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May 31, 2016

Samantha Stosur

Paris, France

S. STOSUR/S. Halep

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How important was to maintain focus in the match going over three days with all those interruptions and having to restart all the time?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's obviously really important. You've got to work out a way to do it. I felt like each time we went back out on court I was ready and I was focused and knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Yeah, I needed the time to be able to do it, and thankfully, you know, I didn't take long today. That was a great thing for me.

Q. After the third round you said that was one of the best matches you played. Equal of any of the matches you have played through your three other big runs at Roland Garros, how would you describe today's win in similar terms?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's pretty equal to that. Two different opponents and one looks like a lot easier score than the other, but, yeah, these two matches back to back for me, yeah, fantastic to be able to do it over a long period of time.

Obviously today's match taking a long time to finish, it's just -- yeah, I feel like I'm playing really well and I'm really clear. Yeah, nothing -- you know, the rain and all that, it is what it is. I'm not letting it get to me. You take your chances when you get them.

Q. Given the fact that you had wrist injury before this tournament, did you expect this kind of result in your performance?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, look, I didn't know what kind of result or performance I was going to have regardless of the wrist injury, but I said after my first round I did exactly what I needed to do for that and sort it out and came here early.

It was unfortunate I had to pull out of Strasbourg, but I needed those days to recover. Thankfully, touch wood, it's been okay so far. I'm not struggling with it at all. I'm not even thinking about it now. I still have it taped, but it's not bothering me and I'm able to play some of my best tennis.

Q. You've got to go out there and execute, but what does Dave bring in terms of keeping the process clear and allowing you to go out there and do your job?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, obviously we talk a lot about what I want to do and how I want to set my points up and all that kind of thing. I mean, this match, after the first day, even though I was 5-3 down, there was a lot of good things happening.

I felt like I was still in a good position and doing, you know, the right thing. I really just changed a couple of things up today when I came out to play, and it worked really well. Just that clarity of knowing, yep, this is what you've got to do. Obviously no matter what it is, believing that I can execute it.

Harder said than done. But, yeah, I guess just that clarity of, Okay, everything's good. Just change this. See how it goes. Then you always got to be adaptable.

Q. The last time you were this fit, healthy, and this confident was -- how old were you?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: A while ago. (Laughter). Yeah, a few years.

Q. Few years?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. Probably.

Q. You mean like 2010/'11?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. Who knows? I think I -- look, whether it's just fit and healthy, it's confidence, it's winning matches, it's playing back-to-back weeks and doing well, it's everything.

Yeah, I don't think you can really pinpoint one thing that says, Yeah, this is why I'm having a good run here. There are a lot of things that have gone into this.

Q. How subjective do decisions when to play or not to play affect you on court? When we're in here watching all the different courts, some courts sit down, other players leave, other matches go on for another ten minutes. How logical does it all seem to you? Does it make sense when you're stopping and starting when you're out there?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I guess in this situation they need -- every minute counts, and I'm just playing. If the umpire says we're stopping, we're stopping. I don't know what the forecast is. I know what it feels like out there and I know it was raining for the first time we went out today, but the court was okay for the most part.

I don't think Simona was complaining about it. Again, we're told to play, we play. If it gets too wet you've got to say something. Yeah, I mean, like it's not good out there, but it was fine for us.

Q. You've got a commanding record against Pironkova. What are your thoughts going into that match?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I do, but it's the quarters and she's just had a great win over Aga. I need to think about the matches that we have played, but I don't think we have played for a couple of years.

But I know certain things that are going to work very well against her. You know, she's made quarters of a Grand Slam before and had big wins in her career. Can't take anything lightly. Looks like a good matchup. I need to be just as focused tomorrow whenever I play as what I was all week.

Playing a confident player in the quarters of a slam is never easy no matter what your record is.

Q. You will go into this match, I presume, probably with the favoritism because of your record. You have been playing so freely coming up against two higher seeds. Does that change your mindset at all when you come up against somebody you will be expected to beat, you suppose?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, you don't want it to change. You have to do exactly the same thing. Like I said, rankings, you know, 6, 21, or 100, it's the quarters, and you have to be as prepared as every single one of those players no matter what the number is next to that name.

Q. What is the hardest thing you need to do to adapt to these heavy, wet conditions?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I mean, I guess for me today I was able to hit through the court probably a bit better than Simona was able to. Heavy, wet conditions like this don't typically help me too much, but I think today I was able to use them better to my tennis than what she was and I was able to put her under more pressure.

Yeah, just basically get the ball through the court, hit deeper, mix it up with some short balls. You know, it's not as easy to move out there, so I think you've just got to, again, be adaptable and hit what feels right. It's not always what you necessarily would do, but hit what feels right for that moment.

Q. Athletes go through ups and downs, but your career has been marked by some really special breakthroughs and some periods when it's been tough going. Could you just talk about those ups and downs, how you deal with sustaining yourself when there are downs, and how important are the triumphs? Talk about that process.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, I think most careers of some of the greatest players in the world or ever always have ups and downs. And I think it is important to know, Okay, even if you're having a period, a bit of a slump, what you have been able to achieve beforehand, you know, it doesn't all just go away.

If you've done it there for a consistent period then you can you get it back again. You have to put all these things back together and make it work.

So, I mean, it sounds really simple. Staying positive and working hard can take you a long way. You have just got to always wait for that breakthrough and opportunity to arise. Sometimes it takes longer and sometimes it can happen, you know, a lot quicker.

But I think you've always got to be ready. Tennis is something -- it can change quickly. I was reading the other day, Shelby Rogers, she lost in qualifying in Strasbourg and now she's in the quarters. One tournament to the next, smallest tournament on tour and the biggest one. She's had polar opposite results. Shows how quickly things can turn around.

Also, the margins are so small. You can make big changes very quickly if you're prepared to, you know, take them.

Q. That semifinal you two played in Madrid was not close.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Nice way to put it.

Q. It's true. So how were you able to keep -- and I guess after the start you had on Sunday - you were down a break when you came back - how were you able to keep your confidence to be able to come out and really be pretty comprehensive today?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think -- I mean, Madrid was not a good night for me, and I think I have thought a lot about that match straight afterwards. Obviously you get this opportunity to play her again in a big match. Okay, I've really had to learn quickly what went wrong there and why it went wrong, more importantly.

Again, I was pretty sure about all those things, and then had a good plan of what I wanted to do and had to stay on that path. That's what -- yeah, that's what I was able to do. Even being 5-3 down the other night, I still felt like I was going in the right direction. If I ended up losing that match but playing as well as what I was, then so be it.

But it was obviously a big change to Madrid, and I wasn't -- I think I said the other day before I played I wasn't losing sleep over the Madrid match, because I was really sure of what kind of happened there and what I needed to change.

Q. For a while you were making this part of the slam consistently, and that hasn't happened I think since 2012. A little bit of talk about just those three years between then and now and if you thought this would ever happen again? I wonder, too, how special this is to have it happen when I think this is the last tournament that you and Dave are working together.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it has been a long time, but I guess I have had probably -- I mean, I've not won the US Open, but probably the most successful tournament for me is here. I feel like going into this week I have been playing really well, and I had lots of matches and lots of time on the clay.

I think that's, you know, all part of why I have had a successful tournament here so far. Yeah, it's really nice to be in the quarters again of a slam. It has been a long time and there's been lots of ups and downs in those last three years, but like I said before, when you've had good results and you've been at the top of the game, you've got to believe you can do it again. It doesn't all just go away.

But like I said, you've got to put it together. That's what I have been able to do so far this week. Yeah, it's a really nice feeling.

Then I guess with the last tournament Dave and I together, if I can keep playing like this, win or lose, then it's been a successful tournament.

Q. When conditions are like this and it's heavy out there, what exactly does the court give you? You have a unique game style. What were you feeling out there? What was working, in particular when it's kind of heavy?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, well, like I said before, I don't typically like the heavy, wet, damp conditions, but today I was able to use them I think a lot better I think than she was. I didn't necessarily think about hitting with heavy spin, but more harder over the net I guess to get the same kind of result. But, you know, slightly in a different way.

You know, having a slice backhand I can then hit it a bit shorter, keep it low over the net. Court is dead and wet. If you keep it low it doesn't bounce that much. I think that really kept her off-balance when I was hitting my slice, whether I was going deep or short. Yeah, when it's harder to move, that makes it just that a little bit harder.

Like I said, then with my forehand, just that little bit of extra height to push her back was working well for me.

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