By Brad Byler
Special to the Denver Rocky Mountain News
Saturday, she fought off Conchita Martinez to help the United States capture the Fed Cup in Las Vegas.
Today, Lindsay Davenport will help fight multiple sclerosis in Denver. Davenport, the second-ranked women's tennis player in the world, arrived Monday with Monica Seles, Alexandra Stevenson and Mary Joe Fernandez and attended a news conference at a downtown restaurant to promote the MS Tennis Classic at 7 tonight at Magness Arena.
Although the Fed Cup signaled the end of the pro season, Davenport said she is looking forward to her singles match against Seles. Davenport then will team with Fernandez and face Seles and Stevenson in doubles.
"I'm really just looking to end the year on a happy note," Davenport said. "Have a fun match with Monica. My game is fairly straightforward; basically, from the baseline, hard groundstrokes, good serves. Maybe I'll try and come in a little more, although it's a little difficult against Monica."
Davenport limped off the court because of a calf injury after her victory against Martinez on Saturday, but she said the injury wasn't serious enough to keep her from playing in Denver.
"The calf is OK," said Davenport, who has won the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and, this year, the Australian Open. "It's probably not 100 percent right now. It felt a lot better (Sunday) than I thought it was going to, so I was happy to report (Sunday) that all was fine and I would be able to come. I don't think it will be a factor, but you don't know until you get out there."
Aside from Davenport's tender calf, Seles might have another advantage against her Fed Cup teammate tonight. Seles once lived in Colorado and has experience with Denver's altitude.
"I love this area," said Seles, ranked No. 4 in the world. "I used to live in Vail while I was away from the tour, so I came to Denver quite a few times. It's just great to have a tennis tournament here, even if it is just for one night. Hopefully, we can come back more often and have the fans see some more women's tennis. It's for a great cause, MS, so I'm really excited."
It won't be the first time Davenport and Fernandez have teamed for doubles play. They won the French Open doubles tournament in 1996. Seles and Stevenson will be playing together for the first time.
"It's going to be great to have a partner with a big serve," Seles said of the 19-year-old Stevenson. "It's going to help with this altitude."
All proceeds from the exhibition will support MS programs and research.
November 28, 2000