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October 30, 2017

Sloane Stephens

Zhuhai, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is your goal for the week?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I just want to compete well because obviously every match is really important. I just hope to play well and get in a few matches out there.

Q. Are you looking forward to a few weeks off after this? A bit after break in mind before next year's campaign starts again?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't have any plans yet. I have Fed Cup after this, so I'm not done. It's November 13th, I think, which feels like far away. But hopefully I'll be able to go to, like, Hawaii or a nice island or something.

But I haven't planned anything because it's everything up in the air. Yeah, I have that stuff, so...

Q. You announced you're going to play in Brisbane. Why did you choose that event? Are you ready for the year ahead, given the Grand Slam, all eyes on you going into these bigger tournaments?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Why Brisbane? Just fit my schedule good. I think I'm playing Brisbane, Sydney, something like that. Yeah, I don't know why. But it sounds like a good idea right now.

Q. It's a nice place.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I actually played there in 2013, I think. Had good results there. I like those courts. I like how they have those shaded outer courts. I'm looking forward to that. I'll spend New Year's there, so it's going to be exciting.

Because I won a Grand Slam, that means nothing. I mean, it means something, but depends on how you look at it, I guess.

Q. You're not feeling the extra pressure being a Grand Slam champion?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, put it on somebody else. Give it to Madison, give it to CoCo. Ask her that when she does a press conference. Not in the least.

Q. I guess this is your first time to play here. You lost your opening match in Wuhan and Beijing. Is that because you are tired after the US Open win?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'd say winning the US Open isn't the best preparation to go play two tournaments right after. I mean, obviously it's very tough. I played a long summer in the US Open Series, playing Cincinnati, Toronto, US Open, all back-to-back. It was tough.

Definitely a learning experience, but I had to get out there and play because it was on my schedule. Before winning the US Open, having those good results, I was basically trying to get into the Australian Open. These tournaments were, like, really necessary for me to play. I didn't want to just bail. Obviously they didn't go well.

Playing those, yeah, I did get prepared for here and for Fed Cup.

Q. After you won the US Open, you talked about the motivation of saying, Have you noticed how many zeros in the check? Do you know the prize money here? Are you happy about it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: If I win this tournament? That's what he meant?

I don't know the prize money. It's funny you said that because Peng Shuai, when I got to Beijing, she was the first person I practiced with. No, Wuhan. I practiced with her in Wuhan. She came to me, she said, You know, you're so famous in China.

I was like, Why?

She was like, Because you won so much money.

No, I don't know what the prize money is here, how much you get if you win. Maybe like half a million or something. I mean, that keeps the lights on, so I won't be complaining. That's a lot of money. Like I said, it keeps the lights on.

Q. In the ATP, they have a rule that if you win a Grand Slam, even if your ranking is not in the top 8, if you're in the top 20, can you play if the Final. Do you think it's a little odd you were not in Singapore as a Grand Slam champion?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Rules are rules for a reason, I guess. Obviously I would have loved to make Singapore. When I started playing this year at Wimbledon, obviously I didn't think that would even be an option.

I think for me just to be able to play here is an honor. I mean, what I did to qualify to get here is amazing. But obviously I would have loved to play in Singapore. I'm here in instead. I think it was just meant to be.

Q. This is your first time in Zhuhai. How do you like it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Good. I've been here 15 hours. The view from my hotel is nice.

Q. How do you feel about Mandarin? Is this the first time you hear it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Actually, my best friend speaks Mandarin. She's in an immersion thing in China for, like, four summers in a row. She speaks Mandarin. Where you go, you only speak it. The people you're with, you stay with, the people around you can't speak English, nothing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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