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January 1, 2019

Sloane Stephens

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

J. KONTA/S. Stephens

6-4, 6-3

Q. Sloane, first match, how did you feel out there?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I felt fine. I did all the things I worked on in my off season, so I can't be too upset. Obviously I played Jo, a great player. She played a good match, and obviously the first match of the year is never easy. And so I think I'm just really proud I did all the things that I said I was going to do. You can do that in the first couple of matches, and then I'm sure I'll go back to doing my normal, but I'm happy that I did execute what I was working on.

Q. Is some of that being a little bit more aggressive?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I was trying to be a little bit more aggressive. I served a lot better, more aggressive with that. And, yeah, I mean, obviously she played great, so not much you can do when you play a player who's playing a high level.

Q. When you have a match like that where you're executing the things you sort of have been working on, but you don't necessarily get the W, how do you walk away or how do you talk about it with your team in the sense that you seem like you're like, okay, I didn't what I needed to do but it didn't go my way.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. You guys know I'm always like it's going to work out, like in the long run, like if you do it now, when it really matters, when it's really important, it'll work itself out. I think, yeah, like just doing little things now to try to help me in the long run, to help me in Melbourne is what's most important, obviously. And, yeah, like I said, it's the first match of the year. I have like 80 more matches to go. Like ask me in November what I think about my first round loss in Brisbane.

Q. We will.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'm pretty sure I'm going to be like, what? (Laughs).

Q. Did you feel as though -- I mean does that centre court play differently than like the practice courts, because you're like outdoor outdoor there and then --
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. It's a bit different. Like outside it's a bit windy and the conditions are a little bit different. But the centre court is a great court. Yeah, it was just as hot -- it's very hot in there. I mean, obviously you're still outside, so it's hot. They do play a little bit differently, but it's still a good court.

Q. I mean, those things happen, but was that weird when that person was getting the medical attention, because that was, I think, like a 12- or 13-minute break.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, like, I don't know. I'm just one of those people who see everything on the court, and when I saw it, I was like, yeah, we should probably stop. And he was like, no, no, no. Keep going, whatever. And then as soon as she went from the chair to the floor, I was like, ah, we're definitely going to have a long break. I feel like it's easier to just stop and like let them do what they need to do instead of like trying to play through it, and then it's obviously a distraction when you're like playing and there's medics out there and there's just a lot going on. So I just feel like if there's a problem, they should situate it and then play can go on. But then you kind of feel bad if you're playing and someone is like ill on the side of the court, and you don't want to like go over there and be like, is everything okay? You can't really do that. So it's a little bit strange. It's weird. But, I mean, I hope the person is okay now. I know she wasn't feeling great.

Q. Did you know that -- Johanna kind of initiated you guys both serving. Did you know that you could do that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, the umpire was like, yeah, do you want to hit some balls? And I was like, with her? What? (Laughs). Yeah, I actually have seen that, but feel weird, like if you're serving and someone is like on the side of the court like puking their brains out or something. Like I just feel like -- I don't know. If you saw someone on the side of the road and they were puking, you're like, your natural thing is to be like, are you okay? Do you need help? I don't know. It was just weird. Like, yeah, I hit some serves. Like God.

Q. Your mom is back home because of Barry Manilow?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, she was going to go see Barry Manilow, but then she said, oh, she doesn't like his Christmas.

Q. That's specific.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I guess it's like a Christmas thing. She doesn't like his Christmas songs, basically. So I'm sure she'll end up in Vegas seeing him, or maybe the new Lady Gaga. I really want to see that one. So she'll probably get there before me. She does all the cool stuff before I do.

Q. So she's not going to be in Melbourne or is she going to come at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS: If you know my mom, she is very undecided. Who knows. She might be here like tomorrow and be like, I thought you needed company. You know how parents are. I don't know. She has a hotel room, but if she's there, I have no idea.

Q. And then just because there's a bit of uncertainty or everybody's talking and we haven't heard from you, but what is the team situation at the moment?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Team is the same situation it's been. Just this week Sly and Taylor are here. My fitness guy, Tom, is here. And that's pretty it. There's nothing really to -- I mean for all you nosey folks out there, there is not much to really say.

Q. And then what's the plan from here? Like do you go to Sydney?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't know. I mean, I have no idea. I don't know. Maybe practice a few days here, because the whether is not too bad. Just kind of like hang out. I'm not really in a rush to go anywhere. I have to be here for another month. So I do plan on going to the Gold Coast. That's like a thing. Remember I told you guys I'm going to venture out. So maybe I'll do that. And definitely I'll just stay here a few days before I head to Sydney.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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