Dubai Open: Serena, Davenport in semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> World number one Lindsay Davenport and her American compatriot Serena Williams both reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Open.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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World number one Lindsay Davenport and her American compatriot Serena Williams both reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Open on Thursday with straight sets victories. Top seed Davenport beat former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez of Spain 6-1 6-4 in 77 minutes while Williams, the number two seed, eliminated Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-3 in nine fewer minutes, hitting six aces along the way. Davenport took on Spain's veteran Conchita Martinez – a former Wimbledon champion – in the quarter-finals. Davenport, playing the 32-year-old Spaniard for the 17th time since first facing off in 1994, breezed through the first set in 35 minutes. She broke Martinez three times, surviving three break points on her own serve in the fourth game. Keen contest Martinez raced to 3-1 lead in the second set, breaking Davenport in the third game after trading service breaks in the first two. But Davenport broke back in the eight game to level at 4-4, kept her serve and then earned three match points as Martinez went down 0-40 on her serve. Martinez saved the first two with a slice at the net and another drop, but then her backhand sailed long, giving Davenport her eight win in her last 10 encounters between the two. Later, number two seed Serena Williams took on Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova. Williams is unbeaten in 2005 having won 10 matches. Williams blasts Hantuchova The American took Hantuchova's game apart, winning five games in a row at the beginning of the match to take a 5-1 lead. She did drop her serve in the eighth game, serving a double fault and then netting a volley on the run at 30-40 to allow Hantuchova to climb back to 4-5. But then she came up with two fierce aces to serve out the set. In the second set, Williams showed some deft touches at the net to break in the third game, but double-faulted at 30-40 to lose service in the next one. However, an erratic Hantuchova lost her serve in the next game. Then, serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Hantuchova netted a backhand to give Williams match point and the American took full advantage, sealing the contest with a forehand drive volley. Davenport will meet Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the semi-finals on Friday while Williams faces Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Montenegro. (AP)

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