Top guns advance

New Haven, August 26:

Lindsay Davenport escaped with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova to reach the Pen Pilot semi-finals, putting her within one win of regaining the No 1 ranking from Maria Sharapova. Davenport will next play Anna Chakvetadze of Russia, who downed Zheng Jie of China 6-4, 6-4. Amelie Mauresmo remained on course to meet Davenport in the final after winning 6-3, 6-2 over Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Among the men, Fernando Verdasco of Spain upset second-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, reaching the quarter-finals with countrymen Tommy Robredo (No 4) and Feliciano Lopez (No 5). Verdasco will face Lopez, who came back from losing the first set to beat Vince Spadea of US 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.