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tennisIlove09
Jul 30th, 2003, 08:02 PM
Davenport not ready to ice career
July 30 2003
BY Jerry Magee
San Diego Herald Tribune

CARLSBAD – The things some people will do to play tennis.

Twice every evening, Lindsay Davenport sits, immersing her left foot for one minute in a bucket of ice, then for one minute in a hot bath, at each of these sessions doing five or six repetitions that she describes as excruciatingly painful.

"I could just scream the whole time," said Davenport. Putting herself through this anguish is the Southern California woman's means of dealing with a nerve problem in her left foot known as a neuroma. Because of it, her every step carries with it the possibility of extreme pain.

At times, she said, she can move without discomfort, but at other times she is tortured. Warming up yesterday morning for a match she would play at mid-day against Amy Frazier, Davenport said she was not pain free. The match beginning, however, she was able to proceed without pain through a 6-3, 6-1 victory at the La Costa Resort and Spa that delivered her into the third round of the Acura Classic.

"Yeah," said Davenport, "I was first of all happy the way my foot felt, and second of all happy to be able to beat a good player."

Because of her foot problem, Davenport had withdrawn from last week's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Her practice time for this week's event also had been limited.

Against Frazier, no matter. The veteran from Michigan is a competent player with one of the most effective backhands in the women's game, but she doesn't match up well against Davenport, now 9-0 against her.

In these matches, Davenport has lost only one set. It was on an indoor court in 1998.

As Davenport explained, it's a matter of pace. "Amy hits a great, great ball," said Davenport. Only she doesn't have time to set herself for shots struck as swiftly as Davenport strikes hers.

Davenport, meantime, is getting more ice time than some hockey players.

Question for her: "When you're sitting there on an evening with your foot in a bucket of ice, does the thought ever go through your mind, 'I should get a life.' "

Answered Davenport: "A small price to pay, I guess. I've known a lot of people who have done much more than that, but, yeah, that's crossed my mind many times."


One road to success
One way to get ahead at the Acura Classic: lose final qualifying matches. Of the four players who were defeated in them, three – Meilen Tu, Saori Obata and Nicole Pratt – landed in the main draw as either a "lucky loser" or a main-draw alternate.
Pratt is still around, having won a first-round match against Tamarine Tanasugarn. For losing in the qualifying, Pratt would have been due $1,600. Having gained the tournament's second round (in which she will engage Elena Bovina of Russia), Pratt has assured herself of a purse of at least $5,800.


An empty chair
Dennis Overbeck is not sitting this year in one of those perches that chair umpires occupy. Overbeck can be remembered as the fellow who last year imposed a point penalty for delaying against Daniela Hantuchova when Hantuchova had match point against her while opposing Ai Sugiyama. Game, set and match, Sugiyama.
Chair umpires are independent operators, and Overbeck has decided to work at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles rather than here.

Hantuchova is a forgiving person. "It's another year," she said, "and I really have forgotten what happened."


Looking ahead
On July 29, which was yesterday, Jelena Dokic said she is beginning to think about next year. Her rationale: Her confidence on tennis courts has been eroded, and getting it back could take awhile.
"It doesn't happen in one week," said Dokic. "It takes months."

Dokic has had a trying season – with defeats to Barbara Rippner, Paola Suarez, Iroda Tulyaganova, Saori Obata and Maria Vento-Kabchi, among others – but yesterday the Acura finalist of a year ago was able to solve the looping spins of Magui Serna of Spain 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Said Serna of Dokic's chances of again going deeply into this tournament: "Tennis changes very quickly. She can get confidence, but I don't know. But the way she played today, she has a good chance."

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