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February 12, 2013

Sloane Stephens


S. STEPHENS/A. Tatishvili
6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  So has it sunk in that you're a Grand Slam semifinalist?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, it was kind of, it was‑‑ I don't know.  I don't feel any different.  Just like, whatever.

Q.  How did it feel out there?  I know you had the stomach injury, took you out of the Fed Cup last...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah.  I felt good.  Obviously I didn't serve that great because I haven't really been serving.
But other than that, it was okay.  I mean‑‑ yeah, it was okay.  Actually last weekend I got like, I don't know, like a stomach virus or something.  I don't know what I had.  I was like throwing up and it was just so disgusting.  I'm just happy that I can play now.

Q.  How is the jet lag?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Actually last night I slept from 12:00 to 10:00, like that's unbelievable, I think.  I don't know.

Q.  You have been doing a lot of cool stuff, and you went on Ellen, tweeting Richard Branson, stuff like that.  How has it been for you since the Australian Open?  Is it distracting at all, or are you enjoying it?  Is it motivating you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  The first week at home was really tough.  Everyone was like, Oh, my God, I want to see you.  When I was on Ellen, it was really weird.
Of course I had people tweeting me and stuff.  And I wanted to make time for like my friends and see like the people who I was supposed to see.
So, I mean, it was just really tough the first week, but then I was glad that I was able to just stay home.  I mean, I got sick, which was unfortunate, but other than that, it was‑‑ I mean, the first week was tough, but I adapted well, I think.

Q.  When did you let Mary Joe know that you weren't able to come?  How long did you wait?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think I was supposed to leave on Monday.  I think Friday.  Yeah, Friday, I think.

Q.  So are you thinking of the playoff?  You hope to play that?  The Fed Cup playoff?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Oh, yeah.  Of course, of course.

Q.  Just tell me how it is for you playing in this part of the world.  There are a couple of tournaments here in the Middle East.  Just talk to me about the atmosphere and whether you feel there is any difference on tour coming here.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, I have never been here before, so it was very different for me.  And last night my mom was like, This reminds me of Indiana Jones.  We have never been here.
It's really cool.  Obviously like everything being built and still being developed, I have never been ‑‑like where I live, everything is totally developed and not building anything new because there's no space.  There's nothing.
Here it's so open and there's, like, so much to build on.  It's really cool to see like something start from scratch, and then in like 20 years like when I have kids and stuff, I will be like, Oh, my God.  I was here when it first started.
It's really cool.  I like it.

Q.  So what could you gain now and think differently of where you can go, what you need to improve?  Has any of that mindset changed after the Australian?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely.  I think there are still things I can improve, always can improve.  But I think ‑‑I mean, I don't know.  I feel comfortable on the court, and I feel confident.  And I'm just going out there and playing and not letting anything really get to me and just go out and playing.
Just obviously goals I set at the beginning of the year for myself I still want to reach and things like that.
So just kind of keeping everything the same.  Even though Australia was a really good trip, I still have to build on it and keep the momentum going.

Q.  What are those goals?  I assume top 20, which you have already done.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  They weren't like ranking goals.  I didn't have a ranking goal.  I just wanted to be better than Sam.  I mean, that's already accomplished.

Q.  So it's all about Sam?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, really.  We were like fighting for David's attention.  So it's like...  (Laughter.)

Q.  He had a big Davis Cup win.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  That's true, but as long as I'm doing better than him and I'm more important, obviously, then that's all that matters.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Life is simple, isn't it, when it's all about you and Sam Querrey?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  When you're 19, it's easy, yeah.

Q.  Is there something going on we don't know?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, definitely not.

Q.  Health‑wise, how is your health?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's good.  Better.  I mean, I hadn't really been serving since my ab was a little sore.  I didn't serve that great today.  Other than that, it's been good.

Q.  Talking about your game and everything, I mean, after Australia, do you walk on the court a little bit differently?  I mean, do you kind of, after a victory like that, does it kind of carry over to this tournament where you come out with a different attitude, or do you think the players, Oh, there she is, she's beaten Serena, so there is a bit of an intimidation factor there or no?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, there probably is.  But, I mean, I don't think that in my head.  I just go out, and I have to do the same things as I did the first week of Australia, second week, even in the third week.
I just have to go out and play.  You start thinking about all those other things, and it's just going to make you crazy.
So I just try and go out and play.  I mean, who knows?  I mean, I haven't played since Melbourne, so coming out and playing today, I played a good player, and it was just kind of like you have to go out and play your game.  I just try and stay solid.  That's what I will try and do for the rest of the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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