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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Davenport and Olympics

This is a question that's bugged me for some time.

How did Davenport win the 1996 Olympics?

I wasn't a tennis fan back then, but from what I've read, she wasn't as good as she is now.

Was it the fact that Hingis and the Williamses weren't playing their best yet? I mean, there were others in that time, Seles, Novotna etc.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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At that particular time pretty much no one was playing well. Steffi maybe, but I don't know if she entered the Olympics or not.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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steffi pulled out because of her knee.
martina was just before her breakthrough
monica had problems with her shoulder

but lindsay was not as good as she was in 98 but not that bad either. she just could not bring it in slams yet as proved in the us open that year.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:06 AM
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Steffi didn't play, Monica was the no. 1 seed but lost in the quarter finals to Novotna.

Semi finals

Novotna-Sanchez Vicario
Davenport-Fernandez

Davenport then beat Sanchez in the final 7-6 6-2
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Monica lost 8-6 in the 3rd.

Hingis was 15 and lost to Naoko Sawamatsu.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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How did Davenport win the Olympics?

The Answer is that she played very very well.

She beat Huber (who had made that years Aussie Open final) and Majoli (who won Roland Garros the following year) who were both very close to top five during that period (both achieved their carrer high ranking of 4 in 1996), she beat MJ Fernandez who was top 10, and in the final she beat Sanchez Vicario for the first time when Arantxa was coming off finals appearances at Wimbledon and Roland Garros. Thats 4 TOP TEN PLAYERS. Also present were Novotna (knocked out by sanchez), Seles, (knocked out by Novotna), Martinez (then world #2 eliminated by Fernandez) and Date (who had just played that glorious semifinal at Wimby versus Graf).

Davenport was not too far away from her 98-2000 level when winning the 1996 Olympics, the difference was that from 1994-1996 Lindsay could play a string of great matches but struggled to be CONSISTENT from tournament to tournament, thats why her ranking was not so good.

To downgrade that Gold Medal winning performance by saying that "no one was playing well" is a fallacy. Just because today's top players were not on the scene yet does not mean that the performance was any less exceptional. With the very notable exception of a Graf, the field was A-Class - a genuine Grand Slam field. It was as good as the field that Seles beat to win her AO in 1996, and Lindsay probably had a tougher road.

Last edited by {{{RoB}}}; Jul 29th, 2003 at 10:01 AM.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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Actually, Hingis lost against Sugiyama


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:06 AM
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I agree with Rob, she deserved that victory. Although her serve wasn't as good as it is now and her movement wasn't really at her best, she played very well, specially in the final. She had never beaten Arantxa in five meetings, and she had never played her best at the Slams (her best showing was QF), but she had already had good performances against Graf and Seles.

I also remember she got a lucky netcord on set point in the tiebreak.

The match of the tournament was IMO Seles vs. Novotna. Great stuff from both of them, Novotna showing guts for once. Her SF loss to Arantxa meant the break-up of her friendship.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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of course she deserved it. I only wanted to point out that she had big problems at big tournaments like losing to linda wild at the us open or choking against steffi at the masters (well at 5:2 in the second set)

she kicked steffi's ass the next week in LA anyway

but again at big tournaments she often didn't show her potential till 98!

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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Anybody has the fact about tennis in Olympics--which surfaces are they playing on at each time?
I tried in the olympic site but didn't find it.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:21 PM
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It depends on the city. In Barcelona it was on clay, in Atlanta and Sidney it was on hardcourts (rebound ace on Sydney, I think) and in Athens it will be on clay again.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:32 PM
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Athens will be on hardcourt. They made a surface change to accommodate players preparing for the US Open.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:33 PM
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I wish I could have seen Linds win

Where could I find a tape?
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:51 PM
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You know what's funny?I was actually watching that match today! What a coincidence...
Lindsay played some great stuff. I mean, she could've won easier the first set, she had 3 BP in the 5th game, but couldn't convert. And in the tie-break she wasted a set point, but then again won it with the net cord

It was the most emotional match of hers (along with Wimby). When she won, she bursted out into tears with her family, plus it was the first time her parents were together since the divorse.

Lindsay was seeded #9, and she beat Aranxta #3 in the world. She was 0-5 in her previous meetings, but she proved everyone that she could win the big majors. It was THE turning point in her carrer.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:54 PM
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But will she want to play fed cup to be eligible for the olympics coming up? She has a shot along with venus to be the only player with two gold medals for singles.

The WTA Women of Wonder Featuring....The Goddess: Venus Williams The Glamazon: Serena Williams The Lioness: Jennifer Capriati The High Priestess: Monica Seles The Saint: Kim Clijsters The Phoenix: Chanda Rubin The Bon Vivant: Amelie Mauresmo The Titan: Lindsay Davenport The Courtesan: Anna Kournikova The Exile: Martina Hingis The Sorceress: Anatasia Myskina The Minx: Maria Sharapova
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