Coming off a tough loss to Serena Williams in the Australian Open final on the weekend, Lindsay Davenport faces a tough task applying her weary body to this week’s Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo.
“I’m not 100 percent right now,” Davenport said Monday. “But I took yesterday off and hopefully I’ll be in good shape for my first singles match on Thursday.”
Davenport, who lost 6-2, 3-6, 0-6 to Williams in the Australian Open singles final Saturday, is the defending champion at the $1.3 million Japanese event. The WTA’s top-ranked player also won this tournament in 2003, 2001 and 1998.
“You’ve got to recover quickly,” Davenport said of her loss to Williams. “It’s always tough to lose in a Grand Slam final, but you’ve got to move forward.”
If top-seeded Davenport can defend her title here, she’ll become the tournament’s most successful player. Martina Hingis has also won four times.
Davenport defeated Bulgaria’s Magdalena Maleeva in last year’s final. This year, she’ll have to contend with world No. 4 Maria Sharapova of Russia, who always plays well in Japan.
Wimbledon winner Sharapova, who lost to Williams in the semis in Melbourne, won the Japan Open in October and is seeded second.
The Pan Pacific Open runs Feb. 1-6 indoors at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who lost to compatriot Sharapova in the Australian Open quarterfinals, is seeded third while fellow-Russian Elena Dementieva is No. 4.
Fifth-seeded Ai Sugiyama is among seven players who will represent Japan.
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