Lindsay Davenport earns honors — just another normal turn of events

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Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam champion, was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Monday. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press / August 27, 2008)

Now she is a tennis broadcaster and says she loves going to the four Grand Slam tournaments because there is no pressure.

She worked her way through serious back and knee injuries in a career that went from 1993 through 2008. Along the way, she had many ups and downs.

She got her three major titles in seven tries in the finals. In all of the finals Davenport lost, she came up against the Williams sisters, losing three to Venus, including a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 9-7 thriller at Wimbledon in 2005 in which she served for the match in the second set and had match point in the third. Davenport also had a set and 4-0 lead in the fourth round of the French against eventual winner Iva Majoli.

On the flip side, she once beat Maria Sharapova at Indian Wells, 6-0, 6-0.

When Davenport won her second major, at Wimbledon, she said legendary tennis journalist Bud Collins told her she was now headed for the Hall of Fame.

"I had never thought about that until then," she said.

Collins had gone from doubter to major supporter. When Davenport became No. 1, Collins was quoted in The Times as saying, "I always thought she'd be a nice schoolgirl, happy to weigh 210 pounds and be No. 8."

Davenport shed the weight in the mid-2000s and won even more.

But her true colors never changed.

In one major, she battled through several long matches and would have been best advised to default out of the doubles. But her partner was Corina Morariu, who had battled life-threatening cancer to make a tennis comeback.

Davenport played both doubles and singles, lost in both finals and said, when asked about why she hadn't skipped the doubles, "I just couldn't do that to Corina."

Monday, when introduced on the conference call, her first gesture was politically correct. Also 100% Davenport.

She congratulated the other inductees: teacher Nick Bollettieri, wheelchair star Chantal Vandierendonck, tennis executive Jane Brown Grimes and Wimbledon commentator John Barrett.

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