She just had a baby and was off court for over a year, and, just as we thought that her career was over, she surprised us all by landing right in the court picking up things exactly the way she left them. Lindsay Davenport is a legend in the women’s tennis circle, not only for her ‘perfect’ backhand, or her Grand Slam performances, but also for her friendly demeanor and sportsmanship spirit.
Her return to the game has been bright and awe inspiring. In a considerably short span of time, she has won four tournaments and has reached the semi final and two quarter finals at other highly rated events, even notching wins over highly ranked, younger competitors. Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova have been just a few names that feature in the list of her high profile victims. In fact, these three players have the highest profile in the list. Her run in the Australian Open would have gone through to the second week had she not met an in form and completely geared Maria Sharapova in the second round. Her game remains the same, the smile flashes more often, her footwork might have slowed down but the power is as it was. The biggest difference is that her son featured with her at every prize ceremony, learning the tricks of the game as he begins his steep climb to adulthood while she beams with pride.By her own admission, every win now is nurtured and cherished more, while every loss is relegated to the way side, unlike times before where every loss was heartbreaking and every win was routine. The rise of Lindsay Davenport from motherhood does not by anyway shoot questions on the lack of depth on women’s tennis, which is as exciting as ever, competitive to the edge and more interesting than men’s tennis by a large distance, but merely attests the depth of talent this young mother has in her. How far will she continue this golden run? This is surely a million dollar question! However, looking at her performance these days, it is best we continue enjoying this legend’s beautiful yet crushing game As we regret the retirement of Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Steffi Graf, and discuss the good old days of tennis, let us not bring the same on us again by discussing the longevity of the comeback that she has so successfully charted. The tennis world believes the ‘hands that rock the cradle has decided to rock the tennis world’. Her comeback is inspiring and enjoyable and it has given tennis lovers the pleasure of a lifetime, and, I believe everyone including, Carlos Santana, the famous musician, confesses himself to be her greatest admirer. How should we remember her? Well, more than all that is written, just that moment where she cupped her mouth in disbelief with tears streaming down her sweaty cheeks after Steffi Graf netted the last backhand of her career during the Wimbledon final in 1999 and thus giving her biggest victory ever. Aye aye… Lindsay ! Here’s to more great tennis from the legend. Sayan Das
[Image courtesy: http://tennisinfoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/lindsay_davenport_baby.jpg]