12 November 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Wimbledon: Lindsay Davenport on who to watch

June 30, 2015
Wimbledon-BBC

Linsday Davenport (below right) is a former World No. 1 American professional tennis player, she has won three Grand Slam singles titles including Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal. Sportsister’s Danielle Sellwood spoke to Lindsay ahead of Wimbledon to get the insider’s view on the tournament.

Wimbledon-BBC

Who to watch: 

“The second week of Wimbledon has the bigger matches, but I always love to walk around the outside courts and watch some of the junior matches. Pretty much all the big stars have started there and you may just get to watch the next massive star before they are famous.”

“Laura Robson is coming back and obviously she’s hugely popular, She looked brilliant at Eastborne and really happy to be back playing tennis.”

Serena is playing to make history, so this would be her 21st title and an opportunity to take 4 slam titles in a row – very few have done that before. She’s already done it once, earlier in her career, so it will be interesting to see if the pressure gets to her or she thrives in that environment.

In the US we have two up and coming players who are interesting to watch – Sloane Stephens (rank 37) and Madison Keys (21 seed), they both play big style games and it wouldn’t surprise me if they had some pretty big games at Wimbledon.

There’s also Karoline Pliskova (rank 11) who is a Czech player – she likes the grass and she plays big, so I have a feeling she is going to have a good Wimbledon.”

Wimbledon

“I just love Wimbledon, it’s such an amazing tournament and it was a huge privilege to be able to play there. Now I get to work with some amazing people at the BBC and watch incredible tennis, so I couldn’t be happier.

I will be playing in the senior matches in the second week, which is such an honour. It’s a little bit nerve wracking though because I don’t play as much as I’d like, but still It’s a special experience no matter how many times you’ve played here or how old or young you are.”

Lindsay-Davenport

Change in the game

“Each decade the game changes quite a bit, it’s a much more athletic game now than it ever was before. The atheletes are faster and stonger, the ball is being hit harder, you know – gone are the days when you could be a great tennis player – now you have to be an amazing tennis player and a fantastic athlete too.”

“The sport has gotten better and better over the years and it’s been great to watch that transformation.”

Advice

My advice for any youngsters starting now, would be to concentrate on all-round fitness and even enjoy other sports until you are around 12-13 before thinking about just focusing on tennis.

Enjoy it, you need to love what you do because you are going to be spending many hours training, so make sure you find your true passion!

Sports fan

I grew up loving all sports, my father was an Olympian in Volleyball so I love watching that sport. I grew up around it, it was a huge part of my childhood, so when I go to watch the Olympics I always ask for that ticket first.

My parents would have loved me to play volleyball – I am tall at 6ft 3 so that would have been an advantage – My dad is 6ft 8 so that’s where the height comes from.

If I could try anything new I guess I would love to play golf well. I have tried, but I am not that great – it would be amazing to be shown the ropes by a pro!

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Lindsay Davenport is part of the BBC’s Wimbledon line up. The tournament began on 29 June with full coverage across BBC TV, Radio and Online

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