All American final for comeback queens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All American final for comeback queens

By Chris Lines 28/01/2005 06:37:04 PM Comments (0)

For the 11th time in the past 12 grand slam tournaments the women's final will be between compatriots, but instead of the Russian derby everyone had anticipated at this Australian Open, Saturday's showdown will be an all-American affair.

In fact not just all-American but all-Californian as current world number one Lindsay Davenport takes on former world number one Serena Williams.

They will be competing not just for the Australian Open title but the unofficial tag of the game's comeback queen.

Davenport last won a grand slam singles title in 2000 while Williams had experienced a relative drought of her own, having not taken one of the game's four jewels since Wimbledon in 2003, undergoing a period of injury and off-court turmoil since.

Davenport's gap between grand slam singles finals between the 2000 US Open and this tournament was the third-longest wait between such titles in the women's Open era after Mima Jausovec (1977-83 French Opens) and Helena Sukova (1989 Australian Open and 1993 US Open).

She was also aiming to be the oldest winner of a grand slam title since a 29-year-old Steffi Graf won the French Open in 1999 over Martina Hingis, and the oldest Australian Open winner since Martina Navratilova took the prize aged 29 in 1985.

The laid-back Davenport had struggled through long three-set matches against Alicia Molik and Nathalie Dechy in her past two matches, combined with a doubles campaign that ended only with a loss in the final.

Davenport admitted to some fatigue and questionable form, but was looking on the bright side.

"I'm holding up pretty well considering all the tennis that's been going on," Davenport said.

"I've played a couple of good matches down here and a couple of average matches.

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