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Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay Ann Davenport (born June 8, 1976 in Palos Verdes, California) is a former World No. 1 American professional female tennis champion. She has won three Grand Slam singles tournaments: the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and the 2000 Australian Open. She also won an Olympic gold medal in singles in 1996. Among active players, Davenport has earned the most career prize money, amassing over US $21 million.
Davenport was ranked as the #1 women singles and doubles player several times between 1998 and 2001. She returned to the number one ranking in singles during the latter part of the 2004 season, remaining there throughout most of the 2005 season (being briefly overtaken by Maria Sharapova for seven weeks). She was the year-end #1 player in 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005. Only three other women have finished #1 at least four times since the computer singles rankings were established in 1975: Steffi Graf (eight times), Martina Navratilova (seven times), and Chris Evert (six times). She announced at the end of the 2005 season that she would play fewer events in 2006. As a result of this schedule, and her inactivity due to a lower back injury, her ranking fell to #25, marking the first time since the computer singles rankings were established in 1975 that no American has been ranked in the top 10.
In 2004, Davenport won a tour-high seven titles, including four straight during the summer (Stanford, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Cincinnati). She also had the most match wins on the WTA tour, with 63. She finished the year ranked first for the third time in her career. Her success continued into 2005 when she reached her first Grand Slam final, at the Australian Open, since the U.S. Open in 2000. Unfortunately for Davenport, she lost a one set lead in the final, falling to Serena Williams in three sets. At a tournament in Indian Wells, California in March, Davenport made history by defeating world number three Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-0. It marked the first time that a player ranked in the top three had ever been "shut out" on the WTA tour and was also the first time Sharapova had failed to win a game during a match.
Davenport bypassed the European clay court season and went to the 2005 French Open without having played a professional competitive match for weeks. She confounded expectations with a run to the quarterfinals on her least favourite surface after four three-set matches, including coming-from-behind to win against Kim Clijsters in the fourth round. Davenport lost to eventual runner-up Mary Pierce but returned for Wimbledon as the top seed. She easily made it to the fourth round, where she was tested again by Clijsters but came through in three sets to win her second successive match against the Belgian. Davenport then reached the semifinals, where her match against Amélie Mauresmo was interrupted by rain and was completed over the course of two days. Davenport eventually defeated Mauresmo 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 and faced 14th seeded Venus Williams in an all-American final. Davenport lead most of the way, including having a match point at 5-4 in the final set. Williams went on to win 4-6, 7-6, 9-7 in the longest (in terms of time) Wimbledon final in history. In that match, Davenport sustained a serious back injury while leading 4-2 (40-15) in the final set. The injury forced her to withdraw from Fed Cup competition. Davenport returned to the tour in Palo Alto, California. After reinjuring her back in a warmup just hours before her match, Davenport retired while trailing 5-0 in the first set. This back injury then forced her to withdraw from other hardcourt events in Carlsbad and Los Angeles.
Davenport returned to the WTA Tour in August, winning her comeback tournament in New Haven, Connecticut without dropping a set. Davenport then reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, where she held a match point on Elena Dementieva before falling 7-6(6) in the third set. Davenport briefly lost the #1 ranking following the event. After the loss at the U.S. Open, Davenport captured the title in Bali without dropping a set and subsequently qualified for the WTA Tour Championships. She then won the title in Filderstadt, Germany, defeating Mauresmo in the final for the second year in a row. The win made her only the tenth woman ever to win 50 career WTA singles titles. In Zurich, Davenport defeated Daniela Hantuchova 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, saving two match points. By winning the match, Davenport was assured of recapturing the World No.1 ranking from Maria Sharapova the following week. In subsequent matches, she inched past Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and defeated seventh seed Anastasia Myskina 6-0, 6-4 to reach her sixth Zurich final in as many visits and set up a rematch of the 2002 final with Swiss Patty Schnyder. Davenport overcame the sixth seed 7-6(5), 6-3 for her fourth title at Zurich and her sixth title of 2005, second only to Clijsters' nine. It was also the first time Davenport had saved match points en route to a victory since the 1999 U.S. Open. The Zurich Open victory left her with eleven Tier I titles, second among active players.
Davenport was a semifinalist at the WTA tour year-ending championships (losing to Mary Pierce 7-6, 7-6), which ensured that she finished the year ranked No. 1. 2005 was the fourth time that Davenport ended the year ranked No. 1, joining Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Monica Seles as the only female players to end a season ranked first at least four times. In 2005, TENNIS Magazine ranked Davenport 29th in its list of 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era. On February 22, 2006, Davenport became just the eighth woman in WTA history to win 700 singles matches, when she handed out her fourth career "double bagel," defeating Elena Likhovtseva 6-0, 6-0 in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open.
Davenport was absent from the court from March 2006, when she was defeated in the fourth round of Indian Wells by Martina Hingis 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, until August 2006 with a back injury. She returned in Los Angeles, losing to Samantha Stosur 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round (having received a first round bye). It was Davenport's earliest exit from a tournament since early 2003. Davenport attributed the loss to her having resumed training only three weeks prior to the start of the tournament. Davenport has re-hired Adam Pieterson as her coach, with whom she worked during her 2004-05 resurgence. After the loss in Los Angeles, Davenport returned to the Pilot Pen Tournament in New Haven, defeating Katarina Srebotnik and Schiavone in her first two matches. Davenport then faced world #1 Mauresmo in the quarterfinals, posting a 6-4, 7-5 victory. In the semifinals, Davenport defeated Stosur (who had beaten Davenport in Los Angeles) 7-6, 7-6. Davenport was forced to retire with a right shoulder injury while playing Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final.
Despite injury concerns, Davenport reached the 2006 U.S. Open quarterfinals where she again lost to Henin-Hardenne, 6-4, 6-4. As of 14 december 2006, Davenport said in an interview that she is pregnant, and will give birth to her first child around the period of Wimbledon. She also stated she will focus on her family and will retire after the birth of her first child. She said because of the struggle she had this year, she is almost sure she won't be able to come back after her pregnacy.

Grand Slam singles finals

Year Championship Position Opponent Score
1998 U.S. Open Champion Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-5
1999 Wimbledon Champion Steffi Graf 6-4, 7-5
2000 Australian Open Champion Martina Hingis 6-1, 7-5
2000 Wimbledon Runner-Up Venus Williams 6-3, 7-6
2000 U.S. Open Runner-Up Venus Williams 6-4, 7-5
2005 Australian Open Runner-Up Serena Williams 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
2005 Wimbledon Runner-Up Venus Williams 4-6, 7-6, 9-7

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