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March 9, 2013

Sloane Stephens


U. RADWANSKA/S. Stephens
6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Obviously a tough match.  What do you think made the difference today or what was not working for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Just, I mean, the court played really slow; wasn't really moving great.  Just tough day.  Really just stuff.

Q.  Tough last three tournaments post Australia.  Are you happy?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, everything is fine.

Q.  So confidence?  Just talk about what's been going on since then?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Just struggling.  I mean, three losses in a row.  I'm going to be No. 18 in the world now.  Really doesn't matter.  There's always next week.  I have 15 or however many more tournaments.  I mean, it's tough now, but just move on.
Maybe play doubles next week.

Q.  Do you have a partner in mind?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I do, but I can't tell you.

Q.  Looked like you might eke your way out of that second set and force it to the third.  What was going on there?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, but it didn't happen.  She played a good game at 5‑4.  She played a really good match, and just‑‑ I mean, just tough conditions, but she played really well.

Q.  Do you feel at all any after‑effects from Australia?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, just tough.  I have been playing great in practice.  I mean, I don't really know.  Match could get a little tight and not hitting the ball as well.  I mean, definitely tough conditions, but, I mean, who knows really.  Next week I'll ‑‑I mean, maybe I will play better next week.
I mean, I hope I play better next week.  You know, just moving on.

Q.  Can you just talk about, you know, we live in a culture of celebrity and notoriety.  What's it like to have all the attention on you and so forth?  Could you just reflect on that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's been fun, but all's I want to do is play tennis.  I don't care about all this other stuff.  I just want to be on the court, have fun, enjoy myself, play like how I played in Australia, and just do what I was doing before all this happened.
I mean, definitely comes with the territory.  But definitely just want to get out and have fun and just do what I was doing before.
And, I mean, it is what it is.  It's definitely overwhelming.  But like I said, I just want to play tennis.

Q.  Do you think you could do anything to have changed it, sustain what you did out of Australia a little bit more in terms of this period?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, no, not really.  I have been practicing well, like I said.  Been doing fitness, doing everything great.  Just definitely struggling in the match situation.  But everyone says you go through tough times and you do get through them.  I'm waiting to get through them.

Q.  Did the injuries set you back at all post Australia by the time you got to Doha?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, a little bit, but no excuse.  I don't want to say that anything ‑‑nothing ‑‑if you go and play, that means you're fine.  So it is what it is.

Q.  I guess learning to win with your B game is probably something you want to look at in the future because the A game isn't always there.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Definitely, definitely.  Like I was thinking this week no one knows what you go through when you're at home practicing.  You might be having a terrible week of practice and you might be just everything going terrible, but when you come to a tournament, nobody knows any of that.
You have to just go out and fake it and do whatever it is you have to do, and sometimes it's bringing your B game.
I mean, definitely tough, but I needed my C game today.  I don't know.  It was tough.

Q.  Is there a mental transition that you have to go through?  You're going into matches now as the seed where maybe you're expected to win, or do you feel like these are matches you're supposed to win?  Do you feel that, like maybe it's different from being the underdog that you've kind of always been up until this point?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, not really.  I mean, definitely being seeded I didn't play my ‑‑I got a bye first round.  I mean, like, that's fine, but I don't think being seeded or anything like that is the issue.

Q.  John was talking earlier about how he was used to earlier in his career working his way like outside in to the big stadiums, and now he's starting on the big stadiums having the spotlight right from the beginning of tournaments.  It's different for him.  Do you feel you can relate to that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Definitely.  I mean, I would have definitely been used to playing first on at 11:00 on Court Timbuktu back there.  But, I mean, definitely, it's tough like being, you know, night match on a Saturday.  All your friends want to come and this and that.
It's definitely tough, but I guess that's just what happens when you're slightly good.

Q.  It's not like you don't like a little attention, and you're not camera shy.  You performed well on the big stage.  So what's flipped here?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely.  Was it on Tennis Channel?

Q.  Yeah, it was on Tennis Channel.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't think so.

Q.  Oh, they cut off after Rafa.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, so no one to play for tonight.  Nobody to play for.
I mean, obviously I love playing tennis, and when I get out there I love just having fun and enjoying it.  Definitely love being on TV seeing myself after.
I mean, that's all fun and everything.  But just going through like a little, I guess like you said, transition and working my way out of it, I guess.

Q.  If I recall correctly, you played really well from behind, especially in Australia.  Do you think there is a factor of just being out of the hunted rather than the hunter in a way?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I mean, I'm still playing fine.  I mean, I don't know ‑‑was I down that much in Australia?  I was down in one match, maybe two.  I don't know.  But, no, I don't think so.  I mean, no.

Q.  So you came in here not with your BS face on about having a bad week of practice.  Like you had a good week of practice.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, everything is fine.

Q.  You felt good and striking the ball okay?  You feel like you didn't have enough matches the last few weeks?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I feel fine.  I had a tough match.  She played well.  Just trying to get it together and get through this little rocky road or whatever you want to call it.

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