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July 2, 2013

Sloane Stephens


M. BARTOLI/S. Stephens
6‑4, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Were you in agreement that a rain break was appropriate when it happened?  How do you think that extended delay affected you, if at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think, yeah, it started raining so we had to stop.  But, I mean, things like that happen and you kind of just have to go with it.
It's definitely tough stopping and starting.  I probably warmed up three times in the gym before we went back on the court.  So it's definitely a little bit tough, but that's how it is sometimes.  You kind of just have to go with it.

Q.  You had some great moments in your return games in the second set, but serving was problematic.  Talk about that.  She returns pretty well.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, she's a very good returner.  I mean, obviously you have to be serving well to really get your teeth into it.
But I think my serve really just let me down in the second set.  I mean, it's definitely tough, but you just got to get better, learn from it, and move on.

Q.  Seemed like experience was a big difference today.  Here you were off and on, off and on, which she has done for a lot more years.  Is that something you think you'll know for next time?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Uhm, yeah, I think just different‑‑ I mean, I wouldn't say‑‑ I mean, I don't know.
I mean, she has a lot of experience.  She's played for a long time obviously.  But, uhm, I think you just have to find a rhythm when there's like a break or a change in, I guess, scenery.  I don't know.  Find something to do, you know.  Something.

Q.  Going back to that crucial game on your serve when there was the rain delay, would you have liked to have finished that particular game or did you think you had to go off there and then?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, it would have been nice to finish that game.  Coming back and serving at deuce, that's always going to be tough for anyone.
I mean, definitely to come after I don't know however long the delay was, an hour or however long.  Like I said, that happened.  You just kind of have to work with it.

Q.  Someone was saying you had a bit of bad luck, similar circumstances at the Australian Open.  There was an interruption there as well, wasn't there?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, but just got to move on.  I mean, uhm, things happen, like I said.  You just keep working hard.  You know, everyone gets their moment, so...

Q.  There are players who say that playing her, not only for her game, also her quirkiness, are a distraction, hard to get out of your mind or not see.  How do you feel about that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, you do what you have to do to win.  And if that helps her, then she's got it down pat.  Do what you have to do to win.

Q.  Has there ever been a match where you had a break like that at such a crucial time?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I mean, I've never played a Grand Slam where I've had a break in a quarterfinal.  It's a little tricky.  I would say this is my first time.
So, yeah.

Q.  You had a fabulous run over really quite a long period, great wins.  You also said a player has to find their rhythm.  Do you think in the bigger picture of your career you have to find a certain rhythm with more consistency, a little less ups and downs, or don't you think that's a factor?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I think, I mean, to get to where you want to go you have to work really hard.  You have to do everything that it takes to get to where you want to be.
Yeah, I've had some ups and downs, but I think overall I've been pretty consistent.  I'm happy with that.
So I think for me I just have to keep working hard.  I know where I want to be and I know where I want to get to in the end.  So I think it may not happen now, but as I work hard and I get older, I guess, it will hopefully eventually come.

Q.  Do you think you can win this tournament pretty soon?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I'm going to try.  Going to try hard.

Q.  Can you elaborate on where that is that you do want to get and also what specifically you think it will take to be at that level?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's a secret.  But when it happens, I will be like, Remember when we were talking at Wimbledon?  This is what it is.
So I'll let you know (smiling).

Q.  Was is your overall feeling coming off court?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I was disappointed in myself because I know I probably could have given a little bit more.  Just kind of disappointed that my service games didn't go so well.  You have to keep learning from it and keep moving forward.
I'm not going to dwell on it.  I forget things easily.  I think that's a good thing.  I'm just going to go back and work hard and keep going.

Q.  When you were coming back from the break, did you know you weren't feeling good or was it when play started you realized that it wasn't the rhythm you like?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I never thought like, oh, I wasn't playing good.  I was like, Wow, my serve is not happening right now.  I tried a couple different things to kind of get it going.  It just never really happened for me.  So as I was playing, I was like, Okay, this is not good.

Q.  How do you feel you competed in this match compared to other matches in this tournament?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I thought I competed well.  I gave it all I had.  It really just wasn't my day.

Q.  You had a huge share of the crowd support today.  Why do you think that is and how much did that boost you today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't know.  I thought it was good.  It's always good to have a lot of support.  The fans were awesome today.  Every match they were pretty good.
I mean, it's really nice to have a lot of support, but I don't know why.

Q.  Only your second tournament on grass.  Talk about the surface and learning and how you feel about it now.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's a little tricky.  It's a neutralizer definitely.  Anything can happen on grass.  Anyone can beat anyone on grass because it's definitely very tricky.
But I like it.  I mean, I didn't play a warmup here, so I was practicing on Aorangi the week before just kind of getting used to it.
I mean, I like it.  It's been good to me so far.  Just keep working, and hopefully next year come back and do even better.

Q.  Do you leave here more excited about reaching a quarterfinal here for the first time, the wins that led to that, or disappointed in the way things went today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Obviously disappointed in the way things went today.  But I think I'm definitely moving forward.  I'm playing well.  Obviously quarterfinals is a good result.  A lot of people didn't make the quarterfinals of Wimbledon this year, so, I mean, I'm happy to say that I did make the quarterfinals here.
I'm playing pretty well.  I just had a rough day today.  That happens sometimes.  I'm just going to keep going.  I'm happy with what I did this week, week and a little bit.  So I'm just going to, you know, be happy with it.

Q.  When you're devising a game plan before a match, who do you do it with?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  My coach, David.

Q.  Just to be clear, was there gamesmanship involved with Bartoli calling for that rain delay?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't know.  I don't know.  Who knows?

Q.  A number of Americans did real well here, young Americans.  You're really the leader of the young generation in a certain way.  Does that give you a certain pride?  Talk about that position.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Uhm, I guess so.  I think it's good.  I mean, everyone is doing pretty well.  I guess I'm kind of in the front so I am the leader, but I think it's good.  I think we all want each other to do well.  We all support each other, so I think it's really good.
All the younger Americans below me are playing really well, so all we can do is support each other and be happy for one another.  Eventually there will be someone ahead of me or whatever.
Until that happens, I guess I'll lead with pride.

Q.  It sounds like as opposed to Australia or Roland Garros, that you actually expected to win today; is that true?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, I didn't expect to win.  You have to go out and compete and actually fight.  No one is going to give it to you, especially in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam.
I mean, no, I didn't play as well as I thought I could have, but, I mean, like I said, sometimes it happens.  It's tennis, so it's definitely tough.  But congratulations to Marion.  She's in the semis now.  It's great.  Just move on and wish her the best of luck.

Q.  Yesterday you said that it has been a crazy Wimbledon.  Now that you're leaving, what do you think the biggest lessons are for you about what took place in your matches and overall here?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think just kind of opportunities come and you kind of just have to take advantage of them when they come.  It's definitely been crazy, like I said.
I think, you know, the tournament overall has been good to me and I played well.¬† So, I mean, that's all I can‑‑ I can only say what I've experienced.

Q.  Did you fall at all during last week when everybody else was falling?  Did you have a spill?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  Not like a real one.

Q.  My question is:  Because of that context, all the spills, do you understand that she was bothered by the rain, perhaps worried about it, or at this point it's not nearly the concern?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, not a concern.  I mean, I don't know.  Who knows?

Q.  Was there anything about competing at Wimbledon in the main draw that you especially enjoyed or thought was special or different, whether it's the courts or the crowds or the locker room, something we might see or might not see, that is special from your point of view?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  Every court is the same, except the surface might change.  I think in general I just like to get out there and compete.
I mean, I had a great crowd.  I mean, it's really fun to get out there.  I think just because it's Wimbledon it's special.  But I think I played well the week that I was here.  I mean, it's something I can really be proud of.
Other than that, it's pretty normal.

Q.  Big American stretch coming up for you.  You're playing TeamTennis, then D.C., Canada, Cincy, US Open.  There will be a lot of attention and focus on you there.  What are you expecting from all that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No expectation.¬† Just going to go out and have fun and compete hard.¬† I mean, it's obviously definitely tough in the States.¬† It's much tougher than it is in Europe, because ‑‑ not that they don't care about me here, but it's low‑key here.¬† It's definitely going to be tough going back.
But I'm excited.¬† You kind of just got to‑‑ I don't know, maybe I'll talk to Laura and see how she feels about playing here.

Q.  You said you warmed up a few times in the gym before going back out.  Were you told once, twice, Hey, it's about to resume?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No.¬† They started inflating the ‑ I don't know what you call it ‑ the tent, the covers, whatever you call it.¬† Normally that's like, Okay, getting ready to go.¬† At one point they took the covers off completely and wheeled the umpire's chair out there, and then it started raining again.
It was just kind of weird watching the court.  That's how it happened really.

Q.  On TV?

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