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January 16, 2006

Lindsay Davenport


Q. Good to get the first one done?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I've been ready to go. I've been in Melbourne now for eight days or so. I was a little anxious to get out there and get playing, was happy I was on early and on the first day. So it was a great feeling. I was actually a little nervous, and I don't know if that's just because I've been counting the days down the last few days because I wanted to play. I don't know why. Really happy to get back out there and play again.

Q. Was it a harder match than the score line indicated?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The first set, the first few games were really, really long. I felt I did a good job of winning them. I felt like I got unlucky to lose those two games because I had game points in both of them. Each game in the beginning, there were some deuces and stuff. So, yeah, the first set was probably a lot longer than the second. The second seemed to be a little bit more straightforward in terms of games and points played. No, it was good. I mean, she hit the ball well. I felt like I was able to play someone who played at a good level.

Q. What is your approach now for the rest of the tournament? If you make the final, there's another six matches to go.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: That's right, six more. I'm happy about that. I know next round I have a really tough opponent in Karolina Sprem. I've played her many times. I'm going to have to be really ready to go on Wednesday. I feel like I'm ready for the challenges. I feel like I have the ability to play well and hopefully repeat what happened last year, and go better.

Q. How far ahead in the draw do you look? You're in an awfully difficult quarter.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it's a difficult half. I mean, even if you just look at the schedule, you can just see all the players that are on that top half, it's a pretty tough half. I mean, as you learn, you never know who actually gets there in the round that they're predicting you play someone in. I have a tough draw throughout from Sprem. I know that -- who knows who gets through, but Kirilenko, Kuznetsova. No sense in me really looking forward and stressing about a match in the second week. I've got to get focused for Wednesday as it is now.

Q. You mentioned nerves a moment ago. Does that have anything to do with this is your first event of the year?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think so. I mean, there's a lot of -- I shouldn't say "nerves." Different kinds of nerves, like an anxious feeling, an excited feeling to go play. Nerves because I hadn't played a match yet this year. I did play in Hong Kong. Maybe not exactly the same as playing in a tour event. But, yeah, I mean, I want to play well. Was excited to get out there and play. Was jumping around, ready to go.

Q. I know you went over this the other day, but can you talk about the decision to make the coaching switch, what sort of things David has brought to the table.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, a decision was made not to work with Adam right after The Championships ended in LA. I didn't -- I took about, gosh, three or four weeks before I ended up finalizing or hiring David. I took my time. I definitely thought about things for a number of weeks and exactly what I wanted to accomplish, what I was looking for, who and what I felt would be best and what I needed. Ironically, like I first called Dave to get his advice as a good friend of mine and see what he thought. You know, I don't feel like truly a lot of people know who I am as a person, and I was curious who he thought he would recommend. We kind of went over some names. A few days later my husband is like, "You know, you're crazy, you got to hire him. He's great. He cares about you." So then I knew he was happy in his job, so I felt really bad about maybe approaching it more with him. I talked him down after like a week (laughing).

Q. You persuaded him?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I went to Florida, had dinner with him. I'm like, "Please." He's great. I mean, he's a very, very smart individual, and very intense and very focused on a lot of things. We went over stuff from what I needed to do with certain shots to what I felt -- what goes through someone's head. Just a lot deeper approach than I have been taking the last few years.

Q. Taking away the French for reasons that I think will be obvious, but I apologize for that, which major do you think your best chance is generally?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, as ironic as it sounds from when I first started, I feel like Wimbledon is the Grand Slam that I have the best chance. I think that the really fast courts help me. It helps my serve quite a bit. Obviously I've had a lot of success and done really well there. Probably Australia and the US Open are pretty closely tied at second. Hard to put one above the other. I'm not really sure about that. Yeah, I mean, there's no question Paris would probably, no doubt, fall last (laughter).

Q. Are you going to play it this year? Are you going to skip the clay court season?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Gosh, I will probably -- it's in the mind and in the conversation of going to Paris. Last year was off the table, and I went. This year it's on the table, so who knows. It's been talked about in my schedule and been penciled in.

Q. With that said, are you planning to play Fed Cup in April?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I am not. I have taken my name off that list.

Q. Why is that? Just the schedule?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, the most -- at this time, I mean, I really have to really kind of feel like where it's smart for me to play. I just don't think going to Germany right after -- from here I'm going to Tokyo, then I'm playing Dubai, Indian Wells. Miami is now mandatory. Amelia Island is one of my favorite tournaments. I think after there I'll probably be in bed for a month, then get back out and practice. So flying all the way to Germany shortly after that long stretch of tennis is not something that's going to help. I told Zina and have told her if she's interested, and they make it to the second tie, that it's not something that's off my agenda, but the first tie I just can't do.

Q. Historically, how much better do you feel this time of year than as the year grinds on? How do you feel this year compared to years past?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's funny, I think most players come in here physically feeling really well. It's the tennis that hasn't quite developed to a high enough level yet. So while the body's there, you're maybe not as sharp as you are after you've played for a month or two in a row. But I prefer to play under these circumstances. It's much harder physically and mentally come late August because you've just played so much over the summer and through the year. But I have to say, I never think that the tennis, except for obviously a few players, Andre always seems to be super sharp when he comes down here, but without a lot of matches, it's hard to start off and be really perfect at the first tournament or at the first Slam of the year.

Q. Is that just a heat patch on your right knee?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I just kind of scraped it the other day. It's just kind of covering up some redness and some sores.

Q. Hit it on a bench?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Kind of tumbled on the court in practice. Just skinned it a little bit.

End of FastScripts….

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