Lindsay Davenport Not Retiring(Plans To Play 7-8 Events)
Davenport will be back
Former No. 1 plans to play 7-8 events
By Charles Bricker
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted November 5 2006
DELRAY BEACH· No more speculation about Lindsay Davenport's immediate future. She's not retiring.
She's not planning to play more than seven or eight tournaments in 2007, including three of the four Grand Slams. But, she said Saturday, she'll be out there.
At age 30, Davenport understands there are no guarantees that the knees, the back, the shoulder or various other body parts she's beaten up over an iconic 15-year career won't be aggravating her again.
But right now she's fine.
"I haven't played since mid-September, but I plan to start training in late November and be at the Australian Open," she said Saturday when she came off the court at the annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic.
"I feel great. It's been a tough year with the injuries, but otherwise I feel really good."
What fuels speculation about Davenport's future is her personal history. She's won three majors, finished runner-up in four others, been No. 1 and won 51 tournaments. All that and she's married and very interested in having children.
What more is there for her out there on a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour that has become such a grind that CEO Larry Scott is promising to shorten the season by several weeks by 2009?
"Well, scientifically, I've got until 35 to get started on that," said Davenport, laughing slightly as she contemplated motherhood. "So I've got a little time there."
And the grind? "I can't put my finger on it," she said. "I just still like to play and I enjoy working toward something. I get home [to Laguna Beach, Calif.] and I can't wait to start again."
She played eight tournaments this year, interrupted constantly by injuries. She was going to play the back-to-back big events in March-April at Indian Wells, Calif., and Key Biscayne, but had to pull out of South Florida.
Then she decided to skip all clay court events entirely, including the French Open, because her body wouldn't hold up through the longer points.
Injuries lingered on through Wimbledon and, to compound her problems, she woke up one morning at home in June and passed out, smacking her head against the hardwood floor of her bedroom.
"I fainted and got a concussion and whiplash. They did all these tests on my brain and decided it was just low blood sugar. It was so scary," Davenport said.
She seemed fine at the U.S. Open and, when she swept past Patty Schnyder into the quarterfinals, it was enough to make you fantasize about a 30-something run to another Slam title.
And then, her right arm began going dead, from the fingers to the shoulder. "Apparently it all stemmed from my neck from the fall," she said.
Going out 6-4, 6-4 to Justine Henin-Hardenne ended her drive for a fourth major, but it didn't end her desire to keep playing. She may have wondered out loud in a few news conferences if she really wanted to push on in 2007, but all that is settled now.
Scott and a number of WTA tournament directors don't like the idea of name players pulling out of events, but no one is going to chastise Davenport over playing an abbreviated schedule. They're smart enough to just be happy she's still out there.
"I don't really understand all the expectations on our players having to be in all these tournaments," Davenport mused. "Tiger Woods pulls out of a tournament and it's not a big story, and he doesn't even say he's injured. He just wants to rest.
"We pull out and it's nothing but negative press."
After the Australian, her plan is to play Tokyo, then both Indian Wells and Key Biscayne, Wimbledon and perhaps a lead-up to Wimbledon, one tournament before the U.S. Open and then the Open. It's not much, but for Davenport's legion of fans, it beats retirement.