Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Davenport, Raymond Revel in Reunion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Davenport, Raymond Revel in Reunion

Article excerpt

Byline: Laurie Cason, Times-Union sports writer

AMELIA ISLAND -- When it comes to expected partnerships in the WTA Tour doubles competition, one of the first that comes to mind is Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs.

The most successful team in recent women's professional tennis history, Raymond and Stubbs partnered to win 28 doubles titles dating back to their first championship at Chicago in 1996.

Still, when the pair decided to go their separate ways last summer, Raymond said there were no hard feelings.

"After five years, we kind of just ran our course," Raymond said. "Things just got a little stale. Things like that happen."

It wasn't much of a stretch, then, for Raymond, 29, to call on former partner and best friend Lindsay Davenport, 26, to reprise an on-court relationship that has roots in their earliest days on tour.

"You know, Linds and I started our careers playing together and now we have a chance to play together again," Raymond said. "It's the perfect ending to our story."

That Raymond-Davenport partnership is as rock solid off the court as it was on it in yesterday's 6-1, 6-1 opening round victory against Alexandra Stevenson and Mashona Washington at the Bausch & Lomb Championships.

"I didn't really think I'd ever play doubles again full-time and commit to a partner," Davenport said. "When she and Rennae decided not to play together anymore, I thought she's probably the only person I'd play with. She's my best friend out here and we've really had a good time."

That camaraderie was more than evident in the casual way the pair talked, heads bent together while they sat on the sideline, as Davenport retied her shoelaces before the start of yesterday's match.

"We talk about the full spectrum of things out there," Raymond said. "We certainly talk about doubles strategy, but we also talk about where we want to go for dinner, too. …

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