Net celeb meets locals

Simon Brown

For Lindsay Davenport, it's good to be home.

Davenport, a resident of Laguna Beach, is on a 13-match winning streak in her home state, after sweeping the competition in the Bank

of the West Classic in Carson and the Acura Classic in San Diego.

Fresh off of her convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory in the Acura final

Aug. 1 over Russian Anastasia Myskina, Davenport was given a warm

welcome by a local crowd when she attended the grand opening of the

Nikewomen store at South Coast Plaza. Triathlete Lokelani Michael, a

native of Hawaii, and choreographer MaDonna Grimes also greeted and

spoke to the crowd for about five minutes each.

Those who came to see the world's second-ranked player found

Davenport as impressive off the court as they do when she's on it.

"I love it; it's great [to see her]," Heidi Miley, 34, of Tustin

said. "It's inspirational."

Davenport, 28, has needed some inspiration herself in recent

years, suffering season-ending injuries to a knee in 2002 and a foot

in 2003, both of which required surgery. But each time, she was able

to come back.

"I think I do better when faced with a challenge and a goal in my

mind," Davenport said. "It sort of wears on you mentally. Both times,

I've been able to come back. I've been at the top of women's tennis

and nothing really keeps me down."

While the knee that ailed Davenport in 2002 gave her some trouble

during the Acura Classic, she says it feels fine overall and that she

is looking forward to the U.S. Open at the end of this month.

"You obviously never know what happens, but I'm feeling really

positive about my game. I think it's peaking at the right time," she

said. "I've been working pretty hard the last year, and it just

seemed to click this summer."

In order to prepare for the Open, Davenport will not be competing

in the Olympics in Athens.

"I've been fortunate enough to compete in two Olympics," she said.

"After all the years, it's impossible for me to play week after week.

Plus, I do have a gold medal."

In her 10-year career Davenport has won three Grand Slam titles,

42 total titles and the Gold Medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Now, she just wants one more big victory.

"I think the main goal is to win one more Grand Slam," she said.

"I feel like I've been really close and have a really good

opportunity now. It would be great to win one after [four years]."

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