Davenport to return Friday in team play
Mon Jul 8,10:40 AM ET
Tom Clark USA TODAY
Former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, saddled with injury, has watched the Williams sisters dominate this year. ''They have definitely taken tennis to another level,'' Davenport says. ''They're so athletic and play such a powerful game that's it's going to be hard to stop them.''
The 6-foot-2, big-hitting 1999 Wimbledon ( news - web sites) champ, who injured her right knee during the semifinals at last year's season-ending championships, had arthroscopic surgery Jan. 11.
Now, using Billie Jean King's World Team Tennis (WTT) as a springboard, Davenport is back. Friday, she and her New York Buzz teammates go to Hartford to face Meghann Shaughnessy and the FoxForce.
''My injury came at actually a good time for me,'' says Davenport, 26. ''When you play 11 months out of a year for 10 years, you get worn down. However, the last eight months have made me more refreshed and so excited to get back out on the court. I want to continue to peak and win more tournaments.''
Jimmy Connors used a stint with WTT to rehabilitate his ailing wrist in '91, and it propelled him to an electrifying performance at that year's U.S. Open ( news - web sites).
Davenport hopes for the same results. ''WTT (which starts its season tonight in Philadelphia) is a fun format for tennis players. Very rarely are we in a team format, and it's an opportunity to be more intimate with the crowd. You're playing doubles, mixed doubles and singles, and that makes it fun.''