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Baby and tennis a perfect match for Davenport

http://sports.sina.com.cn 2007年09月20日20:43  AFP

  BEIJING, Sept 20, 2007 (AFP) - After joining the rather small club of tennis pro mums, Lindsay Davenport on Thursday called on pregnant Kim Clijsters to eventually return to the tour after giving birth.

  "I have to talk Kim into coming back," said Davenport, whose test return to the tour after a year away -- and just three months after the birth of son Jagger -- has brought great success, including a title in Bali last week.

  "I don't think she has any plans to do it but we'll try."

  Clijsters, a former world number one and US Open champion, quit earlier this year at age 23, got married and is now due to have her first child in four months.

  Like Davenport said a year ago, the Belgian said she has retired from professional tennis and is prepared to move on with her new life.

  The club of player-mums is small indeed -- Davenport has joined Austria's Sybille Bammer, who has travelled for the past few seasons with five-year-old daughter Tina and the child's father.

  Bammer, ranked 20th in the world, has occasionally brought her daughter to press conferences, winning the hearts of journalists. But with Tina starting school, the 27-year-old's appearances are set to be limited.

  Davenport admits she began to feel the tug of tennis only weeks after giving birth to Jagger in June.

  Shortly afterwards, the 31-year-old began contemplating a return to the sport in which she has won three Grand Slam titles.

  She tested the waters last week in Bali and came up trumps with a trophy, the 52nd of her career.

  Jagger has been along for the ride in Asia, along with Davenport's own mother Ann, a nanny and a hitting partner. The entourage will return to California after the China Open.

  Davenport will then decide whether to make a full comeback in 2008, and scheduling appears to be a key concern.

  "It's been difficult, but really fun," Davenport said. "My days are amazingly occupied and busy. I'm extraordinarily blessed to have a job which requires me to be away form my child just three or four hours per day.

  "I get to spend all the time with him, but I have to be much more organised."

  And she admits that playing top tennis after childbirth is a new experience.

  "Physically, your body is really different. I'm definitely not back to where I was before," she said after admitting last week that she will need to shed a few kilos before making a full comeback.

  "I'm definitely not the fastest player out there so I have to rely on my anticipation. It's going to take a few months."

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