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March 8, 2019

Sloane Stephens

Indian Wells, California

S. VOEGELE/S. Stephens

6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A tough one today. How much of that was do you think your form, the conditions tricky, and the matchup obviously has been a tough one against her.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. Obviously playing someone who you haven't done that well against in the past is a little bit tough.

The conditions, it was windy, but windy for both of us. I just didn't play a great match today.

Q. What is it about her game that you struggle with so much?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I'm not sure. I'm still trying to figure it out, obviously. If I knew, I would probably do a little bit better.

Q. How have the practices been? Do you feel it's been working well on the practice court but not getting it on the match court? What's kind of the vibe from you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I think this week is just a busy week, a lot of stuff happening. Obviously being in the U.S. again, there is a lot more required and asked of you. So I think it's a little bit tough.

This week especially was a little bit tougher for me than normal. Practice wasn't too bad, but I think just sometimes you get a little bit overwhelmed.

Q. I saw Kathy out there with you. Was she pitching in and helping out? In terms of the practices, do you feel there is structure in your practices at the moment?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, obviously Kathy is such a great help. I have known her since, like, 12. It's nice to have someone out there who knows you and knows your game and can really help.

I think obviously going through a transition right now, so things are different than they normally have been. So I'm just trying to work through that. But, yeah, Kathy has been a big help.

Q. How much pressure do you put on yourself as a Grand Slam champion, your expectations?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Not that much. I mean, obviously when I play now, like, everyone wants to beat me. So it's, you know, it's different playing from 900 in the world and you can try and beat whoever and it's a great win.

But it's different when you're in the top 10 and every win, you know, against you is a great win for someone else. It's a little bit tough, but that's, you know, when you're at the top of the game, I guess that's what you play for.

Q. Not sure if you were able to see the news, but the U.S. women's soccer team is suing the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging gender discrimination. Curious of your thoughts about that. It's International Women's Day. Is there anything special about that for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think there should be equal pay across the board for everyone, male/female. But I'm happy for them. I hope they win.

Q. Last year around this time there was kind of like, from you, Everybody, calm down, it's fun, everything is around the corner. And you were dead right. So I'm curious where is your mind? Is it the same perspective now? Where is the mind?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, sometimes things are really shitty, and they always get better. So that's good. I mean, yeah, I think things will get better. Might not be in the next week. Might not be next week. But for sure in the next couple of months maybe things will, you know, figure themselves out.

Like I said, I'm going through a transition. It's tough. Playing a sport is not easy. But I definitely think that things will get better. And then we will be in a press conference and I'll be, like, See, guys? It's better (smiling).

So I'm waiting for that day and looking forward to that day. For now I'm just trying to work through with what I've got.

Q. In the last set, not you gave up, but it sort of got out of hand. You don't win a point there, win a game.
SLOANE STEPHENS: What's the question?

Q. In other words, you get blanked at Love. You played pretty well in the first set, and then the second set just everything get away from you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I mean, obviously I wasn't playing that great, and playing against someone who has beaten me in the past, yeah, she played a good match; I didn't play well. It was unfortunate that I lost the second set 6-0. It happens.

Q. Are you in talks or looking to fill the coaching spot, or are you -- like, Simona is like, I'm fine for a while, and she's made up her mind on that. Are you...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, obviously I don't want to rush anything. I want to find someone I like, get along with, have a good connection with. I'm not just going to pick anyone like, Oh, yeah, I have a coach now. Like, that's not ideal.

Not that I'm flying solo, not that I'm not looking. I guess I'm in the middle of Halep and a tough place, I guess.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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