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June 4, 2019

Sloane Stephens

Paris, France

J. KONTA/S. Stephens

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously she played very well, especially on serve in that second set. What were you trying to do to try to get a foothold in this match?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I mean, obviously she played well. She was serving really well. I mean, there is not much you can do when someone is playing like that. She definitely played her game today.

Yeah, just wasn't meant to be. I didn't get a chance to really get into the match, but sometimes that happens.

Q. What particularly about Konta's game did you find so difficult today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: She served well and played her game. She executed a good game plan, and that was that.

Q. How did you feel this morning warming up and during the match? Was everything okay with you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I'm fine. She just, like I said, she played a good match.

Q. How are you feeling about this whole tournament? Seems like you made a lot of progress over the last two weeks. How do you reflect on that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely moving in the right direction. Obviously from the beginning of the year till now has made huge improvement.

Yeah, I think a lot to be proud of and happy about. We still have a lot of tennis to play and the rest of the year. We have a long ways to go.

So not going to get too down about it because I did have two really good results on the clay.

Yeah, starting with a new coach is never easy, so I think I have handled a lot of, you know, tough situations well in the last couple weeks, and, I mean, that's something to be proud of. Just got to keep the momentum going in the right direction to make sure that, yeah, I allow myself to have more success and more results.

Q. Is there a sense that this tournament and the draw, it was so open? I mean, you are such a world-class player, is it harder in a way to, when you look at the eight that were there this morning, does that make it harder in a way to sort of -- or a bit more cross to be going home?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. When you look at the draw, the eight people that are still in the tournament, there is a reason why they're still in the tournament.

There's always opportunities in every single tournament to go further. Am I upset that I wasn't able to do that? Of course. But I wouldn't downplay any of the other eight people, because they're all great players.

That question, I think, is not great because that kind of puts the other players down, which is, in this situation, in the last eight of a Grand Slam, is nowhere near where they should be put.

Q. You played Jo twice before this season. Was she on a different level today? Did she surprise you with how well she played?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Like I said, she played a good game. She executed her game plan. Really not more, no less.

Q. You didn't have a ton of prep for grass before Wimbledon last year. You didn't play any pretournaments, and I'm curious how you're planning on doing things this year potentially differently?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I'm going to play in Eastbourne this year. Obviously last year I played a lot the clay court season. And after Roland Garros, I was just really tired, and I didn't have the energy to try to get out there and work on the grass like before and not enough time to recover.

This year, yeah, obviously I have a bit more time, so, yeah, I'm going to play in Eastbourne. That was always the plan. Yeah, just going to try to get out there and try to get the feel on the grass before Wimbledon and see how it goes.

Q. What happened, that shot early in the second set? Your shot landed on the line, and then her reply you didn't run for. I assume you thought your shot was going out. Did you maybe tell yourself, I maybe should have run for that when you saw what happened?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I don't even remember what that point was. Sorry.

Q. Obviously not to denigrate anyone that's in the draw, but to win a Grand Slam takes a really special ability and a skill. Playing Jo today, I mean, is that a thing you think she absolutely can win here, can win the slam?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I think any of the people left in the tournament can win the tournament. I think she played really well today.

Obviously it only gets tougher from here. Yeah, I think anyone that's left can win the tournament.

Q. How good a counter-puncher you are, how good you are at defending, when was the last time you felt that sort of not in control of a match with how well she was playing, especially on her serve? Because she won the first 18 points on her serve in the second set.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, she was serving well. Obviously that's tough. Like I told you guys the other day, clay is a neutralizer, but there wasn't very much clay on the court today. So that was a little bit tough.

She likes to play on hard court and grass, and the court was very fast today, and I think that kind of worked in her favor. Obviously serving on a court that was playing a lot different than we had been playing on previously, that was a little bit tricky.

Like I said, she served well, she executed a good game plan, and that's what you have to do to win.

Q. Are you going to go back to the States now, or will you stay in Europe and enjoy Europe?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, no, I'm going to go home for a -- I have been gone since before the week before Madrid. I'm going to go home a little bit, refresh, get myself together, and get ready for Eastbourne.

Q. When you say there wasn't very much clay on the court, you mean because the wind was blowing it away?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, if you just look at the court, you can see, like, it's very thin. You can see the -- I don't know. What do you call that? Like the base of the court? And there wasn't very much clay. And I think when the balls are bouncing higher and heavier, there is a lot more clay obviously on the court.

But I think the wind, like, today, and then when I played Mugu, obviously it was a bit windy, so it was kind of like the same.

But it obviously changes someone who has a big game like that who serves well and looks obviously to hit the first ball, it kind of works in their favor.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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