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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Davenport, Sharapova headline Pan Pacs

Forgive Lindsay Davenport if she's not hitting on all cylinders at this week's Toray Pan Pacific Open. Losing the final of a Grand Slam event tends to take a bit of the bounce out of a person no matter how resilient they usually are. Davenport dropped Saturday's Australian Open final to Serena Williams and she knows it will take a while to recover, physically and emotionally.

Maria Sharapova

``A loss in a Slam is tough to come back from, tougher than other tournaments,'' Davenport said at a news conference Monday, the eve of the 135 million yen tournament's main draw. ``It takes a while to come back from something like that. I'm not 100 percent. But I took Sunday off and had just a light workout today, so hopefully I'll be ready for my first singles match Thursday. ``The good thing about the tour is that you get another chance the next week.'' Davenport won the first set of Saturday's final, but dropped the next two as Williams gritted through injuries that restricted her movement and reduced her power. World No. 1 Davenport, the two-time defending Toray champ and a four-time winner, is the tourney's No. 1 seed, but second seed Maria Sharapova is, of course, the event's main draw. separate photo shoot was held for the Russian teen before Monday's meet-the-press session, where the majority of the questions were directed at the World No. 4. Sharapova, the defending Wimbledon champion, fell to Williams in the semifinals in Melbourne. ``Even to reach the semis is an achievement,'' the 17-year-old said. ``It's a hard loss to get over, you keep looking for excuses. But, it's a new week and we're looking forward to playing. ``Lindsay has won this the past few years so we're looking for a chance to try and grab it away from her.'' Sharapova says she is more mature than she was a year ago, but adds that her game is not completely developed. ``This past year I've gained a lot of experience, playing against the top players in the world, and I've learned a lot,'' she said. ``I have a long career ahead of me and I want to keep on growing. ``But it's been an amazing journey so far.'' Sharapova already has an eye on her post-tennis career-the fashion biz. ``Like everyone else, I like to dress nicely,'' she said. ``I like to look elegant and classy. (Designing) is something I'm interested in, but it will have to wait until my tennis career is over.'' Like Davenport and the other top seeds-No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 4 Elena Dementieva-Sharapova will receive a first-round bye.


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