September 5, 2021
New York, New York, USA
6-4, 6-7, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. We have seen a lot of precocious talent on display here. As somebody who has been on the tour for a while, what advice would you give these teenagers that are having good results in their debuts? Not everyone wins forever. What would you tell people about what's going to come at them?
SHELBY ROGERS: Buckle up. It's a long ride (smiling).
I would say just trying to enjoy it as much as they can, and I think one important thing that I have learned in my career is to not get too high or too low every week with the result, because it's a long season and you're going to have some great wins and some big upsets and things like this, but you've got to be able to manage your emotions in a way that you can sustain over the course of a year and multiple seasons in a row.
Q. What do you do to manage that? Sounds simple in terms of how you say it, but people ask...
SHELBY ROGERS: I think I might still be trying to figure that out (smiling.) I mean, I think it's different for everyone. It's helpful to have people around you that can keep you grounded, and things to do outside of tennis for me is helpful, and, you know, trying to see some of the city now that we can go back out or -- you know, I just got my college degree. I was focusing on some classes. Just having something away from the court is helpful for me.
Q. I was going to ask you about the degree. I saw you just got it recently. From Cincinnati?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, we had a nice little ceremony there.
Q. Explain why that was important to you and what the process was, because obviously being on tour, traveling, can't be easy to balance all that stuff with extra studying and classwork.
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, no, not at all. I think it was a lot of lessons in time management. When I turned pro right after high school, I made a promise to myself and to my mom that I would get my education, because she was a little bit nervous that her daughter was not going to college. I'm very proud of myself for getting my degree. I started in the summer of 2016, so did it pretty rapidly, considering.
Like I said, it was nice for me. I majored in psychology, so it was just helpful to focus on something other than tennis and also take some classes that can maybe help me with what I'm doing, too.
Q. Can you follow up on that? How did you structure your day? Did you have to set aside time to study and go practice? How did that work?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I tried to stay a little bit ahead so I wouldn't be too stressed. If I had a long match like last night or today and then I had to take an exam, that wasn't always the greatest thing.
Yeah, definitely a lot of planning, especially when you're in different time zones and the Wi-Fi isn't great and you're contacting your professor saying, I'm on a plane all day, I'm going to try.
I just tried to stay ahead so I didn't run into too many issues.
Q. You said last night that the crowd brought something out of you that you couldn't do for yourself. Could you elaborate on what you meant by that?
SHELBY ROGERS: I just think the energy that they brought and sheer will and passion that they were providing there in the stadium last night was truly incredible. I think sometimes when you're in an empty stadium or on the back court, you know, midnight, it's tough to kind of muster up some of this courage yourself, so it's always helpful to have other people cheer you on and encourage you, as well.
I think that was definitely a factor in the match last night.
Q. Was there one moment that stands out in your mind when the crowd was particularly impactful for you last night?
SHELBY ROGERS: I think that moment when I got to 5-All was pretty special. I think that was the moment I went over to my towel and Eric Butorac was actually sitting there, and I just locked eyes with him. I don't know if he knew it, but I just screamed in his face kind of. Sorry, Eric. I think 5-All was cool and then when I won that was a pretty memorable moment too.
Q. In your career, you have obviously had some real tough setbacks, but it seems to me you have such a joy, humor, quick smile. You talked about managing emotions. How have you managed to navigate the gauntlet of a career like this and still come out smiling?
SHELBY ROGERS: Lots of failures I think have taught me a lot of lessons, and the setbacks that you speak of have given me a really good perspective.
My Christianity is very important to me, as well. That gives me some perspective on tough days. I think, yeah, just appreciating the sport for what it is. Realizing that I can do something pretty special and inspire a lot of other people. That's a big reason why I play, seeing smiles on other people's faces.
If I'm not enjoying it, then why am I here, you know what I mean? I just try to bring the best energy I can every day and the best attitude, because it's ultimately my choice to be here and do what I do, and I think I have to conduct myself in that sort of manner. I don't know if that answers your question, but...
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