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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 February, 2005, 07:21 GMT
Sharapova edges epic Tokyo final
Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova
Second seed Maria Sharapova battled past world number one Lindsay Davenport to win Sunday's Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo.

The Russian, who won her first WTA singles title at the event two years ago, came through 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5).

Sharapova needed four match points before clinching victory and denying Davenport a record fifth Tokyo title.

"Lindsay played amazingly and it came down to the tie-breaker, so obviously it was a tough match," said Sharapova.

"I believed in myself. Lindsay was serving so well. I just tried to hold my serve until what happened in the tie-breaker. It was very, very close.

"A good serve is very important, especially on this surface.

In the first set my coach told me to stop
Lindsay Davenport

"If you can serve well it puts pressure on the other girl to hold her serve and if you can break her once and keep your serve, you have a better chance to win."

Davenport said: "Maria is a great player. I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of her in the final in the years to come."

The American had her leg heavily taped after straining her hamstring in practice and could barely run during a one-sided first set.

She went to the locker room for a medical time-out after the first set and then fought back, taking more risks as she attempted to keep the points short.

"In the first set I looked at my coach (Adam Peterson) and he told me to stop," said Davenport.

"I took the time-out to get more support for my leg but I realised at that point that it was going to hurt.

"I started to go for my shots but I didn't expect it to stay that close."

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