INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Lindsay Davenport extended her impressive run in the Pacific Life Open on Wednesday, defeating Argentine qualifier Gisela Dulko in straight sets.
A two-time champion and four-time finalist at Indian Wells, Davenport advanced to semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Andy Roddick defeated Nicolas Escude 6-3, 6-2 to reach the men’s quarterfinals. Roddick overpowered his French opponent with 17 aces to Escude’s one, and 33 winners to 15.
Irakli Labadze bounced back from a first-set loss to beat Agustin Calleri 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and gain the men’s quarterfinals.
Also advancing were James Blake, with a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1 win over Taylor Dent; and Tim Henman, who beat Wayne Arthurs 6-1, 6-3.
Labadze, a 22-year-old from Tbilisi, Georgia, is playing just his second ATP Masters Series tournament. He has yet to win on the tour.
Davenport, rejuvenated after surgery in October to correct a painful toe problem, hasn’t had a real test so far at Indian Wells.
She has lost a total of only 12 games in four matches.
“I’m really happy with where I am. I’ve played well the whole tournament through,” Davenport said. “I’ve done so far what’s been expected of me.”
She’s also benefiting from a good draw. Ranked No. 4, Davenport had a first-round bye, then played Mara Santangelo, Samantha Stosur and Meghann Shaughnessy before facing Dulko.
“I feel like today I was pushed a little bit more. This girl (Dulko) played a lot better than the other girls I’ve played so far this tournament,” Davenport said. “If a match gets to 5-all in the third, who is to say I would do any better if I didn’t already have a close match.
“Hopefully I won’t get to that point at all in these 10 days.”
Davenport, a former No. 1, was asked how long she thought it might take Serena Williams to regain her form after an eight-month layoff. Williams, who had knee surgery in August, intends to play in Key Biscayne, Fla., next week.
“It would be hard to say she’s going to come back at her best,” Davenport said. “It will probably take her three to four tournaments to three to four months to really get back in the groove.
“But she’s such a great athlete, phenomenal player. I think she’ll find her timing a little bit off the first few matches, but I’m sure she’ll get it back rather quickly.”
Labadze’s victory over Calleri, from Argentina, marked the first time the Georgian has won three matches in a tournament. He was 0-4 on the year coming into the event.
“I’ve been losing everywhere first round,” Labadze said. “I lost maybe six, seven first rounds before this,” he said.
He twisted an ankle playing in Memphis and was hobbled for three weeks.
“I was not expecting really to even win a round here,” Labadze said. “I don’t know what’s happened.”
Asked what he picked up on his racket and delivered safely to the sideline during his match, Labadze showed his humorous — and his humane — side.
“It was elephant,” he said, grinning and chuckling. “No, a small butterfly.”
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