NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) --
Lindsay Davenport escaped with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova on Thursday to reach the Pen Pilot semifinals, putting her within one win of regaining the No. 1 ranking from Maria Sharapova.
Davenport, seeded first and tuning up for next week's U.S. Open, will next play Jie Zheng of China. Jie defeated Anna Chakvetadze of Russia 6-4, 6-4 in her quarterfinal.
Davenport lost the top spot on Monday after missing nearly two months with a back injury. This is her first full tournament since her loss in the Wimbledon finals.
Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4, 6-3. Dementieva, a former U.S. and French Open finalist, said she felt sluggish during the morning match.
Among the men, second-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile lost to Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-7 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3), and fifth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain defeated Vincent Spadea 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.
Davenport beat Hantuchova by surviving a second-set scare and troubles with her serve, finishing with eight double-faults. She trailed 3-0 in the second set before winning five straight games and going on to force a tiebreaker.
Davenport made a brief appearance at the Bank of the West Classic last month but pulled out in the first set of her opening match because of her back. At its worst, the injury prevented her from rotating to either side. She had no problems with her back in winning Tuesday's opener against Kveta Peschke.