The 2007 Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic, staged in Bali, in the second week of September, saw a stylish return for champion American Lindsay Davenport, after more than a year out of the game on maternal leave. Unseeded after her ranking dropped to 234th Davenport had a tough task, having to win 5 matches against some good quality opponents. She showed her undeniable ability by toppling each of the top two seeds as the Finals progressed, beating Serb Jelena Jankovic and the top seed Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova. Remarkably, Davenport compiled very similar score-lines against each of the seeds, winning the 1st set 6-4, dropping the second set loosely and surging through each of the 3rd sets 6-2.
Return of Lindsay Davenport
The startling return saw immediate effects in Davenport’s ranking, rising a stunning 80 places to 154th, showing she was clearly eyeing off much higher rankings as had traditionally been the case before her child-bearing break. Other opponents that fell to the resurgent Davenport were Greece’s 8th seed Eleni Danilidou in the 1st round, in a lopsided flogging 6-2 6-2, clearly disappointing for the 37th ranked player. The second round was a matchup with fellow American Qualifier Julie Ditty, ranked 138, Ditty can be well satisfied with her week after losing to Davenport 6-1, 6-4. Ditty exceeded expectations with this performance beating 2 similarly ranked players- Abigail Spears in the Qualification tournament and Hana Sromova in the 1st round. Davenport faced a young Sara Errani from Italy in the Quater Finals, and dismantled her 6-1, 6-2. The Bali tournament triumph is Davenport’s 67th career title, an awesome achievement.
Daniela Hantuchova the Slovakian 2nd seed, ranked 11 in the world, can be well satisfied with her week of work in the pretty surrounds of Bali. After having a high-seed’s round 1 bye, she got to work in Round 2 defeating the Dutch wildcard Elise Tamaela ranked 180 in the world, Tamaela really gave Hantuchova a good battle in the 1st set but faded as the game went on, leaving the eventual score, 7-5 6-3. Elise can be well pleased with her efforts though as she beat Jill Craybas in the 1st round in an epic three set encounter, 4-6 7-6 6-2, a good effort considering Craybas is nearly 100 rankings higher than the Dutch 23 year old. Hantuchova made short work of another over-achieving Qualifier- Ayumi Morita in the Quarter Finals, 6-2 6-1. Morita had not lost a set in her first 2 matches in the main draw, however her 5th game proved too much, and she also can be well pleased with a Quarter Finals appearance. The Semi Final pitted Hantuchova against yet another Qualifier, 17 year old Romanian Sorana Cirstea, with Hantuchova continuing her solid form, 7-5 6-1. The semi-finals is a continuation of a remarkable first full year on tour for the exciting youngster. The highlight of Cirstea’s week is clearly the epic win against the # 12 ranked Patty Schnyder, the champion of 2008, 6-2 5-7 7-5.
The Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic of 2007, in Bali will surely be remembered for the return of Lindsay Davenport the American champion who returned from maternal leave, showing her remarkable abilities and taking the title. This return is a very nice showing and upstaging of a fairly strong field, at least the top 3 seeds will be disappointed with their performances, in the beautiful surrounds of Bali.