September 4, 2021
New York, New York, USA
S. ROGERS/A. Barty
6-2, 1-6, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: If you would be so kind to give us your thoughts on tonight's match and your week at the Open.
SHELBY ROGERS: Sorry? I thought you were addressing them. Oh, I'm not used to this press conference thing, sorry (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: We'll reset. Could you just give us your thoughts on tonight's match.
SHELBY ROGERS: I don't even know what's happening right now (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to ask you your thoughts on tonight and your week.
SHELBY ROGERS: So honored, thank you.
I mean, I came here obviously excited for the last slam of the year. I had a great run last year, making the quarterfinals. So it was a different kind of pressure I think than I've felt before. I only did it once before at the French. I was definitely very nervous before my first match.
Had some tough tournaments before, some tough losses as well after starting the season pretty well. Tennis is very up-and-down. I just wanted to try to find my game again here.
Tennis is funny like that, too. Right when you're just like, Why can I not hit a ball in the court, then you do something like this and you love the sport all over again.
I am very thrilled with my first week here. Just got to stay focused and keep going because I don't want to be done yet.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What do you think made the difference tonight compared to the previous four or five matches that you played against Ash?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yes, I am stunned. My heart rate is still very much elevated. I'm very excited with that win.
I think tonight going on the court I told myself I didn't want to lose the same way I lost the last five times against her. I just tried to do things a little bit differently.
In the first set I mixed in some high balls, I was super patient with her slice because she's not going to miss one very often. I know that very well.
In the second and third, she definitely raised her level, as she does. I mean, she's the No. 1 player in the world for a reason. But I started wanting to hit the ball a little bit harder, find some winners if I could. That's the tennis I like to play. That's what she wants me to do. She wants to redirect and finesse me around the court, wait for me to miss.
I was just happy and really proud of myself tonight for problem-solving, if you will, maybe doing some things I'm not super comfortable with, like hitting some high balls like I'm back in the 12s, playing defense honestly.
It ended up working somehow.
Q. (Question about the relationship with Ash.)
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I mean, she is one of the most professional people I've ever met in my life, as well as a good person, a funny individual. Just refreshing to see. She's super down-to-earth. I mean, she is one of my favorite people.
I was joking before, every time I lost to her, I can't be mad because she's such a nice person. It's like, Man, she just kicked my butt. Then it's like, Oh, you're going to find it one day.
She's always encouraging to everybody around her. She brings up the energy wherever she goes. I can't say how much respect I have for her and what a great representative she is for women's tennis. I want to speak to what she's done this season. I think a lot of people are taking it for granted. She hasn't been able to go home since February, you guys. That's insane. I mean, she's resetting on the road. She's worked through some injuries on the road. She's won five titles. She's remained No. 1. I mean, this girl is everything every player wants to be, you know.
Honestly, I could do this for another 20 minutes. But, I mean, yeah, she's one of my favorite people, so... Any time I get to give her a hug, I try to take the moment.
Q. You were playing so well at the start of the season. It always seemed like the matchup with Ash was what was derailing you from deep runs. Now here we are. Can you talk about what you learned from those four matches this year, the lessons learned, how you applied them tonight.
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, absolutely. I think every time I lose a match, I try to learn as much as I can. As much as it hurts to lose, nobody likes it, you have to find a way to improve from it, improve your game, constantly trying to get 1% better every day. I guess I have to thank her for teaching me a lot of lessons (laughter).
I think I journal quite a bit, take notes on players, scout, things like this. Half my book is on Ash at this point, you know. It's the same thing. She doesn't miss a ball (smiling).
Yeah, I think what I've learned most from her is that she's No. 1 for a reason. It was going to take everything I had tonight to beat her. I gave everything I had and got the win. That's what it comes down to.
Q. You said on the court you weren't thinking about the fact that you were the lone American woman left standing. Is that something you're thinking about now? What does that mean to you, if anything?
SHELBY ROGERS: I mean, yeah, I'm not trying to highlight it too much. I said earlier that I'm just super grateful to be a part of this incredible group of athletes that is doing so well this season from the USA. I think we push each other and help each other, see each other's results, then challenge that the next week. You're seeing a bunch of names out there. I'm just happy to be one of those.
The guys are also doing very well and have been inspiring me, too. So let's not leave them out of the discussion. But we also had some names missing from this tournament, too. Hopefully they're recovering, healing, and getting back at it, and we'll all be back stronger next season or Indian Wells even, because that's coming up. That's weird.
But, yeah, I'm not trying to think about the last one in the draw because there's a bunch of other players in the draw, too, that aren't from America that I'm trying to beat. I'm just moving on. I have some doubles tomorrow, focus on that, then move on to the next singles match.
Q. What was your feeling when you were down 5-2 in the third? How were you able to keep the composure or the faith needed to come back and win?
SHELBY ROGERS: That's a great question.
There are so many thoughts that go through your mind when you're on a tennis court, especially when you won a first set and the momentum changes. In a tennis match the momentum changes so often, especially against a player like that. She can just take the match back in a couple swings, a couple serves. She holds at love a few times. What can I even do against her, right?
Down 5-2, two breaks, not looking too good. Not a situation I want to be in at all. I had some thoughts of, well, good try, here we go again kind of stuff, right? She got me again, too good.
Then I kind of tried to brush that away and say, You know what, let's try to make some balls here, let's get the crowd into it, which is something I think some of the guys have inspired me to do.
The crowd has been nuts here this week. Wow, I'm like partially deaf after that. Yeah, I just tried to get the crowd into it. I said, You know what, if I'm going to go down, I'm going to give a last dying effort maybe.
Then I was like, Okay, maybe something is working here. You build and build, work one point at a time. Found my serve a little bit. Then we got some new balls in the third set. All right. Now we're talking.
It's just little changes throughout the match that kind of you find ways to stay in the present and stay not thinking about I'm down 5-2, I'm getting my butt kicked again, right?
Yeah, somehow. I don't know, guys. Somehow that happened.
THE MODERATOR: Time for one more.
SHELBY ROGERS: Oh, this is fun (laughter).
Q. Your next match, what do you know about your opponent and what are your thoughts about the matchup?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I mean, I'm going to have to do a little bit of scouting I think. But she's fearless. She is playing very well and she's inspired. It's going to be a battle. I am ready for it.
It's really cool to see the younger generation coming up in this tournament, getting some big wins. It's really impressive. Yeah, I'm going to have to bring my best tennis again in a different way I think, though. Every match. That's the cool thing about tennis, you have to adjust every single time and make a new strategy.
We'll prepare for that. We got a day and a half to get ready and recover and try to do it again.
Q. Circling back to the crowd, last year you had an incredible moment at the US Open against Petra, but nobody was there. How much did it help you this year? How good did it feel?
SHELBY ROGERS: I mean, I would go to say they're probably the reason I won tonight, to be honest. I mean, my tactics, sure, were great, but they gave me something that I wouldn't have probably been able to bring out of myself. So I'm super thankful for that.
I'm thankful that I couldn't hear myself breathing as heavily as I did last year in the empty stadium. That was nice, too. But, gosh, that was really something special. I got chills out there on the court. I don't know if that's normal when you're playing a tennis match, but it happened. I will never forget that moment.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports