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August 26, 2002

Alexandra Stevenson


MODERATOR: Questions for Alexandra, please.

Q. Were you able to work things out after the match in New Haven before today?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes, but I didn't do it in the match. It was a pretty pathetic match. Not much to say.

Q. Did you welcome Kournikova's defeat, or did you view that as an opportunity?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I didn't really pay attention. I was focused on this match. It didn't matter, the second round. I had to get past this match first, and I didn't.

Q. You seemed really upset after you lost. What was the most disappointing part of it in your mind?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: That I didn't play well, that I didn't play my best tennis for the US Open. It's disappointing to go out in the first round again. As an American, everything that's happened, I really wanted to do well here. I didn't perform well.

Q. It had to be emotional for you to have the firemen here tonight. Was that on your mind?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It was great that they came. It's been sad since I've been back. But that's why I wanted to do well. I guess I just have to work on what goes wrong in Grand Slams. But it was wonderful that they came and supported me.

Q. I've been watching you for a number of years. I have never seen you look as disconsolate as you look at the moment.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It's devastating. That's the only word I can use for it.

Q. Do you need to go back now and sort of reexamine your game and your preparation techniques?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I don't think it's my game. I just think something's wrong with my head when I get to a Grand Slam. It happened at Wimbledon. It happened today. I mean, I played fine last week. I let up a little bit against Hingis. Then the week before that, I played okay in the first rounds. I guess I have to figure out what's going on because something's happening out there. I'm not the same Alexandra as I am in another tournament.

Q. Do you feel different, maybe you're getting caught up in the hoopla?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I didn't really get distracted. I went on the court and I didn't play like Alexandra Stevenson should play. I must have had 20 double-faults, maybe 30.

Q. 18.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: 18. So that usually never happens. I get upset when I get four. 18 double-faults is pretty unbelievable.

Q. When you start having problems with the serve, does that creep into your head?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think it was a domino effect. I mean, I tried to fight it off. I fought so hard. Everything I did worked against me. It's just hard to explain, as an American, seeded for the first time here, I really wanted to do well. It's the fifth year that I've lost in the first round.

Q. I've seen you play smashing tennis as a junior at this site. Have you ever tried to relate to that, take support from that?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No. It was a long time ago. I guess maybe I should. I mean, I played well here as a junior. As you said, I won the junior doubles. But doubles isn't the same as singles. Lucky I'm 21, I guess.

Q. You keep referring to your status as an American. Do you feel this is like an American's defeat?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No. It was just an Alexandra Stevenson defeat. This is the Grand Slam that as an American you look forward to. It's in New York City, the best city in the world. It's on your home turf. You have the crowd, you have the excitement. It's just, as I said before, it's devastating that you go out in the first round again.

Q. Do you find yourself, when you go onto the court for a Slam, thinking you have to play better, win the match, not necessarily because it's a Grand Slam, but you feel that way anyway?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I definitely know it's a Grand Slam. I guess I just have to think it's just another tournament, and I don't think I'm doing that I guess on the court. I did say it's just another tournament, but it happened again. It has to stop.

Q. Do you think it's something that you can resolve?


Q. Or work through.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Hopefully. Or it's going to be a long 10 years on the tour. I did it once before in '99. I was loose, and it was because I was 18 and no one knew who I was. I played good tennis. I hit the ball, I served well. I haven't done that in these tournaments because everyone knows who I am, I guess. I don't know. I guess I just have to figure out what I'm doing, because I'm not loose and I'm not serving well and I'm double-faulting. I mean, I fought hard, but it wasn't good enough.

Q. Would you have preferred to maybe be on one of the outer courts?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, I love being on Grandstand. It was the first time I actually played there for singles. I love the crowd. I don't think it would matter on an outside court or on an inside court tonight.

End of FastScripts….

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