Saturday, December 13, 2008

What, does she get senior parking rates?

I'm at odds with myself over whether Lindsay Davenport's decision to enter the Aussie Open is good news. Here's the good, the great part: Davenport is still looking to pursue a professional and competitive tennis career at the ripe old age of 32 -- and as the mother of a toddler. Her intentions are inspiring, and if you've ever thought to yourself that it's too late -- for anything -- it certainly shouldn't have anything to do with your age. (As though 32 is old. But I'm sure it feels old for Davenport when she walks onto the court to play some 14-year-old hotshot.)
How-EVAH. Let's just be unflinchingly honest here. Lindsay Davenport would need to have gotten a speed transplant in the offseason to have a sniff at the Aussie Open third round. Or those Maria Sharapova-type draws. You can't play competitive tennis these days by hoping you hit enough winners that you don't have to rally. Even in the wading pool of women's tennis these days, Davenport hasn't made any major waves. Losing to Marion "Candy" Bartoli at the U.S. Open? Yikes.
Which begs the question: Is it enough (especially for a great champ like Lindsay) to just go out and give it the old university try? If you can't win, is it worth hitting the gym? It's one thing when you're coming up and getting better. When you're obviously on the downslope of your career, and you can't even stay in tournaments long enough to face the big players, it's another thing.
Seriously, I'm conflicted. Lindsay Davenport's return: Thumbs up or thumbs down?


Vicki said...

I think you summed up my feelings when I heard the news that Lindsay had entered the Australian open. I've followed Lindsay since 94 and for most it her comeback has been a success but I just hope the old fade out doesn't start and if it does Lindsay recognises it and retires be for it's too late.

Lindsay must have decided to play on as she has too much pride to let that match against Bartoli be her last pro match.

Naf said...

Hi, Vicki! You've got a good point there. Losing to Marion Bartoli couldn't have felt good. But can she do any better? How about losing to a nobody in the first round? Yikes. I really would love to see her do well, to completely defy everything and win something big, even a Tier I. We shall see ...

Vicki said...

Naf I totally agree with you the thought of Lindsay going from losing to Bartoli to a nobody in the 1st round at the Australian open is why I wanted Lindsay to retire. But she decided to play on and I will keep supporting her with fingers crossed she stay injury free and that nobody doesn't beat her at the Australian open. Love the title of post. Very creative.

van said...

What's up? I know Davenport's been a great champion and all, but I've never been on board with her comeback. I used to like her until she started complaining about how hard being on tour was, how she wanted to start a family, blah, blah, blah. When she stopped playing, I was happy for her because it seemed like she was doing what she wanted. Then she comes back as basically a second-tier player. What's the point in all that? She has a family, she could be doing something else; why come back if it was such a pain in the first place?

Anonymous said...

"candy" bartoli. that's priceless.
davenport gets to play as long as she feels like it. if she just wants to play for the fun of it, it's her prerogative. she's earned it. if her game slips enough that she has to qualify to get in, then there you go. until then, mind your own business.
besides, you might just deprive yourselves of one of the great moments in sports. you never know. let's not forget the single most exciting moment in tennis history was one over-the-hill Jimmy Connors in new york.