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March 12, 1998

Lindsay Davenport


VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. Did you have any notion what was happening?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I was very surprised when she called the trainer because the game before that she was still running okay. I did see something, I think it was at I want to say 30-15 maybe. Definitely grabbed her leg after I missed the serve. From then on, she didn't move for a ball. I think she definitely aggravated it or really hurt it at that one moment. And then it was obvious that she wasn't going to move, or she was in serious pain.

Q. Is it kind of bittersweet? Obviously it's great to win.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, definitely, because everyone's going to be talking she pulled out, she got hurt at the end. I think we played two and a half sets of good tennis, great tennis. We were both trying so hard. You know, unfortunately that's going to be the main headline, "Graf injured, withdraws," instead of saying we both played pretty darn well the first couple sets.

Q. Can you assess where she's at as a player?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I didn't see that she was too far off, you know, her old self. Like I said a couple days ago, all the players knew she was only going to play if she was playing well and fit. You know, she was playing very well. She's only going to get better the more she plays. Unfortunately, she wasn't -- I mean not unfit, but she just got hurt.

Q. Several people said it was the best women's tennis they've ever seen or seen in a long time. Were you aware that it was being played at this level?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I was having a great time. I mean, when I started to lose in the second set, she was just coming up with unbelievable shots every time I had some opportunities. You know, I was going for my shots, hitting the ball hard. Of course, you make a few errors. But there were some unbelievable shots hit. I thought it was a great tennis match. I knew in the third set, win or lose, I was giving it my all. Like I said, unfortunately it's going to be remembered for her getting hurt.

Q. Lindsay, can you play any better than you did out there tonight?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Who knows? I mean, I played unbelievable tonight. It's very tough to play Steffi with her great serve and her slice is just so low, I was just trying to get it back in. Who knows? I mean, I played pretty well in Tokyo in the finals against Hingis. You never know. It was pretty good, though.

Q. Does this cause you to question whether Steffi will be able to resume the position that she once had in the women's game?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. I mean, everybody gets hurt like that. I mean, not necessarily in that stage of a match, but a lot of players get injured all the time. It seems she's had more than her fair share over the last two or three, four years. But the way she played, no. The way she played, I thought she was definitely in the Top 5, playing great tennis. Physically, it's going to probably be a bigger challenge to see if she can get back.

Q. Is this just another step for you of coming off of Martina in Tokyo, in your mind cement your position as one of the top 2 or 3 in the world?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, coming in here when I saw the draw, people were telling me, "Graf is in your half." I kept hearing on TV, "Graf/Hingis final." I thought, we'll see. I'm going to try my hardest not to see that. I wanted to get to tonight's match and show people I could play good tennis. You know, we were playing some great tennis there for a while. I move on, like someone said, bittersweet. But I'm going to go for the title again. I've got nothing to lose on Saturday.

Q. Do you go to bed tonight having learned a bit more about yourself as a player?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I think, you know, I was nervous coming out here. You know, I played really well. I'm very happy. I'm going to go to bed happy, I think.

Q. Any preference as to who you play on Saturday?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, that's what they asked me on the TV interview. I don't think so. I mean, Martina, No. 1 player in the world, you've got nothing to lose. I know if I play her, she'll probably be out for a little revenge, because I beat her last time. Venus beat me last week in Oklahoma City. I'd like to get her back at one point. Either player, it's a star, go for it.

Q. Have you defended titles before? Have you won back-to-back titles before?


Q. What would it mean to you to do that here? What have they been?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: What have they been? I don't think I've ever defended a higher than a tier three. I think -- I don't know. Ask one of them later.

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: We'll check on that. This was your first Tier 1 win last year.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: To Wimbledon it -- it -- it's maybe not defending the title as winning the tournament that I like to play most on the Tour. My whole family is here. I've got a lot of friends here. I've had a lot of fun here. That probably would mean more than necessarily defending it.

Q. More than playing a Grand Slam, Lindsay?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I never won a Grand Slam. But I love playing here. I've always had an unbelievable time here. You know, obviously I love to win a Grand Slam. You know, I'll take Indian Wells.

Q. Does it kind of get the adrenaline going, a match at this level, Lindsay?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, when I was down 5-3, Love-40 in the second set, you know, I just started going for it. I was getting so pumped that I was coming back, coming back. Then I saved another set point. Just hit a forehand in the bottom of the net to lose the set. I went down real fast. I went from being real happy and excited to a little down. I was able to get it back up. I'm definitely sure it will be hard to fall asleep. I'm sure I'll be up for a couple of hours now.

Q. You mentioned fun. Are you still having as much fun as your first years? Is that an important element in your sustaining yourself on the Tour?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, tonight, coming out here, I didn't feel any pressure. Before the match, I talked to my coach. I went, "I kind of feel like the underdog." When I was hitting good shots, I was enjoying them. A couple points were unbelievable points. When I won them, I was having a good time. When you play matches like that, you have a good time. Some of the other matches I should probably try a little harder to have a better time. But tonight I had a good time. Probably feel the same way on Saturday no matter who I play.

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Any last question for Lindsay?


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