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August 31, 2004

Lindsay Davenport


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. Could you think of a time when you came into a Grand Slam tournament, considering the four tournament wins, the way you started today, can you think of a time when you came in with more confidence?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, it's been an unbelievable lead-up, an incredible summer, one that came relatively unexpected to me, to have that string of success for so long this summer. You know, obviously the comparison would be '98 where I won three, and I think lost in the semis of the week before The Open. But obviously that kind of lifted me through tthe two weeks of playing here You know, gosh, I hope history repeats itself. I mean, I can be nothing but supremely confident and happy with where I'm at.

Q. What do you attribute your recent success to?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Just a lot. I mean, I know, you know, physically I've been working really hard since I got off my crutches last fall from foot surgery. So health-wise I think I felt really -- I felt really great all season. Only one tournament I had to pull out from, and that was really from overplaying, and that's too many matches, which is always a good thing. But, you know, I really thought that that first win in Stanford was a huge stepping stone. Came through a really tough final. And then from kind of since then I've really felt really confident no matter what the situation's been in matches, felt like I've been able to lift my game when I've needed to. And just kind of stop thinking out there. Everything just seems to be flowing.

Q. There are really few weaknesses in your game. Are there things you're looking to improve on?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I've got to be really happy with how I'm playing. I mean, if I wasn't, I'd be just searching for things to try and make it go wrong (smiling). So I've just kind of been practicing as hard as I can, trying to be aggressive and trying to serve well. I mean, that's the main thing out here on these courts. They're pretty fast. You know, I want to be going for it. If I lose, it's because I made a few errors. But I feel if I can serve well and be on top of the ball, it's way better for my game.

Q. Do you think at this level there's anyone out there who can beat you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, yeah. I mean, there's no question (laughter). You know, there's a lot of great players. A lot of players that have been looking forward to this tournament. So, you know, for me, I'm just worried about how well I can play and know that if I can control that, it's a lot better off.

Q. Van't Hof said what he saw now from six years ago, what you don't do is you seem to forget when something goes bad on the court, you can get over that now.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I guess he said I grew up (laughter).

Q. Matured.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah (smiling).

Q. When did that change?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I told him he hadn't seen me play every match. But, you know, I've tried hard. I had a really tough week this year in Strasbourg. Was not happy playing. It was a really small tournament. You know, my attitude wasn't good. I just remember after that tournament saying, "Okay, you know, you're either going to play when you like to play and enjoy it and not let these things bother me." I think it was a turning point. I mean, I lost in the finals, but it wasn't a great week. Really turned it around since then and tried not to let anything really bother me, even line calls and bad shots at the wrong time. It seemed to carry over and me just not wasting energy on outside things and things you can't control.

Q. Has it been hard not to let your --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it hasn't because I played well. I'm sure when I play a shocker of a match, it's going to be hard to restrain me, but I'm going to try.

Q. Are you rethinking your situation? In the spring, you were thinking you were close to retirement. Now you're playing so well.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, maybe -- I don't know exactly, you know, why it happened. Maybe took some pressure off me just to think like, "Oh, who cares what happens now." But, I mean, my distance is still pretty much the same. Going to see how I feel in November and take it from there. You know, it's been a great year. I've had a good time. But it's still a tough season, you know. If I play next year, I want to make sure that I'm committed for the year and that I can, you know, play through the good times and the bad times and be mentally strong all year. I'm going to have to really see if I can do that.

Q. Can you imagine not being here next year?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Some days, yes (laughter). But, I mean, obviously I'm just really right now trying to focus on this Grand Slam, and everything's gone so well. Just trying to keep it going.

Q. Serena was saying yesterday she felt she and Venus are going through sort of a 12-month hiccup. She believes they once again can dominate the WTA Tour. You look at Kim, Justine, the Russian revolution going on, now your play. How improbable do you think it would be to see them come back and do what they did a couple of years ago?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think that they have to believe that if they want to still play. I don't think you can be 1 in the world and think like, "Oh, I can only be ranked as high as 5 now and still play." I think they have to believe that. I think that time will tell. I think obviously they have the attributes and great shots and are great athletes. I think we'll have to see how their games progress. I mean, it's been a difficult 15 months for them with injuries and a couple personal things going on, lots of injuries. We'll just see, you know, what happens.

Q. Do you think there's more parity on the tour now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, the players have improved a lot. A lot of players that can win. I mean, just look at the Grand Slam champions of this year. And some players that have been out this year because of injuries. It's an interesting time. I mean, I've been really disappointed in the last 12 months, we haven't had everyone healthy. It would have made for a lot better tour. But, you know, in a few more months, if we can get all the top players back, playing at a hundred percent, I think next year could be really huge for us.

Q. How about today's match? How do you think you played?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, great. I mean, I'm happy with the way it is. In the beginning, I thought she played pretty well. The wind is really strong out there. I mean, I practiced a little bit with it on Sunday, today. It's going to be tough, the conditions, unless, you know, it calms down or something. But once I got used to those, I felt like then I was able to take control of the match. Just fine.

Q. How would you characterize your mood?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Good. It's been great.

Q. It seems pretty good.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I've had a wonderful summer. I've been able to be at home most of the time, which always helps me out a lot. You know, I have my husband here, some family coming in later. It's good. I mean, no matter what happens, I know that I've given my absolute hundred percent effort in trying to win this tournament. If it pans out, it would be great. Maybe it doesn't. But I know that I've tried my hardest and feel like I've got only things to be proud of here.

Q. You played so well in California. Could you reflect on what it means to again have The Championships in Los Angeles. Are you looking forward to that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, gosh, I haven't even gone there mentally because I've had so much energy focused on here. But, I mean, it's going to be great to be able to end the year in LA. Two years ago it was a disappointing outing. Last year more disappointing because I couldn't even take the court. It will be great. I mean, indoors is typically my best surface. Maybe hard court, obviously. But I feel so great indoors. Got a great opportunity this fall. I didn't play at all last year. You know, if I can tough out a few tournaments in Europe and end the year on a high note in Los Angeles, obviously that would be a great year. But, you know, no matter what, it's been a better year than I thought it could be already. So hopefully it keeps going.

Q. How is your body, the knee, the foot? Fine?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: So far. You know, I ran into a little bit of trouble with my wrist about 10 days ago. I've had just chronic tendinitis in that wrist since '96. It flared up a little bit in Cincinnati. Just wanted absolutely no wrist going into this tournament, so as a precautionary took the week off playing tournaments, didn't hit backhands for a few days. It was great today. And it's been good the last few days. Everything else has been great. I mean, I think it's really helped that I've been traveling with my own therapist and making sure I've been feeling good every day. Just the little things. I mean, nothing's really gone wrong since.

Q. You came in first place in this new US Open series.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I tied for first (smiling).

Q. Have you found that this added anything to the tour, the summer tour, as you were playing it? Was it really insignificant? How did you look at this?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I was really, really excited about it until I found out San Diego didn't count. I'm like, "What?" I found out I was tied with Mauresmo after Canada. Then I found out Cincinnati didn't count after I won it. So I was a little confused as the summer went along. But when all was said and done, I found out I had won it. You know, they asked me on court after my match. You know, I would probably trade anything to get the trophy at this stage. You know, I mean, obviously the money's great, and it's an added bonus that -- somewhere in my mind, but I haven't really found where it is yet. I mean, for me it's about trying to win the tournament and win the title. If they said, "You're going to be deducted 50% and still win," I would grab that in a heartbeat. So, you know, while it would be really nice to see a check for $1.5 million, I'd like to be holding the trophy, as well.

Q. Do you think it's a good idea?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it's great. I think maybe we can get just a little bit more clarity on the tournaments leading through the US Open. You know, I would have thought San Diego would count before Canada just because it's in the US, and the US Open. But I was a little confused on the rules before I started the summer. Wasn't really in my mind, then I started doing better. But I think it helped a lot with people leading up to the US Open and the first few weeks especially, fans knew when they could tune in and follow it. I mean, I'm happy to win the inaugural year.

Q. Richard Williams said if there was one player his daughters had to worry about in this tournament, it would be you. When you hear something like that, what does it do for you, your confidence, if you have to face one of them?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, obviously I've had a good summer. Players probably know that. Got a tough draw there with Venus kind of lurking somewhere, but before that maybe Bovina. It's good. I mean, they're no easy opponents either. I mean, I know that it's been a tough few months for them, and they're going to kind of want to right the ship. They're not used to losing and not winning tournaments. I mean, it's a compliment, but one that I think is fairly well-earned after my performance this summer. But I feel the same about them. I feel the same about Justine, a couple girls there that are going to be the ones to have to get through to win the title.

Q. Serena made a modest little fashion statement last night. Did you see her outfit?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I didn't. I saw a picture of it today.

Q. Thoughts, comments, reaction?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I mean, we had a funny conversation a few months ago when she first signed with Nike. I said, "You're going to love their clothes." She told me, "I just want to look good, I don't care if it's comfortable." I started laughing. I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, that's so the opposite of me." She loves to do that kind of stuff. Good for her. I would feel really worried about, "Uh-oh." But she has no fear. She likes to make statements. You know, she's very confident with it.

Q. What in this little world of ours could possibly get Lindsay Davenport to come out in a match wearing something like that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: We'll see (laughter).

Q. You made reference before to the strength of the tour. This is no disrespect meant to a groundstroker like yourself. Would the game be better if there were more players that went to the net? Too much of an emphasis on groundstrokes?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm sure it would be good. I mean, we have players now that are a little bit more adept at coming in, like a Henin or Mauresmo. They're not pure serve-and-volleyers. I think what's tough on the women's side is we can't necessarily serve as the men at 130 to know you're going to get an easy return. You know, if you don't hit the serve in the right spot, the girls return well because the serves are coming a lot slower than the men's serves are. But I think we're at a good stage. I mean, it's hard to compare eras and it's hard to compare styles of play. My biggest thing is we just need everybody healthy to give us the match-ups we've been looking for.

End of FastScripts….

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