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Lindsay Davenport on Court
Post-match Interview Chase Championships Final 1999

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Lindsay won the Chase Championships in 1999

November 21, 1999

L. DAVENPORT/M. Hingis

6-4, 6-2

Q. That was quite a performance.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, just an awesome way to end the year. To win the last two tournaments, and to beat the number of Top-10 players I did, let alone Martina twice in two weeks, it's so exciting to play. It's just so great at the end. You know, I really went for it today and something I don't think I quite did that last year. So, when I woke up today I really just wanted to go for my shots, go for my winners and be the one who was dictating, and was able to do it all. And fortunately it was a day where more of them went in that went out and it was great.

Q. At what point did you realize this was a n: "I can't miss today"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You never know. People can always come back. To get up 5-2, that sounds a little bit stupid, but when I got up the second break, one break is not a lot against Martina. But up two breaks in the second set, I guess I could say that's when I was fairly confident I could win. I had two chances to serve it out; when you're just playing with one break, it's very difficult because you know she's a fighter and she's always going to try to come back.

Q. You said this was probably your best match ever, do you mean this year or ever in your career?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'd like to think ever, because it was such a big match. The whole match, I just played the way I wanted to play, aggressive and going for it, and a couple times serving for the set I was down Love-30 and was able to really focus and win four points in a row to win the set. I just thought I played mentally really well and I played the way I wanted to play by keep going for the winners. Everything was just great. I would definitely say it was one of the best ones I've played in my career.

Q. Can you talk about your serving game, you had some timely aces, especially in the second set where Martina completely miss-hit?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, yeah, she swung and missed. That was a lucky one. That's just a lucky bounce. I knew holding serve against Martina was key, and trying to mix it up so she didn't get a good rhythm on her return. Yeah, I don't know how many aces; enough to hold my serve almost every time because she does return well. So I was trying to mix it up a lot, go for different corners. It was a pretty good percentage, I think, for the amount. I was going for it.

Q. You had nine aces, by the way.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Thank you.

Q. Have you ever finished a match with aces three in a row especially in a major?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Not really. I remember serving for the match in Wimbledon and hitting one ace in one game and -- but hitting three to close out the match -- but really the way I played the last three games, not letting her back in the match and closing her out, that's great. That's something you hope you can do when you get into a situation to win a big title, and that's exactly what I did today.

Q. Is it ever distracting when a player throws their racquet?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, I didn't really see it. I saw one time she threw it into the chair when we were switching sides. But no, I don't watch my opponents very much on the court. And just because they throw a racquet doesn't mean she's not going to come back out and try; so I try not to pay attention to what they are doing.

Q. That kid that they said couldn't win a major because she wasn't tough enough, is that a very distant memory?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The amount of times now I've pulled through in big finals, and two Grand Slams and Olympic medal and now end-of-the-year championships, there's not too many more to win. Obviously Australia and Paris, but other than that, I keep accumulating a lot of big titles. So, yeah, people who said I may not be mentally strong enough; definitely proof that you can change things around. Maybe when I was 20, I really seemed to turn my career around, and the last three years have just been phenomenal.

Q. You kept saying in the opening round you were trying to get the quarterfinals and things like that, do you think that after the year you've had, the last two years, do you think of yourself --?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, but whenever I go into a big tournament, you know, the first goal, especially at Grand Slams is always to get to the quarterfinals and go from there. You know, the first week, you never know what can happen with players that are lower-ranked playing great or having a hot day. You know, I always look forward to getting to a certain point, and then kind of reassessing the tournament. Here, it's a little different with a small draw. But yeah, I don't take any match lightly, no matter who I'm playing and just get through them all.

Q. Do you think you could play any better than you played today, and if so, what aspect of the game?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No; I think did everything well. I mean, to beat Martina 4-2 is pretty great. It's pretty hard to do it any worse than that. I mean, my serve was great. I'm going to maker errors in my game at some points in matches because I go for it a lot. I'm a high-risk player, but when you can have more winners than errors and be more consistent, that's when I'm playing well.

Q. You won Wimbledon this year and you also won the last tournament of the millennium; who do you believe is No. 1 in the world?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, I firmly believe Martina is 1. For the last 52 weeks she has accumulated more points, she's won, been to the Australian finals, finals of the Paris Open, finals US Open; she is No. 1. But now I have a couple months to catch her. I didn't have a great spring last year; actually, pretty bad spring. I'm looking at, maybe April, I can reclaim the No. 1 ranking and looking forward to Australia. But no, she definitely ends the year No. 1.

Q. You said you don't mind not being in the spotlight, but was it tough to stand out there in the spotlight and they get a couple facts wrong while they are introducing you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, "I have seven titles, too." It's fine. If you let those kind of things bother you, then you're just too petty, probably. But I'm the one who won -- I've got the money now -- just kidding (laughter). That kind of stuff doesn't bother me.

Q. Are you going ice skating now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No.

Q. Are you going to do anything special?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, tonight is a big engagement party for my agent. I've got a big celebration that won't be the focus on me; so that will be very fun. After that I have no idea.

Q. You've always mentioned that titles were important to you, winning the US Open, and just making the Top-10 was a dream for you. Do you ever wake up and say, "Gosh, I'm a world-class player, I can't believe this is reality"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I wake up every day, and go, "God, I can't believe what I've done." For some people when they hear that, it shocks them. Other players say, "Oh, I knew I was going to win all these titles." The truth is, no, I think I'm very lucky for accomplishing everything I did. I never thought I'd be at this point in my career to have won a major, let alone any titles. Yeah, I think it's great, and I enjoy all the time thinking about it.

Q. Jana said she thought it was quite disappointing, the change of format to the best of three. Do you think something special was taken away from the championship?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think they were trying to be unique with the three-out-of-five, but I felt last year, there is a certain strategy involved in playing three out of five sets, and for the women who play it for one match out of the year, it's kind of difficult to get a hang of it. And it's women's tennis. Women's tennis is two-out-of-three. I supported the change. Yeah, there is some difference now in the finals, but it's the way it always is in women's tennis. It's like a Grand Slam final; it's like every other final we play.

Q. What about for equal prize money?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't believe it matters how many sets you play for, how many sets you should get paid.

Q. How much do you think your physical problems affected you this year, do you think that was a big factor, the wrist problems --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: My spring was severely affected by first getting pretty sick and then a wrist injury. Now I can look back and go, "God I can't wait in until spring this year." I had a four-round loss and pulled out of a few tournaments. Every player goes through it every year there is something or every few years, and you get used to it. It's nothing new. Look what Steffi Graf had to go through her whole career. But I'm hoping next year to play, hopefully, without pulling out of a tournament, unless I want to.

Q. How early in the match could you tell you were in the zone?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it's always great when you break the first game. It gives a lot of confidence, and I held my first service game, as well, so that helped just a lot, just knowing, you know, I started off well. So the other matches, I had gotten off to a bit of a slow start, so today when I started off right away up 2-love, mentally, that helped a lot.

Q. Is there any part of you in the next 10, 20 years that wants to be mentioned in the same sentences as Navratilova, Graf, Evert?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I haven't thought about it yet. It's a little early in my career to see where exactly I'm going to fall into place. But, it's a little different. I mean, those two, especially, won multiple majors. Right now, I have two Grand Slams and Olympic medal, and my career is not over. Hopefully, I'll win a few more, and then you get put up into that status.

Q. With you and Venus, so many big servers, do you think women's tennis is becoming more of a men's style?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, we are developing bigger deserves, but at the same time, as you could tell today, and yesterday, Martina didn't have too much of a problem getting a lot of them back. You're going to win some free points, but women's tennis you still see a lot more returns than in men's tennis.

Q. How concerned were you when --?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, that's why it's always important to get two breaks on Martina, or any good returner. I was a little -- serving at 4-3 after being up 4-1, that was probably the most nerve-wracking; even for the set at 5-4 and Love-30, the few points I was able to win in both games, to win that first set, because she was definitely coming back, getting a little bit more confident and not making so many errors.

Q. Did you feel any pain in your leg?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I felt great. Really happy.

Q. Next year in your quest to claim that No. 1 ranking, do you feel now that you've faced Hingis and beaten her, do you know how to play her better now, do you know her game?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, we've played so many times, and I -- well, this year, I guess I finished 3-0 against year. I had a great year when I played her, but these days it's not just worrying about Martina, it's worrying about Venus, and Monica and Mary. So now I guess I have a slight edge over Martina, but there's five or six other players which you have to maintain an edge over, which is very difficult.

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