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March 27, 2015

Sloane Stephens


6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was this a matter of waiting for Madison to make mistakes?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I think today was because it was windy.  The conditions weren't that great.
Because I know going out there I had to play my game and stay focused and really focus on myself.  I tried to do that the best I could.  Obviously the conditions were tough, so I was just happy to get out with the win.

Q.  It surprised some of us that it was first time you guys ever played.  I don't know if you played in the juniors.  But what kind of relationship do you guys kind of have?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, we know each other.  I mean, everyone knows each other.  But we spent some time together playing Fed Cup, just around, being Americans.  We know each other pretty well.
I would say I know her better than someone from another country.  But, I mean, just from spending time together and knowing each other.

Q.  Did you practice together in juniors or Fed Cup?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Not really, no.  Just kind of at Fed Cup and just maybe in Boca when she used to be in Boca a couple of times.

Q.  Was there a sense going out on the court ‑‑I mean, we look at the two of you as the future of American women's tennis.  Does that enter your minds when you go out there at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I just go out and play my game and stay focused.  Obviously she's a great player.  I knew I had to go out there and execute.
That's what I did out there with the tough conditions.  I was pleased with myself.

Q.  Did Indian Wells give you confidence?  You beat Serena the first set.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, obviously I haven't played that many matches this year, so going into Indian Wells anything could have happened.
I was pleased to get out with a couple of wins, and playing better and competing and coming into here it felt much better because I had a lot of matches under my belt.  It was good.
Obviously it's obviously nice to come into another tournament with wins.

Q.  Now that you have a few months, what's it like being back with Nick and hearing his voice again, just the general...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, it's familiar.  Obviously I have known Nick for a really, really long time.  For me, it's a good place for me, and I think that he's been one of the most supportive people in my tennis career throughout my career.
So it's nice to have someone like that in your corner through the ups and downs, so I am really pleased with out relationship and the way things are going.  We are just going to build from that and keep going.

Q.  Do you like playing here more because it's closer to home?  Does it feel more familiar, playing South Florida versus all the other places around the world you play?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I mean, playing in South Florida, I grew up playing tennis here, so I know a lot of people, a lot of family, and things like that.
Same for Indian Wells.  Like I have a lot of friends and a lot of family.
So I think these two tournaments, Indian Wells and Miami, are my two biggest family‑oriented tournaments of the year.

Q.  What's your home now?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I live in downtown Fort Lauderdale in Las Olas.

Q.  What's it like?  Last time you lived here you lived with mom and your brother.  I assume you have a bachelorette pad or something.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I have my own place, but my mom is here more than not.  (Smiling.)  It's definitely interesting to live on your own and be by yourself, but it's boring.  (Laughter.)
Q.No one to talk to all the time.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah.  I'm talking to myself.  That's how boring it is.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
SLOANE STEPHENS:  What is that?  I don't even know what that is.  Good thing I don't know what that is.

Q.  Just turned 22 now.

Q.  Do you ever look at Madison and say, Hey, two years ago that was me.  Do you look at that and think they're similar paths?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  Obviously Genie did it last year; Madison did this year.  There is always going to be someone.
I know Maddy is going to have a great career.  I am going to see her for like the next 10 years of my life consistently.  I'm looking forward to seeing her get better and keep playing and doing what she's doing now.
It's kind of just wait it out and see what happens.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I didn't get the first part.

Q.  Did you have any idea that the match would go the way it did today before the match?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, I'm not a psychic.  I mean, like I said, I just went out there and played my best and tried to execute my game and my shots, so I was happy to come out with the win.
But before anything other than that, who knows?

Q.  With a little hindsight now, is there any advice you would give to someone like Madison?  Obviously, as you found, being an Australian Open semifinalist, there is like a pressure that comes with that.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Keep competing and stay tough.  That's all you can do.

Q.  Looking ahead to a possible...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Don't tell me who I play.  Shush your mouth.  Thank you.  Any more...

Q.  You're the second player to do that.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah.  Any more questions about the match?

Q.  What is Nick working on in your game?  Can you talk about that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, everything.  I can't really tell you because then it would be public.  Then everyone would know what I'm working on.  No, I can't tell you, but stuff.

Q.  Last year did you lose your passion for the game, and did you get it back?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I think it was a matter of not competing and not playing as much at the end of the year last year.
It was tough for me, but things happen, ups and downs, and I was just happy to get through it.  Now I'm happy to be winning matches and playing a lot better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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