World's top-ranked woman feeling better

Updated: January 15, 2005, 11:23 PM ET
Reuters

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.

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