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Reprinted with permission of: COMPAQ


Nathalie Tauziat def. Lindsay Davenport 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

An interview with LINDSAY DAVENPORT

Q. Was it a tough match? How do you see the match?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It was a tough match. You know, I don't feel like I played great. I felt like, you know, at the end I was trying to get ahead, and I just couldn't. But it's a good wake-up call for me. The first tournament in Europe, you know, I need to play a lot better the next two tournaments. Now I have a couple days to practice and hopefully I'll get better for next week.

Q. What does it mean "wake-up call"?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's just something, makes me see that, you know, I need to play better, makes you think, "Well, I better improve or else this trip might not go so well." But, you know, like I said, I didn't play great out there. I was trying hard to kind of get better. I was, but I just couldn't get on top.

Q. Was it a good match against Venus Williams?


Q. Against Venus Williams, the semifinal, Tauziat must play against her. Instead, you could play her if you had won. Is this an interesting match for you to play against Venus Williams?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it might have been, but I lost, so.

Q. What did you do since the US Open final? Did you rest a lot? Did you practice a lot?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, you know, I took the first week off and was just really relaxing at home and doing a lot of other stuff, media stuff. I started hitting last week. But I just didn't feel like I played that well today. Like I said, I've got a few days to practice some more before Filderstadt. Hopefully my game will come around before that.

Q. But was this something like a jet lag?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I just don't think -- you know, it could be many things. Who knows why you don't play so well. You know, I got in Monday, so I've been here for a couple days. But I think it's maybe a little bit altitude here. You know, I felt like my balls, a lot of them, were going long; I just didn't have that much control. Maybe a couple more days here would have helped.

Q. Comparing the matches you played against Nathalie this summer, how do you rate this one?


Q. Of level of intensity?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, who knows. I mean, I'd like to think that in the other matches I played better. I was hitting the ball a little bit better. But, you know, I tried hard today. I just didn't have what it takes here. She was always coming in, putting a lot of pressure on me. I think in the other matches I played better. But she played very aggressive today.

Q. Is she a player you like to play against or not?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah. I mean, I think I'm like 11-2. I don't know my record. Normally, I have a good record against her. Going into this match, I wasn't nervous or upset. I thought I had a very good chance, and I did. I just couldn't hold my serve at the end to get ahead.

Q. You're only 26 points behind Martina. Can you tell us, is this giving you any more pressure, not here, but for the coming weeks?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't think so. I mean, last year, I lost first round in Filderstadt. I could only hope to improve on that. I think losing here today might even help me because it's definitely going to make me practice harder the next few days to try and get better. But really, I don't think I have anything to lose. I mean, if I do well in Filderstadt, definitely I might win. It's kind of exciting. Hopefully, I can play well next week. We'll see what happens with how both of us do. I know it's going to be very tough because I know Martina is going to play very well. I just hope I can play well, too.

Q. Do you dream at night of becoming No. 1?


Q. Can you tell us when was the first time that you really realized you can do it?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I think pretty much probably after all the California tournaments, you know. I closed the gap to about 300 points. Obviously once I won the US Open, I knew it was going to be very, very close. But ranking has never been a huge priority of mine. Doing well in tournaments and, hopefully, trying to win a Grand Slam was always my goal. From now on, it's going to be to try to win tournaments, to try and be a very consistent player. Whatever happens with the rankings happens. You know, you can't really control that. It's never been a huge, huge obsession of mine. If it happens, I'll be very happy, though.

Q. You've always mentioned how good the relationship was with Martina. Do you think anything is going to change because of the rivalry?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No. I think she's a great girl. She's always been extremely nice to me. Her mother, included. I think she's been an unbelievable No. 1. She has a great attitude. She's friendly, unlike some other players in the past. I'm not ever going to hold anything against her for competing.

Q. Looking at Filderstadt, looking at here, might this be a sort of -- although there's a lot more money here, in your eyes could this be a lesser tournament because Filderstadt could hold the No. 1 ranking?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it's tough. I never played -- I mean, I've never played like a tournament like exhibition. You know what I mean? You normally play an exhibition going in. This is like a tournament, but really you don't get points for it, which is kind of a shame because it's all the best players here. For me, like I said earlier, I think I didn't play great today. I think this might help me in the next few days because I know I have to get better. Now I am going to look ahead to Filderstadt and Zurich. It's going to be a faster surface, which probably helps my game a little bit more. We'll see what happens.

I had a great time here playing. It was an honor to be here, first year the women are here. Next year if I make it, I'll try and do a bit better.

Q. Have you enjoyed Munich apart from the tennis?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I have. I've only been here since Monday. But I guess tonight I better go to Oktoberfest before I leave. I better make it there tonight. It's been great. I mean, everybody's been treating everybody like first class. It's been a very nice week.

Q. Do you have any feeling what effect it will have upon you as a tennis player, having won the US Open, particularly psychologically?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, hopefully, you know, it will definitely give me a big boost and a lot of confidence when I get back on the court playing tournaments. Again, I'm sure it will be more pressure, a lot more people are probably going after you a little bit more. But it's always been my dream and the one I wanted to win was the US Open. I'll never give back a dream, whatever the consequences are in the end. Hopefully I'll be able to play a little bit better in the next couple of weeks and win some tournaments again.

Q. What did you actually feel like out there on court? A little bit rusty, not really focused?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I definitely felt a little bit rusty and definitely a little bit sluggish. As a player, you never know why that is. Like I said, maybe a few more days here might have helped my performance. I gave it everything I could. At the end, I thought I was so close, if I would have just held serve and gotten a chance to return for the match, but I kept getting broken. I felt like I was just short of turning the corner to starting the match to play a little bit better. But definitely maybe just a little bit rusty. Who knows?

Q. But after that run through the summer in the States, was there bound to be some kind of letdown sooner or later?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I'd imagine, yeah. I mean, it was the greatest summer I could have possibly imagined, you know, winning three tournaments in California, then topping it off by winning the US Open. I did take a week off after the Open. That might have affected me a little bit. Now I have to kind of get back to business, concentrate on playing good again, getting back into the competitive spirit.