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Davenport ponders return to WTA

July 18, 2007|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Sacramento may be the start of the next chapter for new mother Lindsay Davenport, not a mere cameo on the tennis stage.

Davenport, a former No. 1-ranked player, revealed Tuesday that she is contemplating a comeback.

Of course, she never officially retired, although when she announced her pregnancy in December, she all but said she was through.

Her son Jagger was born June 10 -- via C-section -- and yet Davenport, 31, is ready to take the court Saturday in a TeamTennis match playing mixed doubles and doubles for Sacramento against the Newport Beach Breakers. This could lead to a return to the WTA Tour for Davenport.

"I hope so. I haven't made any decisions, final decisions yet," Davenport said in a conference call. "But it's something kind of like a small goal in the back of my mind I'm working towards. As it went in the later part of my pregnancy, I thought if I stay healthy, it would be just great to be able to come back and play some as a mother."

Like another new mother, basketball's Lisa Leslie, Davenport has her eye on Beijing and the 2008 Summer Olympics. Her husband, Jon Leach, is excited about the prospect, she said.

Davenport's first big career breakthrough came with an Olympic gold medal in singles at Atlanta in 1996, setting the stage for Grand Slam event titles at the U.S. Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999 and the Australian Open in 2000.

"Obviously, it would be tougher on him because he'd be without me and the baby for stretches at a time," said Davenport, who has been off the tour since September. "...The thing that really intrigues me about playing is the Olympics next year, trying to go back maybe obviously as a mother and see how that pans out."

She also laughed about how the baby closely resembles her husband, not the Davenport side of the family.

"Yeah, I joked that I'm basically a surrogate to my husband's twin," she said. "It's ridiculous. My family tries to help, 'Oh, you know, his fingers look like yours.' But he is 100% my husband, which is cute. I mean, it's amazing to look down and see that."

And Jagger is most definitely not named after Mick.

"It was a name that we had actually heard years ago," she said. "It has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones."

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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