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Tennis: Davenport vows to crack top 10

sports Updated: Jan 16, 2008 17:49 IST
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Former world number one Lindsay Davenport might be out of the Australian Open but she is far from down, vowing to continue her comeback and crack the top 10 by the end of the year.

The American 31-year-old mother was overwhelmed 6-1, 6-3 by fifth seed Maria Sharapova in her first Grand Slam since returning to action in September after giving birth.

Despite showing outstanding form since bouncing back, winning three tournaments out of the four she has entered, her undoing in the second round here showed she still has work to do to compete with the best.

"I mean, any time you play the top players you can see maybe how far off you are. I'm not sure I'm aiming to get back to the very top of women's tennis. But absolutely, she was head and shoulders better than I was," she admitted.

"So I've got to figure out a way to play better again at the bigger tournaments and give myself a little better chance than I did tonight.

"Hopefully, I think it will come back. I've got a few weeks before I've got to play again so I'll work on some things.

"But obviously I'm disappointed with the way this match went and this tournament went, but I have to look big picture at this point in my career, and so far it's gone pretty well the last few months."

While unhappy with her performance, Davenport, who has won 54 WTA titles and this week overtook Steffi Graf to become the highest earning sportswoman in history, is upbeat and targeting the top 10 once again.

"I believe I can get back into the top 10 by the end of the year. I obviously need a lot more tournaments to play and need to improve my level, but I totally believe in myself that I can achieve that," she said.

With motherhood and marriage adding new dimensions to her life, she said she had never felt better and explained that she wants to continue her tennis career because she loves challenges.

"It's nothing really to prove. I've always just enjoyed a challenge, and it's been a huge challenge to come back after having a baby," she said.

"It's been a lot of fun to try and see what I can accomplish now being older and having my body go through a little bit of a metamorphosis.

"But it's been a lot of fun, because it's been so long since I've been on my way up and trying to improve and trying to go up the rankings.

"I definitely missed playing, I miss the daily goal of having something to strive for. And obviously I'm going to have some setbacks and didn't play well here, but overall I'm still having fun, so why not?"

Her next assignment is the Fed Cup in early February before playing in Memphis and then Indi