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January 23, 2004

Lindsay Davenport


THE MODERATOR: Lindsay, can you tell us about today's match.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it just felt like I got off to a real slow start in the beginning. Made a ton of unforced errors in the first four to five games. Just really didn't have the right energy going out there or playing the right way. Then finally I was able to work my way slowly back into the match, then not lose a game since then, since 4-1 down. But it was close. I mean, I can't afford to keep going through patches like that. But, you know, I was able to work myself out of it today and end up hitting the ball a lot better.

Q. As you came off at the end, you had kind of a grimace on your face.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, no, I wasn't hurt. I started off, I think it was 1-4, Love-40, just wasn't playing well at all.

Q. You had just won the match. After you shook hands, you somehow looked like you weren't too happy.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Maybe just annoyed with the beginning. No, I was fine.

Q. How is the body?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's doing well. I mean, everything seems to be doing better. You know, my shoulder's better. My foot, there's not even an issue anymore. But now it's just, you know, trying to play better and trying to play, you know, a little bit better than I've played here so far, trying to get to a level where I think that I can, you know, be really competitive and vy for the title. Just really frustrated because I want to be there so badly. Just, you know, got to be happy I'm still in, into the Round of 16, and hope to keep playing like I did a little bit towards the end of the match.

Q. I wasn't at the Hopman Cup. I read that you were scorching the ball. Do you feel like your level has dropped a bit now, or is it different being in a tournament versus an exhibition?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, no, I feel like it's a little bit lower than what I started playing at the beginning of the year. I felt like at Hopman Cup and even Sydney I was playing a little bit better than I have been here. You know, sometimes that's due to your opponent; sometimes it's just the level of your play that day. I'm confident, because I was just there a few weeks ago. You know, just get frustrated because I want it to be there a little bit more than it is.

Q. Can you talk about playing against Lisa in doubles.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it's so funny how that works out. Last year we had to play in singles right off the bat. Last week we had to play doubles right off the bat. Again, tough draw. But, I mean, you know, we're always the best of friends. It's definitely weird out there. It's no fun for anybody. But, you know, those things happen.

Q. Do you think you're a little under the radar?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think I've really been under the radar my whole career. I don't mean it like that, but for a good reason. Right now, I haven't won a Slam in four years. It definitely should be a little bit below the radar than a Justine or Kim who have proven over the last 12 months - same with Venus - they're really contending for these titles. I think they fully deserve it right now. I'm going to have to do something that I haven't done in the last year or two to be able to, you know, be in the top two or three contenders. I just haven't been able to do that the last 12 to 18 months.

Q. Last year you had the match with Seles, the goofy match. Almost have to commit yourself after that. Then you had the match here. Matches by all rights you should have won, and by a crazy act of gods you lose, how do you come to terms with those matches?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You just try and bounce back. I mean, obviously it was difficult. I never really had a problem in my career with not winning matches like that. All of a sudden I lost two in two months to two very good players. But, like you said, I look back, I'm not sure how I didn't win either one. But I think in the last 12 months, I bounced back pretty well. I mean, I haven't let it affect me too much. You sometimes win some matches like that. Last year in Sydney, you know, played Hantuchova, it was like we each had a bunch of match points, end up winning that match, but then I lose next week to Henin. It's kind of crazy like that.. Just have to try and learn from anything, if you can, try and move on and be positive. But, you know, sometimes it definitely is tough. Those situations didn't bother me as much maybe because of the round of tournament. I think it would have been bothered more if it's the finals or semis of a Slam you're doing that, it's tougher to deal with probably.

Q. Do you feel like if you get to the final, your best game will be there?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I lost two Slam finals in 2000. I was really bummed. You just haven't been there in a couple years. You know, got to make some big wins now if I want to expect to get back to that position. You know, hopefully it will come sooner rather than later.

Q. Can you talk about another player maybe under the radar, Amelie Mauresmo.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She's a fantastic player, one of the more athletic players we have on the tour. Big hitter. Besides I think getting to the final here in, I think it was '99, you know, she just hasn't played consistently well over the two weeks of a Slam. I think everyone's just waiting to see when that happens and if that happens. There's no question she has the potential and is such a great player. Just hasn't been able to string it together and kind of beat the next level of players - Clijsters, Henin, Williams group - in Slams, and do it once or twice to be able to win one yet.

Q. Is that in her head?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. I mean, she definitely has the game. Just hasn't been able to put it together yet. So, I mean, she's got a lot of talent in there.

Q. How do you handicap the men's tournament here?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I haven't been paying too much attention to it. I think I'd be surprised if someone other than Andre won it. He just always comes the most prepared, it seems like, down here, and handles the conditions better than anybody. But, I mean, obviously Andy, you know, Juan Carlos, you know, have great chances. But, I mean, just from his previous records here, you've got to put him as the favorite, I would guess.

Q. Off the Australian Open topic. Tennis is a sport played around the world. Do you think it should be an Olympic sport or not?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I do, because every other sport has been allowing professionals in there. You know, I did like it better, you know, 10 or 16 years ago when it was all amateurs, like the hockey team in 1980, or the basketball team when the US sent collegiate players. But the Olympics are about bringing the best each sport has to offer and putting them together every four years. You know, ever since they started admitting professionals, yeah, of course, tennis belongs in the Olympics.

Q. Even in a crowded schedule that players often complain about, you still think it should be there?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, for sure. I actually look at it more like we're so lucky because we have a sport that goes 11 months out of the year and we have a chance to win a Slam four times a year where, unfortunately, in gymnastics if you don't perform that once every four years, it's like all those years you were up to nothing. I mean, we're very lucky in that regard. You know, obviously it's tough in an Olympic year to fit the Slams and fit the Fed Cup and Davis Cup and all the other tournaments in. But, I mean, I have a chance to go to my third Olympics. If someone would have told me that when I was younger, I would have never believed them. I mean, I feel like I'm the luckiest female athlete alive.

Q. How keen are you to go? Have you figured out how you fit in in the rankings?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, you know, I'm very keen to go. You know, what happens when they choose the team in I think it's May, the French, I believe, I hope I'm one of the Top 4 American singles players. I have been the last 10 years or whatever. But I'm sure if I got injured and wasn't able to play for a stretch of time again or whatever, there's a legitimate chance that people could pass me. But, you know, hopefully if I stay healthy, I'll be able to be in one of those positions. You know, who knows what happens with Venus dropping a little bit in the rankings. Obviously, I'm sure the USTA wants her to go. Hopefully, Jennifer starts playing more and is chosen for the team. I think it would be really great if we had the Williams, Jennifer, myself, probably Lisa-Martina for doubles. That would be a really spectacular team. I don't know how the rankings work out by June 1st or whatever it is.

End of FastScripts….

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