Although Davenport ended the year as year-end #1 for a third time in her tremendous career, something that would have seemed near impossable a year ago, I am sure she felt a bit bittersweet accessing her year. As we all know it was a very wide open year in womens tennis, still very difficult mind you, with multiple worthy contenders still playing at a challenging and very demanding level, but open relative to what is the norm of late in womens tennis. Alot of the best off their peak, injured, developing, etc....
The U.S open had to be the biggest dissapointment. She came in as the dominant summer hard court player, winning four straight events, with anybody of note entered in atleast 2 of those 4. She won the first set of her semi against rising star Kuznetsova, by a lopsided 6-1 score, also with Kuznetsova seeming nervous, not rising to the occasion. Prior to the match she was a strong favorite, but after the first set it appeared there was no chance of her not to advance to the final on her expected path to the title. Then she aggravated an injury she had substained in practice and the match turned. She still took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd before falling just short. I am almost certain her injury deprived her of the U.S open title last year, which she was so worthy of. I cant imagine Dementieva getting away with those serves on a fast court, against Davenport's extraordinary return game.
Wimbledon is a lesser example but still a case could be made. While dominating her semifinal with eventual winner Maria Sharapova. A rain delay interrupted action. Maria was a transformed player after that, Davenport had lost some of the edge of her game. It gradually turned in the second set, then Sharapova simply blew past Davenport in the 3rd. Had the rain delay occured it seems Davenport was in good shape. Also while Serena would be no certain win for Davenport, she did beat her several times later that year, so the chance was there in retrospect.
Even at the French Open she likely had her best chance ever to win and complete the career slam. Except she was injured in the 4th round against Dementieva. Dementieva was playing well enough, considering the surface, she may have won the match anyway, but one cant help wonder if Davenport even had a chance there given the depleted draw she would have faced.
They say good things happen to good people. This was not the case for Davenport last year. It makes my stomach churn to think she has the same number of slams as Capriati, yet her ability is a player is on another planet. She also had the misfortune to be injured in 2 of Capriati's 3 slam wins despite she was winning most of their head to heads at the time.
Also keep in mind last year could have been the first time Davenport had won more than one slam in the same year if her luck had been a bit better.