Near perfect Davenport moves on

Lindsay Davenport beat Patty Schnyder 6-1, 6-1 to enter the Bausch & Lomb Championships semifinals.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Lindsay Davenport zinged another winner into the far corner of the court. Patty Schnyder simply dropped her head and laughed. Could Davenport be playing any better? It is turning into the scariest question of the week at the Bausch & Lomb Championships. "I've never, ever seen someone play two sets like that," Schnyder, a nine-year tour veteran, said on Friday after a 6-1, 6-1 loss in the quarterfinals. "She hit every line. She made every shot. When it gets like that, there's nothing you can do". Feeling better than she has in months, the second-seeded Davenport needed only 45 minutes to beat the seventh-seeded Schnyder, and advance to play third-seeded Jennifer Capriati in the semis. Capriati was equally impressive, needing 48 minutes to eliminate 12th-seeded Lisa Raymond 6-2, 6-0. While Capriati worked through two tough matches on her way to the semis, Davenport is still looking for a test. The fifth-ranked player in the world, she has lost only five games in three matches this week. "I feel like my game, right now, is perfect," Davenport said. "I played a perfect match against a very, very good player. I was able to keep my form the whole way through. That doesn't happen too often". This is Davenport's second week playing on clay after not touching the stuff for nearly three years due to injuries. Conventional wisdom is that players need patience to win on the spongy surface; Davenport is rewriting that theory. Attacking Schnyder's shallow, topspin shots, Davenport hit 32 winners and made only eight unforced errors. She ended most of her points after only eight-to-10 hits, an uncommonly quick result on the slowest surface in tennis. Could it be a good omen for the French Open, which begins on May 26 on the slow, red clay at Roland Garros? It's the only grand slam Davenport hasn't won. "I'm just worried about the next two days," she said. "This has been a long time coming". On an equally nice roll is top-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne, who won her seventh straight match - 6-2, 6-4 over sixth-seeded Monica Seles. Henin-Hardenne will play 10th-seeded Elena Dementieva in the semifinals after Dementieva routed fourth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova 6-0, 6-1. The four quarterfinals, all lopsided, lasted an average of 54 minutes. (AP)