A little bit difficult
Davenport needs three sets again to advance
Updated: Wednesday January 17, 2001 12:57 AM
MELBOURNE (Reuters) -- Lindsay Davenport struggled into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Germany's Greta Arn, then said she had not been helped by the hype surrounding her opening match.
The Australian media spotlight glared over her first round victory over Jelena Dokic after Dokic had announced she was turning her back on Australia to play under the flag of her birth, Yugoslavia.
Davenport, the defending champion and second seed, was unwittingly caught up in the frenzy and said that had affected her performance on Wednesday.
"I only give myself five out 10 for my performance," she said afterwards.
"I think it was a let-down to go through the hype associated with the Dokic match and then face someone I was expected to beat easily.
"I didn't sleep well after beating Dokic, and I felt tired when I practiced on Tuesday.
"As a result I was sluggish and weary in this match. But I am experienced enough to know how to handle these sorts of situations."
Davenport suffered a lapse of concentration at 4-5 down in the second set against Arn, to allow her opponent, ranked 146 in the world, to pounce on her only break point of the match and force a deciding set.
The American broke immediately at the start of the third set, however, and the outcome was never in doubt.
Davenport, 24, earned a third-round meeting with Italy's Silvia Farina-Elia, but was honest in her self-appraisal.
"My coach [Robert Van't Hof] told me it would do me good to get through three sets -- that my fitness would be better for the rest of the tournament," Davenport said.
"But I know there are lots of improvements to be made over the next two days.
"I am not too worried, but I felt really frustrated out there at times.
"I had chances to break her early in the second set and wrap the match up, but I didn't take them and you can't allow any opponent to stay in matches if you want to be successful.
"I'm not used to that, although the competition in the women's game is definitely getting better."
Davenport, who wore a red, white and pale blue skirt which she described as "eye-catching," could not avoid becoming embroiled in the great fashion debate that has characterised the first three days of the Australian Open.
Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova have both worn new designs on court, and Davenport said: "Venus's outfit looked a bit bizarre.
"She was always trying to pull her top up and it didn't seem to be too tennis friendly. But I liked what Anna was wearing.
"The sports companies are just trying to produce outfits that are a bit outlandish, so they can get some recognition.
"It's happening quite a lot now, but I don't think they will do away with the all-white clothes rule at Wimbledon. I don't think we'll see much change there for many years."
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