March 10, 1998
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
Q. Not too bad when you get Patrick Rafter for a warm-up act.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Wish he had talked longer.
Q. How hard is it, having beaten her as easily as you have, in the previous two meetings? How hard is it to make yourself focus on the match?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Sometimes it's just as difficult because you've had such good success. You know you should keep it going. But it's also nice going into a match knowing that you have a lot of confidence and that the person's probably scared to play you, or isn't looking forward to also playing you. She just has the type of game that I like to play against. So far, I've had just great success against it.
Q. What is it about her game that you like? Just the pace she gives you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, she doesn't have a very hard serve, so I can try and attack that. She doesn't have like a huge weapon. She likes to run down a lot of balls and get them back in play. But to me, I look at it that she can't really hurt me and hit a lot of winners. It's up to me to hit good shots and to go for it, just always be in control of the match.
Q. Lindsay, you're the defending champion here. This was the first kind of biggy that you won. Do you come in here with a little bit of a sense of pride of ownership, wanting to hold on to that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know ownership. I'm always very excited to play here, by far my favorite stop. I turned pro here five years ago. I won my first big one, like you said, here last year. I know I've always played well here in the years past. So for me, that gets me really psyched to play here. You know, it's even more exciting having the best players here this year. Just looking to do well and to get to maybe to play some of those top players.
Q. You went to high school not too far from here. When you come here, do you feel like the home team?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I love playing anywhere in Southern California. Here, I did go -- I lived about three or four years of my life very near here. I definitely have a lot of local fans, I think, that take interest in me. Also a lot of my friends from Newport Beach come down here. I always feel like I have a little support team here in Indian Wells.
Q. Have you played CACIC much at all?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I only played her once last year in Stanford. I won that match 2-2. You know, looks like she's a different player coming through qualifying, beating Tauziat. You know, each tournament is a little bit different, if the player is hot or not. She's definitely playing well, hits the ball hard. I haven't seen her play too much. I'll just look to play my own game.
Q. I know you don't like to look ahead, that one match at a time thing and all that. If it came down to it, who would you rather play, Steffi or Natasha?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I mean, I would love to play Steffi. I mean, everyone's been real excited for her coming back. It's great to play her to see where she's at. It would be a very exciting match. You know, of course Natasha is my doubles partner. I would want her to win. I mean, it doesn't matter. It would be exciting to play Graf, but it would be nice to see Natasha win.
Q. What is your memory, lingering memory, of the old Steffi Graf back in the old days? Times you've played her before.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I saw her play last night and I thought it was the old Steffi Graf (laughter). I went out there at like 6:45. I thought I'd watch her play. She looked unbelievable last night. That's the Graf I remember. I mean, she looks so good when she's playing well, moves so well, hitting her forehands and backhands really close to the lines, just so dominant. You know, from what I had heard, she hadn't been so dominant yet in some of her matches. Last night she looked awesome again. She'll probably continue it. I don't know.
Q. And knowing her, are you surprised by that, or would you --
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. When I heard she was out and pulling out at a couple tournaments and delaying her comeback, I thought this is a girl who has won twenty-one Grand Slam titles -- loves to win, hates to lose. She's not going to come back till she can win a tournament, till she knows she can play at the level she wants to play at. When she pulled out of Australia, I knew she'd take a few more weeks to get ready. I think all the players know she's only going to play a tournament if she can win it.
Q. Are you playing well enough to win here, do you think?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I've played well my first two matches. I haven't been tested yet. But you can't really tell until you get to the later rounds and you play the good players. You can sometimes struggle just in the first couple rounds and then your game comes together. You can just play great, and then you never know. So I'm just keeping it one match at a time and looking to keep advancing.
End of FastScripts....