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January 28, 2005

Lindsay Davenport

Corina Morariu


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lindsay and Corina, please.

Q. I imagine a win would have been a bonus, but it was just enough to be out there competing in the final again, wasn't it?

CORINA MORARIU: Yeah. It was, you know, just a really special day. You know, it's been a long three and a half years for me, so I was -- you know, I'm really lucky to just be playing again. And, you know, playing a Grand Slam final is an added bonus. So it obviously would have been great to come out with a win today, but, you know, I'm pretty proud of the effort I put in the past few years to get to a final with the help of someone (looking at Lindsay).

Q. Obviously, Lindsay, it meant a great deal to you, as well?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, it was. I mean, you know, it's not only obviously coming back after leukemia. I mean, she's also had two shoulder surgeries in a little over 12 months, a lot of other things. You know, we've played together and we've struggled. It didn't come as easy as it did in like '99 and 2000. We've just kind of hung in there. We were, you know, happy to get to the finals. Geez, when you try your best and they play so well, you can't really hang your head. You know, we just thought it was a pretty cool thing after four years to be back when certainly for years there we didn't think there was any possibility of playing, let alone trying to win it again.

Q. Lindsay, given your situation, having so many long singles matches and being in the singles final tomorrow, if it wasn't Corina, if you were with another partner, would you have pulled out of the doubles?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Maybe the other day, after the Molik match. I was pretty tired and had to come back again the next day. But I don't know. It's hard to say. But, you know, wasn't that circumstance, so I didn't have to think about it too much. There's probably not many girls I'd play doubles with, let along stick it out late in the second week of a Grand Slam. It's fun, though. That's why we play, you know, to see how well we can do. So that was fun.

Q. Serena said this morning, was asked about the doubles, she said that it's not -- she would consider playing doubles if she got through to a singles final, because it's not too strenuous. Do you find that, or is it fairly taxing?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, today was fine. It was not taxing. The only day it was taxing was after I played a three-hour singles match and they scheduled me to play doubles again, then singles again the next day. That's a bit much. But, no, it doesn't take anything out of me today for tomorrow.

Q. Corina, when did you first get an inkling that you would be able to come back and play at this level?

CORINA MORARIU: Probably not till I stepped on the court like and actually playing the tournament. You know, it was -- the last time I got out of the hospital in November of 2001, I couldn't walk 20 yards. So to think that I would be able to play tennis again, let alone play at this level, seemed like a really tall mountain to climb. But, you know, I just put my head down and started walking for five minutes, then running, then hitting for five minutes, just worked my way back from there. Physically and mentally it was taxing, then had a couple shoulder surgeries in the meantime, so that didn't make it any easier for me. Like I said, it was kind of always a struggle. I think when you're off for an extended period of time, regardless of the circumstances, you always have a little bit of doubt because you don't have the match play, if you can get back to, you know, how you used to play or you're comparing yourself to before. So that's been a struggle for me. But, you know, I finally had a little bit of a healthy stretch and put a lot of work in and am happy to be hitting the ball well and playing.

Q. When you got back on court, was there a particular goal you set yourself?

CORINA MORARIU: You know, no. I was never much of a goal person, not ranking-wise. You know, I took it so day to day, to be honest with you, I really didn't set any goals. Unfortunately, I never had a six-month or year stretch where I was healthy without a shoulder surgery or some other problem, so, you know, it was tough for me to set goals under those circumstances. I was extremely proud of the work that I put in and where I came from and where I got to. You know, I was trying to more enjoy the journey and not focus on a specific ranking goal or a specific tournament goal.

Q. Do you enjoy it much more on the court now than before you got sick?

CORINA MORARIU: I do. I definitely do. I think, you know, it's funny. I mean, a couple weeks ago I kind of -- I had a sort of enlightenment and realized that, you know, it still bothers me to lose and I still get frustrated. On some level I think I shouldn't just because I know, you know, how I felt when I was sick. But, you know, I kind of now have let myself accept the fact that I'm still competitive and I still want to do well. But I have the luxury of looking back to what I was doing three and a half years ago, laying in a hospital bed, you know, fighting for my life. Tennis kind of pales in comparison to that. That makes it more fun and I feel like I have a second chance. Maybe I can't play singles or some things are a little bit different than I would have liked them to be. But the bottom line is, I'm very lucky to be here and to be able to compete.

Q. Serena said earlier she was glad there were two Americans in the final and no Russians. She said it with a grin. All the talk of the Russians coming through and maybe Serena and Venus sliding, the retirement talk with you last year, it's got a very retro feel to it, this final. How do you see that? Is it something you would have predicted?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. I think I've learned more than anything it's tough to predict what exactly is going to transpire during a tournament, let alone a Grand Slam. But I'm happy it's her in the finals. I think she's been through a lot as well, personally and injury-wise. I know it's been a long road for her to get back into a Grand Slam final. You know, it is great to have two Americans. We've had two Russians in the last three. Nice that we'll be taking it home. So just going to go out there, try and play well, try and enjoy it, see what happens.

Q. Are you feeling through this tournament any soreness or anything approaching the final?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think that I'm holding up pretty well considering all the tennis that's been going on. Got one more day. So I'm ready.

Q. Are you guys going to play all the Grand Slams this year? Is that the plan?


CORINA MORARIU: I think between the two of us, we'll try to stay healthy and see how things go. But, you know, from -- I'm not going to speak for Lindsay. But from my perspective, you know, it's obviously nice to be able to travel with a good friend and hang out with and play doubles with. Yeah, I think we enjoy that aspect of it. So if we can stay healthy, hopefully that will work out. If she keeps like getting to the finals, she may have to dump me at some point.

Q. What are your tournament plans together in the next few weeks and months?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: We leave for Tokyo on Sunday. We don't know. We just kind of play it by ear.

Q. Can you put a figure on how short you are from your best at the moment? Are you 80% of your capacity?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: In terms of play?

Q. Your form.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I don't know. I've played a couple good matches down here and a couple average matches. You know, I'm going to work my best to see that I can try and produce better tennis tomorrow than I did yesterday. But I don't know. Take a lot of pride in getting to the finals without feeling like I've played my absolute best tennis, and hope that, you know, I can do things a little bit differently tomorrow, and see what happens.

End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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