STANFORD, California, AP
Lindsay Davenport is back in her accustomed spot in the final of the Bank of the West Classic. Her opponent will be different than usual, though. The second-seeded Davenport advanced to the final for the fourth straight year, defeating Monica Seles 6-4, 6-2 Saturday. Davenport will face third seeded Kim Clijsters in Sunday’s final. In each of the previous three years, Davenport faced Venus Williams in the final of the hard-court tournament — winning in 1998 and 1999, and losing to Williams last year. But the top-seeded Williams was defeated by Meghann Shaughnessy in the quarterfinals Friday. The fifth-seeded Shaughnessy lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 Saturday night in her semifinal against Clijsters. “Now, going into the final I’m the favorite, instead of the underdog against Venus,” Davenport said. “It would have been nice to play her and start beating her a little more regularly than I am. But it’s great to show that there are some good young players coming up.” Davenport needed exactly 30 minutes to win each set against the fourth-seeded Seles. Davenport broke Seles’ serve once in the first set, as part of nine straight points that gave her a 4-2 lead. There were three straight service breaks to open the second set — at one point, the returner won 13 consecutive points — before Davenport took control. Davenport had three of her eight aces in the fourth game of the second set, taking a 3-1 lead. She built her lead to 5-1 by closing out the sixth game on another ace. “I felt I served pretty well. I think that’s the cornerstone of my game. If I can be holding serve, I can concentrate on my groundstrokes,” said Davenport, who has won all her matches this week in straight sets and dropped just 15 games in those three matches. “It was tough. I served really well in the first set, but in the second set my serve just really went out of place, and that puts a lot of pressure on your returns,” Seles said. “Lindsay just served better.” Clijsters fell behind 3-1 in the first set of her match against Shaughnessy, but then won five straight games to close out the set. Shaughnessy recovered to win the second set. Clijsters opened the third set by winning four straight games, including service breaks in the first and third games. After Shaughnessy finally held serve, Clijsters won the next two games to finish the match.