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August 19, 2015

Sloane Stephens


S. STEPHENS/M. Barthel
3‑6, 7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Kept your composure. You were down. There was rain.
SLOANE STEPHENS: It was a battle. Just one of those good old battles. Nothing too great, nothing too bad. Just ‑‑I mean, she was playing well, and I just had to find a way.

Q. The level, not your best tennis but playing well enough to win again and again. Was that sort of what you were feeling out there?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Definitely. Like I said, Mona's a great player. When she's on she's playing some good ball. Obviously when you're not on it's tough to match that, but I think today I just stuck in there and I knew that if I kept at it, I would eventually get my chances, which was good.
So I just hung in and kind of just waited for it.

Q. How did you feel about your net approaches today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: 0 for 10 or something?

Q. No, but you were moving in. Taking chances. They didn't all turn out great, but...
SLOANE STEPHENS: There was actually some good ones. She hit actually some good passes on some of them. Going into that girl's backhand is serious. Her backhand down the line is no joke. I learned my lesson a few times on that.
But other than that, I thought I was coming in pretty well and I thought I was seeing the ball well.

Q. Are you enjoying the battle? Was it fun?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, that one was fun. It was cool. A lot of people; great atmosphere. Just gotta love going out there and competing. That's the most important thing.
Today just wasn't going that way, I wasn't happy, but at the end of the day I was out there competing and fighting, and like I say, that's all you can do.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your competitiveness? Are you super competitive in every single thing you do...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Last person to the car is a rotten egg, that's me.

Q. Always have been?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. Like literally, first one to put your ‑‑ last one to put your seatbelt on. Everything. Yeah, definitely the ultimate competitor.

Q. Some friends you have had for a long time and you haven't seen them for ages, but you're there and you click right back in. Other friends you have you have to warm back up to them. What is it like with coaches? What's it like with Nick?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I mean, I have known Nick for so long. I think a lot of coaches I have worked with I have known them for a long time. Not since I started playing tennis, but I either have had like a relationship previously or I've known them.
So I really haven't had like any weirdness with coaches. Like it's always been, like, Hey, how's it going, how are the kids type of thing?

Q. So you worked with him before and didn't work with him for a while. Do you have to warm each other up or...
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, you have to get back to work. All the other stuff is in the past. It's in the past. Let's get down to it.

Q. Do you have to warm up before you start clicking again?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I click with everyone, so I just make it happen. I'm like, We're going to be friends now. Deal with it.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I will probably be, like, Oh, my God, Doug, like what's Gucci? How you been? So, yeah.

Q. I was talking to your good friend Mallory Burdette a couple weeks ago in Stanford and she says hi. But she was saying that when she was working with Nick, you know, a lot of those lessons about competing and battling and not being able to control the result, all these sort of messages he was telling her when she was younger, I can't deal with this right now, I can't accept it as like a fact?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. When we were like, 15, we were like, Get away. This is like Easter Bowl. We don't even care what happens.
But I think now, Mallory, like, her first year when she was playing, she was like, It makes sense now. I'm like, Yeah, it kind of does. You don't really want to accept it because he's like right, but at the end of the day you're like, To compete in battle and play a sport that you love, you don't really realize that when you're 16. You're just like I'm out here. Whatever.
It's definitely kind of you can understand it better.

Q. So like the jumping off point about clicking, was that one of the things when you started working with him at the beginning of the year and beginning of the season, kind of hearing these same messages you were back in the day? It took you kind of time to embrace it and internalize it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think so. I mean, it's always difficult to be in this situation that's like not ‑‑not not positive or whatever, but you just don't have that reinforcement of the right things.
I think for me, once I got my head on right and I was actually like receiving information it was going through the brain, I was, like, Oh, this makes sense.
So it didn't happen right away, but, you know, over time, positive messages. Like my mom says, Positive energy to the universe. It works once you get it going.

Q. Is your mom here?

Q. Traveling you with you less this year?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, she's been ‑‑she's been a lot of places this year. She's being a baseball mom now. My brother is applying for colleges. He started his senior year yesterday, so she's trying to be supportive.
So, yeah, and I'm being supportive by letting her stay and all that stuff.

Q. It's all support?

Q. Ivanovic?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, should be good. Been looking forward to getting out there. Who cares? Battle. Doesn't matter. Who cares about the other stuff?

Q. We'll fill in all the blanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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