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September 4, 2018

Sloane Stephens

New York, NY, USA

A. SEVASTOVA/S. Stephens

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Those seven break chances in the first set, unable to convert. How big of a factor was that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, when you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you. I think that's what happened today. I didn't convert. I didn't play the big points well, and you don't win matches when you don't take your opportunities.

Q. How long is it to both mentally focus and get anything going physically when you're playing in the heat like that? Does it slow your entire body down?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I think today I just really couldn't get anything to connect. Even when I did have my break opportunities, I just wasn't playing the points well at all.

Mentally, physically, I just wasn't connecting. It just was a really tough day. The heat doesn't make it any more fun.

Q. In addition to the heat, were you also suffering from a cold? Did you have a cold coming into this, and did that compound the fact that you were playing in what must have been 103 out on court?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I have been sick since, I don't know, since Monday. Bad sinus infection. Whatever. You've got to play.

Like I said, I have been playing well the last matches. Today just was a tough day. I didn't play my best. I wish I could have played better, but it just wasn't the day.

Q. You have had some good matches with her. Can you talk about the way your games match up and how you were hoping to get out of this one today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, she's a great player. Obviously she plays a little bit different than most girls. She hits a lot of dropshots, she slices, she changes it up a little bit.

It's always a difficult match, but I thought she played solid today. Obviously the better player won. It just was a bad day.

Q. I wonder what your feeling was going into the match. Were you feeling questionable, or did you have full, usual confidence?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Nothing was wrong with me before the match. I was excited to play, happy to get out there and compete.

Like I said, today was a bad day. I wish I could have played better. The better player won.

Q. They suspended play for juniors during your match because of the heat. How did today's conditions compare to some of the other matches earlier in the tournament?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it was just really hot. You can't control the weather, can't control what the tournament is going to do. You just have to go with it.

Unfortunate that I played first match at 12:00 and it was so extremely hot, but it was hot for both of us. She handled it better. Yeah, sometimes it happens like that.

Q. It's a little early for you to process this week basically or these past eight days. You come in under a lot of pressure, defending champion, first major and stuff. What are the positives that you might take out of this?
SLOANE STEPHENS: That I could have shit the bed in the first round, and that would have been really bad. So the fact that I made it to the quarterfinals and played some really good matches and I just competed as hard as I could, I mean, a lot to be proud of.

And obviously defending a title is very hard, very difficult. If you were defending, you'd be playing the same exact people all over again, which I didn't. I made the most of it this week or the last, whatever, 10 days, whatever it was.

I can be proud of a lot of things that happened the last couple, the matches that I played, so I'm not going to dwell on it. Just keep building. There's four more tournaments left. I'm just going to try to play the rest of the season as hard as I can and hopefully have some more good results.

Q. There's a lot of opportunity for you in Asia. How excited are you to get to those tournaments? And how much time will you spend in between here and resting and recovering?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, considering last year after this tournament I shit the bed for like 10 tournaments in a row, I definitely don't have any points to defend. Just looking forward to playing and competing and hopefully keep playing well and keep it going.

Obviously today doesn't factor into that, but, yeah, I hope that I can go to Asia and win some more matches and hopefully make the year end and hopefully keep going as far as I can.

Q. You mentioned she plays differently from the other women. Considering that, how far do you think she can go beyond this? Could she win this title?
SLOANE STEPHENS: You should ask her that. I don't know. She's a great player. There is a lot of great players left in the tournament, but who knows what's going to happen? It's tennis.

Q. When you had two games in a row, three or four break chances, do you feel I'm on to her, I'm going to get one pretty soon, or does it feel like, oh, my gosh, I can't let that many get away?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, obviously, like I said at the beginning, when you don't play the big points well and don't take your opportunities early, that could affect the outcome of the match. I think today I didn't play those points well at all, even at the end, in the second set.

Yeah, it does definitely affect it and it is unfortunate that I didn't take my opportunities when I had them early in the first, but nothing I can do about it now.

Q. It's a Grand Slam quarter, a big opportunity. You go out there, really hot. Distinct lack of atmosphere that early in the day. Does that have a dampening effect on your enthusiasm, or did it not play into it at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I thought the crowd was great, honestly. Even when it's not completely full, they are still super loud. I thought the atmosphere was totally fine.

I think it was just a hot day and bad weather conditions, but I didn't think that affected the match too much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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