Tennis Classic: Davenport plans to play Harbor Point
World Team Tennis is luring former singles star Lindsay Davenport out of retirement. Tennis hall-of-famer Rosie Casals is getting her to come to Mill Valley. Davenport, who gave birth to her first child, son Jagger, on June 10, is one of several former top-level pros scheduled to compete in the Esurance Tennis Classic at the Harbor Point Tennis Club on Oct. 12-14.
Davenport and fellow Wimbledon singles champions Jana Novotna and Conchita Martinez will be joined on court for pro/celebrity exhibition matches with ESPN tennis analyst and Grand Slam doubles winner Mary Joe Fernandez, U.S. Open finalist Todd Martin, French Open doubles winners Luke and Murphy Jensen and Stanford star and ATP player Jeff Tarango.
"My feeling is (Davenport) may not be finished," said Casals, a Marin resident and producer and promoter of the three-year-old Tennis Classic. "I'm not sure she's at the end (of her career) even though she's 31. She wants to see whether she wants to play (professionally) or not.
We're excited about having her."
Casals, a seven-time Wimbledon doubles champion and 12-time Grand Slam doubles tournament winner, has convinced Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert to headline the annual Harbor Point event the past two years.
This year, Casals considered inviting Monica Seles, but Mary Joe Fernandez is a friend of Davenport. Also, Fernandez's husband, Tony Godsick, is Davenport's agent. Mary Joe Fernandez encouraged Davenport earlier this year to participate in the Mill Valley fund-raising event. "I think she's going to want to play and, yes, she's pregnant and she's having a baby but ..." Casals said.
Davenport, who lives in Laguna Beach, plans to return to competitive tennis on July 21 in Roseville where she will play for the Sacramento Capitals in a WTT match. It will be Davenport's first team-tennis match since she played for the Breakers in 2003 and her first organized match since she officially retired last year to devote more time to her husband, Jon Leach, and their child. The world's former top-ranked women's player is scheduled to play an exhibition match at Harbor Point on Oct. 13, then on Oct. 14, in a
WTT-like shootout with the pros and women's players from Cal and Stanford. Weekend festivities begin on Oct. 12, with a sponsor pro/am tennis tournament involving legends of the sport.
Longtime TV tennis analyst and Boston Globe columnist Bud Collins will provide on-court commentary and also serve as Master of Ceremonies at the Saturday gala. The two-day event benefits the Harbor Point Charitable Foundation and three of its charities: To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation, Us TOO Prostate Cancer Education and Youth Tennis Advantage.
For tickets and more information, log onto www.tennisclassic.org
or call 383-6114.
Contact Dave Albee by e-mail at email@example.com