Tough loss for Jennifer at the start of the season, especially after beating Coetzer and Dementieva to win Hong Kong, but kudos to Stevenson for sticking in there. This might actually be the breakthrough year she was expected to have in 2000!!!
Great result! How did it happen? lol - no offense, but when I saw Alex at RG'01 I doubt she could have taken 4 games from Capriati! - anyway, this might be the big push she needs, and she's looking much fitter, good for her. Big, big win! Enjoy!
Alex's win will certainly give her game a boost but I think that Jen's game has been in a spiral decline since winning the French Open last year...she really hasn't done well...Oh! yeah! she's coming off winning a Tier tourney last week but she didn't beat anybody significant to do so...Anyway, nice to see Alex in the mix!!
SYDNEY: Top seed Jennifer Capriati was not expecting to leave for Melbourne and the Australian Open till the weekend but American qualifier Alexandra Stevenson had other ideas.
In a tough second round match Stevenson produced some explosive returns to score a 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4 upset at the adidas International. "Maybe I didn't run as much as I usually do, but I think I was still able to move around the court well without having pain," said Capriati who suffered a hip flexor injury at the beginning of the third set, but was not prepared to use that as an excuse for the loss.
It is the first time the 60th ranked Stevenson has beaten a top five player, and she rates it as one of her best wins. "I feel confident and I think I can play anyone and beat anyone," said Stevenson. "The way I am playing now I can give anyone a run for their money."
Stevenson will play No.8 seed Meghann Shaughnessy in the quarter finals on Thursday. Stevenson has been working extremely hard to improve her game and dedicates her playing to her good friend Manny Del Valle, a fireman who died on 9 September in the World Trade Centre.
Del Valle was a driver for Stevenson at the US Open. "We became great friends and then he had to die, so it wasn't very fortunate but his memory stays with me and we keep a seat open for him at my matches," said Stevenson.
Fifth seed Serena Williams became the first player through to the semi-finals with a straight sets victory over 2000 champion Amelie Mauresmo 6-4 7-6 (6). In a close battle that saw Mauresmo call for the trainer because of a neck problem, Williams was able to come up with the goods on the important points.
In other women's singles results, Kim Clijsters eventually overcame Silvia Farina Elia 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-1 in her first match of the tournament. Justine Henin breezed through her second round match with Conchita Martinez 6-0 6-3 to set up an all Belgian quarter final on Thursday. That will be the sixth meeting between Clijsters and Henin with Henin leading 3-2. Their last meeting was in the 'Hertogenbosch final last June and was won by Henin.
AMERICAN Alexandra Stevenson dedicated her stunning upset of Australian Open champion Jennifer Capriati yesterday to a boyfriend killed in the World Trade Centre disaster.
Stevenson, 21, was to have dinner with fireman Manny del Valle, 32, in New York on September 13 but he was killed as he tried to save office workers fleeing the North Tower.
After downing fellow American Capriati 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-4 yesterday, an emotional Stevenson told of the friends she lost on September 11.
Not only was a boyfriend killed, she also lost a close school friend, Deora Bodley, in one of the air flights hijacked by terrorists.
Stevenson met del Valle when he drove a courtesy car for players at the US Open a couple of weeks before his death and she insisted no romance had developed despite his interest in her.
After enduring a fallow two years since she made the 1999 Wimbledon semi-finals as an amateur, Stevenson's best career win came while she wore a patch on her cap depicting a red fire truck from del Valle's 14th Street precinct.
"It was kind of like a little short movie -- it was kind of like 'An Affair to Remember'. Nothing turned out, but we became great friends," said Stevenson, ranked 61st in the world.
"We were going to meet for dinner (on September 13). He was going to take me Latin dancing.
"He was a bit older, so my mum wasn't very happy. But he was very gentlemanly and in a short amount of time he taught me a lot of things.
"His memory stays with me and we keep a seat open at all my matches. We kept in touch with his family (while rescue workers searched for missing people) and then finally at the end of our stay they found him."
Del Valle's body was found in the rubble of Ground Zero a month after maniacs slammed commercial jets into the Twin Towers.
He had a newspaper clipping featuring Stevenson taped on the wall at his New York fire station.
Friends said the fireman had fallen head over heels for the tennis ace.
Stevenson said Bodley, a passenger on the United Airlines flight between Newark and San Francisco which crashed near Pittsburgh, had been her best friend at high school.
"(September 11) made me a lot stronger to go out and play tennis. Life is short and sometimes in tennis you lose sight of that -- tennis isn't everything," she said.
"I wasn't able to go (for either memorial service) because my mum wouldn't let me fly to the US and back to Europe."
As she told her emotional story, the 185cm Stevenson also fired off a warning to the rest of women's tennis.
"Everyone is always talking about the power of the Williams sisters, Lindsay Davenport and Capriati and in six months it is going to be Alexandra Stevenson," she said.
It must have been a proud day for her mother Samantha Stevenson, the American journalist who had been pilloried in the women's tennis community over comments which landed her in a Wimbledon row when she spoke about her concerns over lesbians in tennis.
"Alexandra has turned 21 last week and she can speak for herself," Ms Stevenson said.
Alexandra Stevenson was persuaded by her mother to throw herself into her tennis after her dual bereavements.
"I cried every day before my matches. You learn tennis doesn't really mean anything. Look at all the people that died and I'm out on the court playing tennis," she said.
"It didn't mean much, but then I had to get to work because I was No.112 and I went to Europe to play for five weeks."
There is no reason why Alexandra should not be in the top ten I think. Her serve for a start is second only to the Williams sisters and maybe Davenport. There is so much force behind it. Her forehand is probably one of the hardest in the game, and her backhand is beautiful when it is working. Plus she is prepared to volley, and her reach is very good. I am not surprised she beat Jennifer because she has a bigger game!!
This girl needs to improve her shot selection a bit, and maybe get a bit quicker, but she is seriously underfulfilling her potential. I watched her today and was gobsmacked by how well she hit the ball - very refreshing to watch I hope she continues to work hard on her game, and well done!!:bounce: