Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Davenport, Coria advance at US Open

CHASING THE TITLE While Lindsay Davenport knocked Nathalie Dechy out in 57 minutes, it took more than four hours for Guillermo Coria to overpower Nicolas Massu

AP , NEW YORK

Lindsay Davenport of the US celebrates her win over Nathalie Dechy of France in the fourth round at the US Open tennis tournament at the US Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday.

PHOTO: EPA

Lindsay Davenport reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in straight sets on Monday, while eighth-seeded Guillermo Coria needed more than four and a half hours to subdue Chile's Nicolas Massu in the longest match of the tournament.

The No. 2-seeded Davenport took 57 minutes to dispatch 15th-seeded Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy, 6-0, 6-3, while Massu needed to rally to beat Massu, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-2 in a match that saw the two exchange words in the final set. No. 7 Andre Agassi and fellow American James Blake also advanced.

Agassi beat back Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-2 to become the first man over 35 to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open in 14 years, while Blake upset No. 19 Tommy Robredo of Spain, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 to claim his third seeded victim.

In other women's play, third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France defeated No. 19 Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-4, and Mary Pierce avenged her loss in the French Open final to Justine Henin-Hardenne, beating the seventh-seeded Belgian 6-3, 6-4 to complete the quarterfinal field.

Davenport, who next plays No. 6 Elena Dementieva -- last year's runner-up and a 6-4, 6-3 winner over No. 11 Patty Schnyder, hasn't lost a set since the tournament began, hasn't had a match last longer than 71 minutes and has lost only 18 games in four rounds.

"Today was the best match I've played since Wimbledon," Davenport said. "It's the kind of tennis I want to play."

Davenport, who won the US Open in 1998, made only eight unforced errors in reaching the quarterfinals for the 11th time in 12 events this season. She is seeking her third final this year in a Grand Slam.

"I want to win this title again," Davenport said. "I think that you are really, at the end of the day, judged on how many Grand Slam titles you have, and probably how many titles you have."

Coria required 4:32 to prevail over Massu, breaking the Chilean twice in the final set. He celebrated by thrusting his arms upward, bending to one knee and putting a finger in the air to resemble Chilean and former River Plate striker Marcelo Salas, and hopping the net to shake Massu's hand.

The handshake appeared more like a hand slap after the two exchanged words during the changeover following the third game of the final set. Coria gestured at Massu from his chair, causing the Chilean to walk toward him. An official stepped between them, Massu did not encroach past the umpire's chair, and eventually sat down while Coria continued to speak to him.

"There were no words exchanged," Coria said. "I had an injury with three of my toenails, he implied that I was faking it, and I told him to go sit. In four and a half hours, that was it. There were no bad words."

Coria broke Massu in the next game to go up 3-1 and broke him again in the final game.

"I have not had any problems with Guillermo," Massu said. "I never felt we had a rivalry. But he was showing an attitude I didn't like. He should know if he did right or wrong. I hope it was just a misunderstanding, and if it was, we can talk about it later. If he wants to apologize, that's fine."

The victory sent Coria to a quarterfinal meeting against unseeded Robby Ginepri, who outlasted No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-0 to reach the quarters of a Grand Slam event for the first time.

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