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bwguy
May 9th, 2004, 11:42 AM
by Charles Bricker
Sun-Sentinel (May 9, 2004)

While most of the rest of the top female players were battling through Berlin or pushing on to Rome last week, Lindsay Davenport was home in Laguna Beach, Calif., driving herself as hard as she has in her 12-year professional career.

There's another Grand Slam title in that 6-foot-2 inch body, though it's not the French Open. It's Wimbledon, where she won the second of her three majors, that is in her sights, and the U.S. Open beyond that.

She's not leaving for Europe until this week, and she'll play only one clay event, at Strasbourg (May 17-23), the week prior to the big one in Paris.

"The French is not something I put a lot of emphasis on or think about. There's just something about Roland Garros," she said, interrupting herself with that infectious half-laugh that is one of the great charms of her amiable personality. "Some places I just walk in and love it.

"Not Roland Garros."

She's had some gilded moments on clay. The first of her 40 titles, at Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1993, was on clay. Her latest title, at Amelia Island a month ago, was on dirt.

She has won 76 percent of her clay-court matches and, in 1998, reached the final four at the French.

But she has never been fully comfortable on that surface. "At the '98 French, I remember going out there against Arantxa [Sanchez Vicario] in the semis, and I probably didn't think I could win," she admitted. And she didn't.

Oddly, though, the French Open might have been responsible for one of her greatest triumphs. A year later, she fought past 17-year-old Justine Henin in the second round at Paris, dominated Jennifer Capriati in the round of 16 and went three sets with eventual champion Steffi Graf in the quarters.

"That was my best French Open," Davenport said. "I had a tough draw, and it brought me a lot more confidence, though it was never so much confidence that I felt, `I can win this tournament right now.'"

It was a springboard. Four weeks later, in one of the great serving performances in the history of women's tennis, Davenport won Wimbledon by defeating Graf 6-4, 7-5. Graf would play only one more match, just before the U.S. Open, but retire with an injury and then retire from tennis.

A year ago, retirement was not far from Davenport's thoughts, as she endured the pain of Morton's Neuroma, an irregularly growing nerve that attacks feet.

"If you had asked me last year if I could win another Slam, I didn't really believe it. This year ... I've been working so hard off the court. Another Slam? I'd like to say you can never say never."

Despite a dozen years on the WTA Tour, Davenport is only 27 years old -- hardly old enough to be called the elder stateswoman of women's tennis. Yet, that's what she is. No one on the tour speaks with such forces or sense as Davenport.

When Larry Scott was close to being hired as CEO of the WTA a year ago, she publicly voiced her concerns about bringing in someone from the men's tour. After 12 months of Scott's leadership, however, Davenport also is quick to praise him.

"I do get that feeling," she said of her unofficial stateswoman status. "When there are political issues, I'm the one speaking out. It's amazing to me that people want to hear my opinion. But I've been out there 12 years.

"I was always kind of an intellectual girl in high school. I always read a lot about issues."

She brings political savvy to the women's tour in the way Todd Martin brings it to the men's tour, and it's not surprising they're friends.

"I went to Todd's wedding, and he's a great, great guy," she said. "I like the way he takes his time with detailed answers. I wouldn't mind being compared to him at all."

A year into her own marriage to Jon Leach, who is the brother of multiple Grand Slam doubles titlist Rick Leach, Davenport is pain-free and smarter about her scheduling. In past years she's played up to 20 tournaments in a season. She might play 15 this year.

Like Pete Sampras, she'll never win the French Open. But on a fast surface, and especially Wimbledon, she can take the Williams sisters to the wall.

Davenport will arrive at Strasbourg with a 22-3 record and titles this year at Tokyo and Amelia Island. She's ranked No. 4 behind Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/columnists/sfl-brickten09may09,0,1928546.column?coll=sfla-sports-col

Andrew.
May 9th, 2004, 12:12 PM
This is a good thing, considering it seemed that she was throwing herself at RG earlier in the year with her scheduling. I'm glad she got the morbid fascination for RG out of her mind and is focusing on things she can actually win.

LindsayRocks89
May 9th, 2004, 01:51 PM
great Article about lindsay :worship: Good luck at the french and good luck the rest of the year! :bounce:

Nikki
May 9th, 2004, 05:18 PM
Great article, its good to hear LIndsay so positive about Wimbledon & US open:)

joaco
May 9th, 2004, 05:57 PM
This could actually be great for the FO, where she doesn't care that much. Therefore, playing more freely and not so tightly. If she gets confident on red clay, and advances a few rounds in Roland Garros, as Lindsay herself said "You can never say never"

Joaco

Frederic
May 9th, 2004, 06:27 PM
Great article, but I think that Lindsay is too supersticious, I think that she can win here, at Roland Garros, it's just because she doesn't want. But she looks already fucused on Wimbledon, and I hope she will win it, because she seems to be really positive about winning a gran slam, I just hope she 'll give her best there, and she'll always feel positive when she'll face Henin, Clijsters, V/S Williams,.... I'm with you Lindsay, and I trust you!!!!

Harju.
May 9th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Lovely article.. I'm glad Lindsay still have her faith in herself of winning another Grand Slam.. Never say never.. I say you go girl!!!

foreva lindsay
May 9th, 2004, 08:34 PM
how great if she won wimbledon again!
gooo lindsay you can do it
great article

LindsayRulez
May 9th, 2004, 10:06 PM
what I wouldn't give to see Lindsay win any of these slams...

LindsayRocks89
May 9th, 2004, 10:09 PM
what I wouldn't give to see Lindsay win any of these slams...

i know i would do anything to see her win another slam, i think it would bring tears to me when Lindsay wins another one, i know she can do it, she is so wonderful :bounce:

Kelly
May 10th, 2004, 01:51 PM
nice article.

*Jool*
May 10th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Go Lindsay you CAN win every tournament you play, even the French this year with the "evil 4" not at 100% .
You are my best chance in all my favourite players to bcm the 1st to win a Slam not being a Williams or a belgian since Jen's AO 02 (2 years and a half)
Good luck in Paris, I want you to win (if not Conchita of course) !!!

Jan
May 14th, 2004, 07:24 AM
I still believe she can win the French. She was playing so well the year Graf beat her. I would love her to get the full slam of titles. However it is great that she is still thinking in terms of winning Wimbledon again and the US Open.

Go Lindsay :worship:

Elske
May 14th, 2004, 05:37 PM
thx for the article :) i'm looking forward to seeing her play matches again :bounce:

http://www.********************/tr.net_photos_art/DAVENPORT_sm_rg_03.jpg

Jan
May 15th, 2004, 06:13 PM
I am still waiting for the Strasbourg draw. Lindsay has a good chance of winning it in front of the French Open.

Go Go Go Lindsay :)

foreva lindsay
May 16th, 2004, 10:47 AM
Jan... its out and its a great draw, i didnt know she was playing in a tier 3 event, it strasbourg a tier 3??

Elske
May 16th, 2004, 01:25 PM
4 DAVENPORT LINDSAY USA BYE
55 SCHETT BARBARA AUT vs 68 BARTOLI MARION FRA
46 OBATA SAORI JPN vs 59 SREBOTNIK KATARINA SLO
76 VAKULENKO JULIA UKR vs 39 SHAUGHNESSY MEGHANN USA

16 FARINA ELIA SILVIA ITA vs Q
66 MEDINA GARRIGUI ANABEL ESP vs 89 MIKAELIAN MARIE-G SUI
49 GRANVILLE LAURA USA vs 43 BRANDI KRISTINA PURr
Q vs 33 SAFINA DINARA RUS

38 SANCHEZ LORENZ MARIA ESP vs 93 BELTRAME SEVERINE FRA
56 TANASUGARN TAMARINE THA vs 75 STRYCOVA BARBORA CZE
58 CRAYBAS JILL USA vs Q
313 TESTUD SANDRINE FRA vs 29 LOIT EMILE FRA

32 PISNIK TINA SLO vs Q
64 PARRA SANTONJA ARANTXA ESP vs 63 SCHAUL CLAUDINE LUX
61 MORIGAMI AKIKO JPN vs 273 BACSINSZKY TIMEA SUI
BYE 11 SUGIYAMA AI JPN

she shouldn't play this week :fiery: this means she'll have to play 3 weeks in a row (well if she doesn't lose in 1 of the first rounds :o ) and i don't know if her body can still handle that. She should have played in Rome, take a week off and then play Roland Garros

Frederic
May 18th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Well, I think that Lindsay isn't focused on the clay season at all!!! The already focused on the green grass season, she absolutely wants to go as far as she can at Wimbledon, in fact, for her, I thinks she gives herself a challenge, a last chance to see if she can still beat Venus or Serena Williams, Lindsay will be well prepared for the green grass turneys, so she just wants to play better and better!!!!! Go Lindsay, and play well at Strasbourg and at Roland Garros. Hey, about that, will she be n°4 or n°5??? Because Kim doesn't play, and Justine neither, but it's not sure, can someone give me more details??? Go Lindsay!!!!!!!!!!!

Marcus1979
May 20th, 2004, 08:13 AM
Great article.

Lindsay has been very smart

She is not putting any added pressure on to herself mentally to perform.

ALso she is not putting added pressure on her body by playing a reduced clay schedule as a season of clay does take its toll on players bodies.

jacs
May 20th, 2004, 08:23 AM
All I'm going to say is go lindsay :)