September 5, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question for Lindsay, please.
Q. I'm just wondering, what makes Kim so good right now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think that she's very, very accurate on her ground strokes. I think she's, you know, very great mover -- "very great," very good mover. I think she's confident. She's playing great. She's very aggressive when she needs to be, then is also very consistent also at the important times.
Q. How did you feel you played in general today?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not good. It's disappointing to come all this way, and then, you know, just have a performance like that. I mean, I can handle losing; I'm not afraid of that. But would have preferred to have gone out a little bit better.
Q. Any understanding why?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, some days it just doesn't happen. You know, I served horrendously. Then it was tough to kind of ever get momentum and really keep anything going. She plays very well and is a very tough opponent for me to play. So part of the reason, I don't play great , I mean, she does a lot of great things against me. I still think I could have done a lot of things a lot better.
Q. Do you go out feeling that your foot allowed you to go on court and give your best effort?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it did. I mean, I've been getting it numb before each match. You know, besides the Petrova match which it was just wearing off a little bit at the end, it's been fine. I just don't think I had the shots I needed tonight to win.
Q. Do you find yourself pressing and trying to make your shots just a little maybe too accurate because Kim is such a great retriever and counterpuncher?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Possibly. You know, I feel like I definitely have to do more with my game than I do against a lot of the other girls. You know, part of that is why she's so good. I mean, she forces you to try and hit shots that are a little bit too good. And, you know, she also runs me a lot. She hits the corners very well.
Q. Have you seen anybody slide on hard courts like that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not a lot of women do. I've seen it more on the men's side.
Q. The fourth game of the second set, she hit a lob over your head, dropped in about an inch inside the baseline. Do you feel you aggressively went after that lob?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, she was with the wind there. It's always a pretty strong wind coming from that side. Because the lob was so high, I figured it was gonna go out. I kind of lost it in the darkness, really thought it was going out. I don't know what kind of play I could have gotten, run back and hit a defensive lob back over. It hit the line. It was a good shot - one point of very many that I can't -- did a lot worse things out there .
Q. Did that deflate you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I'm okay when someone hits a good shot. It's when I'm hitting the bad ones that's deflating.
Q. Did you get an explanation about what was going on with cyclops?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: They were telling me the bugs were setting it off. I don't know. The bugs were landing in its path. I swear.
Q. Before your last match in Wimbledon you said you took a couple of wistful looks around, there was a possibility you may not be returning there. Did you do the same thing tonight?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, not really. You know, I wanted to say good-bye and thank you to the crowd for supporting me so well - this year, especially. But, you know, the last few months I felt a lot more encouraged and a lot more eager to stay out there. As of now, I'm totally planning on going to Australia and starting the year again next year.
Q. When you won your first Grand Slam - I'll use that as a point of reference, because if Kim wins her first Grand Slam here at this tournament - is there the potential for a psychological boost for her which will bring her game up closer to the Williams sisters?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's not gonna hurt. I mean, the confidence that you gain from a Grand Slam victory is immense.
Q. What did it do for your game?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It did. I mean, for sure. I mean, it kind of makes you feel a little bit more legitimate. Like I said, people judge your career on how many Slam titles you have. So far, I mean, I think she's having to deflect a lot of questions about being one with no Slams, and what does that mean. I think her time is gonna come. Will it come tomorrow? Maybe. She's got a great chance. But I think that when she's playing and the Williams sisters are playing, people would like to see more matchups of them and see how she does after she wins a Slam title. Will be interesting.
Q. Are you going to get your surgery soon?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think so. I think I'll probably take a week or two off. I'd like to just maybe relax a little bit and not have to go into something. Like I said, the recovery time is 8 to 12 weeks. If I was to do it next week, it would put me in shape to play a tournament like November 10th, which does me no good. It's something that I've put off until this tournament was over. It's something I'll definitely think about in the coming week and let everybody know when it happens.
Q. You're not sure you're going to do it yet?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm for sure doing it. The timing, whether it's this week or in three weeks, I don't know.
Q. What changed your mindset this summer, now getting ready for Australia?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. You know, I think a lot of times, you know, I think for me to be happy and successful next year, I think it's gonna depend on where I'm playing and tournaments I really want to play. I'm not gonna worry about having to play 17 or 19. I think I'm just gonna stick to a lot of tournaments in the States, a lot of tournaments in places that I enjoy going to. So I don't know. I felt like I've had a really good summer on very bizarre circumstances. It's been a tough summer. I've still come out well. You know, if I have some time this fall, there's some stuff that I really need to improve on if I want to stay at the top. And I have the opportunity to try and do that this fall.
Q. A lot of times, players in adversity, when they don't win as many titles as they used to, they start to do something with their physical situation. Anything you could do, you think?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, there's a lot. I mean, there's no question I could definitely go another level in my physical ability. I think that even in my game, there's a lot of things that I need to continue to try and do better. I mean, it never ends. You know, while surgery is definitely a low point in one's career, it gave me a great opportunity with my knee to lose some weight, get in better shape. Hopefully, this allows me to do the same.
Q. You need to get stronger, you think?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, yeah. Stronger, faster, everything, exactly.
Q. Did you feel like the struggle with your serve tonight had a ripple effect in terms of your confidence?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, for sure. There's no question. My game a lot of times revolves around my serve. It was just in another planet tonight.
Q. What was it about?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I just felt like I was out of rhythm and probably forcing too much. You know, you've just got to start off a lot better than I did. I didn't hold until the fourth or fifth time I served. In a semifinal against a good player, it's not gonna cut it.
Q. If Justine plays her best and Kim plays her best, who do you think wins that match?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, Kim, I thought, had the upper hand until this summer. Justine has played pretty spectacular. I think there's a lot of mental rivalry that goes on there. I really have no idea. I don't know.
Q. How much is motherhood on your mind?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: More so a few months ago. It's in the back burners again.
Q. Not that you're about to become a mother in nine months, because you have tennis to play, but where does that fit in? Is there any kind of rough timetable in your mind?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think that, you know, we've talked about it a lot. You know, when I'm ready. And I'm sure -- that might be a great reason to retire one day. That might be something that I plan a little bit harder. But I'd like to become a mother in the next couple of years, for sure.
Q. This is the first Grand Slam in a long time without the Williams sisters. What has that meant to the tournament? What has it done to the character of this competition?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think it's disappointing, I think, for the tournament and for the fans. I think they create so much excitement. You know, even the players, there's a lot more buzz when the Williams are around - whether it be from you guys or from just the electricity that goes around the tournament. You know, hopefully it gives, you know, especially Kim and Justine a chance to become better, well-known in the public's eye here in America. You know, they'll be back. It's just one Slam out of many, many, many we play.
Q. It was kind of funny, in the middle of the week when I was not here, I was watching the broadcast at home. They do the promos. They very prominently featured Venus and Serena. They also showed a lot of sunshine. The whole thing just was like the weird juxtaposition - no Williams, no sun, delays. It really just felt -- didn't feel like week two at the US Open?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. It was a disappointing, week, too, for so many reasons. I think that the fans were disappointed, I'm sure the vendors all around the site were. I mean, even the TV ratings, everybody kind of lost out this week. Even the players. Last night after my match I said I felt like I'd run a marathon. I hadn't done anything for three days, but I was so beat. Everybody, too. The men players have it especially tough. Being here for 12 hours, two or three days in a row, just takes its toll on everybody. Unfortunately, it's just been one of those weeks that I think the USTA would like to forget and move on to next year already.
Q. Is there anything they could have done better?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think they tried. Under the circumstances, I think that they were totally overloaded with the schedule, not knowing which direction to go with a couple days. As far as what they could do for us, I mean, there's not much. Just have it stop raining.
Q. Hard court tennis fans are gonna watch this final tomorrow because hard court tennis fans appreciate great tennis. How do you draw in, if you were a television executive, trying to draw in that periphery crowd that needs to have a personality to watch instead of just great tennis? How do you promote that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You hope Capriati wins (laughter) tonight. I think in the American public, I mean, they love her. They want to see an American especially. But, you know, there's only a matter of time before Kim becomes more well-known and becomes a superstar in this country. The same with Justine. It's just gonna take a little time. But there's no question, I think, American fans that are tuning in want to see an American, now Capriati.
Q. What sort of personalties do you think turn on women tennis fans particularly?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I don't know. I mean, in the beginning people were giving the Williams a lot of heat for their kind of how they spoke and their, you know, confidence. But, you know, it's turned in to be a real positive thing. I think they've gained a lot of fans that way. I don't know. I think that they obviously like kind of the louder and more expressions you can do on court. But I think they grow to love everybody over time if you do well.
Q. Along those same lines, how does it feel to you to have two Americans, two veteran Americans, pitted against two Belgians that have been on the rise all summer in a semifinal tonight?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it was exciting with a big buildup. I mean, I feel bad I didn't hold up my end of the bargain and play, you know, better tennis tonight to make it more exciting. But, you know, it's a great rivalry. Those girls are very good, Kim and Justine. They're gonna be around a long time. Who knows how long Jennifer and I will be. We're 27, played a lot of years. It was fun to be a part of it here.
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