View Full Version : The Official Lindsay Davenport Interviews/Articles Thread

Jan 6th, 2002, 02:03 PM
Ok Ok I am a bit late but I had so many traumas coming onto this new board.
1) I couldn't find the log in button.
2) Viva wasn't working
3) Signed in as Sailor Moon, that didn't work
4) Can't figure out how to fix my avatar

Thanks to Jacs I finally logged in. So Thank you Jacs.

Ok npow onto business. I've had my whinge.

Umm, errr, anyone got any articles because I sure as hell don't.

Jan 6th, 2002, 05:55 PM
4 views and NO ONE's posted anything! For shame!

Jan 7th, 2002, 02:11 PM
lol viva ... post the article by kazbee (ace magazine) here :)

good job :)

Jan 8th, 2002, 06:10 AM
THE FIRST ONE!!!!! http://www.wearenow.com/smilies/partywhistle.gif

Lindsay Davenport has a tendency to swear. Not just the odd curse when she stubs her toe or bangs her head, but full-on-four-letter expletive that turn the air blue and shock people.

“I used to swear a lot more than I do now”. she tells ace. “My dad has a filthy mouth. I grew up with it. I have the foulest mouth. I used to swear incessantly. Its terrible. The slightest thing went wrong and I’m like ‘Shit’. But I definitely want to stop. I’d say that over the last few years I’ve gotten a lot better. I’ve started to cure my habit. I think I originally admitted to swearing a lot so that I would force myself to stop.“

This is all part of Lindsay’s contradictory personality. She has a reputation of being the nice-girl-next-door, the player everyone gets on with, the person who always has a kind word to say about everyone else. Yet scratch the surface and you can see that she has a mean streak in her.

“People say ‘Oh, you’re so nice’,” she laughs. “Honestly, I can be a total bitch. When I’m playing I get so Pissed off. On court, for sure , you have to have that mean streak in you. My birth sign is Gemini, which is the twins, or two different personalities. I definitely think I have that. The person which you see on court is definitely not the same person you see off it.”

Off court she is almost always smiling and friendly, but you get the impression there’s a permanent sign around her neck that says ‘Don’t mess with me!’

And if you meet her, messing with her is the last thing on your mind. She stands at an imposing 6ft 2 and a half inches tall, in a 175lb frame. And until she sent on her now infamous diet and fitness regime five years ago she was even 30lb heavier than that.

Yet despite her strong personality and physical presence, she always remains surprisingly humble, “I try to keep a very low profile,” she says, “ I don’t really like too much attention and I’d rather not be noticed, saying that, though, it’s not shyness I have. It’s just that I’m not one of those people who loves to open a newspaper of magazine and see myself all the time. I don’t like that at all. I prefer to play my tennis which I love, and with which I’ve been blessed”. When you think that Lindsay is now at the top of her game for the fifth time ( she was first world No.1 for 17 weeks in 1998-99, had another five weeks in 1999, had two more stretches in 2000 and ascended again last November), you can’t help admiring her genuine modesty. “Results should speak for themselves, she says firmly, “ I’ve always had the opinion that if you’re too big a talker, then most of it is hot air anyway. I’ve always thought that if somebody has to go around telling everybody how good they are, then they really don’t believe it themselves. I really can’t believe some of the things that some of the other players say,” Lindsay’s humility is very endearing. She became the national No1 in her age group whilst still at school, but kept her achievement a secret from most of her fellow pupils. “Basically I didn’t tell anyone that I played tennis,” she says, as if it were totally normal for American teenagers to play down their athleticism. “Obviously my friends knew. But I’m not the sort of person to say ‘Oh hi, I’m a really great tennis player’. So I never brought it up. Then when I turned pro at 16 I think I beat Gabriela Sabatini (a former US Open champion) and ended up in the papers, so people at school found out that way. I wasn’t embarrassed, though. Just not too boastful, I guess.”

Of all the nine women to top the WTA rankings since they began in 1975, Lindsay Davenport is probably the least famous. She says she’s fairly well known in her native southern California and other parts of the USA (“I’m not that famous but some people definitely recognise me” , but she’s hardly a Hingis, a Kournikova or a Williams,

“I’ve come at a time when there’s more than one or two great players,” she suggests, “In the 1980s and early 1990s you only really had Monica and Steffi, but now there are so many [great] players. It’s really the first time that you have about seven players going into a Grand Slam with a legitimate shot at winning it, Its not as predictable any more, which has made everyone slightly famous.”

Lindsay is well aware that she could have earned a lot more money through sponsorship deals and endorsement contracts, But- believe it or not - she’s all the more happy for not having sold herself down that path. “I’ve always wanted to concentrate on the main thing, which is tennis, “she asserts. “ I think I’ve stayed pretty true to that and my tennis has benefited as a result, You see players that do everything commercial that is put on a plate, but then they have to worry more about their results. You know, I’ve made more money than I’ll probably ever have to spend in my lifetime. Maybe I’d have made more if I’d have been more high-profile, but money’s not that important to me.”

Indeed, over her nine year pro career, tournament prize money has so far swelled Lindsay’s bank balance by much more than sponsorship or endorsement income. Since turning pro in 1993 she has earned more than £14 million in prize money. Although there is no official figure for her off-court earnings, it’s a lot less.

Perhaps that’s why Lindsay has always been such a vociferous campaigner for women to receive as much prize money as men at the Grand Slam events (at the moment, only the US and Australian Opens give both sexes an equal share of the loot, whilst overall, the ATP offers far more money than the WTA Tour). And, as with all her opinions, her arguments for equal prize money are considered and well thought out

She used to publicly lambaste the former WTA chief Executive Bart McGuire for not pushing hard enough for the same money at Wimbledon and the French Open. Yet she’s rational enough to know that equal pay won’t happen overnight. And she’s optimistic enough to expect it to come eventually.

“The men have had large increases in prize money for many years now.” she states. “I don’t think we’re going to be equal with men straight away because we’re on two separate tours. But I think that all female players need to concentrate on getting our prize money slowly raised and not worry about who’s getting paid what. “It’s not realistic to think about equal pay at the moment, but the women should make sure that pay keeps going up and doesn’t stagnate. We’ve had a couple of years with some great players and we really want to take advantage of the situation the game is in now, so that in 20 years from now everything is still going great.”

This measured opinion is typical of Lindsay. Not for her, the careless (and often ridiculous) comments that many of the WTA players want to blurt out.

The 25 year old from Laguna Beach, just south of Los Angeles , is certainly one of the brighter players on the circuit. “I’d like to think that I’m pretty smart.” she says, wincing at the uncharacteristic boldness of her statement. “I got 1210 points in my SATs (American equivalent of A-Levels) and the highest is about 1600. So I’m not a genius or anything!

“But I’ve always tried to be intellectual, whether it’s reading a newspaper or watching news on television. I always try to read books and solve crosswords and puzzles. I’m not the sort of person to go to some dumb movie for an hour and a half. I’m just not like that.”

When she was younger Lindsay had always hoped to go to northern California’s Stanford University, which is one of America’s foremost seats of learning . But at the age of 16 she was already ranked 20 in the world, so she decided to make the most of her opportunity and turned professional.

She started playing Tennis when she was six years old in her home town of Palos Verdes (a beachfront LA suburb), and used to attend after-school sessions at local tennis clubs. “Then I’d go home every day and play against the garage at my home,” she remembers. “My parents were relaxed about everything and didn’t really expect me to be a tennis player, but I just seemed to get better and better.”

Both Lindsay’s mum and dad were very athletic, In fact, Lindsay was always more likely to be a volleyball player like the rest of her family, rather than a tennis player, Her father, Wink, who is now president of an engineering company, played volleyball for the USA at the 1968 Olympics. Her mother, Ann now head of the Southern California Volleyball Association, played the sport nationally and both her sisters, Shannon and Leiann, competed during their college years.

Lindsay’s parents divorced in the mid-90s, something which, not surprisingly deeply disturbed her. But she still remains very close to both of them. In fact her mother lives just round the corner, Lindsay shared a house with her for four years before she bought her 4,700 sq ft coastal home in Laguna Beach, also in the LA area. “It’s a five bedroom Mediterranean-style house with a private beach for residents,” says Lindsay. “You know there’s a Jacuzzi and stuff!”

Lindsay’s love life is peachy, too. For the last couple of years she’s been going out with Jonathan Leach, brother of former world No.1 Rick Leach. “We’ve lived together for almost a year now,” she says without hiding her obvious affection. “We’re in a very committed relationship at the moment, but there’s no wedding plans just yet! While I’m playing it’s a little difficult to plan too much.

Jonathan, who was on the ATP tour for a year or so, is now an investment banker for the financial company JP Morgan and never has time to travel with Lindsay on the circuit. “He works really long hours,” says Lindsay. “He gets up at five in the morning and gets back between three and five in the afternoon. He’s at the stage where he’s just starting out in his career. It’s weird because I’m almost at the stage where my career’s ending.”

Back in 1996 Jonathan had an ATP world doubles ranking of 229. “We play together sometimes and he can hold his own against me,” admits Lindsay . “It’s a tough match when we play. His serve is about 130mph.”

Despite long periods away from one another, Lindsay and Jonathan are content with the arrangement. “He could easily quit his job and travel with me.” she says. “ But we have our own careers and we want to build our own lives. We do miss each other, but you do get used to that, however bad it sounds. Obviously I want to be playing tennis at this stage of my life, and he wants to do his thing. So it’s fine. Neither of us would be happy not doing what we’re doing.”

Lindsay also shares her house with a Rottweiler called Zolton, (“It’s kind of an eastern European name. He’s a good dog,” When she’s not playing tennis , most of the time is spent with Jonathan and/or Zoltan. “I spend time at the beach,” she says. “I take the dog to the park, I do a lot of crosswords and I try to read. Mostly trashy books, though.”

On the tour Lindsay is certainly one of the more popular players. But she likes her own space. “I’d say I’m friends with every player on the tour and I don’t have any enemies.” she says. “But I do like to keep to myself a little bit on the social side of things. I don’t have that many close friends on the tour.”

But ask the other WTA player what they think of her and you realise Lindsay is just being modest again. In fact she is widely admired by her peers. Corina Morariu, with whom she won the Wimbledon doubles in 1999 and who is recovering from Leukaemia, is one person who knows all about Lindsay’s friendship, loyalty and support.

“I think I have a very easy-going personality” says Lindsay, when asked how she thinks others perceive her. “I laugh a lot and have fun, even though for much of the time it doesn’t come out on the court. Say you’re playing Centre Court at Wimbledon, you’re not going to laugh at a bad line call, or something stupid that [someone in] the crowd says. You have to be very serious out there. Then again, people have to remember that it’s just a job we’re doing. There’s always a time for us not to be working.”

And there it is a gain. As usual Lindsay is careful to stress how normal she really is “Off the court. I’m really just your average 25-year-old,” she insists, “ I like to go out and have fun. A lot of people think that we’re abnormal, but really we’re not.”

Jan 8th, 2002, 06:13 AM
The unknown No1

By Michael Winkler

Lindsay Davenport is ready to prove her status. (Allsport)

HERE'S a pop quiz question, sports fans: who is the No1 ranked woman in world tennis? Um - is it Martina Hingis, who has spent more time at No1 than Abba? Bzzzt.

Okay - how about Venus Williams, who won Wimbledon and the US Open last year? Bzzt again. All right, so it's got to be Jennifer Capriati. She won the Aussie and French Opens, she's a great comeback story; let's go for her. Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt.

The top-ranked player at the start of 2002 - just as it was from October 1998 to February 1999, in July and August 1999, in April and May 2000 - is Lindsay Davenport.

Oh yeah. Her.

It's one of the curiosities of the sport that Davenport continues to receive so little recognition for her ability or her achievements. In arguably the toughest women's sporting competition on the planet, she has twice been year-end No1 (1998, 2001) and twice year-end No2 (1999, 2000), yet she remains relatively anonymous.

Admittedly, there is scope for significant eyebrow-raising about how Davenport managed to be the top player of 2001 when she failed to win a grand slam - but Hingis sat atop the rankings pile for month after month, and she hasn't won such a tournament in almost three years.

Davenport herself has the grace to say that Venus is the moral No1. The elder Williams sister played only 12 tournaments in 2001; Davenport and Capriati played 17, Hingis played 18. Venus won 46 matches and lost five in 2001, while Davenport went 62-9. "If Venus played even close to a full schedule, I don't see right now how anybody else could be No1," Davenport says.

The 25-year-old Californian won seven titles in 2001, but they weren't exactly gilt-edged. She hoisted the silverware at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, the State Farm Classic in Arizona, the BAMI Championship in Eastbourne, the estyle.com Classic in Los Angeles, the Porsche Grand Prix in Fildestadt, the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, and the Generali Open in Linz. Good solid stuff, racking up the ranking points, but where is the sparkle?

For Davenport, the sparkle is in the consistency. She keeps getting the job done. Take a close look at her record and you find that Davenport owns a career head-to-head advantage over all but four players. She is up 7-2 on Capriati, up 10-9 on Venus (although Williams has won eight of their past 10 clashes), up 12-10 against Hingis, 9-2 over Monica Seles, and 4-0 versus emerging Belgian Justine Henin.

The four players who have a career edge over Davenport? Denisa Chladkova is up 1-0 after her Wimbledon victory in 1997. Rosanna Neffa-de los Rios is 1-0 after a walkover at the 2000 Olympics. Conchita Martinez is 5-4 up, although Davenport has won four of their past five meetings. Most interestingly, Serena Williams holds a 7-2 advantage, and has won seven of their past eight matches.

Still, the statistics tell us that Davenport just keeps on winning - rarely dominating the competition, but working hard enough and playing smart enough to take the chockies more often than not. She hits her groundstrokes very flat and very hard. She has significant physical advantages, standing somewhere around 190cm, and with greatly improved fitness and footwork. She is also hugely underrated as a competitor.

"People who think I'm nice would be surprised to know what goes through my head on the court," she has said. "I'm a total bitch out there. I get so pissed. Even when I'm playing a friend and she hits a winner I'm like, 'who the hell do you think you are?' That's how I think. I can't help it. If you look at my face, I look like the meanest girl out there."

"Lindsay is totally unpretentious and laid back," Robert Van't Hof, her long-time coach, says, "but when she wants to achieve something, her work ethic is unbelievable."

So she doesn't attract much attention? So there aren't huge "Go Lindsay" fan-clubs? So she doesn't receive many headlines in the showbiz world of professional tennis? So she couldn't care less. She'll just keep winning, thanks.

Jan 8th, 2002, 06:14 AM

Jan 10th, 2002, 03:13 AM
Lindsay is so great!! Did anyone read Chris Evert's publisher letter at the beginning of this month Tennis magazine? She talks about how she would like to see Lindsay take a leadership role in the WTA...I will type it her or look on the site and see if it is there. Take care everyone.


Jan 11th, 2002, 12:04 PM
I found this tucked away in the Australian Open forum. It had been posted there by itsallaboutinis. So, naturally, I swiped it and brought it over here for us! ;) :D

Fans will miss Davenport

The Australian

LINDSAY DAVENPORT will be missed at this year's Australian Open, and not just because her absence will deprive the women's draw of a popular former champion, its top-ranked player and rightful No.1 seed. For in the bitchy, back-biting world of women's professional tennis, a world where a Russian sports model earns more than women who actually win tournaments, Davenport's is the calm, voice of reason.

Two years ago, when Women's Tennis Association officials were tiptoeing around Jelena Dokic's accusations about draw-rigging, it was left to Davenport to express what everyone was really thinking, that Dokic's comments were "some of the dumbest stuff I have ever heard".

Fittingly, it was Davenport who dispatched Dokic back to Belgrade the following year after their first-round pairing confirmed the wild conspiracy theories circling around Damir's head. On that fateful night, it was Davenport who received the warmer welcome of the pair as they walked into the Rod Laver Arena.

When Yevgeny Kafelnikov was being widely pilloried for complaining about prizemoney, Davenport was prepared to break ranks with other leading players to point out that while tennis stars were hardly underpaid, there was indeed valid argument about players enjoying a greater share of the revenue generated by the grand slams.

And whenever the perennial issue of men's versus women's pay emerges, it is Davenport who can be counted on to lead the debate. In fact, whenever any issue arises that deserves an intelligent, considered response, it is often Davenport who is sought for comment.

Davenport, 25, has spent the last four years shuttling in and out of the world No.1 ranking. She has won 37 singles titles, including an Olympic gold medal and all grand slams apart from the French. Yet for all this success, she has had to endure regular public comment about her weight, appearance and body shape.

Not for Davenport are the massive sponsorship deals that have made Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova two of the richest sportswomen on the planet.

Whether this has helped her maintain a certain perspective which eludes others on the tour, only she could say.

But in a world where some athletes take up to an hour to shower, change and do their hair and make-up before fronting a post-match press conference, Davenport invariably arrives promptly in her sweaty tennis gear, her face still flushed from running down the final point.

She has no mad dad nor meddling mum. To the wider world, her parents are nothing more than private citizens who happen to have a great tennis player for a daughter.

And in Melbourne, when all the usual distractions come and go: the involvement of Australians in the women's draw; thoughts of Kournikova winning; fascination with the Williams sisters' wardrobe; it is more often than not Davenport who is left standing at the business end of the draw.

This will be the first time in 10 years Davenport has not been at the Australian Open, and the first year since 1997 she hasn't been a semi-finalist.

Davenport's withdrawal yesterday was not a shock to tournament officials. She has been carrying an injured knee since November and her failure to compete at the adidas International was an ominous sign. Jennifer Capriati, who narrowly trails Davenport in the WTA rankings, will replace her as the top seed.

But as we close in on another fortnight of spice girls and dummy spits -- along with some good tennis in-between -- Paul McNamee and co are not the only ones wishing Davenport a speedy recovery.

Jan 11th, 2002, 08:00 PM
That's a great article.

I don't think the WTA is as bitchy as the media makes it out to be. Like at my high school if we don't like someone we avoid them and I would imagine that would be the initiative that the players would take as they are professionals.