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September 10, 1999

Lindsay Davenport

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

WTA: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. What wasn't working for you out there?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, if you look at it, probably a few points would have made the difference in the third set. I had a few breakpoints. I had a game point the game I was broken in. You know, sometimes if those just go the other way, maybe it would have been a different story. But she was hitting the ball really hard and deep. After the first set, I was trying to be more aggressive. I was. I played great in the second set. In the third set, just a few more errors crept in. She started serving a little bit better in the third than in the second set. Like I said, those few points went her way. That's the way it goes sometimes.

Q. When you're playing a very long game like you had in this match, do you sometimes get the feeling that whoever wins that game is going to win the match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You never know. Sometimes it goes that way. I mean, but at 4-3 in the third when you're trying to break back, that's probably a good time to do it, or it's running out of time. Every breakpoint I had, she just hit a huge, huge first serve. I never got a second serve. I never got a serve, I don't think, slower than 105. She just played those points really tough and served well.

Q. Were you surprised that she held her composure throughout?


Q. How disappointing is it to you not to be able to defend?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's disappointing, especially when you lose a close match like that. I had some chances; didn't take advantage of the ones I had. The other day, it went for me. Today, it went against me. It's disappointing, but I'm not ashamed of the way I played today or my performance. I lost to a player who's a very, very good player. This happens to be her first time in a Grand Slam final, but she's had a great year. I mean, there's nothing to be too down about. I'm upset I lost, but at the same time I can look at it as she just played a better match.

Q. Can you look at what she did today, the fact that she kind of tanked there in the second set, and say, "She's able to win the US Open tomorrow"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Because I won the second set 6-1?

Q. Yes. The fact that you dominated her in the second set.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She's had three sets for a few matches. I don't think that matters necessarily if you win in two or three. I think it depends a lot on who she plays. She obviously has a hard time playing her sister. Maybe she should want Martina to win.

Q. Is she in a way tougher to play than her sister? How do you compare?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't really have a preference. I think she serves better than Venus does. But Venus maybe doesn't make as many errors. They're similar, but there's a lot of differences between the two. So game-wise, didn't really compare. I was happy to get a chance to play Serena. I've played Venus so many times in my career. I was thinking, "I'd rather play Serena than Venus," because I played Venus so many times this year. They're both very good players.

Q. Can you talk about how much better she's gotten in the last six, nine months?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, a lot better. Lot better.

When you go for shots like she does, you're going to make errors. She cut that down tremendously from what she did a year ago. She's always had a good serve. She seems now to make some first serves in some bigger moments of a match. But a lot of that's just playing more. I mean, she didn't play many matches until she's probably, you know, 16. She skipped so many years. Probably playing a few years on the Pro Tour helped her kind of play matches better.

Q. Are you surprised she's come along, given the unorthodox way they went about it?


Q. Did the two-hour rain delay affect your preparation mentally and physically?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It goes both ways. You know, it affects everyone's preparation when the rains come. But once I got out there, the first couple games went by, I felt warm. I think it's overrated sometimes that you need to hit 45 to 60 minutes before a match. I did the best I could to get warmed up. I was ready to go. But you always like it to go according to plan. You have to be flexible sometimes. I don't think that was too big a factor.

Q. You had a short ball that would have given you Love-30. Looking back, was that a huge moment?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, there was a couple big moments, in earlier games, that point maybe. At 2-3, I had Love-15, 15-30, both second serves. It's sometimes those points that you need to take advantage. Doesn't need to be a 4-3 breakpointer. Sometimes it's more subtle points earlier in the set. Yeah, I mean, you got to make those shots probably to get Love-30 on her serve. But, you know, who knows?

Q. The last three serves that she threw at you were 115, 108 and then 77. What is it about her serve? Is it the power, deception? Is she getting to be a smarter server?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. She can serve a lot of serves well. She throws in, like you said, 115, then she'll slow it up. She has a great kick serve. She has a great serve, one of the better serves in women's tennis, if not the best serve. She mixes it up better than her sister does. That's what you have to deal with, deal with the serve, get them back, but still be aggressive. It's a hard thing to do.

Q. How was that especially effective on hard court?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, especially a fast hard court, you know, if you're serving well, this court's very fast, it's a lot easier to hold serve when you're serving well than on a slower court. Gives her a big advantage, especially when she's serving well.

Q. Obviously you would prefer to be in the final, but can you look at it and say, "Might be neat to see the Williams sisters" now that you're not there?


Q. If someone came up to you at the beginning of the year and said, "Sorry, you won't be able to defend The Open, but you're going to win Wimbledon," what would you say?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I would have taken it.

Q. What are your thoughts on the year as a whole then?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's been a magnificent year that I won Wimbledon. Other than that, it's been okay. It hasn't been tremendous. Winning Wimbledon definitely helped a lot. My performance in Grand Slams was very good this year. I think semis, quarters, win and semis. You know, I'm giving myself a lot of chances to get through. I gave myself some chances at this tournament when I could have maybe been out in the quarters. Some of the other tournaments I haven't played my best, not as focused. I'm going to have to change that at the end of the year. No more Grand Slams left.

Q. There was a lot of anticipation for this match. Did it feel different walking out there? Pete says when he plays Andre, it feels different.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I didn't. I thought they were excited we were finally playing because of the rain. But it was a great day. I mean, I'm sure this next match is going to be a good match, as well. I'm glad we played a good match. I'm sorry I didn't win the few points that I needed to, but, you know, it was a good match. That's important.

Q. How do you handle balancing doubles and singles? Do you look at doubles as, "Let's see how far we can get, practice for singles"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, the focus is always on singles. You play doubles to practice a little bit, to get back out on the court instead of just always practicing. I mean, I totally focus on my singles. If something happens in the doubles, that's great. If not, you play the singles.

End of FastScripts....

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