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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 07:57 GMT
Davenport ends brave Dechy effort
Lindsay Davenport
Lindsay Davenport narrowly avoided a shock defeat as she edged past Nathalie Dechy in three sets to reach the final of the Australian Open.

The world number one looked sluggish throughout and was two points from going out in the second set tie-break.

And despite coming through that crisis, Davenport let a lead slip in the third before struggling home 2-6 7-6 6-4.

The top seed will face Serena Williams in Saturday's final after the American beat Maria Sharapova.

Davenport admitted afterwards she was feeling the affects of playing a long singles quarter-final against Alicia Molik plus a doubles match on Wednesday.

"It's been a long two days," said Davenport.

"It was not my greatest day playing tennis but I was able to pull through. Again I think I was a bit lucky but I will take it.

"This whole tournament has been such an awkward and different experience.

My game's a little bit off from where I want it to be
Lindsay Davenport

"I feel like I'm not playing that well, I'm struggling through all these matches, and I'm in the final."

Davenport, who is also through to the doubles final, had her left thigh heavily strapped and has a problem with her hip, although neither is serious.

"I feel pretty tight all over but it's definitely not injured like the US Open," she said. "It's definitely a little stiff, but it's not injured."

Indeed, Davenport is more concerned about her form which saw her fall to a mid-match slump against Molik and a terrible start against Dechy.

"My game's a little bit off from where I'd ideally want it to be. I don't think it's far away.

"I look at the final as a big opportunity against a player with tons of experience.

"I'm going to have to play really well and hopefully that inspires me to loosen up and hit some better shots.

"I was pretty despondent about the chances of getting back to a final. I'm ecstatic to be back."

Highlights: Australian Open semi-finals

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