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January 16, 2017

Shelby Rogers

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. ROGERS/S. Halep

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I guess what were your thoughts when you first saw the draw and who you were playing, or heard you were playing? Did anything surprise you out there about how it went?
SHELBY ROGERS: It's no surprise to me. I have had some tough draws in the slams, so I'm kind of used to that, playing the seeds and playing big matches right off the bat.

But it's always fun. You know you're going to play on a good court. You know you're going to get the atmosphere. It can be tough sometimes to play on the outer courts, not too much going on.

There are different challenges with both, I think.

Q. How do you feel like you handled this moment? I'm guessing pretty decently?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I think I played great today, trying to be aggressive going out there. My game plan worked. Just move forward, hit your shots, be really aggressive. When I'm doing that, I am playing well. Very happy with how I did today.

Q. The run at the French Open, what do you learn from that and try to translate into the slams that you have been able to play since?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, the biggest thing I took away from that was just that I can compete with the top players in the world and I'm good enough, you know. And little things here and there I need to work on, but I'm here. I need to believe in myself, and, yeah.

So I have definitely carried that away from the French Open and just been enjoying it a little bit, I think. There has been a lot of positive feedback, which has been nice.

Just trying to keep that going.

Q. When you blast off the court the No. 4 player in the world, does that open new perspective and new belief?
SHELBY ROGERS: I think it adds to, yeah. I don't know about new, but definitely taking some confidence from that and happy, like I said, with what I did today and would like to continue that.

It's just the first day of the tournament, so I've got a long way to go (smiling).

Q. But you were expecting that level of play in your preparation?
SHELBY ROGERS: I have had a couple good weeks leading up to Melbourne. I started well in Brisbane and had a couple of good matches in Hobart, as well. It's nice to feel like you have had some matches already, which is a really nice thing.

I wasn't here last year, actually, so it's extra special for me.

Q. Was your ranking not enough to get in the main...
SHELBY ROGERS: No, last year I had been struggling with some injuries, so I decided to play some of the lower ITFs in Florida. It was a tough decision, but it paid off for me last year.

It's nice to be back here in Australia. I absolutely love it here.

Q. You played here in 2015, US Open, Simona, she won that match relatively quickly?
SHELBY ROGERS: Night match, Arthur Ashe, my first experience being an American there. There was a lot going on. It was a little bit overwhelming for me.

I felt like I started that match pretty well. You know, I had the right ideas, similar to what I did today.

But, yeah, I think all the variables kind of got to me on that night, and she played very well that night.

So good thing today was a little bit different than that.

Q. You figured out the whole big-stage thing at this point? You won matches on Lenglen. You've kind of gotten the hang of that?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I have always enjoyed a big crowd and people cheering. I have always loved that atmosphere. It's a little bit different playing on such a big court, you know, and then having, you know, different pressures coming from everywhere. I think I have matured a little bit and gotten used to that.

It's a great part of the sport. It's, you know, a great opportunity that we have to play in front of so many people and have people cheering us on. I really appreciate it, yeah.

Q. Your game has evolved a little bit. Seems like over the last few years there is more clarity on the court of what you need to do, how to execute your points and your patterns. I mean, can you talk about your offseason a little bit and your preseason, in particular, in terms of what you and your team kind of specifically thought to focus on to try and improve your game for the season?
SHELBY ROGERS: Sure. Thank you for that.

Yeah, I have always had power. I have always kind of had natural power. That's never an issue for me. It's more about controlling it, I think, making right decisions and not being overly aggressive but at the same time kind of imposing what I want to do and controlling the court, that sort of thing.

Preseason, the last couple years have been mostly about fitness, to be honest, getting a little bit quicker and more efficient with the movement, and that is huge. When you can translate that into matches, it makes a big difference. These girls are so strong and so quick. You really have to bring it to play with them.

Definitely focused on that, and happy it's paying off a little bit.

Q. How were the conditions on the court? Is it normal for Australia? Too hot?
SHELBY ROGERS: Oh, no. It was nice today. I thought the air was really nice. It was kind of cool, and I thought it was fine.

The sun is always hot here. I'm already sunburned. (Smiling.)

Yeah, I thought it was nice. No wind. I thought it was perfect for tennis, I thought. Maybe the fans were struggling a little bit.

Q. There is a bunch of Americans in the draw, both the women's and men's side.
SHELBY ROGERS: 18, I think.

Q. Pretty big number. Can you talk a little bit about -- it seems like there is more collective pride these days amongst the American crew than maybe there was, you know, three years ago, four years ago?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, maybe. I think as a group, like you're seeing, we all see we're all really good. You know, so it's kind of fun to watch everyone succeed. You know, we get along well. In the locker rooms it's a lot of fun. So I think we push each other in a very positive way.

We have a great group around us, girls and guys. Yeah, it's looking good. It's nice to be a part of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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