WORLD TEAMTENNIS MEDIA CONFERENCE
July 17, 2007
ROSIE CREWS (WTT): We have Lindsay Davenport who is coming back to World TeamTennis. She's been busy the last six weeks taking care of little Jagger. She'll tell us about that. She's coming back to play World TeamTennis with Sacramento on Saturday night (July 21). This is the first time Lindsay is back in World TeamTennis since 2003. She actually started her WTT career with the Caps in '93.
Let's take some questions for Lindsay.
Q. How are you feeling?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'm feeling great. Thank you so much.
Q. Tell me about when you started to play after the birth of your child? How many weeks did you sit out?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I had to have a cesarean section with him, so I was out not doing much the first two weeks obviously, then slowly just started to do some stuff about maybe when he was about two and a half weeks, just kind of getting more active on my doctor's permission.
You know, all of a sudden it's been -- things have healed really quickly. I felt really great. I've had a great recovery. So since about two and a half weeks, I've been pretty active, been able to practice now the last week at a very high percentage. Glad there were no complications.
Q. Did TeamTennis contact you about playing Saturday and why did you decide to play so soon after having a baby?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, you know, Ilana (Kloss, WTT CEO/Commissioner) is a friend of mine. We have been obviously in contact through my pregnancy. She had asked me in May, Is there any way you would want to
come back and play a TeamTennis match? You know, originally Jagger was not due until July 2nd, so I told her it probably wasn't going to be likely, knowing when the TeamTennis season was. But because of some complications we had with him, he actually came obviously three weeks early on June 10th.
I talked to her shortly after and said, I'm feeling great. You know, I think I'll be ready to do it. I looked at it really as kind of a fun challenge to see, you know, if I could come back so quickly and kind of get me a little kick in the pants to get back being active, you know, being healthy and all of that stuff.
Q. You talked to your doctor about it, I assume. What was his or her reaction?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, fine. Normally you go in every four weeks for your post-op. I see my doctor every week. My husband takes me there to make sure I'm totally doing well and following orders. Great. I mean, everything I've done has been with her permission. She's a friend of mine. Everything is totally healthy and fine.
Q. The name Jagger, what is the story behind that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it wasn't a big story. We like maybe not the most traditional names. It was a name that we had actually heard years ago. It was always kind of the name we wanted. It has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones, although people think that.
You know, it was just a name we gravitated towards. We did not know what we were having the whole pregnancy. For whatever reason, we thought we were having a girl. We were always really discussing girl names. When he came out, we found out it was a boy, we hadn't really discussed the possibility of anything other than a girl, so we went with the name that we had liked for the last few years.
Q. Considering his middle name as well, do you envision him being called J.J. at some point?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. We used to talk about if we had a son, you know, we always refer to him as Johnny Jr. while we were never going to call him Jonathan Jr. or whatever. But it was something fun we did. We call him Jagger, but we certainly don't care if people call him that.
Q. Should we take any signs from you playing World TeamTennis that we'll see you back on tour at some point?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I'm not sure. I mean, I never thought that I would -- things changed so much. I never thought, first of all, I'd be coming back so soon. It's been so much fun kind of preparing for it. Just been hitting with my husband to get ready. It's been great, great getting back in shape.
I hope so. I haven't made any decisions, final decisions yet. But it's something kind of like a small goal in the back of my mind I'm working towards. You know, as it went in the later part of my pregnancy, I thought if I stay healthy, it would be just great to be able to come back and play some as a mother. Hopefully things continue to go well and that can be possible.
Q. What is the greatest challenge and greatest joy of being a mom? When you've come back before, when you've had layoffs, is the biggest challenge getting your timing or playing in front of crowds? What is it from a tennis perspective you'll be dealing with Saturday?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, the first part of the question, the challenge I think for me is about trying to like balance everything. I totally understand now the working mom's guilt. If I go out and practice, I feel bad about leaving him. If I'm home trying to do stuff, I feel bad cleaning up the house or whatever. It's an interesting challenge there. We have a wonderful lady helping us, which wouldn't be possible, and I don't think I'd be as focused if I didn't have her.
But I think as far as me coming back, it's never too much been about playing crowds. It's sometimes in matches being able to play well at the right times. The other thing for me is, you know, it's not so much timing of hitting the ball, it's moving and timing of hitting of the ball. I mean, if it comes right down the middle, my timing's always been great. It's about what kind of steps to take, getting in position, really setting up for my shots.
Q. When you see someone like Bammer, who is a mother, be really successful, Venus not a mother but just winning Wimbledon, your contemporaries, does that inspire you at all to come back, or is it regardless of what anyone else does?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, people bring up Bammer a lot to me. Probably a little different because I think her daughter's like -- I don't want to misspeak, but like six or something like that. I'm sure that's incredibly difficult.
For me right now I'm focusing on coming back just from the pregnancy and dealing with an infant. I'm not sure how it would be if he was five or six.
I think there's amazing women throughout the world that have done great things after having a baby. Gwen Stefani is a friend of mine. She balances it all just amazing and she's inspiring. My mom went back to work after she had all of us. Both my sisters work. You know, just about being around that, I feel like I want to be able to try to do it all, and that's obviously being a good mother and a good wife and having some kind of career again hopefully.
Q. You played Stanford quite often. What was the appeal to play that tournament for you? Now that San Diego isn't going to be in the mix, how challenging do you think it will be for that tournament to draw top players?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I loved Stanford. It was definitely one of my favorite tournaments. Coming from California, it was always really great. I always played there when healthy to start my summer season. I always thought the weather was great. The fans are great. A great atmosphere. I always wanted to go to college there. I don't know if that was part of it. I always thought it was a great, great tournament.
You know, I haven't seen the summer calendar. I know San Diego's off. I know Stanford falls before L.A. In the summer, I think it would still be a good time for them. It will be difficult next year with an Olympic year. I think all the tournaments, their dates get kind of played with a little bit.
I think the players that have played there have always loved going there and hopefully that will continue to be the case.
Q. I was talking to Lisa Leslie last week. She had her daughter a week or so before you did. She said she also had a C-section. She went out to the ESPY Awards and it was the first time she had left the baby with her mom. She obviously was feeling a lot of the same things that you are being away from the baby, trying to tend to other things. Will you be bringing the baby up to Sacramento?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, yeah.
Q. How will you handle that?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, there's no question. Whatever I decide to do, and if that's playing again, yeah, I mean, he's with me full-time. That's part of being a mom and stuff. Yeah, the whole family's going to Sacramento, dad included.
Yeah, you just have to make it work. Obviously things get more challenging and in some cases more complicated. I'm hoping that he'll bring me even more joy on the road and a lot of fun. But obviously, you know, traveling, we just have to learn to make it work.
Q. At what point do you think you and John would be putting a racquet in his hands?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: If it's up to me, at no time. I think probably another sport. But who knows. Whatever the kid wants to do, he'll obviously be able to do it.
Q. What memories do you have when you debuted with the Capitals in '93, helped them win the league title in '97 and '98?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I loved playing there. I remember at the time Ramey (Osborne) was the owner, had gone through my coach at the time Robert (Van't Hoff) to get me to play. I was only 17 when I agreed to play. Had no idea what I was getting into with the whole season.
But absolutely loved it. Have always loved the concept. You know, I love being around like the team atmosphere and other players. Always really interesting when you get the men and women together working towards a common goal. But everyone in Sacramento was great. It always had the best crowds, tons of people always there.
I'm interested to see the new site where they're playing, be able to check that out. I haven't been back there since I guess '98 was the last year. I know I met a lot of great people up there, the people that all worked for the Capitals were great. New coach in Wayne Bryan for me. Look forward to playing with him on the bench.
Q. Have you watched any tennis in your time off?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, the last few weeks I was not put on bed rest, but I was put on some rest. That was right when the French was going on, so I was watching that because there wasn't much else for me to do. You know, Jagger was born the Sunday, the finals of the French, then two weeks later is Wimbledon. Those two weeks you're not getting out all that much, so I got to watch Wimbledon, too. And you're up in the middle of the night, so that was fun.
Q. Did you find yourself missing it at that point?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it's funny because I've always enjoyed it. It was intriguing to watch it, especially kind of how -- more so for me Wimbledon than the French, how that played out.
You know, there's certain things you definitely miss and there's other things that you don't miss. But definitely enjoyed watching it, seeing what kind of transpired with some of the upsets, obviously Venus just playing great after the first couple rounds to win again.
Q. Did the fact she won that and Serena won Australia surprise you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It didn't surprise me at all. It surprised me maybe two of the first three rounds she was in some trouble and got through, then she was just on cruise control it seemed like.
Q. Why didn't it surprise you?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think just when she steps on grass, she gets confidence. I think she's so good on it, I think she knows it. I think she knows the other players don't really want to play her on grass. I think that immediately resonates in her game. Kind of maybe the things that go through her head, maybe the doubt isn't there when she steps on a grass court.
Q. Are you breast-feeding?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I am. Last night we got to six and a half hours in a row and he's getting big. I'm hoping this keeps getting extended.
Q. When the baby arrives, some people say he looks just like you did when you were a baby, resembles family members. What are people saying?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I joked that I'm basically a surrogate to my husband's twin. It's ridiculous. You know, my family tries to help. Oh, you know, his fingers look like yours. But he is a hundred percent my husband, which is cute. I mean, it's amazing to look down and see that.
Q. Where does John stand on possibly the playing?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: He thinks it's great. He's totally encouraging me to do whatever I want. Obviously it would be tougher on him because he'd be without me and the baby for stretches at a time. He thinks it's exciting.
The thing that really intrigues me about playing is the Olympics next year, trying to go back maybe obviously as a mother and see how that pans out. But he's great. I mean, he is going to come to Sacramento. If I could make some sort of schedule, we'll definitely plan a lot of weeks where he's there, make it work.
Q. Further down the road is the biggest challenge to stop Jagger's grandfather from getting him out on the court?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The whole family. You know, I mean, we'll see what happens. I think it's probably in his best interest maybe not to follow the tennis gene. You can't really control what they want to do. Hopefully he'll be involved in some kind of sports.
ROSIE CREWS: Lindsay, thank you so much for joining us today. We can't wait to see you in Sacramento.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I will see you this weekend.