News & Features
The Return of Davenport
by Nick Bollettieri
, 3 March 2008
Davenport's back! That's good news for women's tennis, and with her commitment to play in the Fed Cup and her eyes set on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, better news for American women's tennis.
Davenport returns to the scene at a time where American women's tennis is heavily dependent on the success of the Williams' sisters. Just take a quick glance at the rankings. After Venus and Serena Williams - who check in at #7 and #10 respectively - are veterans Meghann Shaughnessy (#62), Meilen Tu (#63), Jill Craybas (#73), Julie Ditty (#92), Lilia Osterloh (#93), and Laura Granville (#95). The only American woman under the age of 26 in the top 100 is 22-year old Ashley Harkleroad (#72), who has yet to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam. Davenport, who played very little in 2007, is already ranked #46.
As strong a player as Lindsay is, it will be an Everest-like climb back to the number one seed she held in 1998. After an eleven month hiatus and becoming a Mom, her lateral movement may not be the same, but with the raw power of her groundstrokes we'll certainly see some sparks-or at least some tennis-ball fuzz-fly.
Coming back after a long break can be difficult, as we saw with Martina Hingis. In 2006 she had success, moving as high as #6, but in 2007, the strokes just weren't there, and things fell apart both on and off the court. With Davenport, whose strokes have been consistently powerful, we may see a different story.
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