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World's top-ranked woman feeling better

1/15/2005

MELBOURNE, Australia -- World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport will be fit for the Australian Open which starts on Monday despite pulling out of the warm-up event with a bout of
bronchitis.

The American played only one match at the Sydney
International but two days of rest and practice have made her
confident of a strong showing as she chases her first grand slam
title since her victory at Melbourne Park in 2000.

"I'm feeling better and I'm 100 percent playing," Davenport
said on Sunday. "I've definitely got some more energy the last
few days, gotten most of my voice back so much better.

"I've practiced pretty hard the last two days and feel good.
Of course, you never know until you're out playing in a match
and running a lot.

"But I would think, especially by Tuesday, I should be
hopefully 100 percent."

After losing to Maria Sharapova in the semifinals at
Wimbledon last year, Davenport seemed possibly ready to retire
from the sport.

A golden run of form, though, gave her four consecutive
titles, helped her end the year ranked No. 1 for the first
time since 2001 and convinced her to continue.

"I really was ready to quit last year," she said. "I just
thought I wasn't in contention to win the grand slams anymore.

"I don't know if that took some pressure off or what. But
finally I played tennis that I hadn't played in a few years and
kind of proved to myself that as long as you still have the
opportunity and chance to win a grand slam, it's kind of hard to
walk away at that point.

"I feel like I'm playing this year because I do have a good
chance and it's hard to walk away if you feel like you've left
business unfinished."

Davenport begins her campaign with a first-round clash
against Spain's Conchita Martinez.