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Serena Williams wins Australian Open

Serena Williams beat fellow American Lindsay Davenport 2-6 6-3 6-0 to win the season's opening Grand Slam.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2005 06:26 PM IST

Serena Williams produced another fighting comeback to defeat world number one Lindsay Davenport and claim the Australian Open title for the second time in Melbourne on Saturday.

Williams, who had saved three match points in the semi-finals to win through to the final, shrugged off a back injury and fought from one set down to defeat fellow American Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in 1hr 29min at the Rod Laver Arena.

Seventh seed Williams admitted she had been in trouble after wrenching her back as she stretched for a shot early in the first set of a match played under cover at a rain-lashed Melbourne Park.

"She was just killing me in the first set," said Williams after clinching her seventh career grand slam crown. "But I just said to myself 'I'm not going to lose, I'm not going to lose.'

"When my back went, I thought 'Oh no, this is not happening'. But they manipulated it and it went back in and it felt fine after that."

It completed a difficult road back for the 23-year-old American, who had not won a grand slam title since her victory at Wimbledon in 2003 and had seen her ranking plunge during 18 months plagued by injuries and personal tragedy.

Davenport, who had delayed retirement at the end of last year after convincing herself that she could still challenge for major titles, paid tribute to her opponent's fighting spirit.

"I have to congratulate Serena. She's had a tough couple of years and she's come back like the great champion she is," said the 28-year-old. "Everyone should applaud her for coming through what she's gone through."

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