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Mauresmo marvels at Davenport determination

sports Updated: Sep 17, 2007 19:13 IST
AFP
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Amelie Mauresmo marvelled on Monday at the weekend trophy comeback of rival Lindsay Davenport who will play as a dangerous wild card this week at the China Open.

Third seed Mauresmo, competing for the first time in two months after motivation problems and a lengthy recovery from a February appendix surgery, expressed amazement at Davenport's title in Bali.

Davenport returned from a year out of the sport and the June birth of her son to lift the 52nd trophy of her career as she beat doubles partner Daniela Hantuchova in three sets.

"It's surprising and impressive to see her return," said the Frenchwoman, who can only hope to take inspiration in China after her own two-month absence.

"I think she'll enjoy the life she has now. She is the second or third mother-player. I think she'll be again able to reach her highest level."

Davenport will begin against a qualifier in the first round at the Beijing tennis centre after flying in on Monday from Bali with her infant Jagger, mother, nanny and hitting partner.

Mauresmo, along with top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, arriving from a Moscow Fed Cup win over Italy, second-seeded wild card Jelena Jankovic and number four Russian Elena Dementieva all benefit from byes.

Mauresmo, currently ranked 11 and winner of two Grand Slam titles last season, has not played since the Fed Cup for France in July.

Her season has been compromised by her surgery and the 28-year-old admits that she is now mentally playing for 2008.

"For me, 2007 is almost behind. I'll definitely play four or five tournaments and get ready to reach into top 10 again next year.

"My goal for next year will also include Grand Slam and Olympic Games."

Mauresmo said that her training regime has been necessarily limited this season.

"For months I didn't touch my rackets, but I tried to keep up my physical training. I had quality time with my family and friends," she said.

"I've been on the tour for 10 years, I needed a break."

Monday's limited programme was filled mainly with qualifying rounds, though Slovak Dominika Cibulkova beat Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 to reach the second round.

With rain intervening, officials was considering delaying the only other two main draw matches, putting Swiss fifth seed Martina Hingis and China's Sun Tiantian plus Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual and Russian Olga Poutchkova back to Tuesday.

Second seed Jankovic took a Beijing wild card last week after world number one Justine Henin withdrew less than a week after her US Open title due to a bronchial infection which could keep her out until October.