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August 5, 2013

Sloane Stephens


S. STEPHENS/K. Mladenovic
6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Just after last week in Washington losing the first round, is it nice to get a win again in the first round here?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, definitely good to get a win here.テつ I have never played here before, so definitely totally new atmosphere for me, totally new conditions.テつ But definitely happy to get a win.

Q.テつ Just talk about the second set, a little up and down, but you managed to grab it in the tiebreak?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, definitely tough.テつ She upped her game a lot in the second set, and sometimes it's going to be a little up and down.テつ But I thought I stayed pretty solid and got through it.

Q.テつ What did you see from her today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ She played pretty solid.テつ She comes in a lot and volleys pretty well.テつ I knew she's probably going to press a little bit and make me play more balls.
I just tried to stay with it and hit a lot of angles and really like move her a bit.テつ It seemed to work and I played solid so it was good.

Q.テつ Coming off Washington, what did you tell yourself you had to do this week to improve?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I just needed to play a lot of more, needed to play a lot more sets, just needed to get back into it.テつ I was still like in vacation mode and needed to get back ready.テつ It's business time again.
It's definitely tough always the first tournament back.テつ I think now just play hard again and have a couple good weeks ahead of me, and I'm excited with this.

Q.テつ So you were hitting with Gilbert last week?テつ That's what I heard.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Well, Damon was there and Brad, obviously Brad is working with the USTA now and he was on the court a bit with us last week, but, yeah, it was interesting.

Q.テつ What did you talk about with him?テつ He kind of has a different look at things.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ He has a lot, a lot of information, but I really can't tell you.テつ I mean...

Q.テつ Why?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Because of player/coach confidentiality.

Q.テつ Outside of specifics, did he make you think about constructing points a different way?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ No, it wasn't like that.テつ I was just drilling a lot and getting back into the rhythm, because I think D.C. was a completely different tournament for me.テつ I definitely was not feeling the ball that great and not playing well.
I think it was more about me feeling the ball again and getting back into a good rhythm, and I think he helped with that a bit.

Q.テつ You have acknowledged there is a lot of expectations and maybe some pressure that's being put on you.テつ Is there anything that is positive about the attention you're getting that you take from that that you can maybe talk a little bit coming into the US Open?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, I think obviously most of the attention I get is pretty positive, because people want to see me do well and I'm American.テつ That's awesome, but I mean there is a little downfall with that too because there is a lot of pressure and I'm like, Oh, my God, I have to win and things like that.
I think most of it is positive, so that's a good thing.テつ You kind of just have to deal with it and keep playing and playing hard.テつ You can imagine what Murray deals with in England and Serena has dealt with for so many years.テつ It's definitely tough, but people have done it before.

Q.テつ Is there anything you like about being a role model for young girls and trying to get, I guess, the popularity of tennis back into North America a little more?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I think tennis is a pretty popular sport.テつ I think it's definitely nice when people look up to you and think, Oh, I want to be like her and stuff.テつ That's nice.テつ It's definitely hard, because you have to stay on the straight and narrow a lot.
But it's a good thing, I think.

Q.テつ You were doing eight hours of fitness a day at times after Wimbledon?テつ Did I read that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Eight hours?

Q.テつ Yeah, I saw that quote, eight hours, which is a lot.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I was in Hawaii on vacation.テつ (Laughter).

Q.テつ So you weren't doing any fitness?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I don't know who tweeted that, because I literally did not do anything for like a whole week.

Q.テつ Really?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.

Q.テつ Not you?

Q.テつ So after Wimbledon you went back to LA and then you went to Hawaii for a week?テつ No tennis?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, no tennis.テつ My ab was still acting up.テつ Like I couldn't even serve.テつ Before Wimbledon, I didn't serve at all.テつ I went into Wimbledon serving like one day.
Then obviously it was acting up during Wimbledon, and after I obviously needed to take a break and couldn't do anything.テつ I went to Hawaii.

Q.テつ And cleared your mind a bit.
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, it was fun.テつ Laid on the beach every day.テつ My grandparents were there.テつ Awesome.

Q.テつ Sweet.テつ So was your ab bad during the Bartoli match?テつ Was it affecting your serve?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, it started hurting in the first match when I played Jamie.テつ I was like, Oh, well, here we go again.テつ Just another thing.

Q.テつ It's been sort of a chronic problem last year and a half, two years?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ But like I said last week I told my coach, When I'm perfectly healthy, I can't play, can't keep a ball on the court, but when I'm injured I'm in the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam.テつ It's tough, but definitely I feel ‑‑ I have no pain now, so that's a good thing and hopefully it stays that way for a while.

Q.テつ So what's the key to keep it healthy for the rest of the year?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Definitely just got to do a lot of rehab and a lot of rest.テつ Like I can't go full out serving like in practice sets like when it's not really that important.テつ I'm super competitive, so I'm playing a practice serve and serving 118.テつ So I obviously can't do that.
I've just got to take it easy and rehab a lot and just take care of it.

Q.テつ I'm wondering, you went from grass to hard court.テつ What's the transition like?テつ What do you have to do to get ready for the US Open?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ It's definitely tough going from grass where you have to ‑‑ like you're hitting every shot like on the floor.テつ It's definitely tough.
But I think going from hitting really flat and everything like barely over the net, that's definitely tough.テつ Getting back on hard court you're running a lot, running around, getting a lot of balls back, it's definitely not good on my toe, which is hurting right now, but other than that, it's all good.

Q.テつ There has been a lot of talk about how the power game that's becoming popular in women's tennis is contributing to the injuries.テつ Is that something you think is happening to you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ Um, no, I don't have any major ‑‑I wouldn't say any major injuries.テつ Like my ab and my toe are the only things I have hurt this year, so that's a good thing.テつ I kind of just pushed through I think major injuries maybe, but I don't know, I haven't had any real big ones yet.

Q.テつ Your ab injury isn't a result of your serve?テつ It just hurts when you serve?
SLOANE STEPHENS:テつ I don't know, because I have pretty good technique on my serve, so I don't know why I have such a problem, like I have like an old‑person's body.
I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ I'm sorry, I can't answer it.

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