Originally created 03/07/03

Davenport wins opening match at Pacific Life Open



INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, struggling with inconsistency and motivation, overcame Daja Bedanova in three sets Thursday to join Jennifer Capriati and Amelie Mauresmo in the third round of the Pacific Life Open.

Davenport, a two-time champion here and a former world No. 1, won 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. She missed much of last season after undergoing knee surgery in January 2002.

In early February in Tokyo she won her first title since returning to play. But last week in Scottsdale, Ariz., she lost her opening match to eventual champion Ai Sugiyama and Thursday she wasn't happy with her play against the 48th-ranked Bedanova.

"It was so streaky and that frustrates me more than anything," she said. "I started out playing well, then I let up and the next thing I knew I was in a tough match in the third set. It's just frustrating overall how my game's been going. Really, I'm just not as consistent as I need to be."

Last fall, Davenport and coach Robet Van't Hof ended their decade-long partnership. She now is being coached by future brother-in-law Rick Leach, and she said that while things are going well, "a piece of confidence" is gone.

She also said she isn't as motivated as she was last summer "to come back and play and do great."

Capriati, the No. 2 seed, won 6-4, 6-2 over Antonella Serra Zanetti of Italy. Mauresmo, the No. 5 seed, was a 6-4, 6-0 winner over Myriam Casanova of Switzerland. They both pronounced themselves happy at their play overall in an event that neither has enjoyed much in the past.

Capriati has played here twice, losing to Chanda Rubin in the third round in 1996 and to Cara Black in the second round in 2000.

Mauresmo made her only appearance in 2000 and was forced to retire from her second-round match against Kim Clijsters because of an injury.

"At the beginning there was a little bit of jitters because it had been a while since I've played here," said Capriati, who evened her record for the year at 3-3. "I think I played all right. I played better as the match went on. I think I moved well and stepped up my game, so overall I was happy with it."

Mauresmo, who was slowed early in the year by a right knee problem, was playing her first match since retiring in the second set of a match against Monica Seles at Dubai three weeks ago with a strained abductor muscle.

She said she "came here a little bit concerned" about the injury, "but going on court today I knew it was OK. I think my game was good for the first round."

It was the second round, but Mauresmo was among the 32 seeds receiving first-round byes in the 96-player field. Her win moved her into the third round against No. 29 seed Tamarine Tanasugarn, a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Shinobu Asagoe of Japan.

There were two mild upsets early in the day. Angelique Widjaja of Indonesia, No. 63 in the WTA rankings, eliminated No. 9 seed Patty Schynder of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-2, and Virginia Ruano Pascual (No. 46) ousted 22nd-seed Alexandra Stevenson, 6-4, 6-4.

Also, No. 42 Svetlana Kuznetsova toppled No. 7 seed and 11th-ranked Anastasia Mysinka, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 in a battle of promising Russians.

No. 14 seed Elena Dementieva, qualifier Samantha Reeves, Magui Serna and Elena Bovina also posted second-round wins.