Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis" - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

http://www.charleston.net/assets/web...bDate=4/1/2007


Stevenson still on the road back

BY JAMES BECK



Alexandra Stevenson hasn't been in the news much the last few years. You might even have forgotten about her.

She was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1999, right out of high school and the Wimbledon qualifying tournament. That was the defining moment in a tennis career that hit a peak at No. 18 in the world rankings in 2002.

She's also the daughter of basketball great Dr. J (Julius Erving).

It might be time to remember this determined young woman. Stevenson has spent most of the last two weeks training with Fritz Nau and Ean Meyer at the Players Club in Mount Pleasant. She is on the rebound from a baseball pitcher-like shoulder injury she said she suffered four years ago and underwent surgery for in September of 2004.

The road back has been a long, especially tough one. She tried making a comeback in 2005, but had to retire twice during matches in qualifying tournaments due to severe pain in her service motion. She played in four WTA Tour main draws in 2006, but failed to win a match.

The shoulder wasn't ready then, she said. Stevenson now has given her shoulder the green light. She feels no pain when she unleashes her powerful serve.

She was hitting all-out Thursday at the Players Club. The bubbly, good-natured 26-year-old was especially happy this day, all smiles and feeling good about her game and health, and that troublesome right shoulder.

Nau, who first met Stevenson when he was a pro at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida, believes Stevenson's comeback hopes will be aided by her size, strength and athletic ability. At 6-1, 156 pounds, she is a big hitter who can pound balls without placing extra stress on her body.

Meyer has concentrated on Stevenson's movement in drills, but he was especially impressed with Stevenson's one-handed slice backhand. "She hits the slice backhand just like (Steffi) Graf. She doesn't just slice it, she knifes it," said Meyer, a former pro at Chris Evert's academy.

"My weakness a week ago was movement, but Ean has really helped me with that," Stevenson said.

As an example, she had lost badly to one of the male players in camp when she first arrived. "I got killed last week ... yesterday I beat him," she said.

Good news came for Stevenson Thursday night when the WTA Tour event at Amelia Island, Fla., awarded her a wild card into its qualifying tournament.

Stevenson and her manager/coach/mother, Samantha Stevenson, left for Amelia Island on Friday.

Stevenson arrived at the Players Club after suffering a first-round loss in the qualifying tournament for the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. "After Key Biscayne, I felt I needed help," she said. That's when she placed a call to her old friend, Nau.

The Stevensons, who still reside in Los Angeles, plan to make the Players Club their home base as they travel by car across the South and East to challenger tournaments, and also as their home base in the future.

Stevenson hasn't given up on hopes to play in next weekend's qualifying event for the Family Circle Cup, although she has been unable to land a wild card.

She plans to show up at Family Circle Tennis Center, put her name on the list and wait. "Hopefully, someone will pull out and I'll get in."

Stevenson has played in five Family Circle Cups, reaching the round of 32 in 2001. She last played the event in 2004, losing in the first round to Nicole Pratt.

As a power hitter, clay isn't her best surface. That might be evident by her 1999 grass-court march through Wimbledon qualifying and then five main-draw matches before running into Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals.

But it's spring, and clay-court tennis is the order of the day. After the Family Circle Cup, the Stevensons will embark on a clay-court road trip for $75,000 challenger events in Dothan, Ala.; Sea Island, Ga.; Charlottesville, Va.; and the Orlando, Fla., area.

Alexandra quipped, "I'd love to play on hard courts, but there's no where to play on hard courts until the end of May. So I have to learn how to play on clay courts." That's one reason she was training at the Players Club.

Stevenson's goal is to get back in the top 100 before the end of the year. She is currently ranked No. 377 and hasn't won a main- draw match on the WTA Tour since 2004.

But there was a time when this young woman was the sensation of the tour. She had just graduated from high school with honors two weeks earlier and UCLA wanted her badly. She decided not to sign with UCLA until after going to Wimbledon. Of course, she never signed.

Stevenson didn't forsake a college degree, however. She is 12 hours away from receiving an online degree in arts and sociology from the University of Colorado. "I even made the dean's list," she boasted. "My mother wants me to go back for graduation."

After tennis, the multi-talented Stevenson wants to attend acting school and go into acting. Having been schooled in singing and dancing, she sang and danced in high school performances and has performed vocally at several events since.

"But I've still got 7-10 more years left in tennis," she emphasized.

Alexandra said she has never met her famous father and appears unaffected by questioning about Julius Erving. But when news of Erving being her father was revealed during her Wimbledon success, it was a little different. "Maybe back then, it was a distraction ... I was young," she said.

Stevenson has moved on. Now, she just wants to move back up the tennis rankings.

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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

Alex being compared to Steffi Graf?!!

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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

Is it my imagination, or has there been alot of "I'm back" type articles for someone who hasn't been in the news much the last few years?
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

As much as I would love it to happen, I don't think she stands a chance to return to the top 20. I mean, she really has to be fully refreshed, perpared and confident to do anything. That Wimbledon SF in 1999 is the only time she has been beyond the 2nd round of a Grand Slam. Her career-high ranking of 18 came in 2002, but she lost in the first round of all the Slams that year. Her only WTA title came in doubles in Leipzig 2001 with Serena Williams. Seriously I don't think she has the game of a champion or the consistency to really make a good comeback. At least with Schultz-McCarthy or Lucic they have done a bit more to make you believe they can last.
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

She's training for the London 2012 Olympic games, by then she'll be one of America's top remaining players.....just kidding...

Well, it's good to hear that she's working on her movement....perhaps by May she'll be able to do some damage on hardcourts and grass. I still believe

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

7-10 years of mediocrity

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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

My grandma has 7-10 years of tennis left in her, too. Doesn't mean she'll be accomplishing anything outside of winning her weekly doubles matches

Maybe Stevenson should play with her. She might have a chance.

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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Red face Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

Was this James Beck payed by her mother to write this

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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

Quote:
As an example, she had lost badly to one of the male players in camp when she first arrived. "I got killed last week ... yesterday I beat him," she said.
Wow, he must really suck.

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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

7-10 more years of results posts about $30K challenger matches in St. Paul, Providence, and Reno!
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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

lol she needs to take a new route

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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

Interesting? I wonder if this is just natural athlete talk - you know the kind that always believe they're still good although everyone is telling them their career is over.

OR

Is she really puttin in the hardwork - super-fitness & wise coaching - to make a solid comeback?
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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

I can't believe she's never met her father after all this time. That's really sad. Dr. J is my favorite ball player of all time and I can't believe he hasn't picked up the phone to set something up. I know he paid child support, but that doesn't take the place of being there. Wow!
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Re: Alexandra Stevenson: "I still got 7-10 more years left in tennis"

at least she still believes.

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