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August 30, 2011

Sloane Stephens


S. STEPHENS/J. Reka-Luca
6-2, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you ever get those Christian Louboutins you were talking about?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. But now I'm definitely going to get them.

Q. Can you describe the tiebreak, what your mindset was in that? Was there a key point or two you remember?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not really. I remember, I was telling myself, okay, normally I'm the one who is not experienced against someone who has been playing forever. I think the girl I played today, I think this was her first main-draw match, and she qualified. And for me, I felt at the beginning of the match like I'd already done that at French Open and I lost.
It was like, you know, whatever. I kind of felt like I had the upper hand with the whole experience thing because, look, I know what I have to do, I know I have to execute, be aggressive, go for all of my shots. That's kind of what got me through because she got a little tight at the end.
For me, it was like, I can do this, I can push myself that little extra and it helped obviously.

Q. Did you let down in the second set or did she play better?
SLOANE STEPHENS: She played pretty well in the second set. I had a lot, a lot of chances. I don't know how many breakpoints I had, but it was a lot. That was terrible that I didn't win any of them.
But, uhm, I think that helped me in the third set. I know what to do, I know how to get up in the games, I know what I have to do. I just need to execute. That was the biggest thing for me today.

Q. What are your expectations of yourself today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No expectations at all. I'm the underdog. It's better to come in under the map instead of on top of it. I'm just happy with everything that's going.
I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, because obviously I won't be able to play at all. I'll be just like, Go in, please.

Q. It seems like you were pretty carefree and it was almost like gravy for you at this point.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, today was definitely gravy. I just try to be happy and just play. My grandparents came out. My brother's here. He's so happy. My mom was so nervous. I don't know how many times she got up and left. Like, it was crazy. Obviously we're not the same type of person because she was freaking out.
But, you know, I just try to play and be happy, and yeah, yeah.

Q. Is your mom always like that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not normally. But today, she was very nervous. My brother was like running up and down the side thing. I don't know what he was doing. I saw him one time run back and forth.
I don't know. Maybe they just wanted me to win.

Q. You were noticing where your mother and brother were during the match?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. My brother was standing behind my coach. And I saw him go up and back. I was like, What is he doing? Then he would come in and clap. Then he would leave. I was like, Okay. Every time I saw my coach, he was there, he wasn't there.

Q. Did you ask him what he was doing?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. He was like, I was nervous. Okay. So, I mean, hey, I don't know.

Q. Do all you American teenagers pay attention to what the others are doing? Do you look at the draw, check their scores?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not really. But I know that Christina won yesterday and Irina won yesterday. The person I was most pleased with yesterday is Heather Watson. She's a good friend of mine. I know she's not American. We all grew up playing ITFs together. For our group yesterday, she by far had the best performance. Mentally she was awesome. She never gave up. She fought the whole way.
I thought that was really awesome for our age group, whatever you want to call it. That was good.

Q. What about Madison?
SLOANE STEPHENS: And Madison Keys. I forgot about her. She's younger than us. She didn't grow up playing ITFs with us. She played Jill. Obviously Jill is another great player. She's awesome. She's older than us. She's been playing a while.
But we're tight because we're PTA. We're with Under Armour. Every time I see her, I'm like, PTA, PTA. It was disappointing obviously for her to lose, but awesome for Madison to get her first win. I wish I could have gotten my first win at 16 at a US Open. It's a big step. Hopefully she can keep moving forward with it.

Q. How did you handle what happened in Paris?
SLOANE STEPHENS: What happened in Paris?

Q. Did you feel like you handled it the right way and built upon it?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yes, definitely. After the match, I was like, I am so happy I got that out of the way. I just needed to move past it.
I know exactly what I had to do to win. I knew exactly what I needed to do in the match.

Q. Here or there?
I couldn't do it. I was so tight, so nervous, so many things going through my head, I couldn't get out there and play. Obviously that wasn't good. But definitely I moved forward.
I was like, I know what I have to do, I just have to execute. I've worked on that a lot the last few months after Wimbledon, and it's helped me a lot to get through a couple of matches.
It's always good when you can look back and say, I did what I had to do in the match.

Q. Does it change your preparation? When you feel any kind of anxiety, all that stuff coming on, since you've been through it again, do you know what to do?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. At 3-All in the tiebreaker, I was like, I am not going to get nervous. I'm going to go for my shots, execute, do what I have to do. And I won every point after that. So, yeah, it's helped.

Q. In Paris, were you in a similar situation?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. And I did not do that because I didn't know. Not that I didn't know, but I just didn't -- I was so anxious and nervous and uptight, I couldn't say to my self, Stop, look, this is what you have to do. Everything was so overwhelming. I'd never been in that situation before, so it was all new to me.
I definitely used it to, you know, better myself and better my game.

Q. Is the gold nail polish, does that mean anything?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, my God. My mom bought this for me. It's Chanel. I'm obsessed with nail polish. Yesterday I was so frustrated. I had this pink nail polish on, and I took it off because it was chipping obviously. I put this other pink one on. I was like, This is disgusting. So I took it off, and I'm like going to go back to what I know. This is gold. This is the best nail job I ever painted and look what happened.

Q. How do you deal with the fumes?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. My aunt was like, What are you doing over there? I'm like, I'm painting my nails, relax, give me a break. This is the best nail job I've ever done.

Q. Are you a little Serena in training here?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I can only do my own nails. I couldn't do anyone else's. My cousins are, Can you paint my nails? I'm like, Absolutely not. But I love nail polish. So that's good.

Q. Are you in high school now?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I'm done. I graduated.

Q. You graduated?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. All my friends are starting college. They already started college.

Q. Are you thinking about that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I'm taking online classes. My mom is a professor at Kaplan. Hopefully I get her and she can like help me as a teacher. Yeah, definitely.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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