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June 28, 2001

Alexandra Stevenson


MODERATOR: Please commence.

Q. What was exactly wrong with your back?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It went out. It's a strain. The long match on Tuesday, I went back and I did some exercise, and then it just got tight. Next day it hurt. I tried to get acupuncture and get it better. But in the match, I pulled it again on a forehand, so, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Tried to play, but couldn't.

Q. Is it the first time it's happened with your back?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Oh, no. This is what the injury was last time, so it's the same thing. Thought it would have gone away by now, but it came back.

Q. Didn't seem to restrict you too badly. You were serving well.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, my serve wasn't very good. I got broken. I mean, just the rotation of the serve, I wasn't turning. I couldn't really serve and volley. That really hampered me. I mean, so, it wasn't that good. I was about 40%. But she played a good match.

Q. Were you risking aggravating it by playing?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Probably, but it's Wimbledon. I wanted to go out and try and win. I didn't want to retire again. The trainers told me I was strained. I went back during the rain delay, tried to get stim on it, get it warmed up with hot cream. But didn't happen. Wasn't meant to be.

Q. Do you need a long rest?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I'm going to go back and see the guy, my back doctor, lots of doctors, find out if I need more rest. I mean, I'm just going to rest now till it gets better, for sure, because I don't want it to happen again.

Q. As it worked out, you were interrupting your own momentum. You had just won two straight games, eight of nine points. The trainer came out to treat you. You never were the same after that.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yeah, I broke back and won my serve. It was really hurting, so I had to stop because it was important for me to get that - I guess it was important. Maybe if I would have kept going, I could have just gotten my adrenaline. But it was hurting, and I just had a lucky streak in the two games. Then after that, it was hard. I mean, grass is hard to move on without an injury. You have to be able to get low. Obviously, I didn't get low today.

Q. Was there any particular moment in your match against Garbin that you thought you suffered this injury?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No. After the match, I felt fine. I went and iced and ate dinner, then did an exercise before I went to bed. In the morning, I woke up, I was a little tight. Then I hit, I was hitting volleys, and that's when I felt it, so I just stopped hitting. I went and tried to get a massage and ice and tried to do everything. I went to the acupuncturist, was praying, I was using magnets. Unfortunately, it wasn't better the next day. So you have to try everything in a Grand Slam.

Q. Where did you look for an acupuncturist?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I found one actually at the Harbour Club where Princess Diana used to go. His name is Simon Chung. He worked with Greg Rusedski a little because Greg was here, obviously. We found him through a friend.

Q. Did he actually stick some needles into you?


Q. But it didn't give you any relief, I gather?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Temporary. It's not going to be the cure. It didn't help that much.

Q. Obviously devastated you because you felt you could really go on and do really well this year.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yeah, I felt coming in, I was hitting well, playing well. Unfortunately, the back happened again. Just have to go home, get better, realise if I was a hundred percent, I probably would have done better. But I couldn't do it today.

Q. Confidence and self-belief are so important in tennis. Realistically, I know it's a tough moment for you, but realistically what do you think your prospects are for the coming year?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, if I cannot be injured, realistically, I think I can do really well. Regardless of what everyone says, I still believe in myself. When I'm a hundred percent, everybody better watch out because I can still hit the ball, I'm moving well. If I'm not hampered with my back, then everything will be okay. So that's the main goal, is just to get better right now, get this injury flushed out so it no longer appears.

Q. The other day you said sooner or later everything will be great. Do you think it's going to be sooner or later?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Hopefully it will be sooner. I mean, it better be. I'm going to work hard to get it to be sooner. But it's going to happen, so I just have to be patient. Makes you stronger, I guess. I'll be doing lots more exercises and making myself crazy, but that's okay. As long as I'm healthy.

End of FastScripts….

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