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August 31, 1999

Alexandra Stevenson

1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions for Alexandra, please.

Q. What went wrong today for you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I lost to a tough player. I just need to learn some more. It's, I just started, and she played well, and she's experienced,

and she knows what to do on the court.

Q. Did you ever feel like you were in the match? Were you comfortable at all while you were playing?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I think I had some chances, I just didn't take them. But she played well, and I need to learn some more.

Q. Do you sometimes feel like Wimbledon was premature, so much so soon? You've struggled since then?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Grass is definitely a different game. And my game's great on grass, and it will be great on hardcourt. I just need to work harder and learn a lot more and play some more matches.

Q. What do you think you -- maybe it's too soon to ask this, but what do you think you may have learned out of this?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I learned how to-- when I hit a good shot, that I need to come up to the net, not just wait for the next ball. And just, I need to get to the net more, and know what I'm doing on the court because sometimes I'll hit a really good shot and it will come back; and then I'll try to hit an even better shot, when I could just hit a good shot and get it back in the court and then see what happens.

Q. Did you notice the crowd rooting for you during the match? What's your reaction to that?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It was great. I mean, I'm an American at the US Open. Nothing's better than that, except when you lose because then you don't get to be on the show courts and everyone cheers for you. Even though I have mixed doubles and doubles, it's still not anything like singles. It's a great experience. But singles is probably the best place to be at the US Open when you're an American. And the crowd is great, and I hope to have many more crowds, many more years to come.

Q. Did you maybe hope to have a less auspicious debut? Is that tough, to start on a night match, show court, seeded player, a lot of things that would make a young girl pretty nervous?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I like the show courts. I probably would have liked to get -- I don't know, it was a tough draw. And maybe it would have been different with a less not non-seeded player, but then again, you're always going to play a seeded player, and you have to be ready either way. And I took a lot away from this match.

Q. Do you, for you, your expectations, do you consider them realistic compared to what other people may think after you got to the semifinals of Wimbledon, a lot of people probably think now she's going to win more tournaments. Are you more realistic about where you are in your career?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, let's see. Hmm... I knew that I could -- when I went to Wimbledon, I was planning on winning it, and I got pretty close. And then every tournament I go into, I obviously want to win it. And you just, you -- let's see. Sometimes it rains, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you win. You can't win everything. And my goals are a lot of people say they're very lofty, but I don't say they are, and I hate that word, by the way. So whenever anyone says that, I get kind of upset. But, I mean, you have to set high goals, or else you'll never reach what you want to. I mean, I'm not going to set a really easy goal, because, I mean, I do set easy goals, but I always like to set high goals. My mom always told me, I think it's: "You reach for the stars and you land on the moon." So that's just my way that I do it.

Q. Some people are suggesting that with your appearance on the Barbara Walters Show and some of your other exposures that you're under a tremendous amount of pressure for a girl that's of your age. What do you think of that?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I don't have any pressure. I mean I'm not seeded, I'm not the No. 1 player. I'm having a fun time. I've lost a couple matches, but I've lost to tough players, and there's no pressure on me. You just have to go out and learn a lot and play tennis. I mean, if you have pressure, then you shouldn't be out there.

Q. When you were warming up today, I thought you were really hitting the ball great, forcefully, everything was going in. When the match started, it seemed like your strokes changed dramatically. Did you feel very tight today?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, I didn't. They didn't change dramatically. I made errors because she was pressuring me. She's a great server, volley player. She's going to attack. And Craig was not attacking me on the baaseline; he was hitting to me. Of course, I'm going to look great in warmup. I was hoping to bring that to the court, but I didn't exactly play a baseline player. I played an attacker. Like I said, a great serve and volleyer. It's going to be a lot different out there.

Q. Why would he not have been playing a certain volley style to you?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: He did play a certain volley. In a warmup, a warmup's totally different than the match. You want to hit a lot of balls and get warmed up and get grooved. I was ready to go out there. It was, I mean, even though the score wasn't that close, the games were still close, and I did have chances, and I just have to take -- take those chances next time.

Q. How do you think you'll look back on this summer, this very momentous summer in your life, both on and off the court, and what regrets, if any, do you have about what's gone on?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I would have had liked to have won my first match here, and so -- but I'm not regretting anything. It's been a great summer, and I look forward to the fall. And I look even more forward to the Australian Open. I really -- I'm going to go for the Grand Slams, and I'm going to train really hard and get more experience behind me, and I think I'll do great.

Q. Has everything in terms of what's been out in front in the public eye been the way you would have wanted to handle things?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Of course not. I mean, I would have liked to have kept my private life private, but some people thought that should have been discovered. And, I mean, you have your good journalists and your bad journalists and the people like that like to divulge information. You can't stop that. When you're in the public eye, a lot of people are going to want to know about your private life; so you just have to go with it and live your own life. You can't get upset about it because it happened, and it's going to happen.

Q. Are you satisfied, though, with the way you and your family have handled the aftermath of those disclosures that you alluded to?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I mean, I didn't think there was -- there's aftermath in the media, not in my life. And I've just -- I'm the same person and I'm living the same life, and nothing's changed except cab drivers know me now.

Q. How much have you matured as a person, as a player in the last month and a half, I guess it's been really?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I think I've learned a lot out here, and I'm maturing more every day, I hope. (Laughing). I hope to gain more experience in my tennis and mature a lot more on the court to know what I'm supposed to do on the court and how I'm going to attack that way and just, I think I've matured pretty well. I mean, I've handled everything good.

Q. What's next for you in terms of your development? Is it mostly training, or is it getting on the court experience and playing more tournaments?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, I have doubles and mixed doubles here, so I'm going to get a lot of volley work; so that will be great, and server volley. I'm going to learn a lot there. Then I go home, and I think I have two weeks off and I'm going to play a lot of practice matches and work hard, and then I'm going to go to Japan to play the Sony Life Club. That will be great, great match experience and practice matches. Then I go to Europe to play Filderstadt and a couple other tournaments there.

Q. You said there are good journalists and bad journalists, how do you differentiate between the two? What makes them -- your mother's a journalist, you should have some idea of what your opinion is on that.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I just think, just how they -- their ethics and what they think is right and I mean I've read a lot of stories that haven't been very nice, but that's their point of view and I can't do anything to stop that. But then there's great journalists that write really nice things, and that's great.

Q. There have been young players before you who start off very optimistic and bubbly, the Jennifer Capriatis, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, things happen along the way, your life on the court, off the court. Sometimes it's not good stuff. Do you ever worry that, "Oh, my gosh, I don't want that to happen to me"?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, because I've had a great high school life. I stayed in school and graduated. I got to be a teenager. I'm still getting to be a teenager. I have just come out on the Tour, and so I'm ready to play, and I'm ready to work hard.

Q. What kind of play is it?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: What kind of play?

Q. You say you're writing a play?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No, I'm ready to play. (Laughter) I've written a play, too. A ten-page play in drama history.

Q. What's it called?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Oh, my gosh. I can't remember. It was three months ago. So much has happened since then. I think it's called -- oh, wow, do you remember what it's called, mom? It's a mother-daughter play. It's called -- I can't remember.

Q. That's a good title.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It was a mother-daughter play, and it was supposed to be dramatical. And I tried to make it as dramatical as I could, and I just thought it was great. I wrote a lot about -- it was like a Hollywood mother, an actress mother and a daughter that wants to be an actress, too; so it's about their turmoils in Hollywood. My teacher would have rather liked to have it more normal and not about Hollywood, but I had to write about it.

Q. Did you get an A?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes, I did. I was very excited, too. He liked it in the end. I put a little bit of the "Doll's House" in it, a little style, Ibsen, I think he wrote the Doll House, I hope he did. I used him in the style about it, the slamming of the door, so that was dramatical. Dramatic. Sorry, wrong word. (Laughter) .

Q. You express yourself so well on the tennis court and off the tennis court. Where do you feel you express yourself better?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Both. (Laughing) I think it's two different ways of expressing yourself. On the court, you're a warrior, you're at war, and you want to play your best, and be a great champion. That's my goal. Then off the court, I think I'm just a normal teenage girl, maybe not normal anymore, but I just think it's -- I'm more -- I mean, I'm nice on the court and off the court. But off the court, it's now my job, and you have to be tough. So I'm getting tougher on the court. And off on the court -- on the court. Then off the court, I'm nicer.

Q. Is it tough for you to be tough on the court?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: No. I think when I was little it was, I used to give away points in games and my mom would get so upset with me. But now I know how to be tough. Thanks.

End of FastScripts….

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