October 19, 2002
Lindsay Davenport struggled through tendinitis in her right ankle to win a tense contest against Justine Henin in the semi-finals of the Swisscom Challenge.
The defending champion overcame the Belgian 7-6 7-6 for a place in the final against Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, who earlier beat Spain's Conchita Martinez.
She was almost crying and I thought for sure she was going to retire
An angry Justine Henin
Davenport prevailed in a baseline battle, winning the first tiebreak for the loss of just two points before edging the second 7-5.
But Henin afterwards expressed her disappointment at what she perceived as gamesmanship by her American opponent, who twice called for the trainer.
"She was taking it too far," said Henin. "I was injured, too, with a sore shoulder, but I didn't make a song and dance of it.
"She asked for the physio a second time at 4-1. She was almost crying and I thought for sure she was going to retire.
"It was partly tactics - and it flustered me. At 6-5, she was making one winning shot after the other. If you're injured as badly as she was making out, you can't do that."
But Davenport refuted Henin's suggestion that she had used the injury to her advantage and suggested the Belgian's tactics were at fault.
"I wasn't playing it up," Davenport said.
"I just tried to hit winners and she obviously handed me a lot of points - she didn't hit any drop shots or angles. She just hit the ball back to the center.
"There's no question she should be disappointed. You have to learn to play within yourself. I don't know why but she wasn't able to handle it today."
October 19, 2002
By Timothy Collings
ZURICH (Reuters) - Defending champion Lindsay denied she was feigning injury when she beat Belgium's Justine Henin to set up a final with local favorite Patty Schnyder at the Swisscom Challenge on Saturday.
Davenport, who underwent knee surgery in January, was hampered by an ankle injury but still managed to beat Henin 7-6 7-6 in their semi-final.
Schnyder, meanwhile had an easy 6-0 6-3 victory over Spain's Conchita Martinez to set up a tempting finale for organizers.
Davenport, who has won the Zurich indoor title three times in the last five years, had to overcome the injury and a dogged performance from Henin before she denied claims from her 20-year-old opponent she had feigned injury to put her off.
"I was definitely not hamming it up out there," said Davenport. "She should look at herself because she didn't handle it well today.
"I knew I was going home to the World Series (of baseball) if I lost this one.
"She had a great chance and I was very surprised she didn't move me around more than she did. She didn't hit any drop shots or hit the angles.
"She just hit doubles and played it straight down the middle and that made it easy for me. She gave me a lot of free points."
Davenport, who has not won a tournament since returning from surgery, said she would have probably withdrawn from the match if it had continued past the second tie-break.
"Before that tie-breaker, at 6-6, I told my fiancee it would be the tie-break and that was it.
"I was definitely out of there then. I had no chance of keeping playing so it was win or bust really."
Earlier Henin, the fourth seed, said the sight of Davenport's crying, limping and having treatment had broken her concentration.
"She was in such a state, she was crying and limping and looked as if she could not go on," said the 20-year-old. "I was sure she would retire, but she didn't. And it was very difficult to play against her like that.
"It is very hard to play against players who do all the things that she did today. For me, it was tough.
"Somehow, she played and she carried on. I didn't know what to expect in that part of the second set. It was not easy.
"It was a very difficult experience and difficult for my concentration. I didn't know if she could play from what I saw at the other end of the court.
"But she won 7-6 7-6. That's tennis isn't it? I have to be positive. It was my first time here and there is another tournament ahead."
Davenport said she had injured herself during morning practice and was made worse when she stretched out, or stepped wide, during the match.
After undergoing a medical examination the former world number one said she had suffered only a possible strain, or slight rupture, to a tendon in her right ankle.
"It's not the bone, it's just the tendon and that is good news," she said. "But it is the same leg as the knee."