Cautious Davenport No Easy Rider in Bali

NUSA DUA ~ Comeback mum Lindsay Davenport played it safe while off-court at the Bali International this week, passing up the chance to arrive at a beachside award ceremony by motorcycle.

Instead the three-time Grand Slam champion, who returned to tennis after a short-lived 2006 retirement by winning a doubles match with Daniela Hantuchova on Monday, opted to travel by car for the UNICEF presentation.

The safety-first transport strategy was designed to prevent any potential injury niggles going into a singles match later on Tuesday against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.

Davenport is traveling with a large entourage comprising mother Ann, coach Adam Petersen, a nanny and three-year-old son Jagger.

The Californian, who owns 51 titles, last played a year ago in Beijing, when she announced she was leaving the game for the joys of home and hearth.

That vow lasted barely a month after the June birth of Jagger, with Davenport now committed to Bali plus the WTA event next week in Beijing.

After that, she will make a decision about continuing into 2008, beginning in January in Australia. “Nothing is set in stone,” she insists.

“I’m excited about playing. I feel like I’m hitting the ball well,” Davenport said after dipping her toe into the doubles.

“I still have a little ways to go to get back into the shape I was in before, but I know all that. I’m still excited to be out here and get competitive again and see what I can learn from this week.”

Serb Jelena Jankovic heads the Bali field with a bye in the first round, with Hantuchova seeded second and Patty Schnyder on third.

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