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Davenport wins Dubai Open

March 06, 2005 00:53 IST

World number one Lindsay Davenport claimed her first title of the year with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 defeat of unseeded Jelena Jankovic in the final of the Dubai Open on Saturday.

Davenport, who lost her two previous finals this year at the Australian Open final and in Tokyo, was given a tough time by the 28th-ranked Serb before edging the decider.

The Californian has now taken her career title haul to 46, banking $19 million in prize money in the process.

The 20-year-old Jankovic, who has just one title to her name, made a nervous start, double-faulting three times as she dropped her serve in the opening game.

She responded immediately to break the Davenport serve, but another double fault gave the American a 3-2 lead and this time she was unable to reply.

Jankovic raised her game in the second set, breaking back to level at 2-2 before moving into a 4-2 lead with an unplayable return down the line and then holding for 5-2.

Davenport fought off two set points on her own serve before Jankovic closed out the set in the next game with an ace.

Jankovic managed an early break in the third set, but a netted backhand allowed Davenport back in and the youngster began to look weary, collapsing into a courtside chair after one long rally in the seventh game.

She still had chances to forge ahead but it was Davenport who showed her class, breaking to love in the final game with two winning returns.

Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and her Argentine partner Paolo Suarez won the doubles title when they defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) and Alicia Molik (Australia) in the final earlier.

Pascual and Suarez, ranked third in the world and top seed in the Dubai Open, fell behind on tie-break 6-7 in the opening set, but the pair fought back in the next two sets, winning 6-2, 6-1 for the 27th career title.

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