Larry Scott May Offer Tennis Olive Branch To Lindsay Davenport
Larry Scott May Offer Tennis Olive Branch To Lindsay Davenport. (from onthebaseline.com)
It is no secret that Lindsay Davenport may be slightly miffed at Larry Scott and the rest of the head honchos at the WTA Tour, but it now appears that Scott may be willing to offer a peace offering in hopes of convincing one of America’s best tennis stars to play a little more tennis.
Lindsay Davenport only played twenty-nine professional tennis matches all season, but she is still America’s best hope for winning big on the international stage.
Venus and Serena Williams offered a meager contribution this season, the up and coming players - Vania King and Jamea Jackson - are still developing their games, and Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles are all but officially retired. Meghann Shaughnessy did raise the Star-Spangled Banner twice so far in tournament finals this season, but she has not made it past the quarterfinals of a tournament higher than a Tier III in over two years.
Lindsay Davenport has reportedly decided to withdraw from both of her final two events this season, but no one officially knows whether she will retire from tennis or show up in Australia rejuvenated and ready to compete back on the tour.
Lisa Dillman at the Los Angeles Times, one of my favorite tennis writers, threw a dash of intrigue into the mystery on Davenport’s retirement this morning in her article on the WTA’s problem with player withdrawals.
Separately, Scott said he has been in talks with Lindsay Davenport and her representatives regarding her request for gold exempt emeritus status in 2007.
“At this time last year, when she requested it, she was ranked No. 1 in the world,” Scott said. “This time, by the end of this year, she’s probably going to be ranked in the 30s. It’s a completely different situation as I look at next year.”
(source: Los Angeles Times)
If Larry Scott grants Lindsay Davenport gold-exempt status - the ability to accept wild-cards into any event - it just might be enough to postpone her retirement once again. Lindsay has always been an vocal critic on the length of the tennis season, and has come out and said that the Tour is wrong for making players enter so many tournaments, even after they flatly tell the officials that they have no intention of playing the event because of the toil on their bodies.
As much as I would love to see Lindsay extend her career and play a little longer, you kind of have to wonder about the image the US will be projecting next season. It’s biggest stars, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams, entering tournaments all over the globe at the mercy of wild-cards
And the situation gets even more bizarre.
But if Lindsay is granted GEE, it may just be enough to keep her around.