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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 00:36 GMT
Seles ousts Davenport
Belgium's Kim Clijsters in action in Los Angeles
Clijsters powered past Rubin in less than an hour

Monica Seles saved seven match points to beat Lindsay Davenport in an all-American, three-set thriller in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The sixth seed booked her place in the second round of the $3m WTA Championships with a 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 victory.

Seles saved three match points in the second set to force the tie-break.

She then saved four more match points in the tie-break before winning the second set and claiming the decider 6-3.


I would love to go back and do a handful of those points again - maybe just one of them
Lindsay Davenport

"It was definitely a weird match," said Seles, who last beat Davenport in Los Angeles 1997.

"Lindsay got frustrated and I got lucky.

"I don't think I've ever given up that many match points in my career."

Davenport, meanwhile, was rueing her squandered opportunities.

"It's a match you should put away," said Davenport.

"There is no question she plays well when she's down and definitely steps it up a level.

"I would love to go back and do a handful of those points again - maybe just one of them."

Seles - who won the title three years in a row from 1990 - now faces Venus Williams, who had little trouble getting past Patty Schnyder.

Williams came through 6-2 7-6 (9/7).

Earlier, Kim Clijsters thrashed American Chanda Rubin 6-1 6-2 to set up a quarter-final clash with fellow Belgian Justine Henin.

In a rich vein of form after two tournament wins in her last three events, fifth seed Clijsters disposed of Rubin in less than an hour.

The championships opened earlier in the day with fourth seed Henin beating Russian Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-3.

The quarter-final clash will mark the seventh time, the fourth this season, that the Belgian rivals have met as professionals. Clijsters leads 4-2.

Henin won their last meeting, on clay at the semi-finals in Rome.

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