Friday, August 20, 2004

U.S. players flexing muscles



By Dustin Dow
Enquirer staff writer

MASON - Though it isn't exactly the Olympics, the Americans are showing off at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open.

Three Americans are in action today in the quarterfinals at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, none more recognizable than No. 4 Lindsay Davenport, who plays Flavia Pennetta at 7 p.m. on Center Court.

Davenport won her first match of the tournament Thursday night against Lilia Osterloh 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Last year in Miami, Davenport defeated Pennetta in three sets in their only previous meeting.

"It was a tough baseline battle," Davenport said of the March 2003 match.

"Hopefully the speed of the court (here) will help me a little bit more than the court in Miami, which was pretty slow."

Pennetta has won seven straight matches entering tonight's contest; Davenport is on a 15-match winning streak.

"I want to win here," Davenport said. "I hope to continue to get better and better as the matches go on and win another trophy if I can."

Chicago-native Laura Granville, who has won six of her last seven matches, plays Marion Bartoli at 4 p.m. on the Grandstand Court.

Granville is 1-3 against Bartoli, with all their meetings coming on hard courts. Her lone victory came when Bartoli retired in a match two years ago.

"Bartoli likes hard courts," Granville said. "She likes to take the ball early. I can't let her be aggressive."

The third American, No. 24 Amy Frazier, is seeded third and plays Selima Sfar at 4 p.m. on Center Court after winning her second-round match Wednesday.

E-mail ddow@enquirer.com




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