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August 30, 1997

Lindsay Davenport

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Talk about the first set.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, you know, I started off a little bit slow. I had a couple of chances to break her maybe the first game -- next game she served, but, it just went by so fast. I thought she played-- I definitely missed a lot, but every time I did get the ball in, seemed like she hit a winner. I mean, I remember looking at the court, we split sets. It was like 42 minutes and we were going into a third set. I was like that doesn't sound normal. But both sets just went by so fast. I couldn't really think what happened. Just was a blur.

Q. In the third game of that third set, you seemed to sort of write yourself. What was going through your mind? What was the process that all of a sudden your strokes -- you raised the level of your game?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, you know, I started off the third set getting down 2-Love right away. I had started to making a couple more errors again, and maybe playing her forehand a bit too much, I think. 2-Love, I think she was actually serving at 30-15 and A huge game to win. I know she came up with a good return, to maybe get to 30-All and another good return to break her and I knew that was a really pivotal game. I did not want to get down 30-Love -- 3-Love in the final set, and, you know, my shots just went in that game which was really, I don't know, lucky or good thing. Then I felt a lot more confident after that game.

Q. How much, when you are raising your game, of that is mental? How much of that is physical in the middle of a match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it is a little bit of both. I knew how important that game is, but sometimes when you know how important it is, you play worse. Sometimes you get maybe too nervous, "Oh, like I can't lose this game." I was able to stay relaxed, but yet, you know, know the importance of trying to get back in the third set early and not let her get up to much. So, you know, luckily I broke right back.

Q. Is there something that a left-hander has that poses more difficulty for you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think for anybody. I mean, there is hardly any lefties on the women's Tour, when you do play them, it takes a while to get used to returning that serve. You know, first of all, it slides away from a two-handed backhand which is harder to reach sometimes. Also, you have a different spin coming into the forehand coming into you instead of going away from you which is a righty serve. It is definitely difficult to return and I know I will play a lefty now in my next round, so, I am definitely going to try hit with a lefty tomorrow and the next day.

Q. It is always such a struggle for you to tell yourself to get to the net and then early in the match every time you did, you sort of got punished for it. Do you keep saying -- do you stick with it and say: "I have got to do this," or do you abandon it at some point, struggle with that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I abandon a bit with her because she is pretty talented with her hands and can pass -- hit cross-court and down the line and, you know, it definitely was not working too good in the beginning. But, it is not so much coming to net, but maybe taking balls early and moving forward; then a lot of my shots get a lot more power. And, then, in my own mind, I am being aggressive. So, a lot of times it is moving forward. Whether that then means coming into volley or hopefully the girl won't get the shot back.

Q. This might sound like a strange question given you are only 21 years old. Is it getting to be late for you to win a Grand Slam event?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think so. I don't think --

Q. I asked this because only one woman in 30 years has won a Grand Slam after she turned 20.


Q. Virginia Wade?


Q. Her first one, I mean, I am sorry.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, I am like -- oh.

Q. Sorry.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think so. I do not think you have to be 15 to do well on the Tour, but I don't think so. I think, you know, if I am playing well, I can definitely win this tournament. I think this was a big match for me to get through and I will keep taking it one match at a time. But, you know, Novotna has gotten very close a couple of times and she is a little bit older and Mary Joe has gotten close a couple of times and I think at some point in my career, hopefully, I will do it.

Q. Do you feel closer to the players coming up, Hingis, Kournikova, or to the players a generation above you, like Novotna, Steffi?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I feel right in the middle both of them. I think Kournikova and Hingis, they are both very nice. I consider them friends of mine and I consider Novotna and Arantxa and Mary Joe and players like that, friends of mine. I consider Anke Huber, who is my age, so I think players like Mary Pierce and myself are right in the middle and we know both generations or both groups.

Q. You are the last one who is in the tournament who beat Martina. Do you think you can, on a consistent time, play on her level, or do you think --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: My problem is getting to her and then, you know, every time I have played her we have played, you know, great matches, but she is much more consistent and solid, obviously, than every other player, and especially me. I am concentrating in this tournament to get through every match and pull out the matches where maybe you don't play so well and keep going. I am trying to get to the semis to play one of the top seeds.

Q. Given that you are in between these two generations, yourself and Pierce, and Huber, do you guys kind of feel like the lost generation, the generation that hasn't slammed yet?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't necessarily consider it lost. I think -- I think it is kind of nice. I think, you know, I think there really are three groups right now in age-wise, and I think my group has done pretty well Pierce has won a Grand Slam. Majoli has won a Grand Slam. I won the Olympics, I don't know, we are not doing too bad.

Q. Do you think maybe because the middle child is always left out?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: We are really jealous. (Laughter.) No. No, I think, you know, like I said, we understand why Kournikova, Venus and Martina get a lot of attention, and, you know, and then there is those of us who cheered really hard for Novotna to win Wimbledon because we wanted to see her win, so, it goes both ways I think.

Q. Mark Woodforde said the other day he thought top singles players should play doubles because it makes their game more complete. What has it done for your game?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I am actually starting to disagree with that a little bit. I have always played a lot of doubles and mixed sometimes, and I know this summer I didn't play any doubles and I feel great coming in here. And I won a lot of singles matches. I think it does a lot for the game. It does help the volley. It does help you play, but if you are winning a lot of singles matches, you don't necessarily want to go back out there for a couple of hours and play doubles, or, you know, have to go back out there later in the day. So, right now, I am not too sure. I think it could the help people's game a lot and it does help my game a lot, but if it gets me tired, it is not going to help my singles.

Q. Last year's Open was a disappointment?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it was a disappointment, but it is not as big a disappointment as other Grand Slams. I ran into a player who that night played extremely well and I didn't really have a chance, I didn't think, in that match, once it got to the third set. So, it is not as big a disappointment in my career, the biggest, no.

Q. If you have to name one thing which makes the biggest difference between Martina and the rest of you guys, what is it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think there is a lot. But, just her ability to always play well when she needs to, or when it is close or at the right time.

Q. Speaking about the younger generation, do you feel old or wise, do you feel any of that, like a veteran?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I really don't feel old. I feel definitely a little bit more experienced. Sometimes that is a little bit of a confidence, knowing that, you know maybe, you have played a lot more matches than them. But I still like myself and the other players who are in my generation or whatever, are still very good and very threatening.

Q. Will you go watch the Novotna/Lucic match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I will now because I am going to be here. For sure, I think everybody is very interested in Lucic and how she plays. I know I saw her play about one point the other night. They showed it on TV. So, I have never seen her play. So, hopefully I can watch a bit of it since I am still here.

Q. Are you more interested because you would be one round away from facing --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh! I didn't look at the draw. (Laughter.) No, that is not why. But (Laughter.) No, I am very interested. Novotna is my doubles partner and a good friend of mine and Lucic is obviously the new player to watch. There are so many players to watch, but the new good one. I think it is going to be very interesting first to see how this girl handles the pressure of a night match in a Grand Slam and to see how Novotna can fend her off.

Q. Lindsay, given your Grand Slam history, would you rather at this point play a higher seeded player who you know you can get out there and hit with or an unseeded player like Schnyder who you are a little bit unsure of?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think I feel better in this Grand Slam than the others of not matter -- not caring who I play. I knew Schnyder was going to be very tough and I had a tough match with her at the French and I was worried about this match. She is very good. But I think playing a lot of matches and winning a lot of matches this summer has made me not so worried about who I play and all that. I know next round I play Serna, another unseeded lefty, who I played a couple weeks ago in Canada and had a pretty close match with 5 and 4. But, I am looking to keep going through and I am not going to worry about who it is right now.

Q. Have you ever had chance to sit down with Venus and talk when she would how hang out in the locker room at all? If so, could you share --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She doesn't really talk to anybody. So I have never said a word to her.

Q. Does that bother you in any way?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It doesn't bother me one bit. I mean, Kournikova is very friendly. Lucic has been around; been very friendly. Venus just doesn't seem to want to talk to any of us. So, I think all of us are fine with that.

Q. Have you approached her at all and said --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I walked by her once at Indian Wells. I said, hello, facing her. She went "pooosh", okay, I learned not to do that again.

Q. So she had a game face on?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I guess. I don't know.

Q. Do you think the attitude that - not that I would characterize the attitude, if there is an attitude, toward or among other players, will it change slightly since she beat Anke; now she has actually done something?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Players definitely respect her. Not like fear her. We don't want to play her, I mean, she is very good and very dangerous. And, she is going to be a great player, there is no question. And she does have this mystique because nobody knows her and nobody has talked to her. So, it is definitely just a different scenario.

Q. But don't you think it makes a difference now that she beat someone of --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She definitely has more credibility. I think she had a lot of attention before she won a lot of matches and, you know, some players didn't like that at all, but I think she has earned it. I think she is going to be great. I think her athleticism is by far better than most of the other players on the Tour. She has beaten now Majoli and Huber. I think she is going to go a lot farther in this tournament.

Q. How does your game and confidence compare to a year ago at this time?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think my game is a lot better. A little bit more consistent. I think I have ways to back up myself when I am not playing so good. But, you know, I have been thinking a lot more consistent the last couple months. Like I said, I will just try to keep it going.

Q. When this happened with Venus in Indian Wells, was it before your match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was the day of the match so I think I said that out of context. She definitely is a player that has her game face on a lot, and it was before the match, so, you know, some players definitely like their privacy before a match. So maybe my fault for saying what I did being friendly. It was the day of the match.

Q. Did it make you feel like, "All right, well, now I am just going to go out and beat her pretty bad?"

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It did. Okay, I want to win.

Q. She does an interesting thing that you never have which is she uses her size to intimidate people.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She is very intimidating.

Q. Constantly draws attention to it.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, she is very proud to be 6'2". I am not as proud. That is for sure.

Q. Would you ever like to be smaller in height?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I don't know. It is very tall for a girl, I think, I have definitely learned that. But, also, she is a much better athlete. She is faster. She can jump a lot higher. And, I think she is very coordinated for being that tall and I think that is something that I wish I had, for sure.

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