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March 19, 2004

Lindsay Davenport


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. Can you talk about being down 5-6, Love-40 there?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, not the position that you want to be in. Yeah, I feel like I was really lucky to be able to escape with the second set. From that point, really felt like I ended the match really well. Started to hit the ball better and really cut down on my unforced errors. I was glad to end the match with a bit of momentum there. You know, I felt like early in the second set, I got on top of a break. Just really a couple sloppy games where I let her back into the match and played with a lot more confidence. Made life for me a lot more difficult.

Q. From 15-40 down until the end of the match, you hit 10 winners. Pretty good string for anybody.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I really played well in the second set when I was down. Two games before, down some breakpoints, hit some aces. Then, like you said, I really felt from that point on I was stepping into the court more, being able to dictate the points. That's exactly how I started the match. You know, just in the beginning and middle part of the second set, I felt like I really let up on my game a little bit, and the opposite, I thought she started stepping in a little bit more and making some better shots. But, you know, the one thing that got me in a lot of trouble was second serves, not winning a lot of points on those. It's something I'm going to have to improve on before Sunday's match.

Q. It's been a while since you've beaten a top five player. What's it going to take to get over that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, I really feel like getting closer to getting back and getting back, you know, with the confidence that I can do that and to play well for those matches. But she's definitely played at a level higher so much higher than I have for the last year. I think it's just going to take, you know, a lot of patience, a lot of belief, a lot of good tennis and no letting up in the concentration at all.

Q. You're talking about Myskina, right?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You tricked me. That wasn't fair. That wasn't fair (laughter).

Q. Would it be a disappointment to go out there Sunday and not see Justine across the net?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it's something I've been looking forward to. But, you know, obviously we can't pick our opponents and what happens. I would be very excited to play her in the finals. But having said that, I'm very excited to just be in the finals and have the opportunity to try and win the tournament. It would be fun to play Justine.

Q. How close are you then? You said you were getting closer to that, finally to be able to do that. How close are you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know yet. I'm really happy that I've been able to break through and get to the finals here again. I had a relatively easy draw compared to what players were ranked. I was still able to come through. That's not always easy. Sometimes you lose to some players when there's a lot of expectations on you. So I'm happy I was able to fulfill that part of the deal. But, I mean, I feel like I've been working hard. I feel like my game's at a little bit step higher than it was last year. Just have to continue that on Sunday and not have, you know, a bad day then.

Q. Myskina said yesterday you had the best serve on the tour, with Venus and Serena off. You played Justine recently. Is she right up there now, first and second serve, with everybody else?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think she has a phenomenal serve, especially given her height. It's funny, Martina Hingis was about her height and said she was at a disadvantage because she wasn't so tall. Justine proved that no matter what size you are, you can have a good serve. I think that and improving her forehand are the main reasons why she was able to win the Grand Slams and get to the top. I'm going to do my best to try and attack it. But, you know, hopefully she won't have the best serving day.

Q. Why so little serve and volley in women's tennis? Is it the power of the return?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, for me it has more to do with agility and being able to really get in close and get down and cover volleys. I like to have a little bit more time at the baseline. I think other girls maybe don't have as good a serve. I think, you know, women's tennis is generally about the groundstrokes and building points that way.

Q. Obviously the Williamses have effectively been off the tour for a while. At their peak, were their serves a dominating factor? Were their serves - yourself excluded - above the rest of the field by a significant margin?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I would say so. I mean, I always thought Serena had the best serve. She had a really great ability when she was playing to be able to hit every corner, first or second serve, and very courageous about going for it, whatever the score was, whatever time of the match it was. Venus also had a great serve. I think she got you more with her sheer power than her placement, where I think Serena had a little bit better placement. But, yeah, I would always say that Serena had the best serve.

Q. After them, what serve did you fear the most, current players?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I guess really no one. I don't know. I mean, I knew it's always a problem going in the match with those two, especially Serena, that it's going to be tough to break. I don't really feel that same type of pressure or that same I'm-lucky-to-get-one-break attitude against anyone else that comes to my mind. I mean, I think Kim also has a deceptive serve because she hits all the corners, not as strong a pace as Serena, but she still is able to, you know, get a lot of free points on her serve.

Q. Speaking of serving, you're down 15-30 late in the second set, you break off three aces in a row. Is that something that you're going for? Are you saying, "I need an ace, I need a big serve"? What is it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't really have that, "Okay, I'm just going to get my first serve in" mentality. Sometimes it's all or nothing. Sometimes you live by it and sometimes you die by it. But today really was working great. Especially when I was down, I came up with a lot of key big first serves. I had a lot of confidence in it, though. So that helped me quite a bit, even though I was having not a great record winning points with my second.

Q. Do you feel the crowd at certain points in a match, respond to its energy? With all the success you've had here, do you hear familiar voices, get any sense of comfort from that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I know where some good friends of mine and their box was. They started yelling some funny things to me at 5-All in the second. Kind of got me to laugh a little bit. I guess so. You know, in the beginning of the second, when I was making a few errors, it was like sometimes the crowd gets on, like, "Come on." When it got close, I felt like they were much more encouraging, really got into the excitement of the match. But, yeah, I guess -- I just know where some of my friends have their boxes. I guess I know where the sounds are coming from.

Q. How big a deal would it be to win this a third time?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it would be great. You know, in the beginning of the year, going over with my coach and trainer, just the tournaments you most want to win, it was definitely, you know, Wimbledon, the US Open, any Grand Slam, and Indian Wells or The Tour Championships in LA were number two. One more match and hopefully that will come true. Long way to go still.

Q. Can you share at least some of the funny things that your camp?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It wasn't my camp, it wasn't coming from my box. It was just coming from some people that I know, I know where they were sitting. They were yelling some of my nicknames, whatever. Inside stuff.

Q. Which are?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You'll just have to pay attention next time (smiling).

Q. Is your serve back to year 2000 level? Do you have all the serves you used to have?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I mean, today I felt like I could hit them all. A lot of it revolves on the outside, how I feel hitting the wide one. I always feel on the deuce side I can hit either. I feel like my best serve on the ad side is the T. But if I'm able to hit the wide one, then I really feel great out there. But sometimes it's a daily thing. You know, the other day I didn't serve that well at all first serves. But I think overall I really honestly feel like my game is back gaining positive momentum and getting better.

Q. What's the key to learning or having a good serve? Not all tall women have strong serves?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I don't know. I worked on it a lot with Robert for all those years. I mean, we used to do a bunch of stuff. He always wanted me to have the same toss for every serve so girls couldn't read it. You know, I would toss the ball up, he would call at the last minute which one to hit. You know, disguise it, try and fake them out sometimes. I don't know so much -- technically maybe my serve is not perfect, but if you feel confident enough where you can hit any spot on the court, I mean, no matter how hard it is, it's going to give girls a lot of problems.

Q. When you see some of the players who have great groundies but not the most imposing serve, someone like Myskina?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Elena Dementieva is I think a great player. I really hurts me sometimes to watch her serve just because I feel like she could break almost anybody. But you know it's so hard for her to hold. I don't know if that's technically, strength deficiency, whatever. But I think Myskina has a pretty good serve. You know, you can definitely attack her second serve. But, yeah, I mean, Robert was really great in the men at that time like, "Okay, we're going to get you not to get broken. To get broken is a big deal. You have to take pride in holding your serve." More like a men's tennis philosophy. I think that would help some other girls, as well.

Q. Does Justine have the most complete game right now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I would say so. I mean, I think she's improved her net game quite a bit. She's always had pretty solid volleys. You know, she's a beautiful player to watch.

Q. What did you learn about yourself and Justine the last time you played each other?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, in Australia, I just started the match great. I think I was up 4-Love or so. We had about three games that went deuce a few times. I just wasn't able to win those games. I mean, you have to be able to win the games that are a little bit longer and the deuce games. You've got to be able to pull some of those out. But I could definitely see some areas in her game that had improved, like I said, her forehand and her serve, that had previously broken down. You know, players that have all of a sudden Grand Slam titles under their belt certainly have a lot more confidence when they're down or big points, and she definitely showed that.

Q. One of the comments people make is that you wear your facial expressions on your sleeve. When you're feeling great, it shows. When you're not feeling so hot, it shows. Is that a plus or a minus for you? Is it an than anxiety reduction mechanism?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I've never been a good faker at things. I think it just comes out, you know, whether I'm off the court or on the court. If I'm not happy about something, it definitely shows. I'm not good at going, "Oh, that was good." Yeah, I've never thought too much about it while I was on court. You know, hopefully I'll get the positive feelings flowing a little bit more.

Q. We have a gentleman who contacted our research center. He wants to get together with you because he's measuring alpha waves, showing you how to control the brain. Do you want me to tell him to get lost?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I've never been too much of a listener to outside sources. You learn that a lot of different people have a lot of different opinions. Kind of just go with the opinions of those closest to me.

Q. You've had a pretty good record against players ranked No. 1 in the world. When you approach this match, do you approach it any differently or is the energy level different?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, each match is different. I mean, it's a final. It's Indian Wells. I'll approach it hopefully in more of an aggressive tone. I mean, when you play a No. 1 player, you don't have a lot to lose. You know if you don't play your best, and for me that means being aggressive, going for shots, I'm going to lose. Sometimes that backfires. If my game is a little bit off, I'll make a lot of errors. But I know my best chance to win is moving forward and playing aggressive against the No. 1's.

End of FastScripts….

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