Sun shines finally for Davenport, Seles, Capriati


With rain steering clear of the State Farm Tennis Classic for the first time in three days, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati rolled into the quarter-finals Thursday at the hardcourt event. The top-seeded Davenport, scheduled to play Spain’s Gala Leon Garcia since Tuesday, finally got on the court and cruised to a 7-5, 6-2 win in a night match. Davenport, who had a first-round bye, improved to 5-0 all-time against Leon Garcia, who defeated Anne Kremer of Luxembourg on Monday.

Earlier, Seles, who defeated Capriati in Sunday’s final at the IGA US Indoors in Oklahoma City, needed just 56 minutes to eliminate Cara Black of Zimbabwe, 6 0, 6-3. Capriati, the reigning Australian Open champion, bounced back from her defeat last Sunday by defeating Jana Nejedly of Canada 6-2, 6-4. In other second-round action, fifth seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium rallied past American Jennifer Hopkins, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, seventh-seeded American Lisa Raymond eliminated Ai Sugiyama of Japan 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 and eighth-seeded American Meghann Shaughnessy dispatched Nadejda Petrova of Russia 7-6 (9/7), 6-3. Tina Pisnik of Slovenia recorded the lone upset of the day as she outdueled Elena Likhovtseva of Russia 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/3), in the completion of a match suspended Wednesday. Magui Serna of Spain got past American Kristina Brandi 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, in an unseeded encounter and will face Seles in the quarter-finals. Last year, Davenport was going for successive titles, reaching the final here after winning the Australian Open. But her title match with Martina Hingis was canceled due to rain. Again, Davenport is gunning for consecutive titles as she beat Hingis to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last month. She is 11-2 this season, also reaching the final in Sydney and the semifinals of the Australian Open.