| Martina Hingis returns a shot to Anastasia Myskina during their second-round match in Dubai on Wednesday
Dubai: Lindsay Davenport celebrated her 700th singles victory on Wednesday by crushing Russia’s Elena Likhovtseva 6-0, 6-0 to reach the quarter finals of the Dubai Open.
Although the defending champion struggled to win an opening game that went to deuce five times, she then cruised past an opponent who found no effective way to respond to Davenport’s solid groundstrokes and big serve.
Top seed Amelie Mauresmo defeated Slovakian Henrieta Nagyova 6-3, 6-1 while Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova beat another Slovakian, the eighth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.
“You see the draw and I thought Elena was a tough opponent to get for my first match, so I took it quite seriously,” said American Davenport, the only active player to have recorded 700 wins.
In tennis parlance, a 6-0, 6-0 verdict is called double bagel.
“She has the ability to play really well and I didn’t want to mess around. I was really concentrated and knew I wanted to get off to a good start and I was able just to roll with it.”
It was only the fourth time the second seed has achieved the ‘double bagel’ in her career. The last occasion was at Indian Wells almost a year ago, when Maria Sharapova was her surprise victim.
“It obviously doesn’t happen often and two major factors have to happen,” said Davenport.“One has to play really well and the other has to have a really off day.”
Martina Hingis beat sixth seed Anastasia Myskina 6-4, 6-3. The Swiss former world No. 1 swept to a 4-0 lead, at one stage winning 14 consecutive points, and although she netted a forehand to drop her serve at 5-3, she forced a forehand error from Myskina to break in the next game.
Myskina broke to lead the second set 1-0 but Hingis, still on the comeback trail after three years in retirement, responded by winning the next four games against the Russian.
Despite her experience, Hingis became nervous at the prospect of closing out the match and she had to hold off a break point before clinching victory on her fifth match point.
“The key really was the first game,” said Hingis.“I was down 40-15 and came back winning. I think because I won the first game it showed her I’m here, I’m ready, I’m prepared and you have to earn your points.”
Hingis says she is comfortable playing again and with her form, and believes the other players realise she is a threat. “Here I am, I’m into my fifth tournament so it’s not such a comeback anymore,” she said.
“I’ve shown that I can still play and I don’t look at it as a comeback now. It’s the second period of my career, and now I just look at myself as a player the same as anybody else.