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lindsayno1
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:51 PM
Davenport determined to make most of career revival

January 13, 2006
MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) - At a time when many players are contemplating retirement, a rejuvenated Lindsay Davenport is plotting to improve on her 2005 success with a fourth career Grand Slam at the Australian Open.

The 29-year-old American finished as the WTA's year-end number one for the fourth time last year after overcoming a rash of injuries and poor performances that threatened to end her career two years ago.

Davenport came back in emphatic style, reaching last year's Australian Open and Wimbledon finals, only to lose to Serena Williams in Melbourne and Venus Williams at the all-England club.

Importantly, she also displayed consistency, retaining the number one spot for all but seven weeks of the year and pocketing six WTA titles, second only to Kim Clijsters' nine.

She began 2006 with a strong performance at the Champions Challenge Cup in Hong Kong, where she defeated Venus Williams in the semis before going down to world number two Clijsters in the final.

"Knowing that I worked hard and knowing that I'm playing well certainly makes me feel very prepared going into Melbourne," Davenport said after her loss.

She said she was concentrating on steadily improving her game without any distractions.

"For me all I'm going to worry about is trying to be consistent with my results, trying to do well in the Grand Slams and for everything after that like injuries and rankings that's out of my control, I'll just let it happen."

Yet her new status as only the fourth player in history to achieve four year-end number one rankings has increased pressure on Davenport to add to her tally of three Grand Slam singles titles -- the Australian Open in 2000, Wimbledon in 1999 and the US Open in 1998.

Of the four years in which she has finished the season number one -- 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005 -- only one has included a Grand Slam crown: the US Open in 1998.

The record contrasts strongly with the Grand Slam singles titles snared by the previous four-time number ones, Steffi Graf with 22, Chris Evert 18 and Martina Navratilova 18.

Davenport said she was facing unprecedented competition from a women's tour that has never been stronger.

"There's no question it's an unbelievable time in women's tennis with so many players at the top and everyone's so close together you're going to have a lot of different players winning tournaments," she said.

Despite the ultra-competitive environment, Davenport said she was not ready to reconsider retirement.

"Every time I think that maybe I've had enough I've always felt very sad and always missed tennis and that's definitely pushed me to go back out and practise and get ready to start playing again," she said.

She was philosophical about the injuries that sent her tumbling from her form peak of 1998-2000 and was revelling in the chance to one again prove herself among the top flight.

"Injuries are a part of everybody's life that plays a professional sport and I think you just have to cope with them as the years go on," she said.

"I know in my heart that I haven't been ready to stop yet, but for now I'm enjoying it and I want to keep playing and see what happens."

tennisboi
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:00 PM
thanks for posting that. Lindsay seems so hungry for a slam, please let this be her year!

foreva lindsay
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:43 PM
"I know in my heart that I haven't been ready to stop yet, but for now I'm enjoying it and I want to keep playing and see what happens."

:bounce: :hearts:

chewy
Jan 15th, 2006, 09:16 AM
thz for the article
i really think this is the most positive attitude lindsay have towards competing since i first really follow her career at the end of 2001(i certainly didnt picked the best timing in terms of her attitude/injuries to start watching this player :P)

but can't be more happy now to see her like this, its like she's starting again just b4 she won the 3 slams. GO LINDSAY!

chewy
Jan 15th, 2006, 09:24 AM
another article from AO site
Rejuvenated Davenport Excited Over 2006
by Amanda Buivids
Sunday, 15 January, 2006

Lindsay Davenport experienced her most consistent year in 2005, claiming the world No.1 mantle for the second consecutive year, snatching six titles, and twice coming close to capturing her fourth piece of Grand Slam silverware.

Although she did not win a Slam, the tour veteran is as enthusiastic as ever to better her achievements of 12 months ago when she reached the Australian Open final.

A few niggling injuries, grappling with retirement, switching coaches; age has certainly not dampened the fighting spirit of the 29-year-old Californian.

"I feel really good. I've had a great six or seven weeks at home and was able to work pretty hard," Davenport said.

"I've been here a little over a week and feel ready to go. I'm excited to be able to finally get out there and play and look forward to hopefully a good tournament."

The imposing 189cm right-hander became only the fourth player in tour history - behind Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Monica Seles - to finish year-end world No.1 on four or more occasions. She has achieved the feat in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005.

Late last year she called on the services of a new coach in David Dilucia - a long time friend and former player - to assist in fine-tuning her game.

"I was just looking to do something different. I felt like I needed or wanted a little bit more help and interjection," Davenport said at Melbourne Park.

"I really wanted to work on some more specific things and I have been able to achieve that so far.

"It was time for me to get some new life and get some new ideas. I have to say I've had a really great time over the past six weeks with him.

"It's been really interesting and he's made me kind of think about and work on a lot of things that I really haven't done in a while. Tactics, mental approaches, talking about certain things in my game, I've been a lot more specific than I have been in quite some time.

"It's hard to implement them (changes) in the first month it's a long-term plan of how to play better and how to improve at this age hopefully whether it's here or in four months or two months, I can get my game to an even higher level."

Davenport's 2006 campaign begins on Rod Laver Arena on Monday where she is drawn to play the opening match of the tournament against Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua.

Any doubts over her tour commitments appear to have been brushed aside - at least for this year.

"I love it. It's great. I enjoy my tennis. I enjoy my career. I obviously enjoy my success and enjoy my privacy. So it kind of goes together nicely for me," she said.

"I think with the help of my husband, I've been very much able to play longer than I thought I could and played better and be more enthused about playing.

"I'm really excited for this year. I wouldn't have changed coaches and worked so hard if I wasn't really committed to another full year and hopefully accomplishing some more things in my career.

"The thought of quitting is not on my mind. I don't know when it's going to come. I'm fully committed to this year.

"As far as talking about any kind of tournament in 2007 or 2008, that's far beyond my comprehension right now. I'm just taking this year as it comes and looking forward to hopefully a successful one."

From someone who has contemplated retirement and viewed as an elder statesman on the tour, Davenport is ecstatic about the decision of Martina Hingis to return to the top flight.

"I think it's great. I was very outspoken a few years ago in my disappointment that she did quit because I always enjoyed her as a player," Davenport said.

"I enjoyed competing against her. I enjoyed having her around. I think it's great that she took the time she felt she needed away from the game and realised she really did miss it and is coming back.

"I wish her all the success. It will be interesting to see if she can adapt her game to the different level of play that we now have than three or four years ago."

Fellow tour veteran Mary Pierce had a solid training session at Melbourne Park in readiness for her first-round encounter against Australian tour trooper Nicole Pratt.

"I come into every tournament confident, feeling ready to play, eager to compete. You never know what can happen," Pierce said.

"It's really open, but at the same time we have so many girls that are playing so well.

It's going to be really exciting to actually see how the tournament unfolds."

Pierce had a remarkable return to major-league tennis last year finishing in the top five for the first time since 1999 after her ranking blew out to 130 in 2001.

Runner-up at Roland Garros and the US Open, Pierce - who celebrates her 31st birthday on Sunday - says she will continue to put pressure on the tour's younger brigade.

She believes her age, wisdom and maturity are her greatest assets. She also believes the balance of her career highs and lows have made her more appreciative of her achievements - in all aspects. She loves winning and wants to continuing winning.

"If I always do my best, everything else will kind of follow," she said.

"I'd like to be the No.1. I've never done that in my career before, and play at Wimbledon and hopefully to make the finals in the singles.

"I am looking for new experience, things that I have not done in a career of 17 years. To have firsts that are still achievable is exciting and motivating."

Fellow Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo lines up for her eighth Australian Open and after reaching the quarter-finals in the past two years, is aiming to be on Rod Laver Arena on the final Saturday of the tournament.

Looking extremely fit and relaxed, she meets China's Tiantian Sun in the first round, an opponent she knows little about.

"I think in the cases where you really don't know how your opponents going to play, I think you have to focus on your own game and your own weapons and really want you have to do - being aggressive and dictating the game," Mauresmo said.

"I've had a good preparation there are a lot of contenders here. It's a pretty open draw, especially seeing all the best players are here fit and healthy.

"I'm really used to take it one match at a time and really see how the tournament is moving forward."

Elldee
Jan 15th, 2006, 10:57 AM
Yeah I just read that on the AO website... nice to see ALL Lindsay's quotes.

GrandSlam05
Jan 15th, 2006, 03:34 PM
Thanks Chewy! Glad to hear she's really enjoying herself. That's what it's all about.