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January 3, 2013

Sloane Stephens


S. WILLIAMS/S. Stephens
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How satisfying was that?  Such a competitive, high‑quality match.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I definitely had fun.  I just told myself for the match, I'm just going to run down every ball and play my game.
I think I did that pretty well, so I guess it's a personal victory even though I didn't win the match.

Q.  Overall you felt you played very well, sort of well, or...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm playing pretty good for someone who hasn't played since the US Open.  I haven't played a competitive singles match in ‑ I don't know how long it's been.
Yeah, I played pretty well to get out there on a big court in front of a whole bunch of people.  And not having played, I did ‑‑ I mean, I may not have played my very, very best, but I thought that I stayed tough and I did what I could do.

Q.  So she sort of did the Serena Williams where she pulled out the big serve whenever she needed it, huh?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I guess, sort of.  That's her game and that's how she plays, so you use your strengths when you can.

Q.  Is it exciting or intimidating meeting someone like Serena?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think I was just kind of‑‑ I was expecting something different, and I kind of never really got settled.
But I think overall I played‑‑ I mean, I just played and I tried to work my way through it.
You know, it wasn't the very best tennis anyone has ever seen, but I think it was pretty good.

Q.  I don't know if you could hear the post‑game interview Serena gave, but in it she said she thinks you will one day be the best player in the world.  How does that make you feel to hear your idol say that about you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Oh, that's funny.  It feels good.  I mean, you put in a lot of hard work and, you know, you just do your best.
To have someone like that who I think is one of the greatest players to ever play the game say that about you is really nice.
You know, hopefully I'll just keep working hard and don't let her down.

Q.  Did you have any trouble with your abdominal injury tonight at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  Doing better.  Doing fine.  Glad nothing was really hurting, so that's good.

Q.  Can you hit the ball any harder than that?  It was pretty impressive.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, see that's what got me in trouble the first time was hitting the ball really hard.
So whenever I start serving really hard or hitting really hard I'm like, Okay, calm down.  You're doing too much.  I just try to stay at like a medium pace now.

Q.  Were you joking after the first set when you said she's being a little disrespectful with the, C'mons?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, that's something that him and I joke about a lot.  It was kind of just to ease the tension a little bit.
I mean, I don't know what I looked like on the court, but I felt like I looked like a sour lemon, so I was like, Ah, I need to relax.
No, it was just a joke.  All fun.

Q.  Did she say anything to you?  Did you have a chance to talk in after the match?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Oh, no.  We just missed each other.  But I'll see her again.  I think she's in the gym now.

Q.  Are you going to Sydney next week?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm going to beautiful Hobart.  Yes, that's where I'll be.

Q.  Get more blankets.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yes, exactly.

Q.  Couple good matches here; played well tonight.  You have to be fairly optimistic about the next couple weeks, huh?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely.  One week down, two more to go.  I mean, it would be different if I lost to someone and hadn't played well.  I think, to me, I lost to the best player in the world today, so, you know, it's good.  I can keep going.
I mean, next week it'll be good.  I'll be in beautiful Hobart, again, then looking forward to Melbourne.  I think maybe I'll be seeded in Australia.

Q.  It's close.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, that would be nice.

Q.  You tell her already?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I just hope.  I'm trying to say positive thoughts and maybe it'll happen.

Q.  What are your expectations when you get to Melbourne?  You've been there once before.  Where do you see yourself sitting amongst some of these players at a Grand Slam.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think it's just another Grand Slam.  I love Grand Slams.  They're so much fun.  I haven't played in a while.  Just to get these matches under my belt I feel pretty good, and then hopefully get some more and get some more confidence and start playing better and better.
I'm excited for Melbourne.  I think whenever you're feeling good about a situation and you're confident and excited, things normally turn out pretty well.
Just going to keep a good attitude and stay excited.  Just look forward to getting there.  I think it'll go well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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