TOKYO - Lindsay Davenport was at her overpowering best against a hobbled opponent in the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open.
The second-seeded Davenport, the defending champion, defeated seventh-seeded Jelena Dokic 6-1, 6-0 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium to set up a meeting with Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva in the final.
Maleeva advanced when fifth-seeded American Chanda Rubin was forced to pull out earlier Saturday because of a left knee injury.
“I aggravated my knee during my first-round match,” Rubin said. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play today.”
But the other seeded American will have her chance.
“If I serve well and hit a good first groundstroke it’s very effective on this surface,” Davenport said. “I think Jelena was hurt today and that’s unfortunate for the fans, but I just tried to play my game.”
Dokic’s left leg was taped and she appeared to have difficulty moving around the court. The player from Serbia and Montenegro, who sat out last month’s Australian Open, was playing in her first tournament of the year.
She said after the match that she injured her left groin during her second round match against Janette Husarova.
“With the other semifinal being canceled, I thought I would give it a try,” Dokic said. “I was doubtful for yesterday but thought if I just hit the ball well I could survive. But with Lindsay, it’s a different story.”
Dokic defeated Russia’s Tatiana Panova 6-1, 6-1 in Friday’s quarterfinals.
On Sunday, Davenport will be gunning for her fourth title in this tournament. She also won in 1998 and 2001.
The loss of Rubin was the tournament’s second major withdrawal in as many days.
On Friday, top-seeded Venus Williams pulled out of her quarterfinal match with Rubin.
Rubin, who has had two surgeries on her knee, said she was unable to play despite the day off Friday.
“I was looking to go out and play yesterday,” she said. “But this morning I knew I definitely would not be able to play this match.”
In doubles, Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Australian Rennae Stubbs defeated top-seeded Americans Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Fourth-seeded Elena Likhovtseva of Russia and Maleeva downed the American pair of Davenport and Corina Morariu 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Watching Rafa Nadal churn his way through the claycourt season over the past few weeks, it seems nothing much has changed since his French Open triumph a year ago despite a lengthy injury layoff.
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