American tennis player Lindsay Davenport emerged as a force in womenís tennis in the late 1990s. She is pictured here during the finals at Wimbledon in 1999. In the match Davenport defeated German player Steffi Graf, 6-4, 7-5.
Lindsay Davenport, born in 1976, American tennis player, winner of the United States Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999, and the Australian Open in 2000. Davenport also won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
Davenport was born in Palos Verdes, California. She began to play tennis when she was six years old and soon developed into a talented player. Davenport turned professional when she was 16 years old, but instead of devoting her time primarily to tennis, she attended high school full-time while she worked on her game. She grew to 6 ft 2.5 in (189 cm) and developed powerful ground strokes, but early in her professional career her volleying suffered because she lacked the confidence and mobility needed to play well at the net.
Beginning in 1995, Davenport gave increased attention to her gameís weaknesses. Under the guidance of her coach and trainer, Robert Vanít Hof, she became quicker at moving around the court and played more aggressively during matches. The changes paid off at the 1996 Olympics. Davenport was seeded ninth in the singles competition, but she won the gold medal, defeating the seventh, fifth, fourth, and third seeds in the process.
In 1998 Davenport became one of the elite players in womenís tennis. She won 69 singles matches, more than any other player that year, and reached the finals in eight of her last ten tournaments, winning five of them. At the U.S. Open she did not lose a single set, and she defeated top-ranked Swiss player Martina Hingis in the finals, 6-3, 7-5. Davenport was the first American-born woman to win the U.S. Open since Chris Evert in 1982. (American players Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles, who won titles in the 1980s and 1990s, were both born in other countries.)
In 1999 Davenport won her second major title by beating German player Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon finals, 6-4, 7-5. Throughout the tournament Davenport dominated her opponents, and she did not lose a set during the entire competition. Davenport won her third major title at the 2000 Australian Open, defeating Hingis in the finals.
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