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tennisIlove09
Feb 4th, 2004, 06:49 PM
Davenport Contemplates Retirement
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Photo By Art Seitz By Richard Pagliaro
02/04/2004

Lindsay Davenport's drive deep into draws have become slightly sporadic leading to speculation the former No. 1 sees impending retirement at the end of the road. Today, Davenport conceded she has contemplated calling it quits, but acknowledged she would feel "a little bit lost without tennis."
The three-time Grand Slam champion has not reached a major final in nearly four years and admits her struggle to return to the final Saturday of Slams — combined with her inability to consistently capture tournament titles — have caused her to consider retirement.

"Definitely, I think about it more now than I ever have," said the second-seeded Davenport in a Tokyo press conference at the Toray Pan Pacific Open where she will play eighth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova for a semifinal spot. "The last two years I don't really feel like I've been that competitive in the top four or five. I haven't had one of those really big wins in a Grand Slam situation and I've stopped winning as many titles as I used to. Definitely, it just gets a little bit more frustrating because for a few years, from 1997 until I had my knee surgery (in January 2002), I don't think I was out of the top three or four."

In a stretch that started with her first career Grand Slam appearance at the 1997 U.S. Open through her semifinal showing at the 2002 U.S. Open, Davenport reached at least the semifinals in 13 of her 17 Slam appearances. She's advanced to the final four once in her last five majors.

While she's continued to look dominant against lesser ranked players, Davenport has had difficulty elevating her play against the top players. Davenport dismissed 11th-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva, 6-1, 6-3, in an Australian Open fourth-round rout that lasted 47 minutes, but blew a 4-0 first-set lead in falling to eventual-champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, 7-5, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

Physically, the 27-year-old Davenport looks to be in about the best condition of her career, but mentally Davenport degenerates into the negative body language of hanging her head and shrugging her shoulders in frustration when she falls behind higher-ranked players.

Last February, Davenport celebrated her 11th anniversary on the WTA Tour by beating good friend Monica Seles, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-2 to win the 2003 Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. It was Davenport's first tournament title since November of 2001 and her lone championship of the year.

The sixth-ranked American, who spent much of the season suffering from a chronic nerve condition called neuroma, underwent surgery to remove a small nerve between two toes in her left foot on October 15th.

The Laguna Beach, California resident married Jonathan Leach before the 2003 Roland Garros leading to speculation she would soon retire to start a family. And while Davenport, who loves children and often speaks of her desire to start a family, has contemplated life after her tennis career concludes she said she's not ready to call it quits quite yet — though she concedes she sees the end of the road arriving.

"You know, as well as being married, not being as successful also weighs a little bit on that decision," Davenport said. "But at the end of the day, every time I think about it, I still like to play and I still think at this stage of my life I would be a little bit lost without tennis. As soon as I feel like I've put absolutely everything into it, then I'll probably walk away. I don't know when that will be but certainly last year, I thought about it an awful lot."

Lindsayfan
Feb 5th, 2004, 09:28 PM
where is the news? she has thought about retirement since last Wimbledon,when she lost in quarters vs Venus.I think it depends a lot on her mood...some day she's really eager to play,other days she wants to give up.that's understandable but I wont believe she's going to retire til she says "ok it's over,you'll never see me on a court again"

LindsayRulez
Feb 5th, 2004, 11:04 PM
I don't think it's a big issue, it's just the damn reporters asking her about it after every match; they're going to push her into retirement if they don't stop!

Andrew.
Feb 6th, 2004, 01:49 AM
Ya. The reports are just badgering her all the time about it. I think we'll see her all this year and probably next year too.

Jan
Feb 6th, 2004, 06:49 AM
I agree, I think it is reporters badgering her and also on what mood she is in. if she could win Tokyo and another tourney pretty soon I think she would be keen to play on for a little while yet. She must get pretty fed up with always being asked about retirement it must make her want to make up some fantastic story just to wind them up!! LOL.

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