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Davenport wins third straight title
Matthew Cronin in California | August 02, 2004 15:59 IST
American Lindsay Davenport completed her second career "California Triple" by crushing French Open champion Anastasia Myskina 6-1, 6-1 in the final of the Acura Classic on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Davenport played virtually errorless tennis throughout the 47-minute contest to win her third consecutive hardcourt title in three weeks on her native California soil.
It is the second time Davenport has won the Stanford Classic, the JP Morgan Chase title at Carson and the San Diego tournament in succession after pulling off the same feat in 1998, when she went on to win the U.S. Open.
"I feel like I totally deserve everything that's happened to me," said Davenport, who has now won 14 consecutive matches.
"I've proven a lot to myself the last three weeks. I surprised myself again. I feel nothing but happiness."
Davenport stunned Serena Williams last week to win in Carson and the previous week she beat Venus Williams for the first time since 2000 in a hard-fought three-set contest to clinch the Bank of the West Classic title in Stanford.
"It seems like since I beat Venus I've been cruising," Davenport said. "Since then, I've been pretty confident in what I could do and who I could beat."
Despite playing with a bandage on her sore right kneecap, three-times Grand Slam winner Davenport completely controlled the San Diego final against the 23-year-old Russian.
Myskina, who fought off nine match points to win a 2-1/2 hour semi-final over Vera Zvonareva late on Saturday, was unable to muster the energy she needed when she came back on court only 14 hours later against Davenport.
"I'm really exhausted and I needed to fight and I couldn't," Myskina said.
"Lindsay played unbelievable and you have to play 200 percent against her. I was not even playing 50 percent of my game."
With the victory, Davenport is expected to move up to second in the world when the new rankings come out on Monday, behind Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne, who has not played since late May due to a lingering virus.
Davenport said she felt like the world number one, as there were few players currently healthy enough to challenge her.
"For right now, yes, through the hardcourt summer season," Davenport said. "Now, at the U.S. Open, it's not `I hope I do well,' it's `I'd better do well.'
"The expectations are bigger on my shoulders now than they were eight weeks ago."
The current world number two, Belgium's Kim Clijsters, has been ruled out of the U.S. Open due to a wrist injury and Serena Williams is yet to regain the form that helped her win six Grand Slam titles following knee surgery last year.
Davenport, the 1996 Olympic gold medallist, is skipping the August 13-29 Games to give her body time to recover for a what she sees as her last big chance to win the U.S. Open.
The American will not play again until New Haven, held the week before the last Grand Slam of the year starts on August 30.