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September 5, 2017

Anastasija Sevastova

New York, NY, USA

S. STEPHENS/A. Sevastova

6-3, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how much of an issue was your leg or thigh that you had treatment for in the first set?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I mean, it was not an issue that I lost the match, but I felt it a little bit, but after they worked on it, it was fine. It was much better. In the beginning I couldn't move that well, but then it was okay.

Q. How much did nerves play a role in that third set? Seemed like you were getting very frustrated even when you were up, getting close on that second break.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It was a close set. I think at 5-4 or 6-5 when I was serving, I was in control. There was not many nerves. But maybe before, in the beginning, a bit nervous. And also in the tiebreak.

Yeah, but it's normal. I mean, it's the third set. You play for semifinals of US Open (smiling). I'm not a robot. Sorry.

Q. Is it too early? Obviously not the results you want, but is it too early to find some positives in this tournament to have gone as far as you did?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, that's a positive already. I lost 7-6 in the third to Sloane. I mean, she's great. She's playing great. She had better nerves in the end. She played amazing points in the end.

She deserves it. Really, respect for her. It was a great tournament more me. I can't deny it. Of course it hurts now, but yeah, in a couple of days it's going to be okay. I'm going to live (smiling).

Q. I like your hat. Are you a Giants fan?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I'm such a Giants fan. (Laughter.)

Q. You seem to look at your box all the time. What are you doing that for? Just to calm yourself down or...
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't think that calms me down.

Q. Seems like you take a look at the box...
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, that's a bad habit, probably. I have to play -- I have to be more relaxed, also. Sometimes it cost me a match maybe. Yeah, it's a bad habit. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it doesn't.

Yeah, I cannot say more.

Q. Could you talk a little bit more about Sloane? You talked about her nerves. What about her game makes her such a good player?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: She has great strokes. They're powerful. It's tough to play her. She moves well. She plays aggressive. Her forehand is great.

I thought I had her somewhere in the beginning of the third. I was in control. But, yeah, she came back and played some great winners, and she was back. Then the crowd I think helped her a little bit, pushed her.

But I think she is all-around player. She played good at the net. She finished the points well at the net. Returns well. She's a contender here, I think. I hope (smiling).

Q. Just talking about your box, since I don't speak fluent German, what exactly are you yelling most of the time?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Different things. You can translate it.

Q. Are you mad at yourself?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's more or less I'm mad at myself sometimes. I try to put it on the box, but it doesn't help me. I mean, somewhere in the second set I was more relaxed. Also in the beginning of the third, I was not talking too much.

I have to play like that through the whole match, I think. Then I win, probably (smiling).

Q. You seemed most in control when you were kind of changing pace a little bit, dropshotted her a lot. Obviously that was your strategy going in. Can you explain that? Did you maybe not do enough of that?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't even know. I mean, she was moving well to the dropshots and she has good hands. I mean, she can play through the ball.

I mean, for sure, it was a strategy. I had to mix it up, like against Maria.

She managed to move to get some dropshots. Maybe then I lost some confidence to play those dropshots also in the end.

But again, if you play a tiebreak and you start playing dropshots, I don't know. It's tough. You have to have nerves. Maybe I lost them a little bit (smiling).

Q. The crowd was mainly in favor of Sloane, but were you still able to kind of soak up that atmosphere and enjoy it?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it's normal. It's US Open. She's American. You have to understand that.

Yeah, the crowd was in the match. In the end of the match, it was so loud. I never played in such a loud stadium. It was cool to play, actually.

Q. What is the feeling to be a single athlete in this huge stadium? What was going through your mind about that?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: You have to be there to have this feeling, I think. It's tough to explain. You're, like, alone and everybody is screaming. Also during rallies, during crazy points. Yeah, it's crazy. All the cameras, like the Spidercam moving around you. It's an experience you never forget, I think, in your life.

Q. You talked about at the beginning of the season losing a few close matches, but because you played so well, they didn't really get you down. Is that a similar head space you're in right now because you played so well in that match?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think so. I think we played a good match. For sure it hurts. I lost 20 minutes ago. But I hope I can finish the season strong. I hope to play better than last year in Asia, and, yeah, I'm still confident in my tennis, for sure.

Q. This being the 20th anniversary of the naming of this stadium, Arthur Ashe, does that bring any historical thing to mind?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: To me, no, sorry. I mean, for sure, for tournament, it's amazing. This is the biggest stadium in the world. So many people watch also today. It's cool, yeah. But I'm born 1990, so...

I'm older than the stadium (smiling).

Q. I know you weren't overly concerned about defending the points coming back here, but being able to do it, do you feel that adds a different aspect to your career? Does it prove anything? How do you come away from having backed up this run?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I have never thought about it. I will not think about this.

I really don't care about the points. I play for spectators, I play for -- I don't know how you say it, for everyone, for myself, to play this amazing matches. Even if I would lose against Maria the match before, I would be okay with myself. Because those two matches, they were unbelievable, one of the best matches of my career. And this experience and everything, I will never forget it.

I don't think about 465 points, 0.5 or, I don't know. Sorry.

Q. Some have said that you have the best dropshot in the game.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about dropshots? Is it something you practice? Is it merely a matter of feel? When do you do it? How do you have such a good dropshot?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Sometimes I practice it. Not lately, I haven't been practicing it.

It just goes. I don't know. It's instinct. I play with instinct, this dropshot. Mostly I play backhand dropshots. Sometimes from running. I play forehand, also.

As a small girl I was also playing a lot of dropshots because I was too small and I couldn't do anything else. So I think it's coming from there, yeah. A dropshot country.

Q. I know you're just out of the tournament, but do you have any sense as to who's going to win this thing?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Really? I don't know. No idea. Yeah.

Q. Any favorite for you?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No. Everyone can win it. Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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