind Maria Sharapova.

The injury dragged on longer than she expected, keeping her out of several tournaments. At her worst, Davenport said, she couldn't rotate to either side.

It took her a little time to find her rhythm Tuesday, notching four double faults in the first set. Peschke stayed close for much of the first set, but Davenport broke serve to go up 5-4, closed out the set and went on to dominate the second set.

She said her back felt fine after her 52-minute match.

``No problems is a good sign,'' she said.

Davenport will play either sixth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland or Daniela Hutchova of Slovakia on Thursday.

In an earlier match Tuesday, Elena Dementieva withstood a second-set rally by fellow Russian Vera Douchevina to advance to the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Dementieva, seeded fourth in the tournament and ranked sixth in the world, seemed poised to dominate the match, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the second set.

But Douchevina rallied and Dementieva appeared too aggressive at times, returning easy lobs into the net and missing long when Douchevina was out of position. Douchevina twice broke Dementieva's serve and tied the set 4-4.

``I just lost my concentration,'' Dementieva said.

Dementieva broke serve in the next game, however, letting out a loud cheer as she took a 5-4 lead and proceeded to finish off the match. After the match, she joked that the stumble in the second set made things interesting in a match that was speeding by.

``When I looked up, it's 35 minutes and I'm a set and 4-love up,'' she said. ``I said, 'Something's wrong.'''

In the men's draw Tuesday, Fairfield native James Blake quickly emerged as a fan favorite, cruising to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Michael Llodra. Tournament officials designated a special ``J Block'' for Blake's supporters, but the entire crowd provided a cheering section as he advanced to the second round to face 10th-seeded Filippo Volandri.

Blake dominated in the first set but offered some drama in the second.

With a chance to go up 4-2, Blake delivered a strong forehand and shouted, ``Come on!'' Llodra appeared to return the ball just long, but the chair umpire called the outburst a hindrance and gave Llodra the point. He went on to win the game, tying the set at 3-3.

``I've never seen that called in my career,'' Blake said.

In other action, fourth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain held off Scoville Jenkins 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Jenkins, an 18-year-old American, won his first career ATP Tour match Monday, upsetting Jarkko Nieminen.