HAVEN, CT, USA - American Lindsay Davenport sees playing the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick this week as a first step in what she hopes will be a full-fledged return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, after missing most of 2007 becoming a first-time mother.
"Obviously so much of my life has changed," Davenport said. "It's pretty wild. Anyone who's had a child knows everything changes in that split second when you realize your responsibilities. But you come to the same tournaments and see the same people and when you're practicing, it seems like you haven't missed a beat. It is exciting to be back and be around it. Obviously, it's a lot of fun to try and attempt this."
Last December, Davenport announced she was pregnant and took an indefinite leave from the professional circuit. She gave birth to son Jagger Jonathan Leach on Sunday, July 10 of this year, and just eight days later on Wednesday, July 18 announced her return to action, starting with playing doubles with Lisa Raymond in New Haven. But her short-term goals do include returning the singles discipline.
"The goal of mine is to be able to play singles; that's always in the back of my mind," Davenport said. "I am going at this with a singles player's mentality even though at this tournament I am playing doubles. But I'm hoping it'll give me more time and I'll be able to compete in singles again. I'm supposed to play a singles tournament in about four weeks or so, and hoping I'll be ready to go by then. I am fairly confident I'll be back to playing at a high level in singles by then."
As she regains momentum, the 31-year-old American hopes to be back at her best to kick off the upcoming 2008 season.
"I am really trying to get ready for next year," she continued. "I'm going to have to play a light schedule with Jagger and everything else. For the fall, it is going to be two events and then take some more time to get ready for '08 and hopefully play singles here at the Pilot Pen Tennis in '08."
Since turning pro in 1993 at the tender age of 16, Davenport has amassed an impressive 51 singles titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, including three majors (1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open); she also holds 36 doubles titles, three of them being majors (1996 Roland Garros w/Mary Joe Fernandez, 1997 US Open w/Jana Novotna, 1999 Wimbledon w/Corina Morariu). The American was also a regular participant on her country's Fed Cup and Olympic teams, and held onto the world No.1 ranking for 98 non-consecutive weeks, beginning in October 1998 and ending January 2006.
Davenport has also reached the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick final a total of seven times, winning the event in 1997 (beating Sandrine Testud in the final) and 2005 (beating Amélie Mauresmo in the final).
Pic of lindsay and jagger - http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3...baby%20200.jpg