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October 28, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Kallang, Singapore

E. SVITOLINA/S. Stephens

3-6, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Hell of a tournament, Sloane. Today what do you think made the difference?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I thought she played well. Obviously it was a tough match from the very beginning. Sometimes it just kind of happens that way, but I think she played good, well-deserved match. And, you know, not even knowing if I was going to qualify here and everything that happened towards the end, like, I was just really excited to be here and excited to compete with everybody. I thought I did really well this whole week, a lot to be proud of.

Obviously going into 2019 I'll take a lot of confidence. Yeah, just have a great offseason and just look forward to getting back there in January.

Q. What's kind of the overarching emotion right now? Is it disappointment, or is it my regular season is over?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, well, a little bit of disappointment. Sad, obviously. But it's kind of, like, I don't know how to put it. I did better than most of the players did even to get here, and then to beat all the great players that I did, I'm sad, but I know that if I keep doing what I'm doing and I keep working hard, like, there will be way more opportunities just like this one.

I think that's what I can look forward to. Yeah, I mean, I can be happy with, you know, it not going my way today, but I did my absolute best and sometimes you just fall a little bit short.

Q. You and Elina have spoken at length this week about criticism and how you have come to deal with it. Just from your perspective, how do you think that this will help you propel into 2019? Because you have won a slam, you've reached a final, reached the final here. Not bad.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, not bad. A lot better than a lot of the other players that are playing on the tour with us all the time. Like I said, I can be really proud, I can be happy. Obviously she can be proud and happy too. She had a great season.

Whether people want to believe it or not, they want to say, Oh, you didn't do this, you didn't do that, but like I said before, it only matters how you feel and how you think you have done.

If that propels me or her to do really well in Australia or in the hard court season coming up, again, it is what it is, but I think that, yeah, we both are very deserving, and I thought it was a great final.

Q. Trying to hit through her the way that she was defending today, because you were the one that I think was trying to be more aggressive and be the one trying to dictate, can you articulate how tough that is when she's running down balls like that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, she obviously played a really good match. She got really solid there and played some really good tennis. Sometimes you play players that are just a wall, and I think that it happens sometimes.

You know, she played well, she did what she needed to do, and obviously it stinks, but, I mean, obviously there will be a lot more matches and I'm sure we will play many more times.

Yeah, good on her for that. It's great defense.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the offseason?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Just taking a break and being off of social media and away from tennis and away from people tweeting crazy stuff, and, like, just to have some time to myself. I think that's what I'm most looking forward to.

Q. How long will it be before you will play again? Will you, like, go on vacation or is a vacation just going home and being in your own place?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I just like to be home. But I haven't made any plans yet. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what -- yeah, no. It's too soon. Yeah.

Q. Congratulations on your performance today. Commiserations you didn't win. You won four matches out of five this week. Do you think that you have sort of cracked Asia now?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I won more matches here than I have in Asia in probably like my whole career. But I think that it was tough for me to come here and obviously be kind of -- what was I seeded, 5 or whatever, to play with some of the best players in the world? But I think no matter where I am I can play some good tennis. Asia, that was like a label for a little while. I'm going to try to change the tide, and obviously going to Shenzhen next year, I'm going to try hard to qualify there and play there. I'm going to change the whole narrative on Sloane and Asia (smiling).

Q. I know like she was saying about the external criticism and things like that, weeks like this can mean a lot to a player just internally. So for you, despite everything, winning a slam, winning Miami, doing everything you have done in your career, did you still feel like you needed to prove something to yourself? Or are you good?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I think I'm good. I think it takes a long time to, like, accept that people are always going to talk shit about you, like no matter what you do, you could win 5 slams, 12 slams, whatever, 1 slam, no slams, like, it's still going to be people are going to talk really badly about you.

Sometimes it's going to hurt your feelings, and some things are just not true and inaccurate and have no base, but that's the world we live in. We live in a world of free speech, and you can say whatever you want to say and be on Twitter or whatever and harass people or whatever.

But I think for me it took a long time to just be, like, Yo, that has nothing to do with anything. Like if I'm happy with what's going on and if I'm happy with my results -- obviously I made four finals this year, I lost three of them but to really great players, and I tried my butt off. And people are out there, like, Oh, my God, she shouldn't have even made it to those finals. Whatever. Yeah, okay, but I did. So how about that?

So it is what it is, but like I said, if you're proud of what you're doing and you're happy with it, then snaps to you.

Q. I saw the video in which you talked about your three-set pouch. Just wondering what did you have for breakfast today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: This third-set pouch. Yeah, same thing. Obviously wasn't enough. I probably needed to eat more.

Q. What was it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I had like soup, an omelet. We're in Asia. You eat soup for breakfast. Like, have you not seen the noodles station? Yeah, I had soup, pancakes, an omelet, pineapple juice, what I normally have. Same stuff.

Q. Well done on an incredible few days. How were the energy levels after your defeat of Karolina last night?
SLOANE STEPHENS: My energy level?

Q. Yeah, today.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it was okay. Obviously a little bit tougher for me because I played three days in a row and she played two days in a row, so it's a little bit different.

All in all, it's the same. I mean, obviously to make it to the final, I was doing something right. So, you know, for the last match you kind of just muster everything you have. I think I did that. I just came up a little bit short, but it happens.

Q. You said you played kind of attacking tennis today, and normally you play not defensive but play smart and controlling. Do you think that today this kind of a match gives you extra confidence with playing this kind of like attacking tennis?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I think I was just trying to do some things different, obviously, playing against a great player. But, no, all the other matches I played I thought I played pretty solid and I will continue to play my game. Sometimes you have to change it up, but, yeah, just didn't go my way today.

Q. Because I can't take anything for granted, are you planning to work with Kamau in 2019?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it's just that he couldn't be here this week, obviously. Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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