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May 23, 2016

Sloane Stephens

Paris, France

S. STEPHENS/M. Gasparyan

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about that match?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I felt good. I thought I played well, considering the conditions: being first round of slam; raining all day and yesterday.

Just tricky conditions. I thought I did pretty well.

Q. What do you do when you're waiting all day not knowing when you'll get on court? Anything specific you do?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I just kind of like lay down and, I don't know, play games on my phone. Try to keep busy. Go on Instagram.

Q. What about napping? Is that good? Bad? Something you never do on a match day?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, oh, no. I nap all the time. Like I fall asleep and I don't know. I was asleep for like an hour today and didn't realize. It's unintentional.

Q. Does it feel good to get a first Grand Slam win since Wimbledon?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Thanks for the reminder. I didn't know. Yeah, it's nice. Obviously one of my -- this is my favorite slam, so it's nice. I'm excited to be in the second round again.

Q. As many talented teens find out when they come out here, there is probably a lot more ups and downs than they would think. When you look back, what are your thoughts about that kind of situation?
SLOANE STEPHENS: About the ups and downs?

Q. The ups and dawns. Did you anticipate as many as there were? Do you think you handled them as best you could? Just looking back.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think sports are sports, so there is going to be obviously a lot of up and downs. Growing up in sports, in a spotlight, is always going to be tough. You'll make mistakes. It's been a bumpy road, but I guess that's life and being a professional tennis player.

I'm sure there will be many more bumps and a lot of highs, but, I mean, I think that's just a part of life.

Q. This has been your most consistently consistent slam - four years in a row fourth round - to what do you attribute that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know. I love clay. I love this tournament. I love Paris. I don't know. Maybe I've gotten some good draws. I don't know. Just -- I have no idea.

Q. What is it specifically about the clay that you like?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know. It's red? (Laughter.)

Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I just like it.

Q. Do you think it would've been helpful if more people weren't that anxious and kind of like were calmer and not saying, She's going to be the next best person? Did that attribute to some of the anxiety or the troubles? They seem to do that a lot when somebody looks like they have a lot of talent.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. I think that's just a part of like journalism, media. That's part of it. You find someone you really like and you expect a lot from that person.

I mean, it's not a bad thing, but there also is a lot of anxiety and extra pressure and things that aren't fun.

At the end of the day, I think there is always going to be someone else behind you that's, Oh, my God! We think she's going to be great.

Everyone has their time and their moment to shine, whether it's now, later, whenever. Whenever you get that, She's going to be great, it's just a moment. You got to just kind of live through it and move on.

Q. Talking about napping during rain delays, what about during travel? Are there things you learned over the years that make traveling easier? I don't know if you have to always have the same seats or are packing a certain way. How do you like to make travel easy?

Q. Travel tricks.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Travel tricks. So I travel with a blanket everywhere I can so I can nap wherever I go. Yeah, I have a blanket for airplanes and I have a blanket for like rainy days like today; I have a blanket for the hotel.

Q. Same one or different?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Kind of depends. Like I'm a germ freak so I have to change my blankets all the time. There is a big UA Stadium blanket. It's super warm. I have that and a cheetah print blanket for hotels. Reminds me of home. Things like that.

For me, that's what I like. I like to be reminded of home. When I'm at home I'm on my couch snuggling my blanket. It's like a way to remind me of home but be away.

Q. Do you have one of those sheet contraptions they sell at Bed, Bath & Beyond?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I think Bethanie has one of those. Ask her about it. They travel with a full thing. It's like -- yeah, I don't know. Ask her.

Q. They have them at Bed, Bath & Beyond if you don't want to sleep on hotel sheets.
SLOANE STEPHENS: It's a full mattress she travels with. Ask her. She loves that thing.

Q. (Off microphone: Regarding sweater blanket.)

Q. Yeah.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I have one of those but that's not cool. I wear onsies all the time. I have like ten of them. The Snuggie is just like not -- just get a blanket. I don't want to put my arms in something and walk around like a ghost around the house. Get a blanket. I hate it. My brother got me one for Christmas.

Q. Do you feel like you found this middle ground in terms of the hype that tennis players have to deal with?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know. You think you start doing well and you're like, I found a good balance and win a tournament and then it's like, Wait. I wasn't ready for all this. I think it's definitely just something you got to learn to live with. It's going to be there no matter what. I've learned to embrace it.

Q. Did that car find its way home to you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Sure did, sure did. It's a little bit too much car for me. It has paddle shifting and sports gears and stuff. But it's okay. I'm going to learn to love it. But it is, it's a lot of car. It's really fast. When I went to go pick it up from the dealership the guy took me on like a test drive and it was like overwhelming.

Obviously I don't know what paddle shifting is and all that stuff. It was definitely an experience. If you come to L.A. I'll take you on a drive and show off all my cool stuff. Wifi in the car, too. Six months, free, by the way.

Q. What kind of car?
SLOANE STEPHENS: A Volvo. The one I won at the tournament. Where have you been? That's the best part of tournament, winning the car at the end. It's bright blue. Come on.

Q. I missed it.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'll have to shoot you the press release. Are we good?

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