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September 6, 1997

Marissa Irvin

Alexandra Stevenson

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. How often have you guys paired together?

MARISSA IRVIN: Actually, this is our second tournament together. We started at Nationals, which was about three weeks ago. So it's been a very short partnership.

Q. What persuaded you to get together?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, our parents collaborated on it. Both really our old partners, kind of was a little difficult, so we both decided -- our parents actually decided to put us together. We've been playing together -- against each other forever, basically, our whole junior careers. They decided it would be a good partnership.

Q. You didn't have a voice in it then?


MARISSA IRVIN: Well, my partner that I'd been playing with all year in the previous Grand Slams, she opted not to play Nationals this year, about two weeks before. We thought, my family and I, that Alexandra would be a good partner. My mom and her mom had been talking to each other. It just kind of came about like that.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: It was our final decision, though.

Q. That Nationals that you played your first time, where was that?


Q. Marissa, you're coached by Brian Teacher, right?

MARISSA IRVIN: I've been working with Brian since Wimbledon, and also Ron Hightower (phonetic).

Q. He could have two US Open Champions?

MARISSA IRVIN: He's had a good week.

Q. How do you explain your triumph? You guys had to beat a couple of seeds, right?

MARISSA IRVIN: We were seeded sixth. We beat the fourth seed, then today we beat the first seed. I think it was just, we really concentrated hard, we really were focused. You know, we worked really hard for this. We're just glad it happened.

Q. Were you surprised, they won the toss, but they allowed you to serve? You have a 117-mile-per-hour serve.


Q. You've repeatedly been clocked at that.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I was really happy that they wanted to -- for us to serve first. Both of us, singles and doubles, always choose to serve first, not to receive, obviously because we like our serves. I concentrated on the serve because I knew that it would be a great game to get the first game and then to see if we could break them the next game. So I just hit the serves.

Q. Is it your ambition, Marissa, to one day play regularly as a professional?


Q. That's what you want to do, too, Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes. But school comes first for both of us. We're actually the only National Team players that go to both private prep schools. We've missed three weeks of school.

MARISSA IRVIN: I missed three. My school started on Wednesday. I've missed three days of school.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I've missed three weeks. Actually, Marissa is going back home tonight to go to her ring ceremony for her senior class. A big deal for her.

Q. How old are you, Marissa?


Q. You're a lot older than that other girl then. Did you know anything about them as a doubles team? Were you going in this kind of blind?


MARISSA IRVIN: I've played them three times, with two different partners. I've beaten them once and lost to them twice.

Q. Then did you form your strategy?

MARISSA IRVIN: I knew their tendencies more than I think Alexandra did, just because I played them. I clued her in on a couple of shots that they liked or didn't like. In that way, I did. But it was a team effort.

Q. Who gave you the flowers?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: They gave them to us when we walked on the court. Actually, the other team forgot their flowers. We just have the others. They just gave them to us.

Q. You got both bouquets?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Yes. They kind of walked off without the flowers. They're really pretty, too.

Q. You didn't play in the stadium. Alexandra, did it come as any significance to you at Arthur Ashe, the unveiling of the stadium, to win as an African American?

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Actually, I'm multi-cultural, so I don't like being called African American. I'll tell you what I am, if you want me to.

Q. Okay.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I'm French, Italian, Welsh, Cherokee, African, Irish, Italian, Swedish, did I say that? I'm eight things. I'm multi-cultural. It wouldn't be fair to my mom to call me that. I met Arthur Ashe when I was little. I've known how much of a great life he had. So it was very interesting to see it. I went to the opening ceremonies. It meant a lot because I saw how many people appreciated him. Whitney Houston sang. It was very nice. All the champions came. It was nice to see it. Even though I didn't get to play on the stadium, that will happen later on for both of us. I won't forget it.

Q. Immediate futures? You're thinking about going pro? Going to college?

MARISSA IRVIN: I think both of us, I can speak for myself, that I'm very dedicated to school as well as tennis. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I do plan on going to college, yes.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: I plan on going to college in the future, too.

End of FastScripts….

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