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Hantuchova, Davenport vie for third Indian Wells title

Hantuchova - © 2007 Paul Martinez /
2007 Pacific Life Open champion Daniela Hantuchova hits practice Wednesday.

Paul Martinez / PHOTOSPORT.COM

By Sara Scott

Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Bartoli look for first Pacific Life titles

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 10 – Pacific Life Open champions Daniela Hantuchova and Lindsay Davenport aim to become the first three-time women's champion in Indian Wells history this week. Standing in the way is current Australian Open (not to mention the 2006 Pacific Life) winner Maria Sharapova. Top-Ten players Ana Ivanovic, Marion Bartoli and Svetlana Kuznetsova also shoot for their first title.

       Davenport is seeded, but not highly, setting up a potential 4th round clash with 2007 Wimbledon finalist Bartoli. Davenport, who is on the comeback trail, won both singles and doubles just last week in Memphis. Also in Davenport's side is third-seed Jelena Jancovic.

      The other side of the top half includes top-seed Ana Ivanovic, who could meet Nicole Vaidisova in the quarters.

      In the left side of the bottom half, perhaps the most intriguing possibility would be a Sharapova-Hantuchova quarterfinal, but first they would have to get by the likes of Shahar Peer, Amelie Mauresmo, Sania Mirza and the Bondarenko sisters. On the right side, second-seed Kuznetsova might have the easiest path to her quarter, with no other top-10 players and only fellow countrywoman Dinara Safina or Chinese Olympian Na Li offering a possible quarterfinal contest. Safina could face a resurgent Ashley Harkleroad, Nathalie Dechy or Shuai Peng.

      The first major combined tennis event of the season on U.S. soil, the Pacific Life Open runs March 10-23, 2008 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Last year more than 303,000 fans passed through the gates, making it the fifth most attended tennis tournament in the world and the most attended next to the four Grand Slams. This year's event will again feature over 250 of the top men's and women's players and will be broadcast for more than 44 hours of live and tape-delayed coverage on ESPN2. Tickets and info (800) 999-1585 or visit

 Photo Gallery

Sharapova (c) PHOTOSPORT

 Maria Sharapova
Angela Haynes (c) PHOTOSPORTAngela Haynes

Sharapova (c) PHOTOSPORTMaria Sharapova

Ashley Harkleroad (c) PHOTOSPORTAshley Harkleroad

wta Wozniacki (c) PHOTOSPORTCaroline Wozniacki

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