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August 10, 2017

Sloane Stephens

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So you played great yesterday and today. Are you surprised? Happy? Just talk about it.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Just happy. Last week I said eventually I was going to beat someone. So three people, it's pretty good. So just pleased with that. Pleased to be playing well and just happy to be back on the court again.

Q. Just describe each match a little bit, if you feel like you're kind of building up as you go along.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, like, first match I played well, someone that I don't think I have ever played her before. So it was tough going in, obviously, in first round. But I had come off a pretty good doubles week. So I had been playing, so I was pretty pleased with that.

And, yeah, then second match playing Kvitova is never easy and she's a lefty, which I haven't played in a really long time. So it was always going to be tough. She's a great player. And I was just happy I was able to fight through it.

And then the same thing with today. I just really went out and played my game. I was used to the lefty serve so that helped me a bit.

But, yeah, I just went out and played my game and good result.

Q. So I assume you're 100% physically now. You've been gone for, what, almost a year, no?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. So I hurt my foot last year here. So, yeah, full year pretty much.

Everything is good. Body is good. Nothing is hurting. So I'm on the right track, I think.

Q. I know you played with Genie and will again in Connecticut, I believe. She's short on confidence right now. Is there anything that you can pass along to her, you think, or be supportive in any way with her?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I support her 100%. She'll get it back. She'll find it. Everyone goes through those ups and downs. So I'm sure she'll be back in great form soon.

Q. Either maybe this week now you're winning matches again or just your first tournament back, did you feel as if it was all worth it all, that rehab, all that work to get back, and just talk about when you first had that feeling.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I just -- I don't know if I had that feeling. I was just happy to be back on the court.

And the rehab, everything was part of the process. Yeah, it was tough, but at the end I knew I was going to be able to play tennis again. So I was just really looking forward to that and just being able to get out here and compete.

Even when I played at Wimbledon, I didn't win my first match but I had a good time. I enjoyed being out on the court again.

At this point, it's not really about winning and losing. It's just getting out there and being able to play again. It's been such a long process and a long road, so just the pleasure of being able to compete again.

Q. Are you superstitious at all when it comes to tournaments? I know Caroline Wozniacki was in here earlier and said she will change up her hotel after not doing so well in Toronto in years past. Do you ever change up a routine like that if you haven't had great results in a city?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I mean, if, like, you have a bad experience there then, yeah, for sure. But if it's just because you didn't play well, hmm, not so much.

But if you like -- I don't know. Like one hotel we went to, like, everyone in my team got bed bugs, and I will never stay there again. But things like that you're like, hmm, not so much.

But if it's user error, like, my fault that I lost, then, nah, not really.

Q. Does it feel any different being back than when you were playing before, sort of newer, fresher at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, it's kind of like I'm just starting my season and everyone else is, like, huffing and puffing, I guess.

So no, I feel good. Obviously I haven't' played, so I'm, like, really looking forward to getting on the court every time I step on the court and just happy to be out there. And not that the other girls aren't happy, but they've already had a really long season, and it's been tough for them. So maybe that's a little bit of an advantage.

Q. So when you were practicing this year, were you saying, okay, I need to improve my serve? My forehand? My net? Just talk about that a little bit.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, there was a lot of things I needed to improve. But for the first -- like, I was on a peg leg for, like, 15 weeks, so I couldn't do anything. I was walking on that stupid thing.

And then when I first started actually hitting on the court again, like, I couldn't run full on. I couldn't do anything. So it was just like a lot of slow feeting and working on stuff. So I had a lot of time to work on a lot of stuff that I didn't want to work on.

So, yeah, I had time to improve, which normally you just, like, keep playing and you have really good results and you're kind of like, oh, okay, yeah. But I had plenty of time to work on stuff.

Q. Just when you were off you did a little bit of media and a little bit of, like, analysis, and what did you like about being on sort of the other side of tennis, the media side?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I just had a really good time. I think my favorite thing was getting up in the morning. We had, like, 4:00 a.m. calls and seeing Paul Annacone and Tracy Austin and Lindsay Davenport, like, first thing in the morning and talking about tennis and results and who did what.

Like, I think that was probably the best part of my, like, tennis -- I don't even know what you would call it.

Q. Commentating.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I never called a match. I wasn't really, like, commentating. I was -- you guys would know. What was it?

Q. Analyst?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, analyst. But no, it was really fun, like, the whole process. Every morning Paul would bring donuts and we would have food trucks. It was so much fun. I would totally do it again.

Q. Any changes to your team while you were off and who are you working with at the moment?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No changes. Still the same coach. I added a hitter. But since then, no, same people.

Q. What did you like about playing with Genie at the Citi Open. What do you anticipate in a couple weeks?
SLOANE STEPHENS: What did I like? We just had fun. We had a great time. Obviously, for me not being able to play, like, us winning a couple of matches was really fun.

And I've known Genie more than, like, half my life. So just being able to be on the court with her and just being able to have fun. And we're complete singles players, so we were like, You play your half and I'll play my half and see what happens.

And it was just nice to have some good results and being able to get out there and compete with the best.

And on top of that, we had, like, amazing crowds for our doubles matches. I had more people at all three of the doubles matches than I had at my singles match. So it was just a great atmosphere. We had a great time together and we won. So that's like icing on the cake.

Q. Has that carried over for you here then?

Q. What is your favorite thing about returning to tour and what's the least favorite thing?
SLOANE STEPHENS: My favorite thing? Oh, going to all the cities and going to my favorite restaurants. That's my favorite thing.

And then my least favorite thing is -- I don't know. My sleep pattern is messed up. That's my least favorite thing.

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