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September 8, 2020

Shelby Rogers

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

N. OSAKA/S. Rogers

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you assess your performance tonight.

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I mean, I'm really proud of myself. I tried to do the right things. I thought she played very well. My first match on Ashe without the fans, so that was quite an experience. Check that off the bucket list. I played there before with a packed stadium, and it was very, very different.

Overall really good week for me. A lot of positives.

Q. Can you tell us what your greatest takeaway from this week and a half is? How will that set you up heading onto the clay at Roland Garros where you had your other quarterfinal experience?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I think there's a lot of positives, like I already mentioned. One is that I am able to adapt to these new conditions, the new normal, if you will, for tennis tournaments. I know I can handle it and make the most out of that, which is encouraging.

I feel healthy. I feel happy on court. I'm happy with where my game is, as well. I feel like I have a sense of clarity of what I'm trying to do when I step on the court. The confidence is just building with each match.

Q. What about the transition to the red clay? The protocol at the US Open was stringent, now they're talking about allowing fans at Roland Garros, no social distancing.

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I'm definitely excited about the red clay. The hard courts are a little tougher on the body, for sure. But it will be nice to go back, train on the clay, get ready to go over there to Paris where, as everyone knows, I've had a lot of good memories.

It will be special to go back there and be in the main draw. Earlier this year I wasn't going to even make it in French Open main draw. That's very exciting.

On the flipside, I think it will be really weird to have fans. Maybe a little standoffish from the players not used to being around people. We've been scolded, if you will, all week for doing the wrong things. It will be, again, another adjustment, something else to adapt to.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about what makes Naomi such a special competitor. She seems to be able to generate this free and easy power.

SHELBY ROGERS: Definitely easy power, for sure. It comes very natural to her. She's a very strong girl.

But I think she served pretty well tonight. In the first set I think I did a little better with her second serve, taking those opportunities. When you get that, it's a big one. You have to take advantage of it if you can. The placement there got away from me in the second.

I mean, she played pretty flawless. She didn't make many unforced errors. Of course, I can always do things better, force them to make errors, things like that. Overall she's playing very well. I think she can go a couple more if she wants.

Q. You've had quite a bit of success against Naomi in the past. It had been a few years since you played each other. Is it possible to compare a player on the other side of the night to the one you played earlier? Is there anything that was significantly different about the way she played tonight?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, it's definitely been a while. Prematch they asked me the same thing. I said it's basically a clean slate because we're both very different players at this point. It's apples to oranges. Basically irrelevant at this point. We've both come a long way and matured a lot, gained a lot of experience. It was basically a first meeting, in my eyes.

She's more confident in who she is, what her game is, how to play. I think, yeah, a lot is different.

Q. With this being your second major quarterfinal, how would you compare where your game is at right now compared to 2016 when you were in the top 50?

SHELBY ROGERS: As I mentioned before, just a little more clarity stepping on the court with what I want to do. In different situations, bigger points, I feel a little more clear about what the plan is, the strategy, different plays I want to do.

I think physically, my fitness is in a really good place, my health is in a really good place. Probably the fittest and healthiest I've been since that run to Roland Garros.

I mean, I'm just happy to be back competing. It sounds cliché, but it's great being back here and out on the courts. A little quicker court here at the US Open, a nice surprise. Just looking forward to the clay now. Got to get prepared.

Q. Naomi's coach suggested that her physical level is on another level from the rest of the tour, maybe aside from Serena. Do you agree with that after tonight, having played Serena also?

SHELBY ROGERS: I think she's in great shape. I think she's very quick. I think she's very powerful. I think a lot of the other girls are, too.

Q. A complicated question. Now Naomi plays your friend Jennifer. Briefly break that down, help us out. Who do you think wins that one? The winner from that could go against Serena. How would that go?

SHELBY ROGERS: Man, if I knew those answers, I'd be doing a different job I think (laughter).

I think it's going to be a very competitive semis and finals. I think everybody has just as good of a chance of winning. Any given day, anybody can win. I think everybody's playing really, really good tennis right now. It's going to be fun to watch.

This would be the second time Jen Brady is going to have to get some revenge for me. Obviously I'll be cheering a little bit for my friend and for the American to keep going. She's had an incredible run, as well. It's great to see.

But in Lexington, I was one short of playing her as well. She got it done there, so hopefully she can do it here.

Q. Forehand-wise, who has the better forehand, Jen, Naomi, Serena?

SHELBY ROGERS: They're all very different. That's a really tough question. Serena's ball is super heavy. Jen's is really spinny and heavy as well. Naomi's is a bit flatter. I think it's hard to compare them.

They're all world class, tough to play against, that's for sure.

Q. Can you talk about what the challenges will be in terms of the transition over to clay for you. Is it something similar to Miami, Charleston back-to-back? Is this notably different for whatever reason?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, that's actually a good comparison, I think the quick transition. For me, it's easier going from hard to clay. I'm not too worried about it. It's definitely a challenge going from one slam to another so quickly. I guess from French to Wimbledon, maybe, but it's not quite as fast.

It will be just another challenge for 2020 I guess. But I'm excited.

Q. Physically you're coming out of this event feeling good, everything is great?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, yeah, I feel pretty good. I mean, normal sore, wear and tear from playing this sport that the body was not meant to play. Really happy with how I feel after three and a half weeks in the bubble. I can take a little encouragement from that, as well.

Q. It's funny you mentioned revenge regarding Jen. That's what Naomi said at the end of the match. You said you started with a clean slate. She said that she was looking to enact revenge. Was that surprising to you? Do players really act on revenge?

SHELBY ROGERS: I mean, whatever gets you pumped up and ready to play. I guess each player is a little bit different.

I say it maybe a little more jokingly. I guess she used it as fuel to get herself fired up for the match, which is great. Every player has their routine and what works for them mentally.

Yeah, I mean, I think when you step on the court, you remember past matchups for sure. There's no way you can't. Those memories come back, the points, the tough losses.

That's funny. Sports are great, aren't they (smiling)?

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