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August 25, 2008

Lindsay Davenport


6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you play?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I thought I played pretty well, considering, you know, I haven't really played since April and had been injured.
I knew I drew a tough opponent in the first round, so happy to have played the way I did, and get through in the scoreline in the fashion I did.

Q. What did you injure?

Q. What's gone on in the interim that allowed you to play?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I have no idea. Just a lot of rest, and, you know, some therapy and stuff. All of a sudden just right before the Olympics it seemed to turn a corner. I have no idea what happened, but it feels better now.

Q. Which knee, Lindsay?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's my right knee.

Q. Between Sharapova being out and the Olympics having taken place, do you think this is a good year for a lot of unheralded players to make a move?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's funny, I almost look at it the other way. I look at it as a time it's better maybe for the veterans, not like me, but people that have played a lot. They know how to handle sometimes the circumstances of traveling and of adjusting and getting used to a new big tournament.
I think everyone at the top is well aware of what the summer was going to bring. You know, I would think that after being -- everyone's been back from Beijing for eight days at the minimum now, I think everyone is ready for the US Open and kind of concentrating on that now.

Q. There's no Olympic hangover? These players know what's coming, they're used to the travel?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: That's my philosophy on it. I don't think that Serena has an Olympic hangover. You know, I don't know. I wasn't there.
I haven't talked to any of the Russians about it, but I think everyone is fired up enough for the US Open and ready to go here.

Q. By pulling out of the singles at the Olympics, was it more calculated with the thought of saving your knee for the doubles, or was it that it was in that much pain?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I mean, it was the first time when I got to Beijing that my knee felt good. I was actually a little bit like -- I was walking around the court like I don't know what to do right now (laughter.) I was so used to it hurting.
At that moment I had not practiced one day for singles. I was hoping to give it a shot, I mean, but on top of playing singles and doubles, the weather, my knee, I didn't know if it would hold up at all.
I just chose. I thought the safest thing was to play doubles, and I'm glad I did. I got a lot move confidence in my body by playing those doubles matches. Even the match we lost was over three hours and I came away walking away unscathed, so I was happy with that.

Q. Two years ago you sat in that chair and you fielded a lot of questions about how much longer you were going to play and how much longer your body...
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: And now I just ignore those questions, because I know you're not going to ask me one of those, right?

Q. Absolutely not. I'm going to ask you if it feels like deja vu a bit? Do you feel like you're kind of back to where you were at that point?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it feels like a whole different element this year. You know, two years ago here I obviously didn't have a child then to worry about and made this comeback and have taken some time off.
But I think each time I play a Grand Slam I always think that, Oh, this could be my last time playing here. I've obviously learned that I have no idea what the future kind of holds and what will happen, and I don't make decisions for the future anymore from this day that I'm living in.
But, sure, I'm here. I mean, I'm so excited to be back here. I didn't think I would be back playing. You never know how many more chances you'll get to be playing here.

Q. You were a 14-year-old girl here; you are a 32-year-old woman, a mother right now. Your life has obviously changed considerably, as it should from 14 to 32. If you can look back at the span of the years and think about what this tournament has meant to you in those years and the maturity and your thoughts.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, it's so hard to kind of paraphrase that into this short press conference. But, I mean, I started out here. The first year I got a wildcard into the main draw and I had played in the juniors before thinking that I was way out of my league and that I was just so fortunate to be able to walk on the grounds and that I can't believe the USTA let me have a wildcard and I'll never forget this day.
To, you know, obviously becoming a champion of it to then becoming a player with really good results and now coming back as a mom and as a former No. 1 and the champion, I mean it's just all overwhelming. I've always said that I never thought when I was growing up and playing that I would ever be in a champion-like position.
So to look back, I mean, to go back year by year, I mean, I changed so much each year, and it was such a learning process for me to get to the point in '98 where I actually thought I could win.
When I did prevail, took a lot of years to get there.

Q. Are your motivations and goals the same, or is there some kind of different perspective or knowing where you are as a player now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I still think I can do well if I can stay healthy. It's obviously been a battle this year, and a battle that it's been hard to fight. But really, the Olympics and the US Open have kind of kept me going.
But I really don't have any performance goals, because I don't know really what will happen. My biggest thing is I feel like if I can stay healthy I give myself a chance to do well.
I don't know what well kind of means anymore, but I'm just shooting to play well, and today was a good step.

Q. Is that one of the biggest differences from when you were the best player in the world?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, yeah. I don't obviously have the confidence that I had those years just by the lack of play and the lack of matches compared to normal years that I played.
And just at this age I never know what can go wrong anymore.

Q. Can you talk about how your daily practice schedule and everything has changed from being a mother from the way it was before?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, ironically it didn't actually change too much. I've always been someone, since about the early 2000 years, that I've only hit once a day. I hit around the same time, around 10:00, and I practice a minute from my house. My son comes down and there's a playground right there, so he alternates between running around one court and playing on the playground.
Then he goes down for his nap and I go to work out and I come home. Sometimes I'm there when he wakes up and sometimes it's a little bit later. That's about it.
My focus -- I do what I can do to play well, but it's not taking up my whole day. I don't know if that's good or bad. It's kept me fresh all these years, but I know players have a lot more brutal schedules at home than I do.

Q. Since the Olympics was your original motivation for coming back, was it crushing from having to withdraw from the singles? Did it feel incomplete?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it did didn't. And I kind knew at Wimbledon that that could be the case. A few weeks later I was talking to the USTA, and, you know, I kind of -- I kind of knew -- I think the accomplishment of making the team and being in Beijing and then -- like obviously being able to play healthy in the doubles, I would have loved to have brought home a medal in that but we came up just short.
It didn't feel incomplete. It actually felt fantastic. I had such a great time there. I was glad I was able to qualify for the team and be a part of it.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Olympic experience other than on court?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, it was fantastic, yeah. I think obviously when you get older you have a different perspective on it, so, you know, this time I was definitely focused and kind of living in the moment and enjoying the experience.
I stayed in the Village, tried to go to other events, tried to obviously get to know some of the other American athletes I didn't know already. I just loved it. It was fantastic.

Q. Did you talk to Dara Torres at all?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I didn't. Some of the swimmers weren't staying there in the Village. I don't -- maybe she was. We had a couple buildings. I never saw her.

Q. Were you subjected at all to the volleyball players and coaches who had to go through that terrible personal tragedy?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Personally, no. My mom, yes. She was calling me in the first few hours trying to figure out who it was. Yeah, it was tough for my family, you know. And I know a lot of the players that played, and to see them was really tough.
It was one of those things yesterday when NBC showed them winning the gold medal, I mean, I was crying. It means a lot. Volleyball has always been the sport of my family, and they were really proud of everybody.
You know, I was happy to make it out to a few games. The tennis world they say is such a small world, and the volleyball world is such a tiny world in USA volleyball. So, you know, it resonated more so to my parents than me, but obviously I felt their pain.

Q. You said you haven't made any plans to play beyond the US Open. When you sit down after this tournament with your family and make that decision, what are the main factors to go into that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Such a personal question. No, I'm just kidding you. I'm just kidding. (laughter.)
Gosh, I mean, to be honest, I mean, it was all about getting me healthy enough to be able to play here. My mind hasn't really raced too far from that. I've tried to just focus on being here, but obviously it will depend on -- you know, it's very tough now for either me or my husband to be away from my son.
When I went to Beijing I left him for two weeks and it was heart breaking. Not so much my husband, but my son. (laughter.)
He feels the same way. I'm obviously kidding. But, you know, it's like we definitely did this journey to be a family, and it's obviously not easy when you have two working parents and one traveling.
You know, we'll have to see how I feel, if there's any motivation, how it affects everybody that's involved with us, and take it from there.

Q. It's always a bit of a scramble, and No. 1 is up in the air. But right now do you think we're in a period of an extended scramble for No. 1? Justine was...
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Totally, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's kind of weird that they're switching week to week with no tournaments. You know, it's a little bit unfortunate that you almost rather would have a clear-cut No. 1, or a really fantastic race like on the men's side where the players are winning the big ones to become No. 1, where some other ones are kind of sliding in by not playing that week or withdrawals or whatever.
I mean, to be No. 1, it takes -- it's really tough to be that good for 52 weeks. You know, hopefully it comes down to players that are earning, stepping up and winning the tournament and getting there and kind of -- you know, you always love to see the player win to become No. 1.

Q. Does it hurt the sport? Does it cause confusion for the fans?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think it causes confusion just based on the weekly changes of it. But, you know, as players we're used to it. I think for the fans, they don't really know, Oh, who's 1 this week or is it a big deal now or not?

Q. This year at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods was able to share a championship with his daughter Samantha, and he spoke about that.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's actually just Sam, not Samantha.

Q. Sam, sorry. I guess I made an assumption. Anyway, my point being, though, do you ever think about, as a mother, how wonderful it would be to -- is that a dream and a motivation of yours?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's not. I don't think so. You know, clearly if I was the favorite week in and week out like Tiger is that maybe that would be a little easier.
But for me, it's not so much about sharing it with my son. Just to be on this journey with my son has been quite exciting and memorable and have a good time with that.
I mean, honestly the kid has no idea if I've won or lost. He napped through my whole match today in the hotel. But having said that, I'm sure it's great to win with them. For me and John it's all about having him along with us every step of the way.

Q. But what would it mean for you to be sitting in the stands while he plays the final of the US Open?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, that would be fun. Oh, gosh, I would imagine. Everything seems a little bit greater now when it's involved with him than it is with me.
So, yeah, hopefully we can get him to some stage one day.

Q. When you look around the locker room you must feel like the senior citizen.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: There's not too many girls older than me.

End of FastScripts

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