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June 1, 2015

Sloane Stephens


S. WILLIAMS/S. Stephens
1‑6, 7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English.

Q.テつ Obviously a great start for you to the match.テつ Do you think anything made that change or was it her finding her range more?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I mean, there's a reason why she's the No. 1 player in the world.テつ I played a good first set.テつ I hung in there tough, but obviously things change and whatever.
But I was happy that I was able to, you know, hang tough the whole time.

Q.テつ From our perspective, it looked like a pretty high‑quality match.テつ How did you feel about the strokes out there with Serena today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ It was good.テつ I mean, you can only go out there and do your absolute best, and that's what I did today.
That's all you can hope for when you walk on the court every day.テつ I'm really pleased with the way, even though I lost, I mean, I'm happy with the way I got out there and competed.

Q.テつ Overall, 2015 French Open, diary entry for Sloane Stephens, how would it go?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Well, I mean, I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ A couple months ago if I thought I'd be in the fourth round of the French Open, I'd probably have been like, No.テつ Or even a couple of weeks ago.
And, you know, there's something to be said for bouncebackability, and I'm proud of myself for just getting out there every day and just trying to do the best I can.テつ And that's all I can really hope for for myself, and I'm proud of myself for that.

Q.テつ Did you surprise yourself with your bouncebackability?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Well, no.テつ Because if it's just in you, it's just there.テつ I'm happy that it decided to come out.

Q.テつ Now that you've been back with Nick for a while and stuff, can you just talk about how it seems to be working well?テつ Does it seem like there was never a break, like it was always with Nick?テつ Just talk about that.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, there's never really been a break with Nick.テつ I think even when I wasn't working with Nick I was far away from Nick; I'm in LA, he's in Florida.テつ He always calls, asks how my grandparents are doing.
There has never been a time where I have been away from Nick.テつ So I think now physically being with him all the time again is really nice because he understands me, and he's helped me a lot.
But you never go far from Nick.

Q.テつ I know you always talk about the self‑belief, but why do you say you would be surprised or happy with this result from a couple weeks ago or a couple months ago?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Because people struggle, and you don't know what's going on with anyone.テつ Obviously I didn't have the best results, and I was hoping for more and I was expecting more out of myself.
Sometimes it just doesn't, nothing happens.テつ You come up short.テつ I think for myself, I was a little disappointed with the way things were going.テつ I knew I had more in me and I knew I could, you know, flip this script around.
Now I'm doing that.テつ I know I can do it and I know I have been here before.テつ You know, I'm just trying to get back to, you know, just having fun on the court and competing and having matches like today when you don't win, but that was like, people would dream of being out there on Chatrier.
So I think for me that's just ‑‑I mean, that's what I work for.

Q.テつ I have a multiple question.テつ How do you rate the interest of people in the USA for tennis among the huge sports you have?テつ And for instance personally, are you famous there?テつ Do people stop you in the street?テつ I want to have your impression about this.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ That was like three questions.テつ But first question, tennis is a growing sport in the U.S., and I think there is a lot of initiatives for like the USTA to get younger people playing.テつ I think that's great.
I'm not really famous, no.テつ I'm just regular Jane.テつ But, yeah, I think I'm regular.テつ I don't know.テつ Maybe not.テつ Depends on who you ask.

Q.テつ You're not the only player, but when you have had a lot of success in the juniors and then when you come out and you have really early, great success as a younger player, that that kind of situation doesn't prepare you necessarily thinking how hard it actually is going to be to find a steady momentum and move up, that because you're young and enthusiastic you don't realize that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I think there is a lot to learn from juniors to pros.テつ There is a lot of sportsmanship involved.テつ There is a lot of learning the training room.テつ When to call the physio.テつ When someone ‑‑you're about to start a third set and another player calls the trainer.テつ There are so many things you have to learn.
Younger players having great strides, everyone is going to have their time to shine, and some people have it early and some people have it late.テつ But the whole thing is a learning process.
Some people have it early; some people have it late.

Q.テつ How much better did Serena play toward the end than she was playing at the beginning?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I don't know.テつ You tell me.テつ You watched the match.テつ Did she play much better?

Q.テつ You had a better ‑‑a closer view.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ (Smiling)テつ Okay.テつ I mean, I don't know.テつ Things happen.テつ I've got to go back and watch it and let you know.テつ I don't know how much better she played.

Q.テつ It didn't feel different, or did it?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I think in the moment when you're competing you're not really thinking about if the other person's picking up their game.テつ It's just kind of you're out there doing what you've got to do, fighting for every point and not really thinking about the other person.

Q.テつ You kind of touched on this, but how much does this motivate you?テつ I know there is a fire within, but to have this experience and be out there on Chatrier, like you said, does this sort of reignite that fire?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ First of all, the flame was never dead.テつ But, I mean, there's a long ways to go.テつ If I play tennis for another five years, I'm going to be seeing you guys for five more years and we are going to have so many more press conferences and it's going to be horrible, but we are going to be talking about the same stuff.
The fire is still there.テつ I'm motivated.テつ I'm happy.テつ I'm excited to be playing.テつ And I'm excited that I'm going to see you for the next 10 years of my life (smiling).

Q.テつ You sound so believable there.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I know.テつ It's great.

Q.テつ You talked about having the joy or this fire.テつ It maybe always wasn't visible from the outside.テつ It seems more visible now.テつ So have you been working on showcasing the fire wherever it was, better, you think?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ No, I think you guys just see what you want to see.テつ You definitely ‑‑you write what you want to write, you see what you want to see, and you definitely never know what's going on with the person.
So I think all of that together gets mixed up in one, and then you guys come out with this:テつ She's not happy, she doesn't look like she wants to play.テつ That's not the case at all.
I love tennis, I love my job.テつ The fire is always lit, the flame is like this big (Arms outstretched).テつ I will be so excited the next time I get to play on Chatrier again.テつ Fire is lit, Ben.

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