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August 28, 2013

Sloane Stephens


S. STEPHENS/U. Radwanska
6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Do you get motivated playing that late at night?  That's about as fast as I've seen you win before.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  Literally every 10 minutes they kept saying, If Murray plays long, we'll move you.  If it rains, we won't...
I'm like, Oh, my God, it's horrible.  I never started that late.  It was definitely a long experience.
But I played good.  Maybe I should do that more often.

Q.  What was the toughest challenge about having to play late?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Finding something to do.

Q.  What time did you get here today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, I left my hotel at 4:00.  I don't know what time we got here.  Probably like 45 minutes after that.

Q.  What did you do during the time?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I warmed up.  I ate.  I looked on Instagram, trying to figure out what picture I was going to post tomorrow.  I literally had nothing to do.  I was on my phone talking to my mom.
Random stuff.

Q.  You've obviously won a lot of matches and gone deep in a lot of big tournaments.  You haven't been in early‑round beat‑down mode that much.  Good feeling, drop a couple breadsticks on her?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I was kind of nervous playing her.  She plays a lot like her sister.  They're tough to play.  I lost to her at the beginning of the year.
Completely different mindset now.  I knew I had to come out and be aggressive and make a lot of balls and she's going to make me play.
I thought to myself, I'm going to go out there and do my best.  I came out with a really good attitude and I think it showed.

Q.  You seem to play up or down to your opponent's level sometimes.  That wasn't the case at all tonight.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  The only thing I was thinking about was just, Play your game, stay aggressive.  I think every point that was the only thing on my mind.
I think that's what happens when you really, really, really want to win.

Q.  Now you get Jamie Hampton.  Do you like to play other Americans or would you prefer not to?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's always tough playing obviously another American.  Jamie is a good friend.  Obviously it will be a good match.  Playing at the US Open, it's a pretty big deal.
I'm looking forward to it.  I'm excited.  I think it will be good.

Q.  What are some of the tactical problems that Jamie presents?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I think obviously every person plays a different game.  I think Jamie is like me.  We all have our weaknesses and our strengths.  I'm going to go out there and play my game; she'll play hers.  Think it will be pretty straightforward.

Q.  What is it like being picked to play a night match on Ashe?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I was like, Why do they want to see me second match after Murray?  I was like, Oh, no.  I thought there were going to be like two people out there.  There was a pretty good crowd for so late.
Winning my first match on Ashe is a good feeling, a good way to do it.

Q.  Something you can get used to?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Definitely.  Hopefully more to come.

Q.  You talked about jitters before your first‑round match.  You didn't seem to have any of that today.  What changed?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think first round you always want to play really well.  Coming back to the US Open as a seed, having a lot more expectations on myself, feeling more pressure, I wanted to do well.
I think that kind of weighed on me.  I reality checked it on Monday.  I was like, You know what, you need to get it together.  It's the US Open.  You need to play well and play hard.  That's all you can do.
I told myself to play hard, play aggressive, play my game.  It seemed to work today, so...

Q.  On James Blake retiring, you found out he lost while your match was starting.  What are your thoughts on his last match?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm sad.  Like I'm sad he lost.  I don't know.  I'm sad.
I love James.  I'm sad to see him go.  He's in doubles.  Hopefully I'll see him a little bit more.  I'm sad he's leaving us.

Q.  What made you decide to play mixed here with Jack?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  He asked.  It was either between doubles or mixed.  I semi‑retired from doubles.  Yeah, might as well play some mixed, see how it goes.

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