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August 29, 2018

Sloane Stephens

New York, NY, USA

S. STEPHENS/A. Kalinina

4-6, 7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you think you turned that one around? Seemed like it was really getting close, particularly in the second set.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, a tough day, obviously. She was playing really well, playing four matches already, quallies here. Used to the conditions. She was obviously playing well.

I just kind of had to weather the storm and wait for my opportunities. Obviously I wish I could have been playing a little bit better. That would have helped the situation.

But I just found a way today, and sometimes it's not going to be the best, but you've just got to battle through.

Q. I guess you didn't know too much about her. Anything about her game that particularly impressed you? Mix of her play with the conditions...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, obviously playing someone you have never played before, I literally never seen her before, so I was, like, Oh, okay. Like, when I walked on court, I was, like, Okay, that's who that is. Obviously a bit different.

Yeah, obviously she's playing with a lot of confidence, played four matches already. That helps raise your game a little bit.

Yeah, just like I said, just try to go out there and do my best with all the things that were happening.

Q. If Serena wins tonight, she and Venus play each other in the next round. What are your earliest and perhaps most lasting memories of Serena versus Venus?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I think it will be a great match, obviously. I mean, they have played a lot in both of their careers.

I think it will be a great match. They will probably play first night match on Ashe, and I think everyone will be looking forward to it if they do play.

Q. What do you personally remember from having seen them play each other?
SLOANE STEPHENS: They are great competitors and they always play really hard against each other. Obviously, it's tough to play your sibling, so that's an added element.

I think they have always played really good matches and super competitive. I mean, it will be another good match just like any other match.

Q. You play Azarenka next. Played her last in Miami. What about her game presents challenges for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think it will be a good match. She's playing with a bit of confidence and so am I. Third round of a Grand Slam is always tough. Just got to go out there and compete and play your hardest and see what happens.

Q. Could I get your thoughts on the change of attire code violation, if you heard about it? Does it seem to you that maybe sometimes women are treated differently than men?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, I think the USTA, and, obviously, they all met and it was a mistake. Cornet won't be getting a fine or whatever (smiling).

I think it's all taken care of.

Q. Were there any nerves? What was the energy like getting back on Ashe for the first time since playing the final?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it was cool. Obviously, my first-round match, I was nervous. Today, I was a bit nervous. Obviously, different elements. Playing someone you've never seen play before or seen what they look like, it's a little bit different, a little bit tough. I think nervous in general I guess getting back on Ashe for the first time. Yeah, I was a little bit, you know, uneasy.

Q. Was that 10-minute break after the second set very helpful? I know you mentioned having some sushi. Is that something that you use for energy, or...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, no, I just needed to eat something. That was what was upstairs and they brought me. That's what I had to eat. Yeah, there was no, like, secret behind it. It's just what was available (smiling).

Q. You obviously played your best in the third set. Did that break, was it very fruitful for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, yeah, I think for, you know, playing two hours and 45 minutes, having a break at the end of the second set is always pretty helpful.

You kind of are able to regroup, sit down a minute, get into the AC, cool your body down. I think it's obviously very helpful playing in, like, tough conditions like today. It was very hot out. So, yeah, I think it's very helpful.

Q. When conditions are that extreme, is it better for you to consciously focus on strategy to beat the heat or try to put it out of your mind?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think try to put it out are your mind, because then you start thinking about how much you're sweating and you need wrist bands. There's a lot of things that come up if you start thinking about what's going on. Yeah, you just have to focus on your game and do the best you can.

Normally, I don't think all year I have never changed my outfit, and today I changed it three times. That just shows you how actually hot it was out.

Just different conditions, different elements, something else to have to deal with. It's for both players, so it's okay.

Q. When the conditions are like they are today, does that affect the way that you play during the match or maybe the plan you have going into the match in terms of shots, different kinds of points?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, no, I don't think so. I think you go out playing a certain way, whatever you and your coach discuss and whatever. I think definitely when it is hot like that, you might have to make some adjustments, like, longer points probably not the best. Just little things.

But I don't think you adjust your game too much to the weather outside.

Q. Was that a blister on your right hand or a callus?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I've gotten three blisters in the last three weeks. I never had a blister on my hand ever, and now I've gotten three. But it's fine though.

Q. Does that affect anything in particular?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, it just opened. So then it was, like, flapping everywhere. It was real gross. So I just was, like, something needs to be done. But it's fine now. Going to get it dried out and it will be fine by Friday.

Q. Why do you think you have been getting them?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think it's just really hot outside and when you get your hands clammy, like Montreal was super hot, Cincinnati was not that hot, but still when you're playing in conditions like that, it's, you know, anything can really happen. Montreal was really hot. I got a big one. Cincinnati got another one. Then here another one. So they're unpredictable.

Q. Are you spending extra time at home to conserve energy, or rather at the hotel, with this weather? How are you spending your off days?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I do the same thing every day. I come, practice, get a massage, go back to the hotel. Normally I walk around or do something. Yesterday I was going to walk around with my friend and get something to eat, and it was, like, five blocks away, and we walked outside, and go to the corner, I was, like, No, no, no, we're going back. I'm not walking five blocks.

It was so hot outside, I was, like, Nah, fam, not happening. We walked to the corner and back, and that was it. Yeah, basically that was my afternoon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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