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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #1
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Article: Davenport Preparing For New Title: Mom

Davenport Preparing For New Title: Mom

Photo By Michael Baz By Tennis Week
12/15/2006

Lindsay Davenport is a three-time Grand Slam champion, former World No. 1, proud aunt to 11 nieces and nephews and now she is preparing for perhaps her most fulfilling role of all — motherhood. The 30-year-old Davenport is pregnant.


Davenport and her husband, Jonathan Leach, are expecting their first child in early summer 2007, according to a statement issued today by her IMG agent, Tony Godsick.
Though the statement offered no indication on whether Davenport plans to play professional tennis again, given the fact she has openly discussed the prospect of retiring since late 2004, it appears likely her pregnancy will prompt Davenport to call it quits. Davenport seems certain to conclude a career in which she captured 51 singles tournament titles, including the 1998 U.S. Open title,1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open. Davenport also won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and claimed 36 doubles championships. A dedicated Fed Cup player for much of her career, Davenport owns a 31-2 Fed Cup record.
"I've known [Lindsay] since she was probably like 14 or 15. I actually was very excited for her," U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison said today. "I know she's a very family-oriented person. Her husband is great. They both come from a great family. She's done such wonderful things for women's tennis and also for women, period, in sports. I always use her as an example to the younger players. I mean, I think Lindsay is the epitome of a true professional on the court and off the court as well. I'm very excited for her."
Striking some of the flattest, fastest groundstrokes of any woman in the Open Era, Davenport powered her way to the year-end top spot four times (1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005) to join Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf as just the fourth woman in WTA Tour history to hold the year-end No. 1 ranking four or more times. Davenport collected more than $21 million in career prize money and is only one of three women (Navratilova and Graf are the others) to surpass $20 million in prize money earnings. At an age where Advil can replace bananas as the pre-match meal of choice, Davenport was hampered by foot and knee injuries in recent years and battled a bulging disc in her back that limited her to 29 matches in 2006. The 2005 Wimbledon finalist advanced to the quarterfinals of both the Australian Open and U.S. Open, losing to Justine Henin-Hardenne in both events. A devoted aunt, Davenport has long discussed her desire to start a family of her own and now is close to doing so with Leach; the couple wed on April 25, 2003 in Hawaii.
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