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September 6, 1999

Lindsay Davenport

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

WTA: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. Better than last time?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, yeah. Sometimes it's not such a bad thing to go through a loss, especially if you learn things from losses. I didn't play as well as I -- I didn't play as well as I could have when I played her in LA. I didn't not think she was a good player. Definitely, this time I was a lot more nervous, was really ready to go from point one tonight.

Q. In LA you took her lightly?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I didn't mean to say that. Grand Slam, Round of 16, you're a lot more nervous anyway. I think in LA, like I said, after Wimbledon, some of those tournaments, I just wasn't concentrating, giving it 110% like you need to do every time you go out on the court. Coming here, I've been able to do that again. I don't think she played as well tonight as she did in LA. She played some fantastic tennis also in LA. Part of those two reasons, you know, changes the tide a lot. Tonight I was very focused from point one. Hung in all the games in the second set. Down Love-40 in a couple games. Really happy to win it in a relatively easy manner tonight.

Q. Do you think the surface, which is more quick here, made a difference?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. Faster courts, I always thought I played better on. You can hit it deep. I don't think she had enough time to get back maybe as she did in LA. Maybe the court was a little bit slower. I couldn't be happier the courts are fast.

Q. This is a new experience for you coming in and defending a Grand Slam title. Are you pretty surprised with the ease you're able to do it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I think I've handled it really, really well so far. No matter what happens, though, if I lose tonight or if I lose in the next round or go on to defend the title, I've really enjoyed it, actually. Regardless of how easy the scores have been in my matches, I've played players I think are all in the Top 30. It's not like I've had an easy draw. But I've played very well to have quick matches. I'm playing really well right now. You can change at any time. You can go through the rest of the year. You never know how long it lasts. I'm really enjoying it. I'm looking forward to playing Mary. I haven't played her in quite a few months, maybe; I don't know how long. Looked like she played very well. I saw the tiebreaker today. She was down. Looked like she kept fighting to come back. It's going to be a hard-hitting battle.

Q. I was just listening to you talk about how you don't really enjoy the celebrity aspect. Is there anything that you do enjoy?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I love playing tennis. I love going out there and competing. I love playing in big crowds, or even on small courts, playing tough matches. You know, the question was, "Do you enjoy being a celebrity?" My answer to that was no. I enjoy playing tennis. I don't enjoy necessarily having a lot of attention focused on me or being in the spotlight. That's not a bad thing. That's just how I am. I get a little uncomfortable with that. I like fans. I don't mind that. I didn't mean to say that. All that stuff is great. You know, when I quit tennis, I hope it kind of goes away, back into anonymity.

Q. Any advantages, though, like better tables at restaurants, reservations?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, you could probably do all that. I don't really ever throw my weight around. I've never really tried to see what I could get.

Q. It follows then, did you see the Capriati thing today?


Q. There is somebody who has been through all this and is responding in a different way to it.


Q. What did you feel when you watched that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I just felt bad for her. I mean, she's gone through so much. I think it is true. I think with every person, there's always a story that they love to write. They always like to write how overweight I was and how I almost quit. In every story, I always read that. I go like, "God, that was five, six years ago." You know, it still bothers me. For her, every story, it brings up her past problems, and nothing is ever really focused on the positive things that have come out of it. I think she's a little bit like me in the sense that she loves to play tennis and she loves to compete, or she wouldn't have come back. She doesn't necessarily enjoy reading about herself in the newspaper or going into the media. I read something today that was just the worst article I think I've ever read about her, or anybody, and I felt so bad. I don't know if that's what brought it on today. I felt really bad for her, the whole day, especially after seeing that.

Q. Yet when you're asked when you were heavier, you deal with it.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. That's the thing. You know going into this -- it's the same with Monica. Monica has to answer all these questions that she doesn't like to answer. You have to deal with it. You know, when someone who is a little bit sensitive, and maybe at a time when they're a little fragile and don't want to deal with it in front of everybody, it's hard to repeatedly have to talk about something.

Q. Do you think it might be a cathartic experience for her to have shared what she did today, at least attempt to put these things behind her?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I hope so. I mean, it was a big step. She doesn't ever like to talk about it. She really admitted that she did make mistakes. But I think it was made out a lot worse than her mistakes really were. She wasn't off doing terribly bad things. She was doing what some teenagers go through, and not necessarily on a bad scale. Sometimes it's blown out of proportion. She was, I think, just saying that she did some mistakes that a lot of teenagers do and get off her back. She didn't mean to do it. Everyone has their problems and things that they don't want anyone to find out. Unfortunately for her, they all found out. I think she'll grow from it. She's obviously back as a tennis player. The more confidence she gains, the more comfortable she feels playing; the crowd support she gets is incredible. I think this is a huge step for her and she'll keep getting better.

Q. Do you prefer to play a player that you played recently, even if she beat you, or playing a player that you didn't play for a while and you don't know maybe how fit she is?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think it's good to play somebody recently. I mean, playing Mary, I haven't played her in almost a year. I'm not exactly sure. You don't know exactly what she's doing. I haven't played her over the summer like I have my other opponents here. I played each of them in the summer tournaments. Yeah, you don't know what to expect. Hopefully maybe there's some secret in my game she's not used to either. It goes both ways.

Q. What happened in the first game of the match today?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Gee, I actually thought -- I went out there, started serving. Actually, she hit some great, deep returns. The wind was blowing the other way today, so when I started serving, I thought I was with the wind. After that game I found out quickly that I was against the wind. She hit some great shots. And getting broke in the first game is not the way you want to start off. Fortunately, I was able to break her the first game, get to the next game and then went on to win six games in a row.

Q. How are you filling your time over the course of this couple weeks, your spare time?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I haven't had a whole lot of spare time, just because on the days off, I've been playing doubles. So I've been here most every day for a long time. Yesterday, for many hours waiting to play doubles. My family's here, so I've -- I don't do a lot of, you know, loud, crazy things anyway. I'm mostly in the hotel or going out to dinner. I have a lot of friends in the City. Other than that, I haven't really done anything to get too excited about.

Q. How much does doubles help your style of game? Some players, such as Martina Hingis, are not playing doubles here. The Williams' sisters are. They say they love it. Their father doesn't really want them to play. What's your take on doubles and its effect on the singles?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think at Grand Slams, doubles is great to play because I've played four matches, not necessarily four difficult matches. I've had a lot of days off. So to sort of be able to get back out there and get to play in match situations, and get to play competitive styles on the days off, but at the same time have some fun. My partner is one of my best friends on the Tour, so we have a lot of fun out there. Like I said, it's a way to practice, but still be semi-intense. I think if I was coming out here every other day practicing with my coach or another player -- I like to play doubles, I like to stay competitive and stay fresh out there. I like to play. I didn't play mixed because that gets a little bit too much. But women's doubles I think is great to play.

End of FastScripts…

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