|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
January 21, 2013
S. STEPHENS/B. Jovanovski
6‑1, 3‑6, 7‑5
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions, please.
Q.¬† How does it feel?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† It's nice.¬† Now my picture's going to be on that thing when you first walk in.¬† Like, you know, that thing, I don't know what they call that, but that's pretty cool.
Q.¬† Did you have your hands full kind of with your own psyche today out there?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah, a bit.¬† But she played well.¬† She played very well.¬† First set I came out, I was playing good, not missing much.¬† She was making a few errors.
Then she brought it full force second, third set.¬† I just had to find a way.¬† I think mentally it was pretty tough.¬† I was thinking, Oh, my God, this is for the quarters of a Grand Slam and I'm completely just like not here right now.¬† I was like, I need to refocus.¬† I was playing my own self, I guess you could say.¬† But I managed to get through, so that was good.
Q.¬† There was a lot of commentary on television about the grunting.¬† Did it get to you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No.¬† I mean, honestly sometimes like things happen and you're really aware.¬† But I think just the circumstance, honestly I didn't even think about it, not even once.
Q.¬† Did you feel yourself having to force yourself to go for more as the match went on in the third?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No, I obviously didn't feel like I had to go for more because I was hitting the ball in the service line every time.¬† At one point I was just like, Okay, I didn't want to stay out there all day, you got to hit the ball or go home.
I'm going to change racquets, go for a little bit more on my serve.¬† Hopefully win my service game.¬† I won my service game at 4‑5 or whatever with an ace‑‑ I know you saw that‑‑ and then just from there, I'm just like, You got to go for it.
Q.¬† So you were very effective at the net the first couple sets.¬† Did you think you ought to be doing that more or was she not letting you do that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No, honestly I've never played someone who literally, if‑‑ if any of you guys play tennis, do tennis drills, one person goes cross‑court, one person goes down the line.¬† I was going cross‑court on all my shots.¬† That was safe.¬† Can't lose with that.
She was going down the line on every shot.¬† That's hard to run back and forth and go down the line.¬† She's hitting it with everything she has, every muscle in her body, and hitting it unbelievable.
I mean, I couldn't do anything.¬† The first balls are coming back extremely hard.¬† I couldn't find a rhythm, couldn't find anything.¬† But sometimes you just kind of got to stick it out, and hopefully she comes down off her throne.
Q.¬† Serena, totally different story.¬† How do you see that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† She has to win first.
Q.¬† Assuming she does.
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Good match.¬† It will be fun.¬† Same thing.¬† Just go out there, another match, another day.¬† Obviously, it's quarters of a Grand Slam, so you've just got to do your best.
Q.¬† What did you learn in your matches with her recently?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Obviously every match is a learning experience.¬† But, I mean, you've just got to go and treat it like another match.¬† It wasn't like, Oh, my God, I played Serena, I'm going to be so great at all these other things because she just taught me so much.
It was just another match, regular match.¬† Little things that you just take and move on.
Q.¬† It seemed like in that match there were some things that annoyed you a little bit about playing Serena.¬† How do you get over that to play her the next time?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† I mean, move on.¬† Just another match.¬† If you dwell on what happened...¬† I mean, that was two weeks ago now, three weeks ago.¬† I don't know how long ago that was.¬† I mean, I played seven other matches or eight other matches, so I'm kind of past what happened then.
But I think definitely just treat it as another match.¬† You just go out and do your best.
Q.¬† There's a lot of buzz now, you're enjoying this potential top 10.¬† Does that kind of stuff make you happy, make you nervous?¬† How do you feel about hearing that stuff?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† It really just kind of‑‑ I don't know.¬† It's kind of like whatever.¬† Me and Sam Querrey share a coach, we share David.
At the end of the year I was 38, Sam was almost top 20, something like that.¬† He's just like, Yeah, we'll bet on who is going to be in the top 20 first, all this other stuff.¬† I'm like, I'm not even going to be seeded in Australia.¬† I could get there's the No.1 seed.¬† There's no hope for me.¬† It will be tough.
So ended up getting seeded here.¬† Kind of got close to him at 25.¬† He's 20‑something.¬† He's never been in the quarters of a Grand Slam, so...¬† I got him.
Q.¬† What is the bet?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† It was just to see who ends up better at the end of the year.
Q.¬† What are the stakes?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Well, we were just saying, because I don't have the fall to defend, because I didn't play fall.¬† He just racked up so many points at the end of the fall.¬† Well, there's no really bet.¬† I think it's just for pride.
But obviously egos are big.¬† This is tennis, so...¬† Somebody's going to win.
Q.¬† You played a lot of matches this month.¬† How is your body holding up?¬† How are things feeling?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Things are good actually.¬† That's very crazy because I was just thinking, I don't have‑‑ like nothing's hurting.¬† I'm just going to get a flush.¬† I'm not going to get treatment on anything.¬† I'm just like, I don't know.¬† Maybe it's the beds are good or something in Australia because I feel fine.
Q. ¬†Is it better to have played her so recently than to not have?¬† Is it to your advantage because you learned stuff?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah, I mean, it will be tough obviously.¬† It's quarters of a Grand Slam.¬† There won't be that like first time, Oh, my God, I'm playing Serena.¬† That's kind of out of the window now.¬† So that's good.
And then it will feel more of like a regular match instead of all the other like things to think about.
Q.¬† You have a contest on your Twitter.
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah.
Q.¬† What gave you that idea?¬† Was that for this match?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah, that was for this match.¬† We'll probably do it for the next match, too.
Q.¬† Where did you get that idea?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† That man right there (laughter).
We were just like talking.¬† Well, I think it came up because my mom's not here obviously.¬† It's just me and my coach, and my agents obviously.
Q.¬† A few extra tickets?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† A few, yeah.¬† You get 16 tickets.¬† I had one person.¬† I think we could manage to give a few away.
Q.¬† Do you think there's more pressure on you to get the first‑ever quarterfinal being the favorite in this match, being the seeded player versus an unseeded player?¬† Do you feel there's more expectation on you than there might have been like against Stosur at the French?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† I don't know if I really felt like I'm the seed or like whatever.¬† I felt kind of like I was just‑‑ I mean, I didn't feel like, Oh, my God, I'm the better player.¬† None of that.
It was more like, Can I keep myself together so I can win the match.¬† Like it was more of like myself mentally just trying to keep it together.
Q.¬† This is your first run to a quarterfinal at a major.¬† Serena, presuming you played her, has won 15 titles.¬† It must be difficult to go into a match like that.
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Uhm, yeah.¬† But, I mean, that's just kind of like playing‑‑ I mean, that would be if I was playing Sharapova, she's won Grand Slams.¬† If I was playing Venus, she's won Grand Slams.
It just happens to be Serena.¬† She's obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game.¬† Without all that, it's still a tennis match.¬† You have to go out and play your game, no matter what.¬† Without the titles, with the titles, it's still a tennis match.¬† The court's the same size.¬† You're still playing a regular person across the net.¬† You've just got to go out and play.
Q.¬† What is your relationship with her like?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Normal.¬† Just talk whenever we see each other.¬† Yesterday she told me I was too quiet on the court.¬† I don't know.¬† Then today I was thinking to myself, I'm really loud.¬† Should I tone it down a little bit.
But, I mean, no, just normal.¬† Just friendly stuff.
Q.¬† So what happens with the Jimmy Choo picture?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Oh, my God, I can't believe I didn't send that to you.¬† I'll tweet that.¬† My grandma was like, Are you sure you're going to get those shoes?¬† I'm like, Grandma, stop.
I want all of you guys to know that last year, at the end of last year, I hadn't played any matches, right, coming into Australia, and my agent, John Tobias, bet me that if I made it to the quarters of a Grand Slam, in Australia, he would travel exclusively with my Under Armour bags, and they're all pink and purple and yellow.¬† You guys can write that in your blogs.¬† Very good colors.¬† He'll be exclusively with them.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports