Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Davenport Plans Return to Amelia; the New Mother Will Seek Her Fourth Bausch & Lomb Title

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Davenport Plans Return to Amelia; the New Mother Will Seek Her Fourth Bausch & Lomb Title

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

Amelia Island's darling is coming home after a two-year absence.

Lindsay Davenport, one of the most popular and successful players to have competed at the Bausch & Lomb Championships, announced Saturday that she'll participate in this year's tournament April 7-13 at Amelia Island Plantation.

Davenport is one of five women who have won the Bausch & Lomb singles crown three times. But she has missed the event the last two years. She withdrew from the 2006 tournament with a back injury that caused her to miss several months of action on the tour, and last year, she and her husband, Jon Leach, were expecting their first child. She gave birth to a baby boy, Jagger Jonathan, in June.

In her last two appearances at Amelia Island, Davenport won the singles title. She defeated Amelie Mauresmo in straight sets in 2004 and turned back Silvia Farina Elia in the 2005 final. Davenport claimed her first Bausch & Lomb title in 1997 with a two-set win over Mary Pierce.

"I've always loved playing at Amelia," Davenport said by phone Saturday from her home in Newport Beach, Calif. "I think that the intimacy factor of the tournament has been phenomenal. It's always been such a fun, kind of low-key week, and it's the best I've ever done on clay playing there. Clay isn't my favorite surface, but for some reason, I always seem to do well in playing at Amelia Island."

The three-time Grand Slam winner is starting to regain the form that propelled her to the No. 1 ranking in October of 1998. She held the top spot for 98 non-consecutive weeks over her career before developing back problems.

Davenport won the U.S. Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999 and the Australian Open in 2000.

She returned to competitive tennis last September, three months after giving birth, and has won three of the five tournaments she competed in -- at Bali, Quebec City and Auckland. …

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