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August 26, 1998

Lindsay Davenport


Q. A tough match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I am exhausted.

Q. Got to be somewhat disappointing. You are obviously looking forward to play. Does a delay affect preparation at all mentally?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I came here to play. I didn't come here to get a default so I am little disappointed. The reason I am here is to play the tournament, to get matches. But there is nothing you can do about it. I mean, you can't get too upset, and now just get ready for tomorrow. The one good thing is that I could have been here all night playing and it would have hurt me for tomorrow. You know, that is probably the best thing. I can come home, rest and get ready for a tough match tomorrow.

Q. You have made, I guess, a serious commitment to get yourself physically fit. You have gone from No. 5 in the world to No. 2. Talk about this year and commitments you have made towards moving up from into the Top 5 elite class?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I really started a couple years ago, practicing more and training harder and really making a full-time commitment. But unfortunately, things don't happen overnight. So it took a couple of months for the hard work to start paying off, and then with that, your confidence has to build to win matches. It doesn't just come from being in better shape. It has been a couple of years, but I think I am just now kind of over the hill and winning matches now. I am feeling better about myself on the court. I am a lot more confident. I think all of that is a combination of a couple of years now of hard work, and I am going to continue to do it. So in a couple of more years I will be even better.

Q. What caused you to make the commitment? Were you just not satisfied with how you were playing or your progress up the ladder ranking-wise?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it was also maturity also. Just getting a little bit older and realizing -- probably I didn't realize 'til I was 19 or 20 that this was actually really what I wanted to do. When I first turned pro, I was in the Top-10 after my first year, but still going to school and not really giving it full-time effort. And I think once I graduated high school, spent a couple of months with playing, that is kind of when I -- after a year or so, I had kind of decided this is my career. I am really going to try my hardest. I know I can be a great player. When I quit, I don't want to have all these doubts. I don't want to say: Well, God, if only I had done this or what if I had done that. That kind of caused me to work harder. But I think it really had to come from within myself. I don't think that people telling me, you know, you have got to do this, you have got to do that would have helped. It really had to be my own decision.

Q. You came here a couple of years ago for an exhibition. Now it is a full-fledged event. How does it differ for you this time around?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: When I came out for the Open ceremonies on Monday night, I thought it was a great size crowd. 6,500 or so on the first night is a great crowd. Unfortunately, I haven't really seen too many matches because I haven't been at the site too much and I really would have liked to play tonight. It seems to me like the fans are real excited to have women here. They have wanted another tournament here for a long time and you just kind have to see how the week goes and assess it after the tournament.

Q. Do you feel it is a big disadvantage not playing tonight?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I talked about that a little bit. I think that I came here to play. I wanted to play matches and it is tough. Anke, my next opponent, already played two matches here. I haven't played one. That is a huge disadvantage. The one positive is that I could have potentially been here very, very late tonight playing. This way I can get out of here early and go rest, I practiced earlier this morning. I got to hit a little bit tonight. So tennis-wise, I feel okay, but match-wise I might be a little off.

Q. I think this time in Atlanta last year, you became an aunt?


Q. How is your niece?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She is doing great. She just turned one years old and she is arriving Tuesday for the US Open. Yeah, that will be really fun. It has been great. That has actually been a high point of my whole year watching her grow and spending a lot of time with her so it will be a lot of fun in New York.

Q. Can you ask to maybe play one of the first matches tomorrow or is that out of your hands?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Because I am not playing doubles and Anke is not playing doubles we will probably play later in the day. People that have to play the singles and the doubles have to kind of get the show on the road earlier so they can play the doubles. The good thing with not playing doubles, it really doesn't matter when you play during the day because you don't have too many matches to play and I don't care what time of day I play. Hopefully it doesn't rain so I can play at some point and so it won't be Friday and I haven't played a match. I will just take whatever happens.

Q. Three tournaments in a row winning, speak a little bit about that.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it was a fantastic run in California; one that could have never imagined. I think finally I thought I was playing well all through May and June and at Wimbledon in July, and when Wimbledon was over, I thought I played well, but I was happy to get back home and onto the hard court season in California. I feel best at California because I grew up there. I am used to all the conditions and it was great in front of my whole family all the three weeks, a lot of friends there, and it was really unbelievable.

Q. Who do you think is the favorite at the US Open and why?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Geez. I don't think there is actually one clear-cut favorite. I have said for the last week I think there is probably about six or seven players that I think they are almost all equal favorites. Martina hasn't had such a dominating season this year and probably going into the US Open with less confidence than earlier in the year. You have got Venus Williams who has played great this year. Monica Seles just won the Canadian Open. Steffi coming back, you can never count her out. Myself, I have had a great summer. I think this is probably the most open Grand Slam that I have competed in in the last -- in the five years that I have been playing.

Q. When you were here, I guess it was 1994, I think you were 18. Kind of shy with the media. Seems like you are a lot more open now. I mean, is that coming along with maturity?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think so. It is tough to play when you are younger. You know, you have to get used to everything that goes around with being a professional and being in the spotlight. I think I have matured a lot in the last couple of years and, you know, I am a lot more outgoing anyways. You just get used to it probably.

Q. Obviously it is nice to advance into the quarters without having to play a match. But any thoughts on maybe a limited number of matches that you are going to get in before the US Open?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It could be good and bad. It could be good in the fact that now at the most I only play three matches and maybe then you won't get so tired. But, like I said, I came here to play. And it is unfortunate. But you can only look ahead now. I mean, hopefully I will get three more matches in at the most. We will see what happens tomorrow.

Q. Any thoughts on Huber your opponent tomorrow?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think that is very tough. Anke has been in the Top-10 for many, many years. She has been out with an injury. She is a player you don't really know what to expect if she is -- obviously she is playing well this week. But, you know, she has been out, so I haven't really seen her play for six months or so. But I know she hits the ball hard. She takes the ball early. It is a very tough match. She is one of those players that you wouldn't want to play because she has done so well for so long.

Q. But you have played so well these last few weeks. You have beaten Seles twice, Graf, Hingis, Venus, you have beaten almost anybody. It is kind of: It doesn't make any difference who you go up against, you have that confidence you can beat anybody it is not come --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Probably, but I am the type of player before every match I will get nervous no matter who my opponent was. And I think that is great. I am always giving my opponent respect and always looking forward to a tough match. I know with Anke it is going to be a very tough match, but I know if I play well, I can win and I am going to win. But, I know also I have to play very well to win. And that is the excitement of tennis, it is only yourself out there. You can only do what you, as a person, can do on that day. So hopefully you can win the match when you are not playing well and hopefully you play well and win.

End of FastScripts…

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