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May 27, 2016

Shelby Rogers

Paris, France

S. ROGERS/P. Kvitova

6-0, 6-7, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good going.
SHELBY ROGERS: Thank you very much.

Q. You had an incredible expression after your victory, incredible hugs. Now you have had a few minutes in the locker room. Have you had a moment to just sort of go through your mind and what this means after all the effort, all the practice, the injuries, moving around? In a word, what is the emotion you're feeling?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I haven't had too much time yet. It was a quick transition after the match, and I think I'm still sweating a little bit (smiling). I'm very excited, very happy with the way I played, keeping it together after the second.

Yeah, it's pretty surreal (smiling). I'm obviously at a loss of words. It's really exciting.

Q. You have had this before where you had a big win where you won the first set 6-0 against Bouchard in Canada, then lost the second, and came back and won the third 6-0, which is pretty unusual that you have made a habit of it. How do you explain the rhythms of this match and how you're able to regain in such dominant form after losing domination for a bit?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, she started playing much better in the second. I was just trying to take it point by point, because if I started to think too much, she for sure would have the advantage there. Just one point at a time, one point at a time.

And I don't know if I could call that a habit yet, but I hope to create one out of it. That would be nice (laughter).

Q. What were your expectations going into this match? You're pretty comfortable on clay, maybe by American standards and maybe not her favorite surface. Did you feel this was a good matchup for you?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I have been feeling really confident. I have had a couple of good wins here already. I was just trying to focus on my game and do the things that have been working for me in my first rounds.

Like I said, point by point, just focus on what I was doing and try not to think about who I was playing too much, just kind of play the ball.

Q. Can you just do a little bit of background in terms of what brought you to tennis and all that good stuff?
SHELBY ROGERS: Sure. I started playing tennis when I was four. My older sister played. I kind of, you know, wanted to be like her, followed her into the sport. I owe her a lot, definitely.

Loved it right away. I have loved it since I was a little girl. Always had dreams of being a professional tennis player.

Grew up in Charleston, lived there until I was 18, then set out on the tour. It's been a long journey, but moments like this make it all worth it.

Q. Your sister Sabra?

Q. What is she doing these days?
SHELBY ROGERS: She's a psychologist (laughter). Funny enough.

Q. You forgot to follow her?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah. She has a lot of work with me, but, you know, she keeps me sane. She's very helpful, for sure.

She's so excited right now. I have gotten a long list of messages from her, so I can't wait to call her. I'm really excited.

Q. In terms of matchups, do you like playing left-handers?
SHELBY ROGERS: I mean, obviously I don't play as many as right-handers, but the serve is a little tricky, different spins, things like that. But I don't mind it. After today, sure. Love it. (Smiling.)

Q. You mentioned your sister. Is she able to put on a professional hat and work with you sort of professionally or is it always helping you sister to sister?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, just sister to sister. And we are very close. We talk all the time. She's very involved with what I'm doing, always checking in on me and following how I'm doing.

Unfortunately she can't travel with me all the time. That would be amazing, but she has a life of her own. So she follows as closely as she can. Like I said, we talk, and it's great.

Q. It's got to be good for a sister to have that, because tennis can drive you crazy.
SHELBY ROGERS: Absolutely. She played in college, so she totally gets it. Being a player she knows how difficult it is at any level, so it's really helpful.

Q. How much, if at all, do you feel like being in Charleston and you ball girled at that tournament for a few years and you were talking about having all the media attention and that sort of stuff when you were getting wildcards and qualifying? How much has that helped you in sort of development and confidence on the main WTA Tour?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, gosh, it's helped me probably more than anything. Being comfortable in front of the media is very important, you know. We get media all the time; good and bad. It's important to be able to deal with that as well as train hard and manage your game.

So I was very fortunate, like you said, growing up to have that exposure right away and be comfortable in front of the camera or, you know, putting words together. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it, because it's definitely very overwhelming, but the more you do it, I think the easier it gets.

Q. What was the best sister psych advice she has given you and where did she play college tennis?
SHELBY ROGERS: She played at Emory University. Four years there. Did an incredible job.

She tries to keep me in the moment, not thinking about too many things in the past or too many things in the future. And that's probably what she emphasizes the most.

We do a lot of journal exercises, things like that, just to kind of clear your mind a little bit. Because like I said before, you know, if too many thoughts get in it's bad news on the court.

Yeah. That's probably...

Q. You had quite a great expression right at the point when you won. Do you remember what your thought was?
SHELBY ROGERS: It's a little bit blurry, for sure. There was a lot of noise and a lot of applause, and a lot of emotions taking over, but I'm one that cries very easily, and I think everyone saw that. I immediately started crying, and it was a very incredible moment.

But it's definitely a little blurry.

Q. When you say "journal," do you mean you write them down, or you are you keeping a journal? Is that what you mean?

Q. And who's here with you?
SHELBY ROGERS: My coach is here, my parents are here, my boyfriend is here. So my agent was watching. You know, my box was filled. I was very happy to look over and share that moment with them.

Q. We've gone really psychological in this press conference.

Q. Let's go philosophical for a minute. Your last press conference you were talking about your quote that the best things in life aren't things. But beating a two-time slam champion at Roland Garros is a pretty big thing.

Q. Is this one of the best moments in your life? Can you put it in perspective in terms of all your efforts?
SHELBY ROGERS: Definitely, yeah. It's definitely up there as one of the best moments.

Along with it, you know, being a great moment, just being able to share it with my family and my friends and everyone that's here makes it even more special.

Q. Did you see this coming? I mean, you're outside top 100. Wouldn't have been a popular pick to make it to the fourth round out of your section. Did you feel something was brewing that was going to lead to playing big at this tournament?
SHELBY ROGERS: I mean, I have had a decent year so far. I made the finals of Rio earlier this year. I have been trying to string as many matches together as possible. You know, work on things I needed to work on. Kind of, you know, just keep this process mindset, and, you know, it's working so far.

So I don't want to say I expected it, but I don't want to say I didn't expect it, because, you know, I think every player enters a tournament thinking they are going to do well and confident. So I just hope I can keep it going.

Q. The $64 question, how do you come down from this and focus on two days from now when you have to play that fourth round?
SHELBY ROGERS: Maybe you guys could tell me. I don't know. (Laughter.)

Luckily I have a little time to figure that out.

Q. In terms of the journal writing, obviously the mental side of the sport is so, so important. Without going too far, what are some of the things you try and work on in your writing about -- is it staying in the moment? Staying positive?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, most important thing for me is keeping the negative thoughts away. It's so easy to doubt yourself and not trust what you're doing and to lose confidence very quickly. In an individual sport, I think that's very important.

So I definitely focus on that.

Q. You play Begu next. I don't know if you saw any of her match against Coco or have any thoughts what that might be. I'm not sure if you played her before.
SHELBY ROGERS: Can I enjoy this one for a little bit? I was watching her match before I went on. She played before me so I was waiting for the court to open up. I saw a little bit. But strategy later. I want to enjoy this one.

Q. Speaking of not enjoying the moment, what's more important in your life, winning this huge match or the loss by the Lightning?

Q. Tampa Bay Lightning.
SHELBY ROGERS: Don't bring that up. Yeah, it was really disappointing. But so proud to be a Bolts fan. They had an incredible season. I can't wait until next season.

But now I can just focus on tennis.

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