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June 2, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Paris, France


4-6, 6-1, 8-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How would you describe the challenge of playing her and how you were able to fight your way through that match today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I mean, obviously going out there I knew it was going to be a battle. She plays kind of crazy but in a good way. She makes a lot of -- she hits a lot of winners and plays very unpredictable so it's hard to get a rhythm. But I thought today she was making a lot of balls, she was playing really well.

Yeah, I knew it was going to be a battle, and I just stuck in there and waited for my opportunities and took advantage of them when I could.

Q. When you're down 6-5 in the third, that's a time where a lot of people would panic or give up. You were really, really tough and energetic and kept your... How did you handle it so well?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I just tried to stay tough. I mean, obviously anything can happen at that point. We had played, I don't know, maybe two-and-a-half hours at that point, and so you could hit a good shot, there can be a let cord, like literally any number of things could happen. You kind of just have to battle and play each point and just be ready for anything.

Q. What was the most pleasing aspect for you about your performance today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: That I just, you know, stayed with it. I fought really well.

Coming from yesterday and not being able to play and then today first thing on, like, I mean, there is a lot of little things, a little bit of adversity, but I think I was most happy with just the way that I fought today.

Q. How do you enjoy the atmosphere of that court? That's a new court here this year. Did you enjoy playing on Court 18?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it's super nice. It was packed. It was super loud. The fans were, like, doing the wave. A lot of things were going on on Court 18 today. But I thought it was great. It was super fun.

To play a tennis match like in that environment is -- I mean, there is not much more you can ask for.

Q. I have noticed just walking around the press room, our work room, that most of the TVs this week have been tuned to women's matches. Seems like there is a lot more interesting women's matches going on than the men's. Have you sensed this is a fun time to be playing women's tennis? It's an exciting tournament? You guys are delivering a pretty good product here?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I mean, I like to watch tennis, so sometimes you look at the schedule, you're like, Ooh, I wonder who's going to win that match. I think here there has been a lot of good matches, a lot of good matchups. I don't know if that's why other people are watching but that's why I watch. You look at the schedule and you go, Oh, that's a really good matchup.

For tennis lovers, obviously, too, a good match is a good match.

Q. What matches have gotten you excited here so far?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I can't tell you that. You always ask me these questions.

Okay, so, like, I can't think off the top of my head, okay?

I can't think of anything.

Q. Would you be excited to watch a Serena/Maria match if that materializes? They could play in the fourth round.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, they could play in the fourth round?

Q. If Serena wins today they'll play.
SLOANE STEPHENS: That would be a good match. I mean, come on, Ben, that's like a layup.

Q. Obviously parts of your career changed a lot in the last year after you came back from the injury. How do you view your approach to competing and tactics in the time since you came back from the injury and the time before? Do you see a change at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I would say I see the most change in myself, in my own game, but I do think that things are a little different since I came back.

So missing 11 months, there is a little gap, and I think that I just kind of played into it really well. Just making a lot balls, being consistent. Obviously when I first came back I had some really great results, just, like, being consistent and wearing girls down. That worked for me.

But after a while, it's not going to work. You have to, you know, find other ways to improve and make sure you're improving all the time.

Q. What things do you think you've improved most since you have been back?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'd say my movement. Obviously having a foot injury, having foot surgery, that was, like, my biggest concern. But I think that I have done really well to kind of pick up my feet a little bit. Yeah, I'm pleased with that.

Q. Most of the European players say it's like a hard court here with a little bit of clay on it. Would you agree with that as an American, does it play like a hard court?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I wouldn't say it plays like a hard court. But, I mean, yeah -- no, huh-uh, no. Maybe because I don't play on clay all the time so I don't know.

I don't think so. Okay. Sorry.

Q. You play Anett Kontaveit next. Thoughts on that match.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, she has. I don't think I have ever played her, so I think it will be a good match. Obviously she had a good win today. Obviously we are in the same position, not being able to play yesterday.

So I think it will be a good match, looking forward to it, and obviously playing fourth round of a Grand Slam is always a good opportunity. So looking forward to it.

Q. How much do you know about her?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Not much, just what I have seen in the last couple of weeks being in Europe and seeing her have some good results. Yeah, basically that. Just what I have seen in the last couple weeks.

Q. You had to wait all day yesterday. What did you do? It's never any fun. Wondering how you made it.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, well, I didn't come to the site until 2:00, so that wasn't bad. I left here about 8:30? What time did we leave here? 8:00. So it wasn't that bad.

I ate, I warmed up, like, watched some tennis, passed the time.

Then it was canceled, so it wasn't that bad. I wasn't here all day, which is good.

Q. Watching tennis, when you're watching, say, a women's match, are you watching it just for fun, the way a fan might or how much are you watching and making mental notes or saying, Oh, look at how she played that point or storing things away for when you do play either of the players you're watching?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, just -- I think I'm a tennis fan. I just like to see what's going on and -- you like to see how people are playing, and what they're doing and what they're wearing. It's a lot of things that go into it, but I think mostly I'm just a fan. I like to watch tennis.

Q. Any outfits caught your eye here?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not really. I can't really comment on other people's outfits if they're not Nike, so, yeah.

Q. I walked in late. Anett, did you speak about her game?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, we have seen her the last couple weeks. She's a good player, it's fourth round, good opportunity. Yeah.

Q. Do you remember a few years ago we saw you on the Champs-Elysees eating an ice cream walking around. What are the things you enjoy doing here?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Exactly that, but if you know anything, you know that the Haagen-Dazs on the Champs closed and now it's a Five Guys. So that is so disrespectful. So I have been really upset about that. But I have found one in a mall, like, across the street, so I have been able to regroup with that.

But, yeah, this year was the first year I went to the Louvre, saw the Mona Lisa. That was something fun I did at the beginning. Normally I don't sightsee or do that much so that was really fun for me to get out and do something.

Next year I will go see something else. I will try to, at least.

Q. Favorite ice cream?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Macadamia nut brittle. And, do you know they only make that in Europe? They don't have that in the United States. If you know a connect at Haagen-Dazs, can you tell them?

Q. Cone or dish?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, cone, duh. Three scoops if you're feeling like you have exercised lately.

Q. Do you get recognized much when you're seeking ice cream, whatever you're doing in town?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Not so much. I mean, I normally look like -- I wouldn't say a homeless person, but I look like not very presentable. Not on purpose, but I'm just very, like, sweats -- like I probably have four pairs of these sweats and I just rotate them. So I'm that girl. I'm not really recognizable because I always have a hat on and I look kind of crazy. No one approaches me.

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