If she were a tennis diva, if Lindsay Davenport cared a whit about whether she was asked to sign another autograph or do another interview, this would be the perfect opportunity for a tantrum or some chest-beating or, at the very least, some sarcastic retorts.
Because really, it hardly seems fair. How could someone be No. 1 in the world and then, just eight months later, be more or less forgotten? Or worse, how could it be that Davenport missed three Grand Slam events with a knee injury that required complicated surgery, and tennis fans barely noticed she was gone?
It just happened that during the 26-year-old Davenport's longest absence from the game, Venus and Serena Williams took over the sport as their father always had threatened. Little else mattered.
Jennifer Capriati got some press for winning the Australian Open again and, later, for her tiff with US captain Billie Jean King during the Federation Cup. Martina Hingis's supposed career-threatening ankle injury made headlines for a day or two. Davenport's absence was usually addressed in one-line announcements, then forgotten.
But this was fine with Davenport. The Laguna Beach, Calif., resident did not spend the time off stewing in self-doubt, but reveling in the absence of reporters' phone calls. She simply had her surgery, followed doctors' orders, and celebrated each milestone as she carefully plodded toward a full-as-possible recovery.
''The day I got rid of my crutches,'' Davenport said last week, ''was so exciting. I was able to appreciate everything more - just walking down the street.''
Presumably, there were no paparazzi present to record the moment. No matter. While Davenport's low-key, straightforward personality doesn't play well on the gossip circuit, she's having a truly storybook comeback.
After a warm-up with World TeamTennis and two Fed Cup matches in July, she returned to the WTA Tour three weeks ago and made it clear she is still a force with whom the Williamses must reckon. Looking sleeker and fitter than ever and showing no sign of injury, the 6-foot-3-inch Davenport reached the semifinals at Stanford and at San Diego, then last week made it to the finals at Los Angeles. There she lost a three-set marathon to 15th-ranked Chanda Rubin, who was coming off upsets of No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 5 Jelena Dokic.
Next week's Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven is the last warmup for the US Open, which starts Aug. 26. Davenport has improvements to make; against Rubin she double-faulted 11 times and struggled uncharacteristically with her return game. She said she isn't yet used to the rhythm of a long match, but she is playing far better than anyone, especially herself, expected.
''It's fun to be out on the court right now,'' she said. ''It was a long recovery. I wasn't really sure at what level I would be able to come back. I thought, `Oh, God, I hope I'm not terrible now.'''
But Davenport said those thoughts crept in only a few weeks ago. The rest of the recovery time was spent plotting her return.
That is typical Davenport. You won't hear her crow about her work ethic, but it is what molded her into one of the world's best players, winning 37 singles titles, including three Grand Slam events and the 1996 Olympic gold medal. Though she missed two months last spring with a bone bruise in her right knee, Davenport's consistency allowed her to edge Capriati by 10 points for the year-end No. 1 ranking, the closest finish in 21 years and Davenport's first season-ending top ranking since 1998.
But the knee problems worsened as she continued to play. Bones rubbing together had caused the initial injury; by November, she had no cartilage where the knee met the tibia. On Jan. 10, she had a surgical procedure called microfracture, designed to regenerate cartilage. Small holes were drilled into her bones, allowing marrow to seep out and create a large clot to aid in the growth of new cartilage.
For the procedure to work, Davenport had to stay on crutches for almost nine weeks and spend eight hours a day in her bedroom strapped to a machine that moved the leg for her. Pool workouts provided some relief from boredom, but it wasn't until she could walk again, then jog, then finally begin hitting balls in May, that she began to feel somewhat normal.
''I was never in a lot of pain, just a lot of frustration with the crutches,'' she said. ''Getting up and down stairs, getting in and out of cars, you have to rely on everyone for a lot of help. It did teach me a lot of patience. I hope.''
Along the way, she lost her No. 1 ranking. And though it happened just four days after her surgery, she won't admit to feeling wistful. ''It was inevitable,'' said Davenport, who is ranked No. 9. ''This year, I'll probably fall out of the top 10. Next year, I know I'll have great opportunities.''
That's not to say Davenport is writing off the rest of this season. It would be a mistake, said CBS analyst Mary Carillo, to confuse Davenport's mild-mannered demeanor with a lack of intensity.
''She's got plenty of fire, believe me,'' said Carillo, a former tour player. ''She gets more aggravated at herself than the conditions, or a call, or an opponent. She has plenty of passionate anger, but it's very self-directed.''
Like other fans of Davenport, Carillo enjoys that ''she's not the diva that a lot of people around her are. She never bought into that. She's not one of those types who demand a magazine cover if someone's going to do a story on her. She does what she does and she does it well. She's very nicely balanced.''
Balance doesn't make headlines, but in Davenport's case, it has helped her endure where others haven't. Which is why the nine-year pro can't bring herself to cede anything to the Williams sisters, no matter how strong their grip on women's tennis.
''It's just the way that the game goes,'' Davenport said. ''In 1997 Martina Hingis lost, I think, only five times. People were saying she was going to dominate a long time. It's almost laughable now.
''Certainly the Williamses can be dominant for years and years. But Jennifer did so well last year, it's not like they've won the last 15 [Slams] in a row or anything. But there is no question they're on a higher level now than almost anyone on the tour, if not everyone. It's Tiger Woods and golf. Everybody tries to keep up.''
Part of Davenport's plan to keep up involves giving up doubles play, though she has won nearly as many doubles (31) as singles titles. Her knee is much stronger than it was last year and isn't sore, but it will never be as good as new, so she needs to reduce wear and tear.
Davenport said she hardly thinks about the injury during matches. But Carillo, whose less-stellar career was hampered by multiple knee injuries, said even with Davenport's many attributes, the health of the joint could come into play.
''She's not a garden variety `big babe tennis player,''' Carillo said. ''She's got some very winning patterns. Her game took a real hike upward when she worked on her serve and made it a weapon. The question is how willing she is to go after the ball, with her knee. For her to succeed, right from the start, she doesn't want long, complicated rallies. She wants to go after the ball as soon as she sees it.''
Davenport said she doesn't feel limited on the court. In fact, she prefers to take the long view, that the injury might help her stay near the top.
''You have to look at everything [as if it happens] for a reason,'' Davenport said. ''And I do think that this will prolong my career. The break has been refreshing. When I was in the hospital for the couple days after surgery, everything that went through my mind was like, `OK, I've got to get back, I really want to come back and do well again. I don't want to end my career this way.'
''I'm really excited to be back out on the road.''
Aug 14th, 2002, 01:31 PM
Thanks so much for this article, this makes great reading.
LETS GO LINDSAY
Aug 14th, 2002, 01:59 PM
:wavey: You are welcome, and good luck to Lindsay.
Aug 14th, 2002, 02:35 PM
great quote about Williamses!!!C'mon LIndsay,they arent unbeatable!!!! :D :D :D
Aug 14th, 2002, 02:38 PM
thanks bwguy, its great!!:D :D
Aug 14th, 2002, 03:26 PM
bwguy, it's so nice 2 know more bout lindsay through this article. thank u so much, i'm so thrill. hope can lindsay really can back 2 her form real fast and grab back her number 1 spot~
Aug 15th, 2002, 03:58 AM
it's one of the best articles I've seen written in quite a while.
Don't worry we knew she was missing :)
Aug 15th, 2002, 06:45 AM
"It's better to over analyse than not analyse at all" Nadine Maraldo 2000.
mmm.... it's a nice sentence... and i totally agree with it, dont u think???? anyway, hope tht lindsay can do well next week in pilot pen open... god bless~
Aug 15th, 2002, 01:13 PM
We sure did know she was missing Gossipcom and its so good to have her back - I can't wait for next week at New Haven
Aug 15th, 2002, 08:56 PM
so do i! hope she can do well in new heaven!
Aug 15th, 2002, 09:19 PM
Lindsay is back
Aug 15th, 2002, 09:39 PM
lindsay, juz step outside and win another title!!! u can do it!!!
Aug 16th, 2002, 08:45 AM
GO LINDSAY - GO SHOW THEM YOU MEAN BUSINESS
Aug 16th, 2002, 11:13 AM
is any williams sister taking part in pilot pen???? wish tht they would never showed up (g)~
Aug 16th, 2002, 01:00 PM
I am sure Venus is commited to Pilot Pen. Serena is resting I believe at the moment due to the tendinitis in her knee - ready for the Open, of Course!!!!!!
Aug 17th, 2002, 12:22 PM
lol mcvy - well it's kind of stuck with me through the years ;)
Well since the Williams sisters do the let's rotate tournaments except when they're Grand Slams, it's Venus' turn to play - didn't she beat Lindsay in the Pen Pilot final last year?
Maybe we can have a little revenge moment <g>
All I want is for Jelena not to win - that's not asking to much is it? let's just say we're not too thrilled of her progress here at the moment :)
so all in all Go Lindsay :)
Aug 20th, 2002, 02:27 AM
great article thanks!!!
Aug 20th, 2002, 01:26 PM
Yeah, Venus is top seed. We just need Linds to beat her in the final and get a confidence booster for the Open!!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Aug 20th, 2002, 03:30 PM
you´re so right, jan
Aug 21st, 2002, 05:41 AM
thanks bwguy, i love that article!:)
Aug 21st, 2002, 08:22 AM
Well she won yesterday and I think she plays Amelie in the Quarters, am I right? That will be a tough one!
Aug 21st, 2002, 08:59 AM
We're assuming Mauresmo will beat Bovina - if that's the case then Lindsay plays her in the qtrs.
Good thing is she'll be in the top 50 after this tournament finishes in the race for the Championships... now if she could just play well @ the US Open and get some damn fine points it'd be awesome ;)
Aug 22nd, 2002, 12:57 PM
Well its Mauresmo today for Lindsay, could be a tough one although it took Amelie 3 sets to beat Bovina.
GO GO GO LINDSAY
:wavey: :wavey: :bounce: :bounce:
Aug 23rd, 2002, 12:07 AM
Davenport defeats Mauresmo in quarterfinals
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Second seed Lindsay Davenport of the United States was the first to advance to the semifinals of the $585,000 Pilot Pen Tennis hardcourt event on Thursday.
Davenport, who is seeking her first title this season after missing nearly nine months while recovering from knee surgery, posted a 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 victory over sixth seed Amelie Mauresmo of France.
The 23-year-old Mauresmo won her second title of the year last week when she defeated American Jennifer Capriati, 6-4, 6-1, in the final the of Rogers AT&T Cup.
Davenport was runner-up twice in the last three years and is trying to win this tournament for the second time. Her first triumph came in 1997, the only year the tournament was held in Atlanta and the last time it took place outside New Haven.
Top-seeded American Venus Williams looks to keep her record at New Haven perfect when she faces counrtywoman and qualifier Laura Granville on Thursday. Williams is trying to capture her fourth straight title here. A year ago, she defeated Davenport in the final.
Fifth seed Martina Hingis of Switzerland, who received a wild card into next week's U.S. Open, plays Russia's Anastasia Myskina on Thursday night.
Hingis is competing in her second tournament after undergoing surgery to repair torn and damaged ligaments in her left ankle.
Myskina is in the quarterfinals here for the first time in three attempts.
Seventh-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia plays Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the other quarterfinal match.
Third seed Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia pulled out of the tournament Wednesday due to a strained right hamstring. Dokic also was forced to retire from her semifinal against Capriati at last week's Montreal event due to a recurring right hamstring injury.
Aug 23rd, 2002, 07:23 AM
Venus, Davenport advance; Hingis ousted
August 22, 2002
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Fifth-seeded Martina Hingis completed her first three-set match since returning from a three-month injury layoff but it wasn't enough against an energized Anastasia Myskina.
The unseeded Myskina beat Hingis 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-0 by winning the final 11 games in their Pilot Pen quarterfinal match Thursday night. Hingis was up 4-1 in the second set and was a break point away from 5-1 but couldn't close out Myskina. Hingis said she just lost steam.
"I played pretty well until that point," Hingis said. "She just lasted longer in the end."
Hingis said she couldn't remember the last time she lost 11 straight. Ankle surgery in May kept her off tour for three months. Despite the loss, the former No. 1 player said she was pleased with her overall play as she prepares for next week's U.S. Open.
"I'm just trying to keep my head up and look forward to the Open," she said.
It was the farthest Hingis had been pushed in her comeback, which began in Montreal last week. She made it to the quarterfinals there, playing two-set matches with no tiebreakers throughout. Prior to Thursday's match, Hingis said she felt she finally had the stamina to go three sets.
She needed it against the Russian's steady, pinpoint ground strokes that ran Hingis from sideline to sideline. Myskina was just as effective at the net, running down Hingis' drops and slices.
Neither player had overwhelming serves, but Myskina's five aces came in her final two service games. She had three in the last game and closed out the match with a 92-mph ace.
When she was down 1-4 in the second set, Myskina said her father, Andrey, who is also her coach was angry over the number of unforced errors to that point. That spurred her.
"I thought I had to fight for sure, because otherwise there would not be a lot of nice talk after the match," Myskina said.
She'll play Lindsay Davenport in a semifinal on Friday. Davenport advanced with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over Amelie Mauresmo.
Three-time defending champ Venus Williams breezed into the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-1 win over little-known qualifier Laura Granville. She'll take on Daniela Hantuchova in the other semifinal.
It was the first meeting between the No. 2-ranked Williams and Granville, 62nd in the world. Williams opened with a shaky service game and was broken. She broke Granville the next game and then pounded away with her serves, which reached speeds up 118 mph.
The top-seeded Williams closed out the match with a 116-mph ace. The mismatch gave her an opportunity to tinker with her game, but she was always in control.
"I was going for a lot more shots and trying different things," Williams said. "At one point I did see where my unforced error count was getting a little high. I tried to clean it up some."
For Granville, who won two straight NCAA women's titles for Stanford, the quarterfinals at New Haven was a career-best. She reached that round the hard way, playing three qualifying matches and three main draw matches in seven days.
"I'm pretty worn out physically and mentally," Granville said. "I'm glad I have the next three days off before the Open."
Hantuchova, the seventh-seeded player, advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Patty Schnyder.
Second-seeded Davenport combined nine aces with a solid baseline game against No. 6 Mauresmo, who picked up her eighth singles title last week in Montreal.
"She's very, very talented," Davenport said. "She's going to be a tough player for the U.S. Open with a couple of days of rest behind her."
Davenport is playing in her fourth tournament back following knee surgery in January. She struggled with Mauresmo's powerful serves and said her return game remains a bit rusty.
"Returning is so reactionary, and it's definitely something when you don't do it for so many months you lose a little bit of your feel," Davenport said.
Aug 23rd, 2002, 11:13 PM
Davenport advances to final
August 23, 2002
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Second-seeded Lindsay Davenport cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Anastasia Myskina on Friday to reach the Pilot Pen final.
Davenport advanced to her second final in four tournaments since returning from knee surgery that sidelined her until last month. She's tuning up for the U.S. Open, which starts Monday.
"She's very good right now," Myskina said. "I think she's really back."
Davenport made the semis at her other two events in her comeback, beating top-10 players Jelena Dokic and Amelie Mauresmo along the way.
"I was not sure how the whole comeback would pan out and was expecting to take my lumps in the beginning," said Davenport, the 1998 U.S. Open champion.
One of the lumps was a straight-set loss to Venus Williams in the semifinals at San Diego. Davenport won only two games in the match. She rebounded at Los Angeles and made the final before losing to Chanda Rubin in three sets.
Williams, the three-time defending Pilot Pen champion, was to face No. 7-seeded Daniela Hantuchova in Friday night's semifinal.
Davenport was in complete control against the 16th-ranked Myskina, needing just 48 minutes to win. Myskina was coming off a three-set match against Martina Hingis on Thursday night and couldn't catch up with Davenport's big serves or hard-hit winners.
"I knew she had a long match last night and I new Martina doesn't hit as hard as I do, so I wanted to overwhelm her with pace and try and overpower her," Davenport said.
Davenport converted five of nine break points and scored on all seven of her net approaches.
Myskina said she didn't sleep well after the Hingis match.
"I was very tired," Myskina, "I know with Lindsay I have to be ready 100 percent to beat her."
Aug 23rd, 2002, 11:31 PM
thx for the articles! Lindsay is playing great! let's hope she can win again tomorrow! Go Lindsay!!! Take The Title!! :bounce:
New Haven, CT (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport reached the final Friday at the $585,000 Pilot Pen Tennis tournament.
The second-seeded Davenport reached her second straight New Haven title match by peppering Russian Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-2 in semifinal action at this final U.S. Open tune-up.
Davenport, who lost to Venus Williams in the 1999 and 2001 Pilot Pen finals, captured this hardcourt event in 1997, when it was held in Atlanta.
The 26-year-old Davenport will meet the Williams-Daniela Hantuchova victor on Saturday. Davenport is 10-10 lifetime against Venus, with Williams winning their lone 2002 meeting, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Acura Classic earlier this month. Davenport is 1-0 all-time versus Hantuchova, with the victory coming last year in Zurich.
Davenport, who returned to action last month after missing a majority of the 2002 season while recovering from knee surgery, is seeking her first title of the year. She lost to Chanda Rubin in the all-American JPMorgan Chase Open championship match two weeks ago in her first final of the season.
The California native Davenport is seeking her 38th career singles title.
Saturday's titlist will claim $93,000.
Aug 24th, 2002, 08:49 AM
Williams vs. Davenport in Pilot Pen final
August 23, 2002
New Haven, CT (Sports Network) - Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport will face each other in the final of the Pilot Pen Tennis event for the third time in the last four years after each posted semifinal victories on Friday.
The top-seeded Williams, who has won this event the last three years, needed just over an hour to dispose of seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-3. The second-seeded Davenport reached her second straight New Haven title match by peppering Russian Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-2 at this final U.S. Open tune-up.
Williams, who has won all 13 of her matches at this tournament, has captured 12 consecutive matches overall. She is 53-6 in 2002 with three of those losses coming against sister Serena, who did not enter this event. Venus has reached seven straight finals and has won her last two events, both of which were played on hardcourts.
The 22-year-old Williams got to match point by landing a beautiful drop shot and then finished it out with a brilliant backhand smash.
Davenport, who lost to Venus in the 1999 and 2001 Pilot Pen final, captured this hardcourt event in 1997, when it was held in Atlanta.
Davenport is 10-10 lifetime against Venus, with Williams winning their lone 2002 meeting, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Acura Classic earlier this month.
The 26-year-old Davenport, who returned to action last month after missing a majority of the 2002 season while recovering from knee surgery, is seeking her first title of the year. She lost to Chanda Rubin in the all-American JPMorgan Chase Open championship match two weeks ago in her first final of the season.
Williams has won 27 singles titles (including one Olympics), while Davenport has garnered 37 crowns (including one Olympics).
The final of this event will be at 1 p.m. (et) with the winner pocketing $93,000 of the $585,000 purse.
Good Luck Lindsay!
Aug 24th, 2002, 08:48 PM
:( Williams wins fourth consecutive Pilot Pen :(
Aug. 24, 2002
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 7-5, 6-0 to win her fourth-straight Pilot Pen title Saturday, building a 13-match win streak going into the U.S. Open.
Williams, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, has dominated the New Haven hardcourts since her first appearance here in 1999. She's beaten Davenport three times in the past four years for the Pilot Pen title.
Davenport, playing in her fourth tournament since returning last month from knee surgery, started out crisply. She broke the top-seeded Williams in the first game with strong returns and passing shots.
Up a break in the first set and leading 5-3, Davenport began to unravel with several unforced errors and went winless the rest of the way, losing 10 straight games. Williams toughened and began reaching the shots that eluded her earlier in the match.
Davenport's serve also abandoned her down the stretch. The second-seeded Davenport double-faulted one break in the second set and had trouble getting her first serve in. Williams closed out the match by pouncing on Davenport's 86-mph second serve with a backhand cross-court winner.
Aug 25th, 2002, 04:19 AM
We can hope the trend will be.... 2 semi finals, 2 finals, 2 wins ;)
Okay have I already said before how much I love some of Lindsay's comments? <g>
Australia deserves to give her an honorary passport for this one :)
Q. What are your favorite cities that you hit throughout the year?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: My favorite cities to play, I mean, it always depends if you have success at a tournament or if it's really the city but I have always enjoyed Australia quite a bit. I'd probably say playing in Sydney and Melbourne are among my favorite stops.
Actually a lot of the players that love hardcourt were saying they like Sydney & Melbourne :)
We'd love to see you here in January again! well I would so then I can organise to take my holidays during the Adidas International :)
Aug 25th, 2002, 06:56 PM
2002 PILOT PEN TENNIS
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
August 24, 2002
7 -5, 6 -0
Q. For a while there it looked like you were in great shape, almost in control of the match, went up 5-3. Something that changed in your game or was it something that Venus did that kind of changed that first set around?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think she cleaned up her game a little bit and didn't make so many unforced errors and myself, I think my level dropped off a little bit as well. I think it was probably a combination of both of those things. But I am happy with the way I played the first set and my tactics. I think that that was a huge improvement from a few weeks ago, and the first set had my chances to win it and I didn't. Put myself in the position to try and win it, and didn't happen. But like I said, it was a lot better than the last time and I felt like I have played a lot better. So I am a lot happier going into the US Open now.
Q. Do you think the fact you have only played now four tournaments, and Venus has been playing consistently that she was more match-tough when you got into situations you were up 5-3 --
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, yeah, I mean, I guess so. I think that I do feel like I have been getting better every week and every week and have felt like this has been my best week so far. But really I just wish that I could go back at 5-4 and try and serve it out again. I think that those are the types of games where instead of stepping up my level, I haven't been doing that yet and you really, when it gets close in matches, have to be able to play better and today I did not do that at all. So that's really what I would like to work on. She's able to do that, and I don't know if that's because she plays a lot of tournaments or she's really confident, or that's just her nature, I am not sure, but that's something that I need to work on.
Q. How mentally tough is she? You are serving for the set next thing you know you are down two, 3-0 -- is she -- seems like physically you are pretty much even. Is she mentally tougher than anybody right now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She's -- you get mentally tough by winning a lot of matches, a lot of tournaments. Certainly she's done that over the last two years. She's obviously very tough to beat. I think she knows that. She is able to play better at the bigger moments and that's really what the most important thing in the whole aspect of tennis is. If you play well at the right times, you are going to come out ahead.
Q. How much does her brilliance frustrate a player, when she's making shot after shot and you think you have a winner --
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: A lot of those shots -- I mean, you think that are winners, she still gets them back and a lot times she then hits a better shot than she would have hit just standing there sometimes. She's got a lot of pace and excellent, excellent movement. It's tough. You have got to really try and force her to make errors and try and make her sink out there. Like I said, I did that pretty well in the first set and then just wasn't able to continue it at that level which is unfortunate because I really thought that I had my opportunities and probably should have won the first set.
Q. Do you get frustrated by that by her ability to turn --
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I got frustrated with the fact that I played well and then I kind of let up a little bit and then it was like, you know, oh, it's Love-3, now how can that happen. It just happened so fast. A lot of players -- against a lot of players you can have your kind of lapse and, you know, it's not that big a deal. I mean, against her, she then takes advantage of it.
Q. You say you are feeling good about the way you have played this week. You come into this tournament saying I need to get to a certain point -- not necessarily I need to win it but to get to a certain point just to get myself ready and back on the right track?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The more matches I can play the better it is going to be for me. Playing here was -- I was excited for it after the week off in L.A. and thought that I had some good wins here and played well against Mauresmo; played a good first set today. It's positive. I am in a much better mind frame now that I have come here and played well than if I had not played at all this week. In the long run I think it's going to be important for me.
Q. What strategies are you going to put in place now to help you when those situations occur?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. It's hard. You just hope that at some point it kind of clicks naturally when it's close, you start to play better. And I don't know, I mean, it's obviously something if you think about too much it's going to just drive you nuts, and if -- but it's something you have to be a little bit aware of and try and change the next time whether it's slow it down a little bit, or try and make more first serves and just probably go back to the basics of what I needed to do but it's also tough, she came up with some good shots as well, and, you know, I just, like I said, I think the key thing is serving a lot of first serves.
Q. What is different about her? You played her in '99 here. She beat you. What is different about her game?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think she's a lot more consistent than she used to be and you know, her forehand used to be a big weakness in her game because her backhand has always been very good. Her forehand now you know, could be her better shot. I am not sure what she feels, but she's definitely a lot more consistent with her shots, and she's always had the firepower and the great shots and she's just cut down the errors quite a bit.
Q. More of a thinking player now?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. That's something you'd have to ask her. Maybe she tries to construct points better now, I don't know. But I do know she doesn't give away as many free points as she used to.
Q. Does she have more variety? Mixing it up?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. She still hits hard almost every shot. (Laughs). More consistent though.
Q. For you, I mean, obviously you wanted to win, but did it mean more in terms of getting over the hump you have been to a final, been to semifinals, been doing well since your comeback, but did you really want to get one under your belt before the US Open?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, yeah, especially after the way the first set went. It's so hard that you play well and you feel like you should have won a set and you don't, and that certainly wouldn't have been the match, but that certainly would have helped me on my way to winning the match and then you just let a player like that run away with it and that's why I really needed to step it up there in the first set. But it's tough to get too down right now, it's Saturday. I think I play Monday at the US Open so I have just got to turn it around and not dwell on it and kind of move on. That's -- you know when you play the week before a Slam you have got to be able to put it behind you and look forward, because a big tournament's coming up for me.
Q. Because of her great athleticism and retrieving ability as was evidenced today, does that force you to do things maybe that you don't want to do things, like going down the lines more?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She came up with some great running shots at some certain times. Yeah, sometimes then instead of naturally going where you want to go maybe you think too much and think you change your mind and a lot of times that forces errors. You know, that's an attribute that she has been able to retrieve balls and like I said, hit better shots back. I think the most important thing is next time just go for the shot I want to go for and not to worry about her so much.
Q. If she continues to play this well, is there reason to believe that anybody other than maybe her sister that can beat her at the US Open?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's going to be tough. She obviously has to contribute to her own downfall. Who knows, I mean, a player has to play extremely well against her, and she has to, like I said, help that player out, because she definitely has all the weapons.
Q. How are your chances?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. (Laughs). I am much, much happier with the way my game went this last week and I do feel like I am playing -- I don't want to say well, but playing very good again, and just see how it goes. It's a long two weeks, who knows what happens and how the draw works out.
Q. Pretty exciting for you, missed three Slams this year?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, it will be really, really too much probably for me. I am so excited to get there and it will be a great time for me when I am able to go back out there.
Q. Venus basically said yesterday about the early part of the career between the two of you, she just got tired of losing to you that's kind of -- she kind of mentally kind of changed it around. Is that going to get to you at some point?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yes, it will (laughter). I am going to change that around. Yeah, I mean, it's certainly gets very old and very tiring, and mentally just draining when you keep losing, and I really hope to have some more wins under my belt before it's all said and done.