Davenport Reaches Advanta Finals
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) _ Lindsay Davenport used a booming serve to defeat a mistake-prone Venus Williams 6-1, 6-2 Saturday and advance to the finals of the Advanta Championships.
The contest between the two top American players in the world proved to be no contest for the second-seeded Davenport, who reeled off nine aces against the struggling Williams.
Davenport will face the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal between top-seed Martina Hingis and fourth-seed Nathalie Tauziat in the finals Sunday afternoon.
Williams’ strong service game was neutralized by eight double-faults, including four in the decisive game that was most indicative of the match.
After landing a forehand winner down the line to thwart Davenport’s first match point, Williams never connected on her next two serves. She double faulted on the last serve as the ball sailed into the net and Davenport raised her fists in victory.
It was the fifth meeting of the year between the two young Americans, with Davenport ending a two-match losing streak.
Davenport, the second-ranked player in the world, broke Williams’ serve four times and kept her off-balance repeatedly with her own powerful service game.
Williams gained some momentum after tying the second set 1-1 on an ace and three unforced errors by Davenport.
But the 23-year-old Davenport went on to win 12 of the next 15 points, including a forehand smash past a frozen Williams at the net that gave her a 4-1 lead.
The win moves Davenport on to her third straight Advanta finals, losing the last two years.
Williams won the crowd over briefly in the first set after Davenport couldn’t handle her serve to take a 1-0 lead.
Davenport went on to take the next six games, slamming two aces to tie the set at 1-1, and getting Williams to repeatedly return other serves into the net or win points on unforced errors.
Williams, a baseliner trying to improve on her serve-and-volley game, failed miserably in this affair. Most of her volley attempts hit the net or sailed wide of the sidelines.