Melbourne, Aus. — Lindsay Davenport's comeback hit a speed bump Wednesday in the second round of the Australian Open.
Playing in her first Grand Slam event since giving birth to son Jagger last June, Davenport was dismissed from the tournament by Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3.
In a match worthy of a semifinal, the young, feisty Russian controlled many of the baseline rallies and was extremely effective on serve to hold on for the win in 1:06.
Sharapova wasted little time imposing her game on the 31-year-old American. From the opening serve, Sharapova was dominating. She broke Davenport's first two service games and had little trouble holding enroute to a 6-1 first set schellacking in just 26 minutes.
The second set saw Davenport battle to 3-all. But again, Sharapova's movement and quickness gave her the edge over the veteran Davenport's power.
Sharapova's serve was another major factor in the win-- serving four aces and eight service winners-- as Davenport struggled to find rhythm on her return game.
The loss marked just the second loss in 20 matches back for Davenport, who was trying to become the first mother to win a Grand Slam event since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
Both former world No. 1's, the match also marked the earliest meeting between former world No. 1's at a Grand Slam in Open Era.
No doubt Davenport could have made a deeper run in the tournament had she not faced the No. 5 player in the world in the second round.
On the positive side, the match served as a benchmark for Davenport's game in relation to other top players on tour. Davenport's world ranking of No. 51 will likely rise giving the new mother added reason to continue playing this season.
Davenport has confirmed she will play through the U.S. Open in August, skipping the clay court season mid-May to June.
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