Lindsay could March away
THE Indian Wells tournament in March looms as a possible retirement date for Lindsay Davenport after she lost the women's singles final to Serena Williams on Saturday.
Williams' mother and coach Oracene Price said she had heard of rumoured retirement plans and felt Davenport's poor third-set performance in her 2-6 6-3 6-0 defeat had been because she knew retirement was imminent.
Davenport's friend Raquel Martin, a WTA Tour staffer, could not confirm rumours Davenport, 28, had identified the March tournament in her home state of California for her farewell before settling down with husband Jon Leach.
Price said: "She started to think too much maybe about this being her last lot of tournaments . . . that maybe it will be the end in March, I've heard. I don't know.
"I think she lost a bit of hope. Lindsay missed shots she would normally make, shots I've seen her make from the time she was in juniors. Sometimes when you lose it, it's hard to get it back."
Davenport is understood to have played her last Australian Open and, unless she makes sacrifices for a realistic chance at Wimbledon and the US Open, her last set in a major will be one in which she won eight points.
She did little to dampen speculation she would not play another Australian Open, telling the crowd at the presentations she hoped "to see you again".
Davenport, winner of the 2000 Australian Open, lost 10 points in a row after serving at 3-4, 40-0 in the second set, including two double-faults, and she blamed her demise on fatigue in her third consecutive three-set match.
"The fact you could win another grand slam goes through your mind the whole time and I knew I was playing well in the first set," Davenport said.
"But I don't think that was due to the fact I was close to winning. It wasn't like I was serving for the match and thought: 'This is it'.
"I felt like I was in control pretty much of the match until I had that horrible lapse. I made a few quick errors, and kind of opened the door for her. "The time-out (called by Williams after five games for back pain) helped in terms of getting her better. And as the match went on, her serve just got harder and better."