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September 12, 2021

Zhang Shuai

Samantha Stosur

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-3, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: If you would, your thoughts on the match.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, yeah, I mean, it was a very close match. We got the only break in that first set. I felt like we had a few more opportunities to break serve in that first set. Thankfully we got one at the end and served that out.

Again, second set it was one break. There was really not a lot in the match. We felt like every time we were putting a bit more pressure on their serves than what they were doing on ours.

Third, it was exactly the same. It was just such a tight tussle the whole match, a few points here and there. We stuck together as a team, played aggressive, went for it as we always do, and it pays off.

ZHANG SHUAI: I mean, today, really great match we play. Really thank Sam play with me. Just talking few weeks ago, I couldn't win one match in any tournament. Thanks, Sam, always bring me up and helping me so much in my life, tennis life.

I'm so happy we won the tournament.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Sam, can you sum up, analyze what it means to you at this stage of your career to have this happen, what this place means to you?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, it's just a phenomenal feeling to have this trophy again 16 years later. Winning the singles here, I've got so many amazing memories here playing in New York. I love coming back here, I love the courts, I love the atmosphere. Yeah, obviously a very special place for me.

It's brought out some of my best tennis in my career over obviously many, many years. This year has been tough for everyone. This is the last two days of a trip that's going to be four months for me away from home. I haven't done that for a long, long time. To be going home with this trophy just means the absolute world to me.

It makes everything worth it. Yeah, I'm so proud to have Shuai as my partner. Like she said, we certainly bring out the best of each other on and off the court. Yeah, it's a really special title for both of us.

Q. Sam, you laughed about the scary thought that you beat someone who you've given an autograph to at one time. So much focus about the young players here, is it kind of nice to show, you know, not quite yet?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, look, yeah, what these girls are doing, obviously yesterday, you can't fathom what those two girls yesterday, where they've come from, now where they're going to be.

We were playing again a couple of youngsters who even though, they're so young, but they've got quite a bit of experience. For us, this was our second Grand Slam final together. I've been in a few more. Yeah, it's kind of like, All right, I've done this a few more times than you, so I've got to try to use everything I've got.

They just play fearless. Credit to them. I think they're a really great team. Again, no doubt they're going to be back in situations like this, challenging for titles. Not just yet, not today (smiling).

Q. Sam, after the semis and on court, I can't remember the last time I've seen you so excited and thrilled in your professional life. Would that be fair to say? If so, when was the last time you felt like this?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Gee, yeah, I don't know. Again, I think it's been a long trip. It's been a hard trip. I wasn't winning too many matches. Thankfully we were able to team up again together after the Olympics. Yeah, obviously we're on a roll. Winning certainly makes everything feel a whole lot better when you're away from home for such a long time.

I think it's just, yeah, huge satisfaction to know what I'm doing, all the hard work, everything that you do day in, day out still pays off. You can play in an amazing stadium in front of a great crowd, serve out the match for a Grand Slam title. Be like, Yeah, I can do this.

That's exactly what we play for, we love those moments. To have those opportunities is just the best. So thankful to still be out there competing, yeah, being able to play the way I am.

Q. Sam, you've been coming here a long time. This tournament had a special vibe to it in many ways. Talk about that a little bit, whether you felt that, sort of what that was. This year's Open, a lot of energy?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I didn't come and play last year. I think their slogan, "The Greatest Return," is absolutely on point for this event this year. It's been an incredible tournament. It's still challenging situations around the world, here in the U.S., New York.

I think the way they've been able to run the event, put it all together, the players to come here and feel relatively back to normal playing on these courts in front of these fans, I think everyone's so thankful we're able to do this again.

Tennis is so much better for a crowd. Even today when they're not really cheering for us, we still much prefer playing in front of a crowd than not.

No, I think, yeah, all the players would really thank Stacey and everyone else putting this together for us once again under circumstances. You get it out there, the players are very, very thankful. We just love coming back.

Q. Shuai, Australian Open 2019, US Open 2021 with Sam. Is there one that means a bit more or are they equal? You ladies had a bit of a break. What's the plans for next year?

ZHANG SHUAI: For sure we will play more together because last one-and-a-half year we have to prepare for the Olympic Games. In us country, we must have to be play with Chinese player. That's why we separate. Not because anything we not play together. I mean, we are so good friend, yeah, forever.

When we on court, no matter we win or lose - yes, today we won - but some days we lost, it's okay. We still happy on court. Now is nothing can, yeah, break us I think. We will for sure play together more, yeah.

But, yeah, I think we are not play every tournament. We try to keep healthy, we can play longer.

Q. Zhang Shuai, you mentioned on court that you were the only Chinese player in the main draw this year. I know the National Games are also going on, there's overlap. Was it difficult or easy for you to make the decision to play the Open this year?

ZHANG SHUAI: For sure not easy. Never easy. But, I mean, I don't know, I cannot say anymore. I mean, I really proud I'm keep playing with Sam. Sam always take care me.

We so happy we won. This so much mean.

Q. Zhang Shuai, related to yesterday, what happened in the singles, I believe you're one of the few people that has played Emma Raducanu twice. From your perspective of playing her, what was she like playing? Are you surprised by what she did?

ZHANG SHUAI: She's amazing. Few weeks ago we played at San Jose. You also watched the match. I play really well, but I can see how much improve of her. Like two weeks ago me and Sam, we play Cincinnati, still not like today this level. But we keep play, always make us improve every matches. This way we have to keep play on the tour. We have to follow the tour, play every tournament.

Yeah, that's so special. Also very congrats for the Emma and also Leylah. I love the both girls so much.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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