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Davenport beats Dechy; Canas tops Henman
Updated: 2005-03-18 10:08

Lindsay Davenport got off to a sluggish start, turned it up a notch in a tiebreaker, then went on to post still another victory over Nathlie Dechy.

No. 1 Davenport defeated Dechy 7-6 (2), 6-0 Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open.

Lindsay Davenport of the U.S. hits a backhand to Nathalie Dechy of France during their quarter-final match at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, March 17, 2005. Davenport is the top seed here. [Reuters]
Giullermo Canas advanced to the men's semifinals with a 7-6 (1), 7-5 victory over Tim Henman, who played for the title in two of the last three years.

Davenport's victory was her third over the French player in the past year — including the 2004 Indian Wells semifinals — and seventh in as many career meetings.

Davenport has lost just two sets — in the 1997 and 2005 Australian Open — in their matches.

She didn't seem to get warmed up this time until the tiebreaker, when she shot out to a 6-1 lead, hit a forehand long, then won it when Dechy slapped a forehand return into the net.

After making 23 unforced errors and double-faulting four times in the opening set, Davenport took control of her game and the match in the second.

Davenport began the set by breaking Dechy's serve, then had only four unforced errors and no double-faults as she took just 22 minutes — compared to 64 in the first set — to finish off Dechy.

"I let her back (in the first set) so many times," Davenport said. "Both games up 40-love, was serving, got broken both of those.

"Once I held to get to 6-all, I never really looked back from that point."

Dechy obviously was disappointed, especially with the second set.

"The first set was a pretty good level of tennis, then I dropped mine in the second set and she raised hers," said Dechy, ranked No. 14.

"She started playing really well when she was down 6-5."

Davenport won the Indian Wells title in 1997 and 2000, and made the finals three other times. She lost to Martina Hingis in 1998, to Kim Clijsters in 2003 and to Justine Henin-Hardenne last year.

"I feel very comfortable playing here," said Davenport, who grew up along the coast near Los Angeles and still lives there. "I've always loved my time out here and won a lot of matches throughout my career in Indian Wells.

"I like it that I have my family around, friends come out. My mom's been here the whole time with me, and my husband's gone back and forth."

Davenport is married to Jon Leach, an investment banker who played college tennis at USC.

Guillermo Canas of Argentina celebrates his quarter-final victory over Britain's Tim Henman at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, March 17, 2005. Canas won 7-6 7-5. [Reuters]
Canas, an Argentine who finished No. 11 last year and won three tour titles, broke Henman's serve in the 12th game to take the match.

Henman made two of his staggering total of 51 unforced errors on the final two points, first hitting a volley wide, then sending a forehand long.

As the ball landed out by several feet, Canas raised both arms in triumph.

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