View Full Version : Davenport back with baby on board

Sep 11th, 2007, 04:48 PM

Bruce Emond, The Jakarta Post, Nusa Dua, Bali

With three Grand Slam singles titles and more than US$21 million in career earnings, Lindsay Davenport has sealed her place in tennis history.

So the 31-year-old American could have settled for a comfortable retirement after giving birth to son Jagger in June. Instead, she is back on court and returning to singles play at the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic this week.

It's not that she has something to prove, or to lose, from coming back; it's about the love of competing.

"Empowered is a good word," the former world number one said Monday of having a child. "You go through a lot to have a baby. Obviously I'm still a bit from being in the same shape as before, but I also don't have the injuries I had because I didn't play tennis for a year.

"It's different, but my body feels fresh in a way."

She said she first discussed returning to the tour with her husband Jonathan Leach in April.

Although she underwent a C-section, Davenport is used to the hard slog of regaining fitness from various injuries during her 15-year career (in 2006, she dealt with back, ankle and shoulder problems).

"It feels weird, because I don't really feel it's surgery even though it is abdominal surgery," she said, adding she enjoyed her pregnancy and doing the best for her own and her baby's health.

She is not alone as a WTA Tour working mom; she can turn to advice from world number 20 Sybille Bammer of Austria and Paraguay's Rossana De Los Rios, who each have daughters.

There also are historical precedents, including Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, who returned to the tour after having a child in 1977, and won Wimbledon three years later, and Indonesia's former world top 20 player Yayuk Basuki.

"I felt hungry to compete again, I missed tennis so much," said Yayuk, who returned to the tour after having a son in 1999 and competed for two more years.

"I felt stronger but of course my agility and reactions were slower."

Davenport glows when she talks about Jagger, who is with her at the tournament. She loves that she has to put his needs first, with early morning wakeup calls and a separate travel bag for his toys and diapers.

Davenport was the 2005 champion in Bali, and said then that it was her best ever tournament experience. But even in such a comfortable setting she is realistic that coming back to top form will take time.

"It's really truly about getting out there and seeing what I can do, there's no goal of winning a Grand Slam. It's about the way I can still play tennis ... and what level I can get to."

All in all she is in a good place right now.

"I don't feel that I have anything to lose. It's been a lot of fun to try and come back. I have this lazy baby that I get to see every day. My life is so great there is nothing bad that could come of this."

Sep 11th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Davenport sounds so happy, so fulfilled. Great to read. Thank you.

Sep 11th, 2007, 05:20 PM
nice article :) so happy, Linds is back :awww:

Sep 11th, 2007, 05:54 PM