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September 25, 2017

Sloane Stephens

Wuhan, Hubei, China

WANG Q./S. Stephens

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You never looked comfortable out on court today. What happened?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I didn't play a great match. But my opponent played very well. Sometimes you have those days. So it's just not a good day today.

Q. Jetlag?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, a bit of a time change is a little tough. But, I mean, it's for everyone. Well, maybe not for her, but for me, yeah.

Q. Getting here to Asia, playing your first tournament, did it feel any different than when you arrived to Toronto, the tournaments before the US Open? How did it feel playing the first tournament since the US?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know. I mean, I don't know. I don't know. Asia is always tough for me. The time change is always tough for me. It's hard for me to adjust.

I mean, it's difficult. It's the end of the year. Even though I played five tournaments, I feel like I played 25. A little tired.

But I think, you know, I'm playing in Hong Kong. I've never played there before. Hopefully that gives me like green vibes, I start playing good again.

I'm not going to be too upset about this. I mean, things happen. Just kind of, Oh, well.

Q. Then just with her game in particular, can you break down what it was that she did particularly well that made it difficult to adjust, an evaluation of her game style.
SLOANE STEPHENS: She plays very flat. I think the courts here are very fast. That suits her game pretty well. I think that I just wasn't able to, like, play my game as well. I wasn't moving that great. Just was a tough day for me.

But she played well. Like she played her game. She executed well. I can't take anything away from her. She played a great match.

Q. Can you tell us what you did in the days immediately after the US Open. Did you party all week or were you on the practice court 9 in the morning the next day?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, actually I had to do some stuff in New York, then I went to see my grandparents. So no partying for me. I don't party. I don't drink. I don't do any of that stuff. I was just hanging out with my old folks.

Q. When did you get back on the practice court? How soon afterwards?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Like the next Friday. I finished Saturday, I played the next Friday.

Q. Do you have any kind of I guess fresh reflections on the achievement you just had now that you've had a couple of weeks to let it sink in?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. A great achievement, something I'll always be proud of. But still a lot of tennis to be played.

I just want to finish the season out strong. I'm really looking forward to Fed Cup. I think that's probably what my highlight of the year will be, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Q. Sort of a business question. I know you have three sponsors now. For an American to win the US Open, it's huge. How important is that side of tennis for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: What sponsors do I have?

Q. Under Armour...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Okay, go ahead. Maybe you knew something I didn't. No worries.

Q. Potentially you could earn multiple millions of dollars as an endorser. How important is that side of tennis for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, if I don't keep playing good tennis, then that will be irrelevant. So I don't think about it too much.

I think that when you play well and you have good results, it all comes with the territory. But you have to maintain in order to keep those sponsors and keep your money flowing in.

At this point for me, it's just about, you know, continuing to play, have good results. I'm in a little different situation because I haven't played, you know, in 11 months. I'm just trying to stay on the court and compete and all that stuff. I mean, for me, it's just continue to play and make sure I stay healthy.

Q. Have you been inundated with offers? Your agent?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, no, I'm not personally making deals with anyone. But I have an agent.

Q. Has he been inundated?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, if he wasn't doing anything, that would be very sad. I believe he is working. But if you want to know details, his wedding anniversary is today so he's not working today or tomorrow. But JohnTobias@TLAWorldwide.com if you have like a deal you'd like to present or anything.

Q. When you come back from injury, whether on the practice court or in a tournament, what do you think it is that you lose first? Is it the speed, your precision, accuracy?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think, well, obviously since I had foot surgery, I couldn't run or anything. I think movement was, like, a big part of, like, coming back because I was a little nervous about running too hard and injuring my foot again. So for me personally, just being able to run again, not be too worried about my foot was the most important thing.

Q. I don't know if you've kept up with the Laver Cup news. Do you think that's something that could work on the women's side, as well?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I didn't get to see it because I was here. I didn't get to watch it. But I saw that was it Federer and Nadal played together or something like that? I saw that.

But I don't know the format. I don't know anything about it to say if it would be good for girls. But if it's good for guys, it's good for girls. Yay!

Q. I know you said you're looking forward to the Fed Cup, but when you first got back to work, what was the feeling like having just achieved this monumental thing of winning a Grand Slam? How quickly was it a case of getting the mind back and focused, setting new goals, new targets?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I have pretty simple goals. That's to try and stay healthy and be able to compete from start to finish. When I started my season, I wanted to be able to finish.

I mean, my goal was never to win a tournament or win a Grand Slam or any of that. So that was just a bonus. And I think for me now, it's like, Okay, I won the US Open, cool. But still, like, the most important thing is staying healthy and taking care of my body and all that stuff.

So, yes, it's great. I'm super happy. It's an amazing accomplishment, obviously something I'll be able to tell my grandkids. But at this very moment personally I think it's just about staying healthy and making sure my body doesn't fall apart before I get to Fed Cup.

Q. Obviously you're still in the running for Singapore, and Zhuhai after that, as well. Specifically with respect to Zhuhai, it's a good opportunity, a point grab. Have you thought about it? What would qualifying and playing that event potentially mean for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Zhuhai? Obviously when I started playing, that wasn't an option. My schedule obviously has changed a little bit. But I think obviously it would be awesome. More points at the end of the year. I could set myself up to be in a good position to start next year.

But, I mean, I don't really think about it too much. I mean, I would love to qualify. Like, that would be amazing. But, I mean, there's girls who have played all season long and worked really hard for it, as well.

I mean, this is when it gets a little sticky, because everybody is, like, canoodling for a spot. We'll see. I hope I make it, but everyone is going to compete really hard the next couple of weeks, so it will be interesting.

Q. Do you know you are very famous in China now, not only because of the US Open but the post conference after the final. People thought you were very honest, very funny. More than a million people retweeted your video on the social network.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'm famous in China? Oh, shoot, that's crazy.

Yesterday actually Peng Shuai told me that. She was like, When you won your money, your picture, you're a meme.

I was like, Oh, thanks.

But she said I'm famous in China, too. And she's Chinese, so obviously that means something.

Thanks, guys. Toodle-loo.

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