Looks like former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport could set more tennis records in the near future — like shortest retirement.
Less than two months after delivering her son Jagger, Davenport will return to the court to play World TeamTennis on July 21. And after that? Don’t rule out a return to WTA Tour events, says Davenport.
“I never thought that I would — things changed so much,” Davenport said in a conference call for the World TeamTennis league. “I never thought, first of all, I’d be coming back so soon. It’s been so much fun kind of preparing for it. Just been hitting with my husband to get ready. It’s been great, great getting back in shape.”
While she won’t commit to a time frame, the American is clearly excited to be hitting balls again and possibly testing herself against the world’ best.
“It’s something kind of like a small goal in the back of my mind I’m working towards,” Davenport said. “You know, as it went in the later part of my pregnancy, I thought if I stay healthy, it would be just great to be able to come back and play some as a mother. Hopefully things continue to go well and that can be possible.”
Davenport added that no, her son’s name is not a nod to Mick and the Stones.
“It has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones, although people think that,” Davenport said. “You know, it was just a name we gravitated towards. We did not know what we were having the whole pregnancy. For whatever reason, we thought we were having a girl. We were always really discussing girl names. When he came out, we found out it was a boy, we hadn’t really discussed the possibility of anything other than a girl, so we went with the name that we had liked for the last few years.”
And on the new challenges of motherhood?
“The challenge I think for me is about trying to like balance everything,” Davenport said. “I totally understand now the working mom’s guilt. If I go out and practice, I feel bad about leaving him. If I’m home trying to do stuff, I feel bad cleaning up the house or whatever. It’s an interesting challenge there.”
If the comeback materializes, Davenport says it will be due to the support of her husband Jon.
“He thinks it’s great,” Davenport said. “He’s totally encouraging me to do whatever I want. Obviously it would be tougher on him because he’d be without me and the baby for stretches at a time. He thinks it’s exciting. The thing that really intrigues me about playing is the Olympics next year, trying to go back maybe obviously as a mother and see how that pans out.”
Currently only Venus and Serena Williams are Americans ranked in the Top 50 with shots at winning a tournament title (or winning Fed Cup matches, as exemplified last weekend). For fan’s of American women’s tennis, Davenport’s return can’t come soon enough.
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