Alexandra Stevenson

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Alexandra Stevenson
Alexandra Stevenson Albuquerque.jpg
Country United States
ResidenceSan Diego, California, U.S.
Born(1980-12-15) December 15, 1980 (age 33)
La Jolla, California, U.S.
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned proJune 1999
RetiredActive
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$1,430,348
Singles
Career record324 - 355
Career titles0 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 18 (October 28, 2002)
Current rankingNo. 396 (September 30, 2013)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2001, 2003)
French Open1R (2000-2003)
WimbledonSF (1999)
US Open1R (1998-2004)
Doubles
Career record31–65
Career titles1 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 67 (July 7, 2003)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2001)
French Open1R (2001-2003)
Wimbledon3R (2003)
US Open2R (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003)
 
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Alexandra Stevenson
Alexandra Stevenson Albuquerque.jpg
Country United States
ResidenceSan Diego, California, U.S.
Born(1980-12-15) December 15, 1980 (age 33)
La Jolla, California, U.S.
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned proJune 1999
RetiredActive
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$1,430,348
Singles
Career record324 - 355
Career titles0 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 18 (October 28, 2002)
Current rankingNo. 396 (September 30, 2013)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2001, 2003)
French Open1R (2000-2003)
WimbledonSF (1999)
US Open1R (1998-2004)
Doubles
Career record31–65
Career titles1 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 67 (July 7, 2003)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2001)
French Open1R (2001-2003)
Wimbledon3R (2003)
US Open2R (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003)

Alexandra Winfield Stevenson (born December 15, 1980 in La Jolla, California) is a professional tennis player from the United States. She is a former top-20 player in singles.

Biography[edit]

Stevenson made her professional debut in 1999 at Wimbledon, two weeks following graduation from La Jolla Country Day School. At the Wimbledon Championships, Stevenson became the first woman qualifier in the Tennis Open Era to reach the semi-finals. It was her second time at Wimbledon, having competed the year before in the Junior Wimbledon Championships. In 1999, Stevenson qualified to the quarterfinals at Birmingham, a grass warmup to Wimbledon, before withdrawing to Magüi Serna because of a stomach muscle pull. The next week Stevenson was the number one seed during qualifying at Roehampton—and did not drop a set in three rounds as she moved into the main draw at Wimbledon. Stevenson beat number 8 seed Julie Halard in the third round. In the fourth round, she saved one match point against Lisa Raymond in a 2–6, 7–6, 6–1 win. She then beat Jelena Dokić in three sets in the quarter-finals, before finally being knocked out in her ninth match, in straight sets by the eventual champion, Lindsay Davenport. Stevenson had 57 aces during the fortnight, her serve speed in the 120s. But, it was the beginning of Stevenson being known for the fastest second serve in the women's game. Stevenson's second serve was 105 mph - 115 mph. Stevenson joined Chris Evert and Anna Kournikova as the only women in recent times to reach the semi-finals on their Wimbledon debut. Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman of Nike, Inc. flew to London to personally sign Stevenson to a three-year Nike contract.

During the months following her dramatic run at Wimbledon, Stevenson was named rookie of the year by Tennis Magazine and named Most Fascinating by People Magazine. She was interviewed by Barbara Walters for a Barbara Walters Special and was featured in a variety of national and international media. Nike, Inc. flew a dozen flags with Stevenson's name in bold print during her first visit to the iconic campus. Stevenson moved from California to train with Nick Bollettieri at IMG Academy from 1999-2002. In 2000 and 2001 Stevenson, often pitted against top 20 players - including Nathalie Tauziat, Mary Pierce, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Amanda Coetzer, Lisa Raymond, Dominique Van Roost, Julie Halard, Jennifer Capriati, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams - worked on her aggressive all-court playing style as she found her way in the professional game.

On September 11, 2001, Stevenson lost one of her friends - Manny Del Valle Jr., a fireman in the World Trade Center. Stevenson wrote an article in the New York Times about Del Valle, a driver to the players at the US Open.[1] In 2002, the four Grand Slams allowed Stevenson to wear the patch of DelValle's Engine Company (Engine No. 5) on her NIKE hat. Stevenson reached the quarterfinals at Quebec City in 2001, and the quarterfinals at Linz, defeating Arantxa Sánchez Vicario en route.

But, it was 2002 that lifted Stevenson to No. 18 in the world. Stevenson had played during the European indoor season in 2001 and was the only American player following 9/11 in Moscow. In 2002, prior to the European indoors, she lost to Monica Seles in the Tokyo quarterfinals 7–6(11–9), 7–6(11–9) and there were no breaks of serve until the tiebreakers. Alan Mills, the Tokyo referee and renowned Wimbledon referee proclaimed, "This is the finest women's serving match I have ever seen." Soon after, Seles and Stevenson would be asked to serve aces for the American Heart Association, bringing awareness to heart disease. Stevenson had 100 aces in 2003. During the 2002 European indoors, Stevenson won her first doubles title with Serena Williams in Leipzig, Germany. She reached the quarterfinals of Filderstadt, defeating number one Jennifer Capriati. She was a finalist at Linz, beating four top ten players en route, including Capriati. Stevenson finished the year at 18, percentage points away from No. 17 Elena Dementieva and the WTA Tour Championships. She appeared as an alternate.

WTA Tour finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (0-2)[edit]

Legend: Before 2009Legend: Starting in 2009
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
Olympic Gold (0–0)
WTA Championships (0–0)
Tier I (0–0)Premier Mandatory (0–0)
Tier II (0–1)Premier 5 (0–0)
Tier III (0–1)Premier (0–0)
Tier IV & V (0–0)International (0–0)
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore
Runner-up1.23 February 2002United States MemphisHard (i)United States Lisa Raymond6–4, 3–6, 6–7(9)
Runner-up2.21 October 2002Austria LinzCarpetBelgium Justine Henin3–6, 0–6

Doubles: 1 (1-0)[edit]

Legend: Before 2009Legend: Starting in 2009
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
Olympic Gold (0–0)
WTA Championships (0–0)
Tier I (0–0)Premier Mandatory (0–0)
Tier II (1–0)Premier 5 (0–0)
Tier III (0–0)Premier (0–0)
Tier IV & V (0–0)International (0–0)
OutcomeNo.DateChampionshipSurfacePartnerOpponentScore
Winner1.24 September 2002Germany Leipzig, GermanyCarpetUnited States Serena WilliamsSlovakia Janette Husárová
Argentina Paola Suárez
6–3, 7–5


ITF circuit singles finals (1–1)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponentScore
Winner1.09-Feb-1998United States Midland, USAHard (i)United States Samantha Reeves7-6(8), 6-1
Runner-up1.25-May-2009United States Carson, California, USAHardCanada Valerie Tetreault6-4, 2-6, 4-6

Playing style[edit]

Stevenson joined Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Jennifer Capriati as a premier power player on the WTA Tour in 1999. 6' 1" and right-handed, she plays with a one-handed backhand. Her serve, forehand, and one-handed backhand are noted weapons in Stevenson's all-court game. Her fastest serve was clocked at 125 mph. She had the fastest second serve in the women's game from 1999-2004 at 105-115 mph. She was the first woman to amass 57 aces during the Wimbledon fortnight in 1999. The power game came from years of repetitive lessons. At nine years old, Stevenson began traveling from her home in San Diego to Los Angeles to be coached by Robert Lansdorp and Pete Fischer. It was Lansdorp who developed her powerful ground game, changing her two-handed backhand to a one-handed backhand. Lansdorp would tie her arm with an ace bandage to work on the backhand motion. Fischer, who also coached Pete Sampras, developed Stevenson's service motion, often used by coaches to teach "the perfect service motion." Fischer designed service drills to resemble Sampras' fluid serve.

Early career[edit]

As a junior player, Stevenson won the US Open girls' doubles title in 1997. She was ranked the No. 1 junior in the US in 1996.

Stevenson is thought to be the first player at Wimbledon to curtsey to the crowds in all directions at the end of matches. She first did this on a Wimbledon show court, following her 1999 win against Julie Halard. Stevenson said she was inspired by her 15 years of ballet classes, her performances on the stage, and Andre Agassi, who had bowed to the crowd at the end of his matches.

Stevenson reached her career-high ranking of 18th on October 28, 2002.

Interesting Facts:

Awards and honors

Injury and return[edit]

Stevenson experienced shoulder pain in 2003 at the Wimbledon Championships. She worked on strengthening the area, but was unable to repair the tear. Stevenson went to Birmingham, Alabama, where Dr. James Andrews performed a Type II labral repair on her right shoulder on September 21, 2004. Alexandra had a Type II labrum repair. Overhead athletes (tennis players and pitchers) tear the labrum at the top of the socket – and she did that between 11:00 and 1:00 on a clock face. When you pull on the biceps during a tennis serve motion, this contributes to the injury, and as the labrum detaches, it becomes painful. This also adds strain to the rotator. You feel grinding, popping and pain. In 2006, following 18 months of shoulder strengthening, Stevenson began to mount a comeback.

Stevenson played in the qualifying round at the 2006 Wimbledon, but after defeating Jelena Dokić, a player that she had played in 1999 in the Wimbledon quarters, when they were both qualifiers, she suffered a pectoral strain and fell in the second round of qualifiers. At the 2006 Cincinnati Women's Open, she also had a successful run in the qualifying round, but continued shoulder pain caused her to fall in the final round to Chin-Wei Chen 3–6, 6–3, 7–5. By 2009, Stevenson gained shoulder strength and posted strong results. In 2010, Kevin Wilk, Dr. Andrews physical therapist said that Stevenson's shoulder "feels like a non-surgical arm."

Stevenson won the Sarasota Clay Court Invitational April 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Stevenson's mother is Samantha Stevenson, a noted sports journalist. Her father is basketball legend Julius Erving. Stevenson met her father for the first time in October 2008 after she initiated a meeting. The meeting was documented by ESPN.com's "Reaching Out". Stevenson keeps up with her father between tournaments. Stevenson is taking acting and singing classes in Hollywood during her off weeks from her full-time return to the WTA Tour. Stevenson graduated from the University of Colorado on December 15, 2007, with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Sociology. She graduated on the Dean's List and is the only Final 8 member to have graduated from college while playing professional tennis. Stevenson was inducted into the La Jolla Country Day School Hall of Fame on December 4, 2009 - joining fellow Torrey, Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner.[2]

Alexandra Stevenson
Medal record
Pan American Games
BronzeWinnipeg 1999Women's Singles

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Current through the French Open in Paris, France, which ended on June 8, 2008.

Tournament1996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008Career
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian OpenAAAA1R2R1R2R1RAAAA0 / 5
French OpenAAAA1R1R1R1RAAAAA0 / 4
WimbledonAAASF2R2R1R1RAAAAA0 / 5
US OpenAA1R1R1R1R1R1R1RAAAA0 / 7
Win–Loss0–00–00–15–21-42-40–41-40-20–00–00–00–09–21
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour ChampionshipsAAAAAAAAAAAA0 / 0
Olympic Games
Summer OlympicsANHNHNHANHNHNHANHNHNHA0 / 0
WTA Tier I Tournaments
Doha____________A0 / 0
Indian Wells1R1RA2R2R1R4R2R1RA1RAA0 / 9
Key BiscayneAA1RA1R2R4R2R1RAAAA0 / 6
CharlestonAAA1R1R2RA1R1R3RAA2R0 / 7
BerlinAAAA2RAAAAAAAA0 / 1
RomeAAAA1RAA1RAAAAA0 / 2
Montreal/TorontoAAA1R1RA3RAAAAA0 / 3
TokyoAAAA2RAQF1RAAAA0 / 3
Moscow_AAAA2RA2RAAAA0 / 2
San Diego________AAAA0 / 0
ZurichAAAAA1RQF2RAAAA0 / 3
Career Statistics
Titles–Finals0–00–00–00–00–00–00–10–00–00–00–00–00–00–1
Overall Win–Loss213–2191
Year End Ranking3553941264693601882282645394399

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

_ = tournament was either not held or not a Tier I event.

1 If Fed Cup (0-1 overall) participation is included, her record stands at 213-220 overall.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevenson, Alexandra (September 23, 2001). "Perspective; A Player Will Always Remember the Driver of Car 61". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  2. ^ Reaching Out. ESPN.com

External links[edit]