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August 10, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

S. STEPHENS/A. Sevastova

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played some really tough matches against Sevastova in the past few months. This was more straightforward. What do you think was different today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I thought I played well today. Good conditions. I mean, I don't know. Just thought I played well.

She didn't play bad. Just sometimes days like that that are lopsided.

Q. At the US Open last year, Sevastova, you beat her in the quarterfinals. It was pretty close. Did you have this game in your mind before this match today or not really?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not at all. I lost to her after that, too, so...

Q. The game at the US Open is still very important in your life, no?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, but I also played her, like, two months later and lost to her. I mean, it's kind of whatever. Sometimes it happens.

Q. You played three very good matches so far, but you seem to be pretty strong in the first set. Is that something that's very important to you, to start the match that way? How important is it for you to have control in the first set?
SLOANE STEPHENS: It's not something I think about at all. I haven't tried to do that. That's just how it's worked out. I just try to come out and have a lot of energy from the very beginning. It's just worked out that way.

Q. This is a leadup to the US Open. Some players talk about not peaking too soon before the Open. Is that a concern of yours? Is it a real thing?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I think everyone is different. I mean, when you're playing good matches in big tournaments like this, I don't think it's peaking too soon. It's just getting confidence and playing good tennis.

Leading up to the US Open, obviously last year it worked pretty well. I made semis back to back, then ended up winning the US Open.

So I don't really think there's such a thing.

Q. When you jump out to a lead in a match like that, what are some of the techniques you can use to maintain your concentration and finish off an opponent?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, obviously you play sports, so your opponent can easily raise their game, they can do something to throw you off. That's just how it is.

But I think you just have to try to stay focused and continue to execute whatever game plan it is that you had that was obviously working if you're up 5-0.

Q. Apparently you're going on the court again tonight. Yesterday we talked to Eugenie after her match. She talked about you and said you're silly, lighthearted, fun to be around. Can you describe what she brings to you? How would you describe her?
SLOANE STEPHENS: She's really fun. Obviously I've known her since we were 12 years old. I know her a little bit differently than everyone else does.

She's super fun. She is lighthearted. We have a good time. I think on the tennis court that's very rare because it's very serious when you go to play tennis.

I think playing with Genie, I just really have a great time. Just to have that and not be so serious and also win is a good combination.

Q. Is there ever a tipping point in a tournament where you start having success in the singles and the doubles at the same time? When do you start considering doing too much and not sacrificing one for the other?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I rarely play doubles, so for me it's not really that big of a deal. It's not like we've won six matches. It's only been two. I don't think I'm sacrificing anything yet.

Yeah, I think it's just extra court time. It's better than practicing. Like, you can go out and play a match and be in that competitive environment. I think it's okay.

Obviously there's girls that play every single week singles and doubles and do well in both. Kudos to them. I don't know how they do it.

It's one week for me. I probably won't play doubles for another couple of weeks. I try to keep a good balance.

Q. It does seem to be working. Are you considering playing more doubles over the next couple weeks or is this the only one for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Look, honestly it just, like, depends. Sometimes people ask me last minute because they can't find a partner. Some people ask me in advance.

I'm like, I'm really not sure. I can't commit really early.

I'm not a doubles specialist. I don't depend on doubles obviously. It's different for me. I do enjoy playing. When I want to play more matches, I do play doubles. I don't put, like, too much emphasis on, Do you want to play five weeks from now?

No, I have no idea.

Q. You did the semifinals last year in Toronto. You're in the semifinals this year in Montreal. Can we conclude that you like to play in Canada?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I think so. I think we've established that Canada is a good place for me.

Q. Your thoughts on Svitolina or Mertens?

Q. Elina Svitolina or Mertens. You played Svitolina three or four years ago in Australia and Charleston.

Q. You beat her in Australia, she beat you in Charleston. Do you have any memories?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Honestly, when they asked me today, I don't think I ever played any of them. Obviously it's not true.

Obviously irrelevant because I do not remember either one of those matches. But both players obviously are playing really well.

I mean, having not played them in four years, we're obviously both different players. Everyone is pretty close.

Yeah, is Mertens in the top 10, close to it?

Q. Close.
SLOANE STEPHENS: At this point when it gets to the semifinals of a tournament, everyone is good. Everyone's ranking is high. You just got to go out and compete.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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