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No such luck this time
Alexandra Stevenson bows out in first round of U.S. Open
Posted: Tuesday August 31, 1999 11:12 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Alexandra Stevenson made banner headlines this year at Wimbledon as much for the confirmation she is the daughter of former basketball great Julius Erving as for becoming the first female qualifier to reach the semifinals of that Grand Slam event.
But the Wimbledon wondergirl's return to the U.S. Open was short-lived after a 6-2 6-2 first-round loss to 11th-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France, who gave the bubbly Californian teen a 59-minute tennis lesson. "Grass is definitely a different game," Stevenson said. "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."
It appears that no matter what kind of controversy surrounds the 18-year-old, Stevenson has learned to keep up a bubbly demeanor, insisting nothing disrupts her life.
"There's an aftermath in the media, not in my life," Stevenson said. "I'm the same person and I'm living the same life. Nothing's changed except cab drivers know me now."
And so do young tennis fans who clamored for her autograph following the match as if she were a bonefide star .
Nevertheless, Stevenson does say she would have preferred not to become a curiosity over her celebrity parentage.
"I would have liked to have kept my private life private, but some people thought that should have been discovered," Stevenson said. "I mean, you have your good journalists and your bad journalists and the people like that like to divulge information.
"When you're in the public eye, a lot of people are going to want to know about your private life. You can't get upset about it because it happened, and it's going to happen."
Stevenson, who won the bronze medal at the Pan American games this summer, has now played the U.S. Open main draw twice, losing in the first round each time.
The American's game was sloppy on all fronts, having great difficulty with both her offense and defense, recording 28 unforced errors to only 7 winners.
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