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Davenport Advances at Acura

August 1, 2002

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) _ Lindsay Davenport, in her second WTA tournament since undergoing knee surgery, needed just over an hour to defeat Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0 Wednesday in the second round of the tournament at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

``I’m really happy where I am at. It really is above what I expected,″ said Davenport, who injured her right knee last November and underwent surgery in January. ``I definitely was struggling quite a bit in June trying to play points and sets.

``Then, a couple weeks ago it just clicked one day and I started playing a lot better.″

Davenport had four aces, hit 32 winners and was sucessful on 75 percent on break-point conversions against Mikaelian.

``I still think that I have some good years left in me,″ the 26-year-old Davenport said.

Earlier in the day, a second-round match between No. 7 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovokia and Ai Sugiyama of Japan ended with two controversial calls by chair umpire Denis Overberg with Sugiyama winning 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

After receiving a warning for taking excessive time between points, Hantuchova was assessed an extremely rare point penalty for taking too much time setting up to receive a serve. The point gave Sugiyama the advantage in a game that she eventually won to take a 6-5 lead in the third and deciding set.

In the next game, Hantuchova was penalized again for taking too much time to serve. This penalty gave Sugiyama match point.

Hantuchova stared at Overberg in disbelief before approaching the net, conceding the loss.

``I’ve never heard of this. I felt that I could have won, but somebody came and took the match away from me,″ she said. ``It was a great match and to have it end like that is really disappointing. But there is nothing that I can do now.″

Sugiyama said she also felt sorry about the way the match finished.

``It’s tough to lose a match like that, but she was taking a little bit more time than normal,″ Sugiyama said.

In other second-round matches, fifth-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium beat Eleni Danilidou of Greece 6-3, 6-1; No. 10 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria defeated Nathalie Dechy of France 7-5, 7-5; Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia upset No. 11 Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 3-6, 6-2; No. 13 Meghann Shaughnessy eliminated Meilen Tu 6-1, 6-2; No. 15 Anne Kremer of Luxembourg topped Greta Arn of Germany 5-7, 6-3, 6-0; and Conchita Martinez of Spain upset 16th-seeded Tatiana Panova of Russia 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4), and Anna Kournikova of Russia topped Jennifer Hopkins 6-2, 6-4.

In the only third-round match during the day, No. 12 Anna Smashnova upset No. 8 Elena Dementieva 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2).

The Acura Classic, one of the top non-major stops on the WTA, is in its 19th year and has a purse of $775,000. The tournament features a 48-player singles draw. The tournament features five of the top ten players in the world including Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Jelena Dokic, Clijsters and Davenport.

Two matches were scheduled Wednesday night _ the top-seeded Williams was scheduled to face Janette Husarova of Slovakia in the second round, and No. 6 Dokic of Yugoslavia was to meet No. 9 Anastasia Myskina of Russia in the third round.

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