How Lindsay Davenport’s Mom Handled Her Wanting to Quit Tennis: I Just Wanted to Be ‘with My Friends’
But on the newest episode of PEOPLE’s Mom Talk, she admits that she wasn’t always so dedicated.
“I remember my mom, one time … I said I wanted to quit,” says the former tennis superstar, now 40. “I was 14, probably top three or four in the nation. And [my mom was] like, ‘Okay, well then, tomorrow we’re going to water polo or basketball or [something else]. You’ve gotta do a sport.’
“I was like, ‘Well, no, no, I just want to stay home!’ ” Davenport adds. ” ‘I just want to [be] with my friends!’ ”
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Davenport quickly realized tennis “isn’t so bad” when her mom gave her the choice between that and another sport. And originally, her folks actually thought she’d go in a different direction.
“My parents always figured, ‘She’ll be a volleyball player’ — I have two older sisters [who played],” she shares. “But you didn’t start volleyball then until you were, like, 9 or 10.”
The mother of four also notes that her mom and dad wanted to start her in a sport earlier to “get her out of the house” at 6 years old.
“My mom put me at a local club to start playing tennis, and I loved it so much,” she recalls. “I would go and play and I’d come home and hit against the garage and they’d yell at me to stop [because] it was too loud. Then my sisters would yell at me.”
— Jen Juneau