Sunday, December 10, 2023

Early exit for Davenport

Three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport struggled through one of the worst games of her career in a frustrating third-round US Open loss that could mark the end of her career.
The 32-year-old American mum, a former world number one and the 1996 Olympic champion, was eliminated by French 12th seed Marion Bartoli 6-1, 7-6 (7/3). Davenport said she would decide on her WTA future after the tournament.
“It’s tough to make any kind of decision in a rash moment,” Davenport said. “There was no decision made before the tournament and I don’t think it’s time to make a certain statement now.” Davenport, who missed last year’s US Open after giving birth to infant son Jagger, had not made so early an exit from Flushing Meadows since losing in the second round in 1995.
“I never felt like I had my feet underneath me,” Davenport said. “I was never in the match the way I wanted to be. It was some of my least-great tennis. I was able to stay in there and try to turn it around.”
Davenport broke Bartoli to level the second set 5-5, but gave away four of her eight total double faults in the 11th game to surrender another break.
“I had they yips on my serve. I have no idea where it came from,” she said.
“I just never felt comfortable out there and I was trying so hard to get back in the set, was able to do that, and then played one of the worst games of my career at 5-5. That’s the way it goes.”
“I clawed my way through not playing great and made it competitive. It’s just a shame. I had all the momentum.” Davenport, who made 33 unforced errors in the match, broke back to force a tie-breaker but neither player won on her serve through the first five points before Bartoli surged ahead 6-2.
“I gave myself a chance out there but once my serve left me I didn’t have a lot of confidence to go up after it and that translated into my ground strokes.”
Davenport netted a forehand to end the struggle after one hour and 51 minutes and hurried off the court, not mindful it could be her Slam farewell.
“I was so pissed off that I didn’t think about anything,” Davenport said.
Davenport won the 1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open titles. She took 11 months off to have her first child, then returned a year ago and won this year at Auckland and Memphis, stretching her career title total to 55 and serving notice she was back.
But a right knee injury suffered at Eastbourne led Davenport to drop out after one match at Wimbledon and again at the Beijing Olympics.


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