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THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lindsay.

Q. Can you win this tournament on nine toes?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's actually eight. Two of them are sore (smiling).

I hope so. It's feeling better every day. The doctors say every day that goes by, the steroid injection kicks in probably a little bit more. I actually have not felt it since Monday morning.

I hope so. You know, it's something I obviously can't control. But I think I'm playing well. I'm going to have to keep on playing well. Tough rounds begin now. But I like to think I have a chance.

Q. You pulled up a couple times, looked like you were favoring it.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It didn't hurt. I don't know if I'm still just not totally a hundred percent having confidence in it. But a couple times maybe, if I'm, you know, way up in a game, way down, I might not run for every ball.

But today I felt like I struck the ball better than the other night, for sure.

Q. Can you describe the pain? Is it like a toothache?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I wish (laughter). No, it's just a very sharp pain that goes through, you know, and it spreads off to the two toes, the third and fourth, and through the bottom of the foot as well where the nerve runs through the foot.

Q. What's the long-term prognosis? Surgery?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, yeah. At some point this fall I'll have to. You know, sometimes you don't have to have surgery, and it gets better. But I've had this for about a year now, and I've had the most injections you can have in it. It hasn't seemed to work. I think playing tennis just compounds the fact and keeps making it more inflamed.

Yeah, at some point this fall. I don't know if it's going to be directly after here or a few weeks later, I'll a have the surgery where they sever the nerve and then it's numb.

Q. A little breezy out there today, the kind of day where you have to have short, quick steps. It wasn't evident that you have a foot problem.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Felt a hundred percent. It hasn't hurt, like I said, in a few days. So hopefully the inflammation has gone out for the next few weeks.

Yeah, the windy days are starting, it seems like again. It's very tough to play sometimes in the wind. But I felt like I had good control of the ball, I was getting to the ball, was in control of almost all the points.

Q. Your feet looked good on the baseline.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Thank you. Felt like a hundred percent. They felt great. I don't have any worries right now.

Q. Last couple of years you've had some pretty good runs here, then the Williams were waiting towards the end of the second week. How do you feel in the tournament without them waiting at the end?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, they've taken me out here every year since I think going back to '99. Tough opponents here. They play very well here. I guess it's nice not to have to worry about that. But, you know, the other girls, I mean, Kim has beat me a number of times this year. You know, Justine and Jennifer are playing well, too. They're probably not as intimidating as the Williams, but Kim has a phenomenal record against me this year. It's still going to be just as tough a match.

Q. Does it affect your attitude toward the tournament knowing that two of them are not here?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, like I said, it probably would have. But the first few days before coming here, I just wasn't sure what was going to happen. Now that each day goes by, I'm getting more and more confident in my abilities, in my foot, that I'm going to be okay to finish the tournament.

Next round I play Petrova, dangerous player, she had a great run at the French Open. I think the beginning starts in the next round for me. I'll be able to judge more starting Sunday.

Q. You said over the past few days you think you're probably in the second tier below Clijsters and Henin. After a result like today, does that act as some sort of statement?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No statement to anybody else. I mean, I sometimes have struggled in early round matches and then done well. I've played well every round so far. And I think, you know, Kim, Justine, Jennifer, and myself are probably the favorites, I would say the Top 4. I would probably put Kim and Justine a little bit above Jennifer and I, just because of the success they've had this year, the consistency and the results.

Being Americans, I wouldn't count us out.

Q. Is there a sense of urgency at 27 to win here, especially with the landscape changing, the Williams sisters not here?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The urgency was when I hadn't won any (smiling). I'm very fortunate that I have three and there's no urgency like I'm going to end my career without having accomplished what I set out to accomplish, because I have done that.

But it's an incredible opportunity. They've been very hard opponents to get past in the last few years for myself. The draw has opened up somewhat by them not being here.

Q. You had a couple sets with her in LA last time you played. Were you fit at that time?


Q. Petrova.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: When was that, a couple years ago?

Q. Last year.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She's a good player. She's dangerous.

Q. Were you fit that day?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't remember that match. I didn't know her then. I follow her a lot more now. I know she has a big serve, she has big groundies. But I don't remember.

Q. Do you remember how it felt through '98 as you were building toward that? Do you try and remember how you felt, how you went about it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was totally different. You know, I was really anxious to try and win my first Grand Slam. I had won a bunch of tournaments coming into The Open, all three in California. Maybe lost to Steffi the week before in New Haven. But I had a lot of confidence that I was going to be able to pull through, but still a lot of anxiety because I was so nervous to try to win my first. A lot of mixed emotions out there.

But no, I mean, I'm not superstitious. I don't try and emulate anything I was doing in the past. It's been a different kind of summer for me, where I won a lot of matches but haven't quite been a hundred percent. Still did pretty well, but didn't win anything.

You know, I feel like the first few rounds, just getting through, feeling healthy, has been the most important thing.

Q. Maybe it's your memory of matches, but you only lost the last two years here to the Williams.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I lost to Venus. I grouped them in. That was terrible. Both of them have beaten me since '99. Venus I think I lost to in the finals that year.

Q. Location on your serve the first two matches, just about perfect. Are you thinking, "Who needs legs out here"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's a big, big factor out on that court because the court I think is quick for a hard court. The wind is always really breezy going certain ways. If you can figure out the wind and use it to kind of aid the serve, that helps a lot. I felt like today I was hitting my spots even better than the other night.

It's just something I've got to continually try to keep getting better for the tournament.

I don't feel like I'm going to win the tournament if I'm not serving well. I put a lot of emphasis on keep trying to serve well, and keep trying to hit the spots that I'm aiming for.

Q. Were you a little surprised how well you served with the ball wiggling around?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Today, yeah. I mean, sometimes the wind wreaks havoc on my serve. Hopefully that will get me going for the next match.

Q. Do you like to have three easy matches so far?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Sure. I've played enough tennis this summer, I've played enough close matches. You know, I think this week is kind of just what I needed just to give myself some confidence and know that I played well, my foot's feeling good, save some energy for the second week.

Q. When you're serving this well, are you inclined to just want to stay right where you are with the serve or try to turn up the volume to see if you can hit it bigger?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I don't try to do that. I much prefer consistency and accuracy over miles per hour - sometimes gets me in trouble when I try to hit them too hard. I start hitting too many second serves. I'm going to try to go for a higher percentage of first serves.

Q. Is Petrova the most all-around of all the Russians?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, I think so. She's got a big game. She's got a big serve, good, heavy groundstrokes. I've seen her come in. I've played her in doubles many times. At net, she's coming in and putting balls away. She has more of an all-around game than some of the other girls. She reminds me a little bit of Bovina. They hit big groundies try to come and finish the points off, a big serve.

But, you know, she's a hard-hitter. I'm going to have to try to take it to her so I'm not put on the defensive.

Q. Is this good for you that the points are probably going to be a little shorter than, say, if you were playing Justine?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Could be. If she's playing well, making a lot of balls, it's going to be a tough day. If I can play well, finish the match off, we're probably not going to have a lot of long rallies, that could be beneficial. I don't know.

Q. What do you do with the foot after the match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Just ice it really. Lots and lots of ice for the next few hours, next few days really.

Q. You may be tired of being asked this question, but what are your plans for your career after your foot is taken care of?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I have no idea. My immediate concern is obviously here. I'm going to then meet with some doctors the week after The Open to see when to do it.

But the fact of the matter is, if I want to play next year, if I want to play at a high level, I almost have to get this taken care of immediately. The last few months, I haven't been able to make it over 90 minutes in practice. If I want to play next year and do well, it's something I need to take care of.

I'm going to probably most likely take care of my foot right away and enable me to come back and get ready for Australia.

No idea. I'm going to probably play it a lot more by ear next year than I ever have.

Q. You're not putting on the WTA championships. It's their job to promote it. The loss of someone who is local, a Los Angeles player, how much do you think that hurts the tournament?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, it's something that's factored into my mind frame. Can I try to play a couple tournaments this fall? That's still eight weeks away. My foot, through each injection, has only held up about three to four weeks. There's just no way I think it's going to be healthy. Then playing three back-to-back matches, that would be so tough.

It's unfortunate, but most likely I'm going to be missing that tournament.

19,379 Posts
Nice interview :D

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