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January 15, 2003

Lindsay Davenport


THE MODERATOR: First question for Lindsay, please.

Q. You looked like you were having a lot of difficulty seeing to serve. Was that correct?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Nope, it's not (laughing). No, I've been having difficulty just serving, period. But, no, there was no sun. It wasn't my sight. Wish I could say it was.

Q. I was looking, I couldn't see the ball at all.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The one side was a little tricky but it wasn't a factor at all.

Q. So what was?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think, you know, she hits the ball very hard and serves well. She's definitely a good player. I had a lot of opportunities to capitalize on the match and not let it get that close. Unfortunately, I just wasn't really able to do that. I had lots of set points in the first set, was up 5-3. In the third I probably should have -- I was down a break but then I should have broken again a little earlier than I did. Sometimes you're definitely lucky to still be in the tournament when you feel you don't play your best and you pull out a close match. I'm very happy to still be around. Some of the other players are not. Hopefully it helps me play better later on in the tournament or even in the next round. I'll just look to get better and better from it.

Q. When you miss points like that and you get frustrated, do you almost make life harder and harder for yourself?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I was frustrated with the way I was hitting the ball and the way I wasn't really able to penetrate the court. I mean a lot of it had to do with herself but a lot of that had to do with me. And, you know, I feel like a lot of the problems I was having were from either poor serving or starting off the rally on the wrong foot. I probably didn't help myself out too much today.

Q. How would you explain the fact that a lot of top female players have trouble winning their first round matches here?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: We always get the rap that the women win too easily, so now we've had a lot of close matches with a lot of the players. I think that it -- you know, it's a long year for everybody, I mean, especially a top player from last year that plays a lot of matches and plays in through November. Then you've got to turn around and be back in shape, still rest and be ready to go. I mean, I'm highly in favor of pushing this tournament back at least a couple weeks, but, you know, everyone has to come out here ready to play. I think that the level of women's tennis has gone up and there's a little bit more depth. You know, sometimes we're lucky to get through and sometimes we don't.

Q. Are you able to give yourself the luxury of actually doing nothing in your off time and just relaxing?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I try to. I mean I didn't start practicing again until, you know, about the 9th or 10th of December, which was like a month off. But, again, that whole time you're trying to work out and stuff. But I think all the players would benefit, even the men, I mean the men play a lot later than we do with Davis Cup and their Masters are a little bit later. But you've got to try and schedule -- everything is about scheduling. You've got to become good at that.

Q. You looked pretty weary at the end there. Were you pretty weary?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I was getting, for sure, tired. I mean, I think it was long sets, long points. And more than anything, I just wanted to just kind of finish it off, just seemed like to be going for ever and ever. But, you know, lasted a few -- or, you know, couple long matches the week before. I'm happy to still be able to come out the winner in a long match again.

Q. Even though it was a tough match, it must be good to have been out there compared to last year, for instance?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, try and think of that side of it later. Fortunately, that didn't hit me for the two hours I was on court. No, it was. The crowd were really great to me out there. Yeah, I mean this time last year were some of the hardest weeks of my life, just trying to learn to walk on crutches, being in a hospital. I'm very happy to be able to be here, competing, be able to get through a match that was very, very difficult to get through.

Q. They expect 38 degrees on Friday. The heat policy might work. What do you think about that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Which part of the heat policy?

Q. Are you in favor of stopping the games?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, from what I've understood, they're not going to put a match out there if it hits a certain degree, but they're not going to stop a match. I don't know, that was my interpretation of the rule as it was explained to me Monday. It definitely can get dangerous out there when the heat gets too hot. But, you know, we've just got to deal with it as best we can. You know, on Monday it was supposed to get 37. I don't think it ever quite got that hot. We'll have to get prepared again for another hot day Friday.

Q. Can you give me a definition of the law?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The definition, I think the humidity and heat both have to be above a certain degree or percentage. If it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit but not humid at all, I think we stay out there. I think it really has to do with the difference with the humidity and the temperature combined.

Q. You understand the calculation of it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Vaguely. I mean, I know they'll tell me if I'm not supposed to go out there. That's all I need to know.

Q. Did you watch the final last year? Did you think that was over the top for conditions?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's so hard to tell when you're watching on TV, you know. It definitely looked hot. I exactly turned the match on at 6-3, 5-4. It's just bizarre. The timing in California, I think that was around 7:45. You know, was just definitely amazed by the turn of events that happened. But, you know, very few times in my entire career have ever seen Martina really bending over and gasping and let alone Jennifer, she was winning. It looked like it was really difficult conditions to play in. Certainly once it gets above a certain temperature, it's not comfortable anymore.

Q. Fourth round, you're bound to meet Justine Henin. You played her in Sydney. How do you compare the two Belgian players?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think that they're very, very different. I think people have always talked about Justine maybe being a little bit more talented because she has such a beautiful backhand. But there's no question this last year Kim's kind of overtaken her in how she's improved, her results, her consistency. She was really the one that's taken the step forward. I'm sure Justine's, you know, been practicing really hard to try and keep up with her. But Kim has been quite remarkable in how she has - I've said this before - gotten over the hump of being a 5 to 7 player to make it into the next echelon of women's tennis, and that's very hard to do.

Q. Do you think she is the main challenge to the Williams sisters?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think she's a big one. I don't, like, rate people on if they're the biggest one or second biggest one. But she's definitely one of the top players right now and always has a good chance to win tournaments, when you're that consistent.

Q. Just before the third set, I don't know if it was my imagination, but you just seemed to be flexing your leg a little bit.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not hurt. My legs were just hurt. They weren't tired; they were just kind of getting tight and so I was trying to stretch them on changeovers and trying to stretch them when I was trying to return. She was hitting a lot of good shots and some of the points, you know, just trying to get balls back. It was just a long, kind of tiring match.

Q. What are your thoughts on the EPO tests?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm definitely in favor for it. I think any world-class sport, any Olympic sport, any sport that wants to be respected has to keep up with the drug testing policies of the world.

Q. Do you think that what's in place at the moment is sufficient? Do you think they're on top of any drug problem?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think that they're trying to get better. That's really all you can ask for. I know that in the past our drug testing policy and system hasn't been up to speed with other international sports. I know that they're trying very hard, I was tested out of competition, and I think it was late November. And I know that they're trying to do that more. A little bit of it is a budget issue. I know they're trying to allocate more and more and more money, especially for the women. Now that they're trying to do blood testing, which might be a little scary, but I think overall we have to move in that direction.

Q. Do you have suspicions that some players are taking drugs?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I'm a little naive on all that. I wouldn't know how to get them or how players would actually do them. But, you know, it seems to me that in other sports it happens. I mean, I could not tell you if it happens in tennis. I would not know. But I certainly don't think you could rule it out, that everyone, you know, just hits the ball.

Q. Do you plan on playing a lot of doubles this year?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think I'm going to -- I'm playing doubles as of right now. I thought that this year, you know, was going to be a little bit of a different year. I thought playing with Lisa, who's my best friend on the tour, and who I get along with well, could bring a few more happy moments in the women's tour and get me to enjoy playing again. There's not a lot of people I would enjoy going out there and playing a lot of doubles matches with. It came up that she needed a partner, and that sounded good to me.

Q. When you were tested in November, did they show up at your house?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: They just showed up. I was not at that moment at my house, but then they got a hold of me on my cell phone and told me to get back in the hour, if I could, and I did. I was happy to do it. I have no idea if other players were, if they've let them in or whatever. But, you know, I was always very critical when I was out for six or seven months -- actually, whatever, eight months, that I wasn't tested. So then, they knock on my door in November, and I had to do it. I think it's good.

End of FastScripts….

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