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August 15, 2012

Sloane Stephens


6‑2, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please?

Q.  Seemed like a fairly comfortable win for you with a tricky opponent?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I played well.  Yeah, the crowd was good.  Just had a good day.

Q.  When you have a good crowd like that and when you play some of the bigger slams and you have had great results there, does the crowd actually kind of help you stay focused and even keeled throughout the match having that support?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm not sure, really.  But, you know, it's always good when people are cheering for you and not the other person.
I think that helps a little bit, but you just try and stay focused.  It's always good to have a good atmosphere around.  Everyone is pretty positive.  I think that kind of lifts you up a little bit.  I don't think it was overwhelmingly like pushing me to win.

Q.  You have Radwanska next.  You haven't played her, but she's been playing well and she's a smart player.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, should be a good match.  I will be excited.  Maybe we will get a good court.  It will be fun.
Playing a lot of matches and enjoying it out there.  Got a doubles win out there yesterday.  I love being out there, so it will be another good match.

Q.  How do you approach playing someone like her?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Go out, play my game.  I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to play her, because she could probably read this and then it would be bad.
No, just go out and play my game, good attitude.  Just love being out there, compete, just all the things kind of necessary to win a tennis match.
Just do my best.

Q.  Not sure if you heard, but Rafa is out of the US Open.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I just read it on Twitter.  I'm devastated.  This is so sad.

Q.  What is it like when he's not in the locker room at slams?  What does he bring that might be...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm not sure because I'm not in his locker room.  (Laughter.)
I love Rafa so I love seeing him at tournaments.  I get star struck when I see him.  I'm like, Oh, my God I wish I could touch him.
It will be sad with him not there, obviously.  I mean, he's such an amazing player.  I just kind of ‑‑I like seeing him practice.  He's on the P1 through 5 or whatever and he's always on the first court so everyone can see.
I like eating my lunch and watching him.  I'm kind of bummed he won't be there.  I'm sure we will have, you know, still an amazing tournament.

Q.  Does it affect the buzz of the tournament even when somebody on the other draw is out?  Can that really carry over to the women's side?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't really think so.  I mean, Murray is still playing, Olympic gold medalist, Federer, Djokovic still playing.
Rafa will be missed, but I'm sure that people think that Djokovic and Murray and Fed are pretty hot too.  So I think it will work out.

Q.  You don't seem like a shy person.  Have you gone up to Nadal and said, Hey, I'm Sloane; I wanted to meet you; I think you're cool?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I didn't like I did to Brian Baker at the draw ceremony when I embarrassed him.
No, actually, I work with Francis, one of the guys that works with him a bit.  So whenever Francis is at a tournament, I'm like, Can you just please bring Rafa to me?  Please, please, please.  He's like, Mmm, no.
We did meet one time here last year and we shook hands.  It was kinda cool.  But, no, I haven't gone up to him.  I mean, the level that I'm at right now, I'm like at Brian's Baker's level.  I can embarrass those people, but I can't embarrass higher‑ranked people.

Q.  He could be the mixed doubles partner you're looking for.

Q.  Rafa.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Rafa, if he played doubles or mixed doubles that would be good.  But it's kind of tough when he's not even playing singles.  It's going to be a rough one.  I'm still looking.  Anyone knows of anyone who is looking for a mixed doubles partner, I'm your girl.

Q.  Brian Baker?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  That would be a good ‑‑that's actually ‑‑well, I don't know if that would be good because I'm like in love with him, so that would be kind of awkward.  I think he knows that, so that makes it even more weird.

Q.  You're in love with Brian Baker and Rafa?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Not so much ‑‑I'm in love with Baker's game; I'm in love with the way Rafa looks.  That's two different things.

Q.  If you say that to Brian Baker that might not be a good introduction.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, when I introduced him at the draw ceremony I'm like, He's pretty handsome, too.
But seriously Rafa like over everyone is kind of ridiculous.  So, yeah.

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