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June 29, 2000

Alexandra Stevenson



MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been a long year. A year ago it was a little better. How do you sum up this year from one Wimbledon to another?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I love Wimbledon. I'm very saddened to have an exit so early. But the good thing is my rookie year is over. I'm no longer a freshman on tour. I'd like everyone to know that. I think being on tour for the first year was very tough on me. I learned a lot and I got stronger, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It was okay, but it wasn't great. I'll be back many years to come. I still have mixed doubles here, so I'm not out completely, but I'm out of the singles, which is very important to me. But hopefully next year I'll make a better showing.

Q. Why do you feel the rookie year was so tough?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, there is a lot of hazing going on. It was just a tough year. I don't think any young girl should go through that.

Q. What do you mean by "hazing"?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Just things happened that weren't very nice, and they shouldn't happen. Hopefully next year I won't be a rookie, so they shouldn't happen.

Q. Can you be specific?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Just certain situations with girls.

Q. You mentioned this a few times before. I think the reason why we keep asking about it is because, as you said, it shouldn't happen.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yeah, it shouldn't happen.

Q. I assume you're talking about it because you want to bring it out into the open. Is that something you want to do?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I got called a piece of shit black girl, I guess you could say that, on the court a lot of times.

Q. By your opponent?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes, in French, so that wasn't very nice. Other things happened. A girl hit my mom with a hat. I think if that happened in your job place, you'd get in trouble. These girls didn't get in trouble here.

Q. That happened during this tournament?


Q. Did you complain to the WTA Tour?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes, I told them. But they can't really do anything about it because the girls are pretty wild. It's hard to control people. It's not a perfect situation out here. You wish it was, but it's not.

Q. The spectators hit your mother?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, it wasn't a spectator.

Q. One of your colleagues?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I wouldn't call her a colleague - I guess a colleague.

Q. Someone on the tour?


Q. You don't want to name the person?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Sure. Sidot and Cocheteux. Cocheteux called me the names and Sidot hit my mom.

Q. Can you tell us which tournament?


Q. In both cases?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, yeah. I played Cocheteux. Sidot did it the next day. In the French, Cocheteux came up and hit me -- kind of bumped me in the locker room. Kind of brought back memories from Venus and Spirlea. But Cocheteux is a little shorter than me. She kind of just ran the other way. I had a match so I didn't do anything.

Q. Do you think these things are going to stop because your rookie year is over?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, they better, because I'm getting tougher now.

Q. Do these things happen to everybody or just you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Not that I know of.

Q. So why do you think they happen to you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I don't know. I guess you'll have to ask the other people.

Q. Do you think these are the sort of potentially racist incidents?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think I kind of made a big splash last year. I don't think a lot of girls appreciated it. They have to grow up and have bigger minds, not be so petty. I'm moving on. Hopefully it will be okay.

Q. What do you do when a player like that says something to you like that on the court?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: You beat them. I was down 6-1, 3-0, and I came back and won 7-6, 6-1.

Q. Did it feel good?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yeah, it felt great. You don't get mad; you get even.

Q. Do you think they're jealous of you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Sure, I guess. I mean, I don't know why. I think I'm pretty nice. I don't harm anyone. I don't really talk to them because they don't talk to me. I just mind my own business. I guess because I've gotten a lot of attention and I have a personality, they don't like it. But that's too bad. That's me.

Q. On the other side of the coin, aside from Venus and Serena, who you've known for years, have any of the players come up and gone out of their way being supportive or said, "Hang in there"?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Uh-huh, a lot of them.

Q. Give examples.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Monica Seles is very nice to me. She kind of has come up to me and told me about how when she was younger, kind of like. She's very nice to me. Mary Joe Fernandez, she really doesn't play that much anymore after she got married, she's nice. Mary Pierce is nice to me. A lot of the girls are nice. But the majority of the girls, I don't know how to explain it, I guess they just don't like me. I guess they see me as a threat. They all want to go out and beat me. The girl I played today played very good tennis. Brian Gottfried went out and watched her. I don't think he saw her play that well. She kind of played the best match of her life, I think. She served awesome. She outserved me. That's pretty hard to do on grass. But she served really well. She came out and wanted to beat me, and she won. She deserved the win. There could have been a couple calls another way, but she played well. I give credit to her.

Q. What were the circumstances of Sidot hitting your mother?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I wasn't there, but she hit my mom. I mean, my mom told me. I don't know why they do it. I guess they take it out on my mom because they're scared of me or something because I'm taller than them or something.

Q. Did your mom tell you anything about it, what happened before she was hit?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It was just a big mix-up on the court. After I beat Cocheteux, obviously they don't like me, they kind of ganged up on me, the French. She just did it.

Q. She hit her with a hat?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: She pulled her hat down.

Q. Pulled your mom's hat down?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yeah. It wasn't like a punch, but it was stupid.

Q. The players council today extended the rule to Wimbledon that now says that mothers, coaches can't go into the locker room. Is that something that you like, that you want the separation, or do you see your mom as a protector?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think it's silly that they ban the coaches. I mean, the lady coaches, I think they did it because there's a lot of moms coming up on the tour. Melanie is the top mom/coach. She's a great coach. She doesn't get a lot of credit because she's not a man. A lot of girls don't like to see her in the locker room, I'm sure they don't like to see my mom. Hey, they work hard. Before I had Brian, my mom was on the court picking up balls, telling me what to do. Melanie has worked really hard. She deserves to be in that locker room. She has to shower, too. I think it's kind of silly that they banned it. One of the reasons why I think the ATP and the WTA should join together - that's my next quest to try and get to work. I think it would be great to have the men and the women together more often. Look at Wimbledon, the other three Grand Slams, the Ericsson and Indian Wells. Those are the major tournaments of the year. They have the men and the women together. I think it would make a big world stage and make tennis more popular. More people would like to see it if the men and women join together. Hopefully that will happen.

Q. Do you believe that rule is directed at you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: What, the coach's rule?

Q. Yes.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think it's more towards Melanie and Martina. I guess my mom and I were in it, too. I guess maybe some of the girls didn't like to see the other Federation coaches coming in or something. But I think it was mostly just Melanie and Martina. There's a lot of young Russian mothers coming up -- girls coming up and their mothers are coaching them. Chesnokov's coach, she's a well-credited coach, she's coaching some of the young Russian girls. She deserves to shower, too. It's just the locker room. I understand the training room because that's your place where you go to get treatment. You don't want anyone in there. It's too small anyways. But the locker room issue, I mean, you just shower and change. There's nowhere -- you don't hang out there. I don't hang out in the locker room. I guess they don't like it.

Q. What is the one thing you learned the most from your freshman year? If you felt like Julia Roberts the other day. What actress did you feel like today?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Today, let's see - that's a tough question. Probably a dramatic actress. Let me think. I'll have to think about it. Let me get back to the freshman year. What was the other question?

Q. What was the one thing that you learned the most from your year out on the tour?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I learned that you have to be really tough out here because I think I came out kind of as Southern California clueless girl. She had her mom with her. I was used to high school and people being nice to you. But out here, it's a job. I learned that. It's your profession. You have to be very professional out here. You don't make friends on tour. This is not your life; it's your job. You're out here for tennis, and you want to make history and be a champion. It shouldn't consume you, because if you get caught up in all that, you get eaten alive. The other people don't want you to succeed so you just have to stay with your inner circle, pray a lot to God, have Him on your side, just take a lot of confidence between a small group of people that surround you, be tough, keep playing.

Q. There's been an incident today with Mr. Dokic. Can you see any harm done by parental influence on players?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: First of all, I played doubles with Jelena in Hilton Head. I kind of made amends with her. We were going to play. She wasn't very nice to me before. We played, and her dad showed up drunk. My mom said, "You're not playing with her again." I don't think he counts as most of the parental influence because he needs help. That's what I think.

Q. It's 25 years since Arthur Ashe won the men's title here. How does it make you feel that you're still being subjected to racist insults?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think it's sad. It's the year 2000. Everyone should grow up. America has gone through a lot. Europe has gone through a lot, all over the world. You shouldn't have to do this. No matter what colour you are, if I showed up pink, blue, purple, yellow, black, brown, white, you're still a person. You eat, you breathe, you walk, you do everything alike. There's no difference. I think that's really sad that people today see there's a difference, because there really isn't.

Q. There's been reports in the New York papers of you being critical of Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I haven't seen it.

End of FastScripts....

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