LA Times Article - Injury & Olympics
By Lisa Dillman, Times Staff Writer
PARIS — Even before Lindsay Davenport was hit with a day of dual disappointment — losing in the fourth round of the French Open and injuring her right knee in the second set — she started having doubts about playing in the Olympics in Athens.
Her late morning and early afternoon Sunday in Paris only added to those concerns. Ninth-seeded Elena Dementieva beat No. 5 Davenport, 6-1, 6-3, in about an hour, and incredibly, the light-serving Russian won it with a second-serve ace on match point.
No. 2 Serena Williams, No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo of France, No. 4 Venus Williams and No. 7 Jennifer Capriati all advanced in straight sets. Capriati plays Serena Williams in the quarterfinals Tuesday, and Venus Williams faces No. 6 Anastasia Myskina of Russia, who defeated No. 11 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, 1-6, 6-4, 8-6, saving a match point in the final set.
Dementieva created the lone upset in the women's round of 16. Davenport, who said her knee was sore in her third-round match, tweaked it against Dementieva and needed treatment, calling it "just a huge irritant." Later, the injury was diagnosed as an aggravated joint irritation, according to the WTA.
At any stage, a knee injury is a concern. This one is especially troubling because Davenport, who will turn 28 on June 8, needed surgery on her right knee to correct a cartilage defect in early 2002 and sat out nine months.
She won't know the extent of the injury until she visits doctors in Southern California this week.
"Early in the second, I just kind of felt this click that I get in there where I just kind of land funny on my knee," she said. "From then on, it was pretty sore. I don't know exactly what I did. I'm pretty sure I didn't fracture the cartilage like I did the bad time before. I don't know if maybe I have a small bone bruise again or what.
"It's hard not knowing…. I'll be extremely bummed if it means more time away."
In any event, Athens may not be on her schedule. Davenport isn't the first athlete to entertain second thoughts because of the state of world affairs. For her, it is a combination of a busy schedule and security issues.
"It was something I was dying for for like a year, and so excited," Davenport said. "The last few months it's just been a different feeling about it. I would say … I was 100%. I'm definitely down a little bit on that percentage about going. Some of that's safety, some of that's all the tennis coming up this summer, just trying to be healthy the whole year.
"I was fortunate enough to be able to play it in my home country and win my first big tennis event in Atlanta at the Olympics. If I had won just that, I would still be in disbelief, let alone the three other Slams I ended up winning."
She outlined her potential summer schedule: Wimbledon, Palo Alto, Carson, San Diego and the U.S. Open; the Olympics fall in between San Diego and the Open.
"Three trips to Europe in 10 weeks, even less than that, is a long time," Davenport said. "But there's no question it's an awkward feeling going somewhere where maybe Americans aren't really wanted."
Despite the difficult day, Davenport told an amusing story of how her Olympic gold medal from 1996 was missing for about five or six years, saying her mother, Ann, misplaced it in a box during a move. It has since been recovered and resides in a safe in her closet at home.
"She would say, 'No, I'll find it one day, I'll find it,' " Davenport said. "A few years went by. She's going to kill me, you ask her about this, but it's true. So now we're not giving it back."