Williams, Davenport post impressive victories

Serena Williams and “mean old lady” Lindsay Davenport made their presence felt as they both impressed to go through to the third round of the US Open.

Serena Williams and “mean old lady” Lindsay Davenport made their presence felt as they both impressed to go through to the third round of the US Open.

The unseeded Williams overcame a listless start to beat 17th-seeded Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova 7-5 6-3 on Thursday.

A seven-time Grand Slam winner, Williams was granted a wild card at the year’s final major, having slipped to 91st in the world rankings after missing six months with a left knee injury. She trailed 5-2 in the first set before storming back.

Earlier at Arthur Ashe Stadium, 10th seed and fellow American Davenport posted a rare “double-bagel” victory, a 6-0 6-0 trouncing of Croatian Jelena Kostanic to also advance to the third round.

It is the third time this year Davenport has kept an opponent scoreless but the first one at the Open since 2002, and the American was unapologetic.

“I just think the mindset, especially at a Grand Slam, you just do what you need to do and try and do everything as best you can,” said Davenport, the 1998 champion who has been slowed by injuries this year.

Davenport next will play number 22 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.

When asked if she was a “mean old lady,” the 30-year-old replied with a smile, “Yeah, I guess.”

That would make number three Maria Sharapova a mean young lady – almost. The 19-year-old Russian returned to action less than 24 hours after demolishing Michaella Krajicek and inflicted even deeper misery on Frenchwoman Emilie Loit, who had finished even later Wednesday night.

Sharapova won, 6-0 6-1, to set up a meeting with compatriot and 32nd seed Elena Likhovtseva.

Top seed Amelie Mauresmo of France took the court for a third straight day when she played American Meghann Shaughnessy at Louis Armstrong Stadium. The rain interruptions of Tuesday had taken her first-round match into Wednesday, but there was little stopping the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion on Thursday.

Mauresmo won 6-4 6-3 to move on to a third-round match against unseeded Italian Mara Santangelo.

The only woman seeded in the top 10 to fall Wednesday was number eight Martina Hingis of Switzerland. The 1997 winner, Hingis was ousted 6-2 6-4, by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

“I think after yesterday, I didn’t have much more to give,” Hingis said. “I was flat and tired mentally.”

Californian Vania King failed to topple women’s second seed and 2003 champion Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, who continued her confident start to the tournament with a 6-1 6-2 victory.

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