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Here is Peter Bodo's latest blog entry that was written about Lindsay. Thought some of you might be interested in reading it. :)

Occupational Hazards Posted 04/30/2009 @ 4 :41 PM
by Pete Bodo
I always enjoyed talking with and writing about Lindsay Davenport. I had a chance to catch up with her at the recent Sony-Ericsson Open, where she was engaged as a commentator for FOX Sports Network. When I found her in the player lounge, she was working on a book of Soduku puzzles. She was dressed in a pale gray summer shift and flip-flops. Her hair was short and cut sporty, and she had about her that glow that you sometimes see on an expectant mother.

One of my favorite "Lindsay Moments" occurred at the U.S. Open, in 2006, when all of tennis was abuzz with Andre Agassi's career-closing surge, and that moving, pitch-perfect farewell speech he delivered just moments after losing to Benjamin Becker in what proved to be his final match. Not long after Agassi bought Arthur Ashe stadium to a standstill (followed by an ovation that was nothing less than volcanic), I asked Lindsay in her next presser if she could see herself leaving the game in such grand style.


She didn't hesitate to reply: "I could never do that. . .I'm not that courageous. You know, Andre was amazing at that. I think Chris (Evert) did something like that, as well. A lot of players seem to do it more privately. I'm sure that that would be the case for me."


Lindsay had by then absorbed the truth of Polonius's immortal words: To thine own self be true. . . For Lindsay had spent most of her life shunning the limelight. If you grew up in southern California, a dark-haired girl well on your way to breaking 6-foot-2, you're probably familiar with some of the ploys Lindsay used in an attempt to keep from drawing attention to herself (always wear flats, learn how to make yourself "small" as you stand in the back row on class picture day). This compulsive desire to blend with the scenery is hardly a valuable or useful attitude for a pro tennis player. In fact, you might say that Lindsay chose the wrong career, although her $22 million-plus in prize money and three Grand Slam titles might say you're nuts.


It's funny, but you rarely hear people talking about Davenport as a (former) prodigy, probably because we're mostly interested in prodigies who run off the rails. There were no such complications for Lindsay, not ever. She was winning pro tour matches at age 15, and by 17 she was in the Top 20. She was also adamant about staying in Murrieta High School and graduating with her class. Playing and winning tennis matches was second nature to Lindsay, yet she never got entirely accustomed to the public nature of that undertaking. She got better about that near the end of her career, but you always got the feeling that for her, playing before spectators was an occupational hazard. When the limelight came her way, she often ducked, dodged or stonewalled in her own patented way, by withdrawing into a shell, and that often led her to play lousy tennis. It was her greatest flaw.


The U.S. Open of 2008 turned out to be Lindsay's last official tournament. Like almost every player out there, Lindsay's career ended with a loss (to Marion Bartoli, at the last U.S. Open), and that tells you something about this game. It's hard to elude the posse; in the end the posse always gets you, because you can only cheat mortality and time for so long. Even Agassi could only hold out for so long before journeyman Benjamin Becket cupped Andre's elbow in the palm of his hand, flung his other arm over Andre's shoulders, and gently led him over to his chair.


Lindsay left the game under dramatically different circumstances that could be described as tailor-made for her personality. Not long after her loss to Bartoli, Lindsay unexpectedly became pregnant again (she has a son, Jagger, almost two years old). It was a welcome intervention that freed her from having to dream up some other way to tiptoe from the stage, dodging behind a cardboard tree here, a curtain there. She told me: "When we found out we're having a second child (this time, it's a girl), it took a lot of the issues and decision making out of my hands. Given how much I'd struggled last summer (2008), with just one child, there's no way I could have continued playing anyway."


Evonne Goolagong, another woman pro who returned to play after having a child (She became the only mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era in 1980 at Wimbledon), maintains that the only adverse effect of having borne a child was an increased susceptibility to injury, although nobody could explain why that should be the case. But that's how things worked out for Lindsay, too. And the degree-of-danger may have been exacerbated for Davenport by how quickly she returned to the tour after having Jagger (a little over two months).


Upon her return, Lindsay stunned tennis fans with her high-level of play. But by March of 2008 she was suffering from a sore back. A right knee injury soon followed, and it lingered. "In the beginning there, it wasn't so difficult," she told me, "Even though Jon (Leach, Davenport's husband) couldn't travel (Leach is an investment banker), we worked it out. But the problems really started when I got those injuries. Trying to be a good mother and wife while doing rehab, going to a trainer, working out and then practicing - the hours just accumulated. I began to feel guilty, and neglectful of my family."


Lindsay played in fits and starts for most of the second half of 2008; she even entered the 2009 Australian Open. But the news that she was pregnant again caused her to pull the plug. The last time she played tennis was in Hawaii, over Christmas, with her husband, a former tennis All-American. She then embarked on a exploratory run as a television commentator. "I get along really well with Ted (Robinson) and Justin (Gimelstob). It would be tough to be in such close quarters with them - or anyone else - if it were any other way. I've enjoyed this more than I thought I would. But it's really still an experiment. I want to make sure I'm delivering a good message, and I don't want to be in a position to fail without really understanding this business. So this is all more of a learning experience for me."


The transition to broadcasting embodies a number of challenges, although Lindsay says that the only time she's really nervous is when she's doing an "on-camera" shot that requires her to look at the camera and speak to it, as if it were another person "I find that really, really difficult," she said. It's hardly surprising, when you consider that the camera is also looking at her and broadcasting her out into millions of homes, with nothing else to distract the viewer.


Lindsay's also a little leery of revealing too much about the players, or intruding on them in the locker room. She told me, "When I was playing, one commentator or another would always come down to the locker room half-an-hour before a match, looking to get some scoop. I didn't enjoy that. I try to respect everyone's privacy, and now I try not to get too close to the girls, just to be on the safe side when it comes to what I know and what I divulge. I think there's a certain line you should never cross, privacy-wise, And I definitely shy away from anything personal."


That attitude may not be ideal for survival in today's media jungle, but that's alright by Lindsay.It's not like she needs the money of a television gig, right? But doing commentary does enable her to stay in touch with the game, and that's something she clearly enjoys.


I had to ask her about that heartbreaking Wimbledon final she lost to Venus Williams in 2007. You may remember, Venus was serving, down 6-7 and 15-30 in the final set, after having already stared down one match point. If Lindsay wins the next point, she has two more match points. But Venus prevailed, in an agonizing, high-quality, Roland Garros-worthy rally to reach 30-all, and Lindsay, feeling fatigued for the first time in the match, wouldn't win another game.


"It was one of my most disappointing losses," Lindsay said. "But it's also one of the ones I'm most proud of, in terms of how I played.I really, really wanted to win a Grand Slam being married, for my husband. That's the only thing I regret when I look back at the match."


As regrets go, it's one that doesn't seem likely to cause Lindsay to lose any sleep.
 

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Thank you for posting :) it has been ages since I've come on this site and it is lovely to read something so complimentary about Lindsay.
 

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Great article, thanks for posting it:)

I miss Lindsay on the tour but she is at peace now with her career & a her future.
 

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God i miss her!!! I'm not sure when can I get over! I still want to see her competing. I know I'm selfish.
 

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God i miss her!!! I'm not sure when can I get over! I still want to see her competing. I know I'm selfish.
I'm missing Lindsay too. I still call myself Lindsafan because I haven't connected with another player like I connected with Lindsay. But at least Lindsay second career will give us a chance to hear her if not see her. I think it great Lindsay's second career is as commentator but it's a little ironic considering she spent her whole playing career dodging the media and now she one of them. :)
 

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but she is definitely doing the media thing her own way and seems like she's great at it.
But Still!!!! I still want to see her competing!!! even WTT i'll take it.
 

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but she is definitely doing the media thing her own way and seems like she's great at it.
But Still!!!! I still want to see her competing!!! even WTT i'll take it.
I totally agree with you. Lindsay refusing to interview player in the player's lounge is her version of being diva isn't it? I hope she plays WTT next too it would be nice to see her play again. :)
 

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I totally agree with you. Lindsay refusing to interview player in the player's lounge is her version of being diva isn't it? I hope she plays WTT next too it would be nice to see her play again. :)
But you know what? I can see her coming back in doubles ala Navratilova.
 

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But you know what? I can see her coming back in doubles ala Navratilova.
I doubt it but it would be nice if she did. I've been watching some of my old Lindsay matches lately and there will never be another Lindsay on the court or off it. I hope whatever she decides to do post tennis she is happy doing it. I'm not surprised Lindsay didn't hold a press conference to announce her retirement but it would've been nice if had to give her the send off she deserves. She came quietly, played her whole career avoiding the spotlight and left quietly. So very Lindsay like. :)
 

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:awww:
God, I miss her dearly. It's times like these, one the eve of slam finals, that I feel it the most. I may have other favorites, and I will always follow this game but it'll never be the way I followed it when Lindsay was playing and at the top of her game. There can only be one Lindsay. ;)
 
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