16 August 2011

Favourite women’s slam champion

Lindsay Davenport

I remember Lindsay being a top 10 player, a slightly bigger than the rest girl who struck the ball so cleanly and effortlessly. I coveted her groundstrokes.

When Lindsay made her first slam final in 1998, up against the world #1 Hingis, it marked the culmination of an amazing summer in which she'd won three pre-US Open titles. It also cemented her as a real slam contender after she'd made two slam semifinals that year.

Lindsay's rise up the rankings correlated with her becoming a much fitter player, and I'll always remember her match point in NYC. Hingis drop shotted Lindsay after a long baseline rally and Lindsay, now quicker on her feet and able to cover the court so much better, easily chased down the short ball and returned it into the corner for a winner. GSM 6-3, 7-5 to take her first slam.

Lindsay ended her career with three slams, and contested another four slams which she ended up losing to Venus (three times) and Serena (once). Lindsay always said she achieved much more than she ever thought she would but I always thought she could have won more slams (she never made a slam final again after losing that 2005 heartbreaking Wimbledon final to Venus).

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