July 1, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Lindsay Davenport.
Q. Have you ever had a comparable situation where you've played such a short period on a tennis court?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, obviously I have a lot of experience with matches being stopped - I don't think right when you're about to serve for the finals of Wimbledon. But it was such a tough 24 hours. I mean, I was here at 10, 10:30 yesterday warming up. Got on the court at around I think 5:30, got out of here at 9:30. To come back in that situation, it was brutal. I finally felt like in the third set I gained this momentum. I think I went on the biggest run of games I'd won, I think, you know, from 3-2 down, up 5-3. I was thinking, "Oh, my gosh, this is not going to happen," because right then the rain came. Just a lot to -- mentally challenging to absorb.
Q. AmĂ©lie said she had trouble sleeping last night. How about you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I actually slept fine. I was more nervous when I was up. I was a little bit antsy at night and this morning. But the night went okay, so that was good. But it was pretty tough for both of us, obviously.
Q. Is the momentum completely gone? It didn't last overnight? Do you still feel like you have an edge when you get on the court?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, definitely have an edge. You certainly -- anyone would rather be up 5-3 than down 5-3. So I knew I had that going for me. But I had finally, you know, gotten on a string of games and was playing well. She was obviously a little bit deflated at that time. You obviously don't know what goes through your opponent's mind overnight. In the morning, she could have been happy for the rain, she could have been upset, I don't know. I thought that she had returned my serve pretty well, like as the match wore on. So the one thing I thought, "Well, maybe she won't have as much feel if we go back out there. If I can serve a good game, it's just one game, I can get by." You never know how you're going to respond the next day. Just heading straight out there to try to kind of close out a match.
Q. In some matches thinking back to Paris, you kind of played your way into form. Was there anything you did today or could do today to sort of ensure that you were really strong from the first ball to make sure that you started as strong as you possibly could?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, I warmed up for close to an hour, which was a pretty long time. I tried to move around like the whole 45 minutes before I went on court. She hit like three huge serves. I wanted to break that first game. It was like I barely touched one of her serves back. That kind of went out the window (laughter). You know, then it was really about concentrating on first serves. Like I said, I think I got two or three return errors, so that really helps a lot. All I wanted to do was, you know, try and get a few good hits returning - wasn't able to do that - and make first serves. Fortunately, I was able to do that.
Q. Mentally on any level did you start today thinking that it's okay if she closes out her game because you were sure you would win yours?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. Mentally I was thinking, "Okay. It's 5-All, worst case." No, I mean, I was -- it's impossible to know what to think. I mean, I knew I had two opportunities to try and win the match. Anyone would die to be in a position to serve for a match on grass in the semis of Wimbledon, so I had all that on my side.
Q. How would you rate your chances now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, pretty high, because I'm in the finals.
Q. Winning the tournament, knowing who you are going to play.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, not to disappoint you, my mind is so far from tomorrow's match. I've had like this nervous energy for 24 hours. Obviously, I know I play Venus. She obviously must be playing well. But for me right now it's just more about getting through a really tough draw in the finals. I know this is a great opportunity. I haven't been in a final in a number of years here at Wimbledon. Just excited about it.
Q. Have you watched any of her games?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No.
Q. When you play here at Wimbledon, are you aware of an American presence either in phrasing or accents or things they say to you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: In the crowd?
Q. People around you.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No.
Q. Nothing from it that you would say there are a lot of Americans here?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I haven't felt that.
Q. You and Venus have played a lot of matches against each other over the past eight or nine years. It's fairly even. What do you appreciate most about the rivalry that's developed?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think that it is so even. I mean, we've -- I think I've played her by far more than anyone I've ever played on tour. I'm pretty sure about that. Yet we've both like gone through so many transitions from, you know, around '97 when we probably first played up until now. You know, in the beginning, I was always winning, then she was always winning. The last few times it's been me. But we both have kind evolved quite a bit and still play these close, crazy matches. They're always pretty much in finals or semis. We've played a lot of tough matches over the years.
Q. How has your relationship evolved off the court? I know at one point you talked you were getting closer a bit. Do you still feel that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's fine. It's not bad. It's not -- I mean, we don't talk about our personal lives. It's fine.
Q. Next weekend you're supposed to be teammates.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah.
Q. Is that a bit freaky given that tomorrow you'll be rivals?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, we look forward to going to Moscow. We've talked about it quite a bit the last few weeks. I look forward to having her on my team. I think we have a good team.
Q. Speaking of teams, turning to the Olympics in 2012, you've demonstrated yourself on a variety of surfaces. What would be your vote? Would it be Paris, London, New York?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: New York.
Q. Can you tell me about it? Tell me why?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Because it's in the United States.
Q. Certainly when you're at Wimbledon, you feel a great sense of heritage and things here and playing on grass. Would you just hands-down say your best chances are on hard all the time?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: As an American, I'd prefer to see the Olympics in the United States.
Q. There's all the talk about the young players coming up, the Russian revolution last year. Wimbledon final is you and Venus, two players who have been around a long time. What does that say about women's tennis?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think a lot has to be said with the surface we're on. I think Americans tend to favor faster courts. We definitely have shown that. I think you attribute that more to how fast the grass plays and our comfort level with big serves and big shots. You know, if this was a clay court tournament, I'm sure it might be a little bit different.
Q. How similar are your games, yours and Venus'? When you've had the edge or she's had the edge, what has provided that edge?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think -- I mean, we both hope to serve well and hold serve. We both have big groundies. I think she definitely covers the court better than I do. She's a tremendous athlete. I think for me it's about being more consistent with my shots, not spraying a lot of balls. You know, who's playing better. When you have two big hitters that play, we don't necessarily have a lot of rallies. It's a not of really short points. It's really about who serves and who gets the first hit in a rally.
Q. How important do you think it is to the competitiveness of the women's tour that Venus has raised her game as she has here?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's great. I mean, she's definitely been struggling for two years or so since she's been back from injury. You know, a lot of people have been not the most positive about her game. She's come back here. You know she feels comfortable on grass. After seeing the way her draw -- her side of the draw just kind of opened up originally, it looked extremely tough with possibly playing Serena and playing Justine. Then she comes through. Must have played great against Maria - I didn't see any of it. I think she gets a certain amount of confidence when she comes on grass and gets on a faster court. You know, must be playing well here.
Q. You came to the tournament looking pretty healthy. You showed up yesterday with a wrap on your leg. What is that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm still very healthy, I promise (laughter). I've had just a lot of problems with that kind of area of my body. I woke up after playing Kuznetsova with my legs just really tight. It was more just a precaution not to pull it or anything. I could go run for you (laughter). But, no, I was actually really nervous waking up this morning about how my body would respond. I actually feel good. I don't know if that's the adrenaline that was going probably most of the night. I was a little nervous about falling, if I would be sore from that. It's not a factor, I promise you.
Q. Will you watch the match between Venus and Maria or not?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think they already played (smiling). Just kidding. No, I've played Venus now I think close to 30 times. If I don't know her game...
Q. She looked different yesterday than she has looked to us.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Then I'll take your word for it.
Q. You're saying you know her game so well, that match won't make a difference?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Probably not. I don't think sitting down and watching. I mean, I obviously know how she plays. I don't think she's doing anything different than what she normally does in a match. I don't think she's now serving and volleying or slicing backhands.
Q. What are your memories of the 2000 final?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Gosh, obviously not that good (smiling). Yeah, I don't really remember much. I mean, I remember getting to the finals and playing pretty bad the beginning of the tournament, doing a great job about getting to the finals. I don't really remember too much about it. I remember losing. That was about it.
Q. Where you've come from in the last 12 months, would victory here be extra special to you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Uhm, of course. I mean, this is what we play for, is to try and win Grand Slams. I've done a great job of competing at the Grand Slams the last year. Just haven't won any of them. I've come through a very tough draw here playing a lot of good players. To be in the finals and come through these tough matches is pretty exhilarating. I look forward to the opportunity. Hopefully it works out.
Q. At times yesterday, especially along the baseline, you got frustrated. At one point you changed your racquet. Was that to change the mental process?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I had broken it.
Q. Have you ever had a time in your career, a situation like today, where you had a finish off a match in three or five minutes because of the rain?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think that close. I mean, I've had matches stopped overnight, but I don't think ever in a position of that close to victory, especially such a big match. It's one thing if you're in a first or second round. You know, I felt like I fought so hard for the first two sets. I felt like while I was playing okay, I was at times just playing bad, like getting broken with two double-faults and two errors. So I was just fighting so hard to stay in there. Then the second set down a break at 4-3, come back, play a good tiebreak. Then it's so dark outside. I think, "Okay, it's going to rain any moment." It was really a mentally tough match for me. To get to the point where I overcame so much, I'm in a position to win, then we had to stop. Obviously, it wasn't to my benefit, I didn't think. But, like I said, you always want to be up in a situation like that.
Q. You seemed to want to come off more than she did.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I refuse to play when it's raining. You take one step, and you're on the ground. It was raining quite hard. I'm sure the tournament was eager for us to finish the match. The rain was coming down. It wasn't just spitting like it was in the second set. At that stage, when the grass is wet, I wasn't going to stand out there and risk that.
Q. How will you relax now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm looking forward to just going home right now. I was here so long yesterday. Just have a great house. Just going to hang in. I watch Alias DVDs quite a bit, get some treatment, get ready for tomorrow.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.