Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: russia,near the Black sea
Retirement can wait for Davenport
The Desert Sun
March 10, 2006
INDIAN WELLS - When it's time for Lindsay Davenport to hang up the racket and call it a career, she figures she will have an epiphany.
"I'm going with the flow," said Davenport, who has been a finalist at the Pacific Life Open the past three years. "I feel when the time is right to stop, it will be flashing in neon lights for me, like this is it. It could be this year, it could be next year, I have no idea. Anyone in their profession seems to think it's fairly clear when it's the right time. I haven't had that moment of clarity."
Davenport is coming off a 2005 in which she ended the year No. 1 and she's still a contender for major titles, so she doesn't expect to leave any time soon.
"There's stuff I feel I can still accomplish and it's very tough to leave when you feel like you're the best," she said. "It's a tough pull. I talk about it a lot. I still enjoy playing."
As of right now, Davenport wants to play through Wimbledon.
However, finding the balance of spending time with her husband and devoting enough time on the court has been tricky. And with 30 yeas old right around the corner, staying fit isn't as easy as it used to be.
"It's a weird balance I have now. I have no major injuries, but every day you wake up, nothing feels great," Davenport said. "I have to balance playing enough to be fresh and feeling good, but not playing too much where you get tired, burnt out or hurt. I love being home. It's harder to get up and leave all the time. It gets tougher on my husband, it gets tougher on me."
Davenport said staying at home has been serene. So whenever she does decide to retire, the transition won't be difficult.
"I love being at home now," Davenport said. "I've gotten into a routine where, 'Gosh, this is going to be OK when I'm done playing.' But that doesn't include much of anything."
Davenport is also taking the approach less is best. Davenport has cut down on her tournaments and said repeating as the year-end No. 1 is unlikely.
"I've given up on the rankings personally," Davenport said. "It's March and I've played two tournaments. For me to play, it's going to be 10 to 12 tournaments and that's not going to cut it in the rankings. I knew this year I was going to play a very limited schedule and try to enjoy it where I play. What happens with seedings and rankings is out of my control."
Davenport admits she's taking a cue from Andre Agassi, who recently announced he was going to skip the European clay court season and the French Open to concentrate on Wimbledon. Davenport considered taking the same route.
"I noticed a huge difference in the last year and a half of how your body holds up from how much traveling and being away," Davenport said. "I admire the way he's done it. He's going to fall in the rankings, but he still does really well when he plays. He doesn't play that much. The tournaments he plays are a lot less than what the others play and that's what you have to do at a certain point if you want to keep playing."
However, playing fewer tournaments puts Davenport at odds with the tour, which requires players to play 13 tournaments, and the four Grand Slam events.
"At the end of Australia, I'm not playing 13 plus the slams. I can't play 17," Davenport said. "It was still given to me, 'you have to.' 'You mean to tell me you're going to make me enter tournaments and I'm going to have to look bad pulling out even though I'm telling you I'm never going to play it,' and the answer we get is 'yeah, basically.'
"It's a tough position to be in. I know they've said before, 'We don't want to do that.' Ultimately we're the ones who look bad, even when, at this moment, we tell them we're not going to play."
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