Davenport, Clijsters ease through - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Davenport, Clijsters ease through

By Pritha Sarkar 21/06/2005 05:34:31 AM Comments (0)

Lindsay Davenport made the most of her unexpected return to Wimbledon with a 6-0 6-2 first-round drubbing of Russia's Alina Jidkova on Monday.

Twelve months ago, the 1999 champion walked out of the All England Club convinced she had played on the Centre Court for the last time following her semi-final loss to eventual champion Maria Sharapova.

On Monday, the American was back on the biggest stage in grasscourt tennis as the world number one and believed that for the first time in three years she had a serious chance of walking away with her second Wimbledon crown.

She followed Wimbledon last year by winning four titles on the trot in the run-up to the U.S. Open and then reached the final of the Australian Open in January this year.

"At the time I was sitting here a year ago, I just felt like I was losing that little inner fire that you need to always be at the top," said Davenport, the top seed in the women's draw.

"I really take a lot of pride in being successful and doing well. After I left here, it got relit. I seemed to get on a great roll.

Kim Clijsters predicted a vintage women's singles tournament at Wimbledon after moving untroubled into the second round with a 6-2 6-3 defeat of British wildcard Katie O'Brien.

Clijsters and compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne, both former world number ones, missed last year's tournament while world number one Davenport was not fully fit.

Russian teenager Maria Sharapova took full advantage of a weakened draw then, blazing through to the final where she outclassed an off-form Serena Williams.

However, with all the big guns fit and healthy this year, Clijsters believes there could be fireworks in store.

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