January 20, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lindsay.
Q. Talk about that first set.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, she played really well. You know, I just wasn't ready to be at my best at the very beginning, and it definitely cost me against someone who came out playing very well, very aggressive and kind of caught me on my back foot.
Q. You weren't really worried at any stage?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I mean, it's our job not to worry. I mean, obviously I don't want to lose and I'm a competitor. So tried to buckle down after I lost the first set and concentrate more in the short-term than in the long-term. You know, I knew I wasn't playing my best today, so knew that no matter what, just to try and do my best to get a win and do what I needed to do. And I thought in both the second and third sets, I got off to good leads, and that really helped carry me through both sets.
Q. Did you feel your energy level was a little off today at all?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No.
Q. In 1998, your first year as the world's No. 1, you described yourself as a boring story. You said, "I'm just an ordinary girl playing tennis and being successful, pretty quiet and modest. That's a boring story." Do you still think you're a boring story?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think those adjectives that you used describe me accurately. So I guess it's up to each person to determine that for themselves.
Q. Have you been involved with any of the tsunami relief interests?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I definitely donated on my own, not through the tour, and have been following it. I know that Nike is doing a give-away on Saturday at their store here downtown. I'm going to try to do that, depending on when I play. It's amazing how much more it seems like we hear about it once I got down here as compared to home in California. It seems like -- it's been interesting to learn more about it as I've been down closer to where it occurred.
Q. When we talked in California, you had said that you kind of saw the Russians start to come up. You weren't necessarily surprised with how they did last year. Do you have any thoughts on who might come next? Is there a country that seems strong?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: To challenge Russia? It's pretty remarkable how many players that they do have in the Top 15. I don't know if that will be repeated any time soon by another country. I think the United States, about four or five years ago, had about five in the Top 10, which was pretty remarkable. But it seems like they all have kind of come into their own in the last 12 months, and they've all improved in ranking and they've all improved their game. I mean, I don't see another country producing that many top, top players any time soon. I think that China's come a long way in producing a bunch of players. While no one in the Top 10 or Top 20 yet, I mean, all of a sudden they've got I think five or six legitimate players in the top at least hundred that are improving rapidly. It seems like tennis has kind of caught on in that part of the world, as well.
Q. Do you think that will be the next wave, China?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It seems like it. I've heard that because of the Olympics next time around, they've put a lot of money into it and are trying to develop these players. It seems to have really helped. I mean, five years ago, I don't remember any player from China. Now we've got, like I said, five or six good ones. I think a doubles team did very -- maybe the gold medal at the Olympics.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I know they were in the finals. They're improving rapidly.
Q. Do you have any idea why there's such a big gap in the generation following you and Jennifer?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. I mean, just seems like -- it's obvious no one's come up straight to the top. Maybe we were a little spoiled. We had Chanda, Jennifer, myself in one year, and shortly thereafter Venus and Serena, a lot of good players in that group. Players that have come along after us haven't really gone above 20 or 30, if that. I don't really know exactly what the secret or what the problem is, depending on how you look at it. Hopefully, you know, maybe this year or next year we get some players that start to come up and start to kind of take it over from those of us that are getting older.
Q. Do you know much about Spears?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't.
Q. Is that what it takes? She had a big win today. Is that what it sort of takes for a young player like that to get that first big win?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It seems we have a group of girls that are in that 50 to 100 range, between like Granville, Irvin and Spears and stuff. Besides maybe Meghann Shaughnessy, who struggled in the last year with some injuries, no one's really gone up to the next group. That's really kind of what it takes. Maybe one of those girls can. I don't know. But it hasn't happened yet.
Q. A different story. An Austrian player, Barbara Schett, the best player we ever had in Austria, ended today her career. What do you think, what could you say about her career? How do you know her as a person?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I always enjoyed her very much. She always had a great attitude. I mean, she still does. She was a lot of fun off the court. I thought a really good talent and a great player. The last two years or so, she hasn't done as well as she did when I first -- in the late '90s. But I always thought she was a lot of fun to talk to, a very good competitor. I mean, she'll definitely be missed, that's for sure. I was sad to see that she was retiring after this tournament.
Q. She said it has to be here. What about you, do you already know when it's finished?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think -- I heard that towards the end of her match she started crying a little bit. I don't think I want to know or put any pressure on myself like, "This is it." I'll probably just decide afterwards. I think that that would be very emotional for any player to handle, and I certainly know that I couldn't handle knowing that it was my last tournament.
Q. Going back to the issue of young players coming through in America, the fact that you say you haven't got as many. We've got the same issue here in Australia. There's only like four Australians in the second round. Why do you think it is that the South Americans, for instance, are pushing through so many players, and the traditional countries aren't?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, I have no idea. It seems, like I've always said, this is very cyclical. You'll get a few players that come up and do very well, and it seems like they inspire each other and help each other get better. Then it seems like there might be a drought. People were talking about men's tennis for a while. All of a sudden Andy Roddick came up, James, Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, and then it seemed like we had a good bunch. I don't know. I think that a lot of countries try really hard and some years it just doesn't happen. I mean, I think Australia actually is doing pretty well right now. Alicia's probably the best hope that they've had in a very long time, and she's got a good game. Seems like she's probably gotten maybe Sam Stosur to play a little bit better and get some of the elder players to improve a little bit. I didn't know that only four made it to the second round. Maybe Alicia and some of the Australians, seeing her ranking so high and winning tournaments, helps them, inspires them.
Q. Do you think putting a whole lot of money in makes a difference?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Couldn't hurt, but it's not going to be the only factor that probably is going to get a bunch of players through.
Q. Have you played any of these Chinese girls?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. Excuse me, I did play one in Amelia Island last year, I think Sun, but on clay court. I don't think that's their best surface. But I think that's it.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.