Davenport regains No 1 ranking

American Lindsay Davenport regains the number one position in the WTA rankings.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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American Lindsay Davenport defeated Dinara Safina of Russia 6-4 6-2 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup today to regain the No. 1 position in the WTA rankings. Davenport was joined in the quarterfinals by fellow American Venus Williams, who outclassed Russian teenager Vera Douchevina 6-0 6-4. Also securing quarterfinal berths were French Open and defending champion Anastasia Myskina, who overcame a one-set deficit to defeat fellow Russian Elena Likhovtseva 2-6 6-1 6-0 and Russian fifth seed Elena Dementieva, who beat Croatian qualifier Sanda Manic 6-3 6-3. "I'm amazed that I was able to get back to No. 1 after a tough couple of years," said Davenport, who was last at the top on Jan. 13, 2002. Davenport will overtake Amelie Mauresmo next week to go top of the rankings for the fifth time. She trailed Mauresmo by just 15 points after winning the Porsche Grand Prix on Sunday. In the finals at Filderstadt, Mauresmo retired after aggravating her strained left thigh. She was the top seed in Moscow, but withdrew because of the injury. "I'm excited. But I'd like to be able to keep on going and win the tournament as a new No. 1 and not be completely satisfied just by winning today's match" said Davenport. Davenport lost to Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria in the final in 2002 - her only previous appearance at the Kremlin Cup. Safina, an 18-year-old wild card, could offer resistance only in the first set of her first match against Davenport. She fought of three break points in the third game before sending a forehand into the net to give Davenport the lead. She broke back in the next game and had a break point in the sixth, but Davenport saved it and made a decisive break in the ninth game when, 40-15 down on her serve, Safina sent a forehand wide. "Conditions here are much different than last week in Germany and it took me a number of games to feel comfortable on the court," Davenport said. "In the beginning I made a lot of errors but got better as the match went on and was able to end the match better than I started." Safina called a trainer after the first set to treat a split left toenail. The Russian failed to convert a break point in the second game of the second set, and after that it was a one-way match. Davenport won four consecutive games for a 5-1 lead and closed the match with a service winner. Safina said "I served badly today and when you serve this way against such opponents they start to press you. She served hard. She fired three aces in a game - I couldn't even see where she was serving." In the quarterfinals, Davenport will face Italy's Francesca Schiavone. Douchevina, who entered on a wild card, was helpless in the first set, which looked more like a master class. The Russian proved to be a good student and managed to break Willams at love and then narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the second set before the American served for the match to close it in 56 minutes. Dementieva, US Open and French Open runner-up, had little trouble against Manic. She was more worried about her quarterfinal clash against Svetlana Kuznetsova - their first meeting since Kuznetsova beat her in the final of the US Open. "If I lose the match, my birthday will fade away," said Dementieva, who turns 23 tomorrow. Myskina, who said she was running a temperature and missed practice for two days, managed two breaks early in the first set, but failed to hold a single serve of her own. She charged back in the second set, winning five consecutive games and serving to level the match 1-1. She then took the third set to close the match in 1 hour and 25 minutes. In the quarterfinals, third-seeded Myskina will face Russia's Vera Zvonareva, seeded sixth. (AP)