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June 27, 2000

Lindsay Davenport


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Lindsay Davenport.

Q. Obviously it's not the way you wanted to advance to the next round. Can you talk about what you think happened to your friend?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know at this point what exactly her injury is. Obviously the first couple days on a grass court, it's a lot slicker. You know, I think the ball went behind her, she slipped and fell and landed on her left side, which if there is a good thing, it's her left arm. She was having trouble moving. The doctor wasn't sure if she dislocated it or hurt a bone. They took her to the hospital. I don't know yet. It's a very bittersweet way to win. You know, it's good I won the first set with two breaks. I was going to have breakpoint in the beginning of the second. Especially when it happens to a good friend, I mean, it's terrible.

Q. How cleanly do you think you were hitting the ball that first set?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Okay. Nothing unbelievable. Nothing horrible, though. It was much better than last week. It's getting better slowly in practise, so that's good. I still have quite a bit of ways to go probably until I'm hitting the ball the way I want to be hitting it.

Q. The back now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, the back's good, which is great. Physically I feel good. It's just now, like I said a couple days ago, just trying to get my game better and better and get more confidence. That's when you hit the ball better, the more confidence you have.

Q. I think it was Australia where you said you weren't hitting the ball quite as you wanted to, but kept kind of going. You kept saying, "It's not quite right yet."

Q. I think in the semis you said, "This is it." Is it the same kind of thing?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, hopefully. You have to kind of keep going and not try and worry about it too much. When the shots come, they're going to come. Like I said, I mean, the improvement I've made in a week has been pretty big. That's something to look positive about. I thought I was playing pretty well. Like I said, nothing spectacular, but nothing awful. But, again, I have a difficult match in my next round, I think against Likhovtseva. There's no time to sit back and enjoy it. I've got to get ready for the next round.

Q. You don't have so far to go --?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think I'm much closer to where I want to be than I have the last few weeks. That's good.

Q. Your serve can be a bigger weapon than it is on other surfaces. Can you assess that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I thought I served very well today. The one thing I did well was serve. Hopefully my serve is going to allow me to, you know, hold my serve relatively easy on the grass and win a lot of free points that way. Then that way you kind of loosen up. Then when you're receiving, you can go for a few more shots, feel a bit better about my groundstrokes. So the most important thing is to keep serving well. Hopefully then you kind of get back in the flow of hitting your other shots just as well.

Q. Is there a point in your career where your serve really jumped over to the higher plateau and became a much bigger weapon than it was? If so, how did that come about?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it took a few years. Even though I would see improvement in practise, let's say, '97 , sometimes in matches you kind of revert to going back to your old serve. But in '98 it was still getting better. I really think it was last year, the beginning of '99, to where I really felt that my serve was a weapon and that every time I go out there, you know, you shouldn't lose serve. If you hold your serve all the time, you can then break serve. Like I said, I think it was the beginning of last year where I felt like I could hit any serve I wanted. Obviously you have your favorite serves, but just a lot more confidence with it.

Q. Is there a tip that Robert gave you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: There were many tips over many years. But I think the most important thing was just, you know, really throwing it out in front, really trying to reach forward, reach up, not pull down. It's tough to move your toss after playing tennis for 12 years. You kind of get stuck where you want it to be. Really out in front, you know, hit some more spins on it. All of that just took time.

Q. It looks like your chances to possibly also duplicate the doubles might have diminished today. Is that something that's very disappointing or maybe since you're coming off an injury, almost better that you might not have as many matches?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it's obviously disappointing, but the most important thing is to see what's wrong. You know, hopefully the prognosis is she can play again in a month or something where it's not so terrible. You know, I couldn't play doubles in Paris. If she can't play here, it's obviously disappointing to not try and defend. But it's something very obviously understandable. You know, maybe I'll play mixed now. I'd love to go play matches and feel at this point that's going to help me. It would be disappointing not to play the doubles, but there's other things to concentrate on. Hopefully I can get matches, like I said, maybe in mixed or something else.

Q. Talking about defending, how much did you actually enjoy all the two o'clock thing, walking out?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was great. It was really fun. You know, before I went on, it's funny to think about I reached the point to where I was defending champion. You think about it for a long time, for the whole year. The time came today. So that was pretty exciting before I went on to think that a whole year had gone by almost, that I was going back out there to defend. I liked it. I mean, it's the most amazing court in the whole world to play on. You can feel it every time you go out there. Alan Mills said to me, obviously unfortunate circumstances, we're waiting to see what happened with Corina, he said, "Remember last time we were sitting here?" Obviously a place that had special memories for me. It's unfortunate what happened today, but I hope to get back out there again.

Q. It's probably a question that's been asked of every defending Wimbledon Champion that sits up there, but do you think the other Grand Slams should do that and make more of the defending champion coming out?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's pretty special. I think so. I think that's something in a way to honor them, something that then you know you can look forward to. Winning a Grand Slam is tough. It's very special. It would be nice the next year to still get slightly recognised for what you achieved the year before. I think it's a great idea.

Q. You and Martina Hingis and Steffi Graf all have something in common: you have coaches for a long, long period of time. You didn't change coaches, in a sport where many players change coaches every six months. What do you lose when you change coaches so often?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think you would lose -- I mean, you'd have to lose a little bit of confidence. You know, for me, it's always been important to have someone there that you trust and, I know in my mind, cares about me more in the big picture than how I'm hitting my forehand or how I'm hitting my serve. I think there's something to be said about loyalty and going through the bad times, like I said, fighting out the rough times and the losses to where you get to enjoy the good times. You learn what you need to work on, what's right. You know, I think it's a shame people look to scapegoats all the time and say, "It's my coach, he's gone, she's gone," instead of just really trying to make things work. I mean, I always said that the whole reason I'm here is probably my coach. I guess I'm lucky to just find a good one.

Q. At the end of the Ericsson, you were pretty worn out mentally, I think. Where are you mentally now at this point?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Now I'm just ready to play again (laughter). You know, it's been eight weeks of injuries and not hardly playing. So mentally in terms of matches, I'm excited to go out there. I feel rusty playing matches. But it's something you can get back, like I said, the more matches I play. I'm ready to get back out there and play again.

Q. You're feeling fresh?


Q. What have you heard about or read about Tauziat's book?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I've read a few lines, obviously what she said about girls that get attention, stuff she said about Halard and her husband. From what I actually heard about her saying in the locker room, they're not really translating it all that correctly. Is that wrong (laughter)? She said that. I don't know. I don't know all that much. She said it probably wasn't coming out in English. I don't know.

Q. What has the reaction been?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think it's been bad. I've always gotten along well with her. I think most of the other players do. But there hasn't been a huge reaction from it. I don't think she said anything mind-blowing or anything that was, you know, going to kill anybody.

Q. Was there anything important that she said that you are kind of glad she said?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, I think she just said what people probably already know.

Q. Years ago a baseball pitcher Jim Bouton wrote a book about what was going on around the clubhouse for a year. It's like an unwritten code, you're not supposed to tell those stories. Was there any feeling that she broke this unwritten code?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I think she could have told a lot more (laughter). I think all of these players could write a much better book (laughter). No. Like I said, I don't think she said anything all that outrageous or something that the players were like, "Oh, my gosh, I don't believe she said that." I don't think that happened.

Q. Do you change your fitness regimen at all before you come to Wimbledon, and when you're here do you kind of back off training a bit?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think if there was more time before the grass, I think players would train a little bit differently. Unfortunately, coming off the clay, there's just not all that much time. Obviously you'd like to do more lower bodywork with lunges, getting your legs stronger. There's not that much time. I think the most important thing is actually just getting used to moving on grass. It can be a shock to the body. The points are going to be shorter so you don't probably have to be in cardiovascularly the greatest of shape, just be strong and explosive.

Q. During the event, do you go to the gym, go running?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not right now. I'm trying to do very small maintenance stuff just to keep my back and body in order, just try and play my matches right now and see what happens.

Q. Would we be correct that you would prefer not to look at Dominique Van Roost on the other side of the net in the near future?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not necessarily. I think I've gotten a good opponent at some times where I haven't played that well. I mean, I'm pretty confident that if I play well, I can beat every player out here. Last week I didn't play well. The conditions weren't great. The time before, I mean, didn't play that well either. What can you do? I mean, she's also got a tough draw, I think, especially today. That's so many rounds away right now. If I get there, I'll be happy and see if I get another chance.

Q. Just going back to the book, some of the criticisms have been made recently about arrogance amongst players on and off the court. McEnroe made some last night about arrogance and humility. Do you think humility is very important whether it's on or off the court?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it depends who you're talking about. I think some players need a little bit of arrogance and some players don't. You know, for myself, I've never believed that I need to personally tell people that I'm a great tennis player, you know, I'm No. 1 in the world or won Grand Slams or whatever. But some people, you know, like to do that or need to do that, and need to feel that recognition. Everybody's different. I see things differently than a lot of players on a lot of issues. Who knows.

End of FastScripts….

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