MIAMI (Reuters) - Lindsay Davenport revived memories of when she was the game’s top-ranked player by crushing world number two Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-2 in the Sony Ericsson Open third round on Sunday.
Ivanovic, who arrived in Miami after winning the Pacific Life Open title in Indian Wells, had no answers to the aggressive game brought to the court by world number 33 Davenport.
“Obviously the first time you play against someone you try to get to know them and try to get rhythm in the beginning,” Ivanovic said.
“But against her you just don’t get it. She was playing extremely well.”
Ivanovic is the second top-10 player Davenport has beaten since returning to the tour last September after giving birth to her first child.
Davenport won 13 of 14 points at the net and cancelled out her 20 unforced errors with 20 winners.
Davenport led 6-4 3-0 when it appeared Ivanovic might fight back when she broke serve in the fourth game, but Davenport recouped the service break in the next game and went ahead 5-1.
“My intensity wasn’t up there today,” Ivanovic said. “When you play against such a champion, you need to be on the ball for each point.”
Davenport, who skipped playing the Sony Ericsson Open for many years because she thought playing both the Pacific Life Open and Miami was too difficult, was not surprised that Ivanovic struggled.
“Sometimes you never know what to do expect when you go out for a certain match on a certain day,” Davenport said. “Obviously, she’s had a great year so far.
“But it’s very tough to play Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back, doing well in Indian Wells.”
Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova saved a match point before beating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 1-6 7-5 6-0 in the third round.
Serving for the match at 6-1 5-3, world number 27 Azarenka missed her opportunity to create an upset when she sailed a backhand long.
Azarenka ended up double-faulting away her serve and the third-seeded Kuznetsova never looked back.
“When she serves match point I was like, ‘Oh my god,’ said Kutznetsova, the 2006 champion. “I saw that one was out, so I was pretty happy with that one.”
Top seed Justine Henin dispatched Sara Errani of Italy 6-2 6-1 in just 64 minutes, breaking the world number 72 five times.
“It very hot out there,” said Henin, whose best showing at the Miami tournament was reaching last year’s final.
“It was quite difficult to breathe.”
Sixth seed Venus Williams spent only 67 minutes on court, taking care of wildcard Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-2 6-1.
“I think I played consistent and not too many errors, which is great for me,” Williams said. “She brought a lot of balls back and that was a challenge, but I was just winning all of the important points.”
Editing by Ed Osmond