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April 20, 2013

Sloane Stephens


S. ARVIDSSON/S. Stephens
6‑4, 4‑6, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tough first singles outing for you today.  Weather was windy and humid and she was pretty tough.  Can you just talk about it?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely tough match.  I thought I played pretty well.  She played some really good tennis.
The weather, the little rain delay, got kind of windy, at the beginning it was hot, I mean, it was definitely tough conditions.
I thought I played pretty well.  Didn't come out with a W.  Unfortunate that I didn't get my first Fed Cup live rubber win at this home tie.
But it's okay.  Obviously just got to keep pushing and get ready for the next one.

Q.  Seemed like you never really were able to get comfortable or she never allowed you to get in the groove and dictate for too long.  How was that different from back in January when you were being more aggressive and today she seemed to just keep the pressure on?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, she played good, but, I mean, definitely I don't think she was overly aggressive or anything like that.  I thought we both played pretty well.
Unfortunately obviously I didn't get the win.  I didn't think it was so much one‑sided.

Q.  How much tougher is it to be in the lead‑off match?  Doesn't solve everything all weekend, but it sets the tone.  Is that a tougher thing?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Definitely I don't think for me it wasn't the lead off match.  I think it was playing my first live rubber at home.  I think it was more that rather than setting the tone for the team.
Obviously either way it was tough for me to get out and play first.  I think you just learn from it.  I have to take it into my next tie and know that I'll be able to open it up.  That's what sets the tone for the rest of the team.

Q.  I imagine life has changed to some degree for you since Australia.  Is that something that you're used to coping with now, the increased‑ I don't know if "pressure" is the right word ‑ visibility or expectations.  Is that something you welcome?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, it's been fine.  I think this is the most pressure I've had since Australia.  Playing for a team obviously I didn't want to let my team down.  This is probably the most pressure and anxiety that I've had since Australia.
It's definitely a tough situation and obviously I want to do really well for my team so it's tough losing, but I'm going to go out for my team and hope Serena wins her match and we can start up with a bang tomorrow again.

Q.  She's had a lot of experience playing Fed Cup before.  They don't have as many players to choose from.  Do you think that was to her benefit, that she's been in this situation a lot in the past and this was your first live rubber?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I didn't get it?  Wait...

Q.  She's played so many Fed Cup matches and has experience.  They don't as many players to choose from.  Do you think it helped her having so much experience while this was your first...
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Sofia or Serena?

Q.  Sofia?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Oh, yeah.  Obviously she's played a lot of Fed Cups.  They played in the group qualifying and the whole she‑bang, so I think she's played a lot obviously.
Definitely tough losing to her.  At least, I mean, I played someone that really knew what they were doing.  Definitely a lot to learn from.  Just going into my next tie I'll definitely know what to expect.

Q.  Describe the experience of going to your chair at a changeover and there is your coach there giving you ideas.  Is that something you can process at that time?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, it's definitely different.  I mean, you can call a coach to the court, but that's one game at a time.  Every changeover you have someone talking to you.  So it's definitely a bit of a change and very different.
It's sometimes helpful and sometimes not.  Sometimes it's like, Talk to me.  What's going on?  Sometimes it's like, I don't want to talk.  It's definitely a change.
You get used to it.  I hope to play a lot of Fed Cup ties in the future, so hopefully I'll find the happy medium and we'll be good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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