Stevenson Beats No. 8 Seed
Jul. 29, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ San Diego's Alexandra Stevenson, who decided to try her hand at qualifying rather than receive an automatic bid, reached the round of 16 in the Bank of the West women's tennis tournament Tuesday with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over No. 8 seed Rita Grande of Italy.
Stevenson was offered, but turned down, a wild card spot in the tournament.
``It was better at this point because I haven't played a lot of matches,'' said Stevenson, who turns 18 in December. ``It was the first time I qualified into a WTA event and it feels great.''
Stevenson's victory in the first round means a match against either top seed Lindsay Davenport or first-round winner Kimberly Po, who play on Wednesday.
In other matches, Amy Frazier defeated Janet Lee 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Po beat Australia's Nicole Pratt 7-5, 6-0; Ukraine's Elena Tatarkova topped Sandra Caci 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 7-5; and France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot defeated Japan's Miho Saeki 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3.
``My plan was to come out hitting because I knew she got in later than most of the girls,'' said Stevenson, a senior at La Jolla Country Day School. ``I don't know if she's heard of me before.''
Stevenson, ranked 192nd in the world, hadn't played since failing to qualify for Wimbledon.
``I haven't been out there a lot,'' Stevenson said. ``If I play a lot, I could move up quickly.''
In late matches, Mary Joe Fernandez was scheduled to play Chanda Rubin and Jennifer Capriati was to meet Corina Morariu.