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August 8, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There was a brief delay before your match. How relieved are you to get this match done if there's any bad weather to come?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, bad weather is never good. It's always sucky being in a rain delay, waiting around. I was happy that I was able to finish.

Weather is unpredictable. Tomorrow could be raining, whatever. It's always the same for you as it is for the opponent, so it's okay.

Q. What did you make of Francoise's game today? What would you say she has to improve the most to be able to compete regularly with players of your caliber?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think she's a great player. Honestly, she's young. Obviously she needs more experience, playing more at this level. But I think that just comes with time. It happens to all of us, so it's not anything to be too worried about.

I think she's a great player. She'll continue to get better as long as she listens to her coaches, does everything that everyone is supposed to do: work hard, have fun.

I don't think she should be too worried. I think she's on the right track.

Q. Any specific aspect of her game that you think she needs to improve upon?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I can't really comment on that. I'm sure she and her coach will figure out whatever it is she wants to improve on. I can't comment on other people's games.

Q. As far as your own match today, how do you describe your play? Are you totally satisfied or not?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I thought I played well, given the circumstances. Obviously playing against someone who is from here, it's not easy obviously. I thought I played well. I thought I handled the delay after the first set well. I thought I handled the bugs well.

So all in all, it was a pretty good day.

Q. Francoise was saying going into this match, she's someone that she looked up to you. What does that mean to you, being so young yourself?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, that's really cool. Obviously when I was coming up, I adored like a lot of top players. It's actually pretty cool.

Yeah, it's, like, nice to see because, like I said, I think she's going to be a great player. One day she'll be here and it will be the same thing. It's like a little wheel, like, cycle.

Q. Circle of life.
SLOANE STEPHENS: The circle of life, yeah. It's cool. Again, one day, like I said, she'll be where I am, there will be another little girl looking up to her. It's pretty cool.

Q. It's not on your match, but while you were playing, on the other court a player gets seriously injured, maybe a broken ankle. The medical staff came in five minutes after the injury. What are your thoughts on that? What is the average time you think it's okay when people get injured on the court?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I have no idea what happened on the court, so I can't comment on what happened or whatever. I didn't even know someone was injured. Yeah, I don't know.

I mean, I hope she's okay, but I don't know what happened. Sorry.

Q. Do you find it difficult with the rain? Did you find it was a little tricky to continue playing while it was raining a little bit?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, it's okay. I think what was kind of weird about it, there are, like, piles of bugs on the court after. That was really disgusting. But they're, like, gnats. Did you see? It was so weird, I don't know.

Yeah, so it rained, then they came out of nowhere. It was like a blizzard of bugs. That was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever encountered. That was harder than, like, the actual drops of rain. I felt that everything that was, like, dropping on me was a bug. Yeah, not fun.

Q. Your thoughts on the next match? You have Carla Suarez Navarro.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I've played her a couple times before. I think it will be a good match. Obviously third round here, it's going deeper into the tournament. Obviously whoever you're playing is good. She obviously won two matches.

Yeah, just going to go out and play my best, do all I can to compete well.

Q. Is mental fitness part of your schedule? How much time are you allocating towards that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Did you say 'mental fitness'?

Q. Yes. Working on becoming mentally stronger in the matches.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know how much I allocate to that (smiling).

I think that kind of comes with experience and playing a lot of matches and getting confidence, kind of recognizing, like, when something goes wrong in a match, being able to handle it better. I think that just kind of comes with being more mature and having more experience.

I don't know that I'd allocate a certain amount of time. When something does happen, you do try to nip it in the Bud.

Q. You had a lot of attention on you throughout your career before you started winning big tournaments. Does that help you now as a top player?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I think I'm just, like, super old now. I've had to deal with this for a long time now. It's not too stressful any more. It's kind of, like, I know what I'm getting into every day when I have to walk in and do all-access hour, do certain things. I know that this is what it is.

It doesn't really bother me any more. Kind of what it is. I'd rather be doing this than something else. At the end of the day it's worth it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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