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October 25, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Kallang, Singapore

S. STEPHENS/K. Bertens

7-6, 2-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be very happy, two matches, two wins. Talk a little bit about it. It's your debut here.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it was good. Obviously every match is really, really tough playing the best players in the world, but happy to be through and happy to have won both of my first two matches.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the last set in particular, what you think made the difference? What challenges does Kiki's game give you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: She's just an all-around really solid player. She has a lot of variety in her game. She can slice, she can dropshot, she can come to the net, can do a lot of really great things.

I think we are kind of similar in that we can mix it up a lot and do a lot of different things. So I thought that's why we had so many great points, long points where there were slices and lobs and all types of different things going on.

But I think that's, you know, why it was so competitive, because we were playing kind of similar, but it was a tough match. I think it's not often you play someone who plays kind of similar to you that you have to kind of battle it out and figure it out.

It was kind of cool, but I thought we played some really great points. I guess that's kind of what competing is all about.

Q. Angie next. I think you have a good record against her. Just talk a little bit about that.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, looking forward to it. I've played well against her in the past. Just gotta go to battle.

Obviously every match is a tough match and every match counts. Just going to go out and compete my hardest and hopefully get another win.

Q. Down 2-Love and she was playing incredibly well through that second set. What are you telling yourself at that point in the third set?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Like I said, at 5-1, I was down 5-1 in the second. I was, like, just play the next game like how you want to play in the third set and just try as hard as you can. Obviously if it doesn't work out, whatever. I ended up winning that game and got myself going again.

Then in the third set I was just telling myself the same thing. She played such good points. I had a backhand, something, and she hit a volley -- so much was happening, but they were really great points so I couldn't really get too down on myself.

I think when I pushed through that and stayed positive, I was able to get a little bit of momentum. I was right there. When Sly came on the court, he's, like, You're right there. You've just gotta push a little bit more.

I think that kind of helped me get going a little bit.

Q. How do you problem-solve somebody? She's versatile, like you just said. You're incredibly versatile. It's kind of like a chess match. How did you problem-solve tonight?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I just tried to play my game, execute. Sometimes you've got to just strike before the other person does.

I think she has a really heavy forehand. She was doing a lot of different things, which normally you play a lot of players who are just very straightforward, and they only do one thing, like they just hit really hard or hit a lot of spin. I think someone who mixes it up a lot, you have to mentally, like, stay in the match, because you can play one loose point and then the next point is an ace, and then the next point is a slice and then the dropshot, so you have to really stay with it.

I think we both really did that well today, and, I mean, obviously someone has to lose but I thought we played a really good match.

Q. What's it been like to kind of go up against the best every single day at a tournament like this, compared to like a regular tournament?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, like, you don't play like back-to-back top 10 players like in regular tournaments. I mean, you can, obviously, but it's very rare, like the way seeding works and blah, blah, blah, unless you're in the semis or finals.

It's kind of cool, actually, like, I don't know, it won't happen again for a whole other year, but it's kind of cool to just play against the best. Like every match is like a final. Yeah. Pretty interesting.

Q. Suits you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, well, for now. Fingers crossed, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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