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Lindsay Davenport in cruise control

AUCKLAND: Lindsay Davenport continued her comeback with an easy win in the first round of the Auckland Classic women’s tournament on Monday, and said she believed she would keep getting better.

The unseeded Davenport had little trouble disposing of fellow American Laura Granville, 6-2, 6-3.

Since rejoining the women’s tour in September following the birth of her son Jagger, the former world No. 1 has won two out of three tournaments in the run-up to the Australian Open, which starts in two weeks.

Although Davenport is now ranked 72 to Granville’s 61, there was no doubting the class of the triple Grand Slam winner.

Davenport’s second round opponent will be fifth seed Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, who beat Australia’s Nicole Pratt 7-6(3), 6-3.

The one seeded player to fall in the first round was France’s Emilie Loit, the eighth seed, who lost in straight sets to Ashley Harkleroad of the United States, 6-4, 6-1.

Sixth seeded Austrian Tamira Paszek beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 7-6(7), 6-1, while the third seed Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia beat Russian Anastasia Rodionova in a bizarre spectacle.

Rodionova was in tears for much of the match, reportedly because problems with her contact lenses meant she could not see the ball properly. She retired midway through the second set, down 0-6, 0-3.

Petrova ousted

At Gold Coast, Italy’s Tathiana Garbin shocked second seed Nadia Petrova of Russia 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the Australian women’s hardcourt tennis tournament on Monday.

Fedak beats Szavay

Eighth-seeded Hungarian Agnes Szavay was also a first-round loser, bowing out to qualifying “lucky loser” Yuliana Fedak of Ukraine.

Defending champion and third seed Dinara Safina of Russia escaped a similar fate when she struggled past Australian-based Slovakian Jarmila Gajdosova 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Stepanek pulls out

At Adelaide, Australian wild card Joe Sirianni took advantage of a heel injury to Radek Stepanek on Monday to advance to the second round of the Next Generation Adelaide International. Sirianni, 32, was awarded the match when the fifth-seeded Stepanek retired while trailing 7-6(3), 4-3 and down a break in the second set, citing a right heel problem that flared up in the first set.

American Michael Russell beat No. 7 seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the other upset of the day at Memorial Drive. In other results, American Sam Querrey beat Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 and Benjamin Becker of Germany defeated Australian Robert Smeets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The results:

At Auckland: WTA ASB Classic: First round: Tamira Paszek bt Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(7), 6-1; Lindsay Davenport bt Laura Granville 6-2, 6-3; Katarina Srebotnik bt Anastasia Rodionova 6-0, 3-0, retd.; Ashley Harkleroad bt Emilie Loit 6-4, 6-1; Anabel Medina Garrigues bt Nicole Pratt 7-6(3), 6-3; Klara Zakopalova bt Meilen Tu 6-3, 7-5; Yvonne Meusburger bt Akiko Morigami 7-5, 6-0.

At Gold Coast: WTA Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourts: First round: Patty Schnyder bt Alisa Kleybanova 6-1, 6-3; Tathiana Garbin bt Nadia Petrova 5-7, 7-5, 6-3; Yuliana Fedak bt Agnes Szavay 3-6, 7-5, 6-2; Dinara Safina bt Jarmila Gajdosova (SVK) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

At Adelaide: ATP Next Generation Adelaide International: First round: Sam Querrey bt Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-4; Joe Sirianni bt Radek Stepanek 7-6(3), 4-3, retd.; Michael Russell bt Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-3; Benjamin Becker bt Robert Smeets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; Mischa Zverev bt Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3; Michael Llodra bt Gilles Simon 7-6(3), 6-3.

At Doha: ATP: Qatar ExxonMobil Open: First round: Filippo Volandri bt Diego Hartfield 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3); Michael Berrer bt Abdullah Hajji 6-1, 6-1; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Oscar Hernandez 6-3, 6-1; Thomas Johansson bt Igor Andreev 6-1, 6-0.

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