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1999 Wimbledon

Davenport criticizes Stevenson's mom

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Posted: Saturday July 03, 1999 01:10 PM

  Samantha Stevenson and Lindsay Davenport Lindsay Davenport (right) didn't appreciate Samantha Stevenson's generalizations concerning women's tennis. AP

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Wimbledon finalist Lindsay Davenport criticized the mother of 18-year-old Alexandra Stevenson on Saturday, saying her charges of racism and lesbianism on the women's tour "sound crazy."

Davenport overpowered her fellow Californian 6-1, 6-1 Saturday to reach her first Wimbledon final as she tries to match her 1998 U.S. Open title.

Davenport said she and other players didn't appreciate being painted with the broad brush of criticism by Stevenson's mother, Samantha, who has worked as a free-lance journalist.

"Some of the comments she [Samantha Sevenson] has made the past few weeks, I'm not sure if she's doing it for attention ... because they sound crazy," Davenport said.

"I just don't think we appreciate her commenting on our way of life," Davenport said. "She's calling us in some way almost a name."

Davenport urged the tennis mother to back off and let her talented daughter play the game.

"She's obviously enjoying the whole Wimbledon experience, played great and ... all of this stuff has kind of come on her because of her mom," Davenport said. "You can't help but feel sorry for her because when you talk to her she's nice."

"Her daughter is 18, she's obviously an adult now ... she'll be fine."

The younger Stevenson sternly defended her mother when told what Davenport said.

"Whatever comments my mom made, she is my mother and I think she is right and it hasn't clouded anything," she said.

The Stevensons declined to talk about the revelation on Friday by former NBA star Julius Erving that he is Alexandra's father.

Asked when she'd be ready to talk about it, Samantha Stevenson said "never." Her daughter replied, "I don't know. When I feel ready, maybe."

 
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