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March 18, 2005

Lindsay Davenport



Q. Are you feeling mean?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, I would have never guessed that in a million years before the match, if someone had told me that. But, you know, it's obviously a good win, and I felt like I played well and handled the conditions really well. She didn't play well. Not much really to say.

Q. Did you keep waiting for her to come back, come up with something?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, it's almost a tough position -- I mean, it's not tough. I mean, you'd rather be up. But to be up 6-0, 2-0, or 6-0, 3-0, because you feel like, okay, if she does get on the board, she might loosen up and might get on a roll. So you're always trying to keep her down no matter what the score is. I was still really intense and really concentrated even while I was up because I didn't want to see her get on one of those rolls again.

Q. What's going through your mind at 6-0, 5-0?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Uhm, just to try and win it there. I mean, like I said, I think she can be a very streaky player where if she does start to play well, obviously I didn't want to let her back in the match. But it was kind of a weird sensation. I mean, it was an odd position to be in, to win a match against such a good player and not have lost a game. Definitely a lot of thoughts going through my mind.

Q. Can you remember any time in your own career when someone turned it around on you like that? She had beaten you twice coming in here. A few months later, you're double bageling her.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I mean, the other two matches were both so close. She came up with such great shots, both matches on the biggest points. I remember losing here one year to Serena pretty badly. I don't know what our head-to-heads before that were. It's never really a good feeling, especially when you feel like you guys -- when you're both at the top of the game and want to have a good match. I mean, it was just a very -- it's not what I expected.

Q. Have you ever double bageled a top player?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I haven't double bageled many people in my whole career. So definitely not at this level.

Q. Wasn't that your nickname?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was my nickname in high school tennis. But for the other reason, because I would always give people games. It was kind of a joke.

Q. Might this have been a carryover from the final set you played against Dechy?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, that's true, yeah. I didn't think of that, 18. I felt good walking out there. I felt like I turned my match around yesterday and really got consistent, going for shots. I felt confident walking out on the court today. Obviously you never expect what happened to happen. I noticed when I got on the court, it was much breezier than it had been when I warmed up. I was trying to, you know, play smart with the wind or against the wind. When I got the first break, that definitely always gives you a lot of confidence if you can start off the match well. I was able to do that today.

Q. Was there any strategic change in how you approached this match or did her strokes just kind of break down under pressure? You played the forehand a lot.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I really felt like after I started off well, I was trying to just go with my game and not really worrying about how to play her so much. I felt like I didn't worry about what she was going to do. I was trying to worry about my own shots. At the same time as I was hitting well, I was still getting a lot of errors. I didn't have to go too far into the strategy. If I'm playing well, I try not to worry about what the other players are doing or what their strengths are.

Q. Were you mid Caesar salad when you heard you had to go on?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Actually, I got a call on my way here. I kind of knew. I warmed up right in front of Andre. Could tell he cut his warm-up short and left the court. I kind of knew at that point that it wasn't going to happen. I probably knew around maybe 1 or so that we were going on early.

Q. Do you tend to respond better or worse to those kinds of situations traditionally?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, luckily I still felt I had enough time. Sometimes it's tough when you're only given maybe half an hour or so. You know, I was done hitting around 1:10 or so, so I still had some time to get ready. Still felt there was enough time. If it would have been pushed back -- I mean, moved forward even a little bit more, probably would have been a little rushed.

Q. Were you in the zone in your mind today?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I was trying to be. I was trying to not worry about the score and not worry about what was happening and just trying to worry about each game at a time. Like I said, I felt a threat of not letting her get on that roll. I was just trying to stay as concentrated as I could with the score.

Q. At this stage in your career do you have to make statements to yourself, meaning you come in here, you lost to her twice, she's pushing No. 1, do you go out there and say, "I need to win this match"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I don't take that philosophy. But I definitely didn't want to go down 0-3 against someone that's very close to me in the rankings. Didn't feel quite the urgency of that, but wanted to play well, wanted to do well here in Indian Wells - forget who I was playing. But certainly didn't want to be going 0-3.

Q. Do you view her as the biggest threat to your No. 1 ranking?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I view Serena and her. I think we're all very close. I think it's going to switch hands here in a matter of time. You know, I don't think Maria did all that well until Wimbledon. She probably has a lot of room to make up points. I did pretty well. I think Serena obviously, with a Slam under her belt, getting more and more confident. I think the three of us have kind of established ourselves as slightly ahead of the rest of the pack, although Mauresmo is still playing well. I think either one of those two can definitely overtake me with points. I don't know when, but...

Q. I think you said on air you felt Kim was the best mover or the fastest player in the game. Do you think she's faster than Serena, Justine?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think she's the fast -- I think she's a great retriever. I think she manages to get balls back. As far as who would win a sprint, I don't know. But she manages to get to the ball and just get it in, and that's tough to do. I think she plays aggressive and she moves well. I haven't seen her play all that much obviously in over a year. Saw her play a little bit today. She always gave me a lot of problems the last few times we played. I think she beat me the last few times. She was No. 1 and playing well. It's great to see her back. I think that she gives me trouble. She gets a lot of balls back and is always making me play two or three extra shots. I'm going to have to be really for that tomorrow and try to execute as best I can.

Q. As Clint Eastwood might say, you're now a $20 million baby.


Q. What does reaching that plateau mean in terms of your consistency?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think that's a big accomplishment. I mean, I never try and gauge anything on how much money is earned at a certain tournament. But that's obviously a huge accomplishment. Not many players have been able to do that. Obviously it gets easier the last few years as prize money has gone up. But, you know, I've managed to always have pretty successful years the last 12 or 13 years. Yeah, I don't think of it in those terms, but I remember my coach had said that to me a few months ago. He was trying to give that to me as a goal. Guess I have to get a new one now. It's great. I mean, I wish, like I said the other day, I wish all of it was in my bank account. It's been great. I could never imagine something like that.

Q. What will be your mindset the next time you walk out on court to face Maria? Will you be fearful of a backlash or know you have a huge psychological plus on her?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Don't know. A little bit of time away. Haven't quite got mentally to the next time I play her. Still thinking, was worried about today. But, I don't know, obviously it was a good win. But I'm sure she'll come back strong next time. But I don't know when that will be.

Q. How does a top player regroup after such a disappointing performance?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think, you know, in tennis we're very lucky. Maria has a tournament, she can play another match in probably less than a week, time to go back out on the court and get rid of that and move forward. So in that regard we're very lucky. And the next time she'll play a top player, I'm sure she'll try and do something a little bit differently. You know, it's a learning process. It happens to every player at some point in their career. I'm sure she'll bounce back fine.

Q. Is it important for you to show Kim that you're a better player now than you were in 2003 in the summer when she was beating you pretty good?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I feel like that. I mean, even before I went on there, my coach was telling me, "No matter what's happened, you're playing way better now than the last two times you played Maria." I'm sure he'll say the same thing about the last time I played Kim. But I feel like I'm playing better. But I feel like she's a great player. I'm going to have to keep my level high. I feel like I've improved some things since the last time we played. But, you know, she was always -- she always knew that summer kind of what to do to break me down. I'm going to have to be strong from the beginning and try and move better than I did a year and a half ago, last time I played her, you know, be forceful with my shots.

Q. Will you feel like you have home-field advantage?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think. I know if we were playing in Belgium, she would have it. I would think so. I think Kim's pretty liked everywhere she goes. Maybe an advantage there - hopefully.

Q. You have been one of the best people to talk about comebacks, how long it takes to get tournament tough. Can you comment on Kim only being on the court a few weeks and she's in the finals.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, she's in the finals. But it was extremely hard. She probably went through mentally maybe even more hurdles than I had to do because she started and had to stop a couple times last year. But whenever you have an injury that is career-threatening, it's amazing what it does to you, your resolve to come back. It took me a number of tournaments coming back. I did well. I was getting to the semis and finals, but couldn't overcome that hurdle. I think she has done remarkable. First tournament back, I think quarters maybe, and now the finals. So she's ready to play. Probably very eager after having to sit out that long. And probably very grateful and excited to be able to be in this position again.

Q. You were saying it was Serena, you and Maria pretty much for No. 1. Outside of Kim's rankings, at least how she looked this week, do you think she could be contending for major titles all year?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think so. I mean, I haven't played her and I haven't seen her play too much. But I thought if she could get her wrist better, she's always a threat. I mean, she was doing so well there for those two years. We'll see as time goes out the wrist holds up week after week. But, sure, I mean, if she comes back healthy, if Justine comes back healthy, it's going to be a really competitive, tough tour. I meant right now in terms of ranking points and how many points Maria, Serena and I have behind us, and even Amelie. That doesn't mean we're the only ones contending for the big titles. It seems like we've played the most consistent and have the most points. But we've got a lot of players. I think Venus is a couple injuries or a couple wins away from being a little more consistent. She's always a threat. A lot of players out there that if everyone got healthy, it would be pretty tough.

End of FastScripts….

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