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BNP PARIBAS OPEN


March 13, 2014


Sloane Stephens


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

F. PENNETTA/S. Stephens
6‑4, 5‑7, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† It was pretty topsy‑turvy match and close conditions there at the end.¬† Talk about, you know, the match.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I wasn't playing my best at the beginning.  It was a bit up and down, but I just tried to battle and stay in there.  Second set was playing better and better.  Then the wind came, which was pretty unfortunate.
I just tried to do my best and fight and battle for every point.  It was unfortunate that I lost.

Q.  In the end she was struggling with in the wind for a while and you were struggling with it for a while and then towards the end you guys were keeping the ball in play.  Did you feel she's managed it a bit better in the end?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I think it was just really windy and it was tough for both of us.  The wind was blowing sideways and in a circle.  It was really complicated.
But I don't think, you know, win or lose, that wasn't the deciding factor.

Q.  You were up six straight games straight games and she was about to serve for it and she called her coach.  Did that give you any confidence that she might be a little nervous or something?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Not really.¬† You don't read too much into the on‑court coaching.¬† It could go either way.¬† It could be really, really great or really bad.

Q.  How was it on court with you and Paul?  You were more like conversational.  You both say things.  Sometimes the coaches try to talk at the person.  It's very one sided?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  We have some good conversations.  It's easy.  It's not like super stressful.  I think it's good especially in times where you're not playing so well and you're feeling like things are not going your way, it's good to have that kind of like release where you can just say like, I'm playing so badly, like, or I don't feel well.  I think that really helped.

Q.  You say the wind wasn't the deciding factor in the match, so in your mind what was the deciding factor?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Not the it wasn't the deciding factor.  Obviously it was pretty heavy and it was tough.  But we played two sets before the wind picked up.
Obviously in the third set it was really tough, but I think we both played pretty hard and we both battled.  She won today, so that was pretty much it.

Q.  Is it hard mentally when you have conditions that bad to kind of not think that it's not going to be a crap shoot, it's a flip of the coin at that point?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah, it's tough.¬† But, I mean, I played ‑‑this week I played some really good matches, and unfortunate that it just got really windy and it was up and down like that.
Like I said, she was playing really well in the first two sets either way.  She deserved to win today, and it's kind of like that sometimes.

Q.  What were you happy about in your game the whole tournament?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Just happy that I'm improving and happier on court and just enjoying myself.  Like it's not the end of the world that I lost today.  I'm okay with that.
Just going to keep improving and having fun.  My birthday party is on Saturday, so I'm going to go have a good party and just enjoy life.  It's not a big deal.

Q.  Target?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah.¬† I registered at Target (smiling).¬† I'm in the wedding registry, which is so ‑‑I'm marrying my mom.¬† Like when it pops up, it says like, Sloane and Sybille's big day is like eight days away (smiling).
I just had to name one person, and you couldn't put your same ‑‑I was going to marry myself, but I couldn't put my same name.¬† I ended up having to put my mom's.

Q.  Did you get to run around with the gun or you did it online?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No, I did it all online, so it was super easy.¬† Like I saw the e‑mail that my mom sent to like everyone to like inform them, because I was just going to send out at mass text.
She said, Dear everyone, Sloane has married me on Target.  You have to go to the wedding registry to find her thing or whatever.
She's very strange.¬† Known her since she was little.¬† Just buy her a gift.¬† I'm like, Thanks.¬† That was the whole e‑mail.
No, I'm excited about it.  I got two gifts so far.  I have like 35 things on the list.

Q.  How many are you hoping to get?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† All 35.¬† Yeah.¬† I think it's going to be tough to get the camper.¬† Like I put a three‑bedroom like tent in there (smiling).¬† I want to go like on an ‑‑they have this luxurious RV like camp.¬† You can rent an RV and they also assemble your tents for you, but it's like a Four Seasons so there are like showers and stuff.¬† Like, it's cool.¬† I'm looking forward to it.¬† I put a tent on there.

Q.  You don't strike me as very outdoorsy.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm not.  That's why we are going to a Four Seasons.  I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  Flavia described the last set as a disaster for both of us.  How would you characterize it?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It was a disaster.  It wasn't super fun, super frustrating, but that happens sometimes.  You play tennis, so it is what it is.
It really came out of nowhere.¬† Like I don't even know what happened.¬† We just started the third set, and all of a sudden it was like ‑‑it was like a windstorm.¬† I don't know.¬† It was weird.
But disaster is fair to say.

Q.  Did you need this result, quarterfinal at a big tournament playing, you know, some quality tennis through the first few rounds?  Do you think that when you were coming into this tournament you kind of needed something positive like this?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, like when I started the year off I felt pretty good.  Unfortunate that I only played Australian Open; I played some matches in Hopman Cup.  Doha, Dubai wasn't great.
But I feel like ‑‑I feel a lot better about myself on court, so I think that's a good thing. ¬†It takes time and like I'm in no rush.¬† People are like, When are you going to win a tournament?¬† When are you going to do this?¬† I'm like, Whatever, doesn't matter.

Q.  Do you need to stay patient or do you ever get impatient with yourself?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I'm only 20 years old.  Who cares?  Flavia is like 32 and she's still doing well.  If I'm going to play for that long, I have a long ways to go.

Q.  You plan on playing for that long?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, I hope.  Maybe I will have kids or something like that.  Oh, my God, no.  Oh, my God, no.  Just kidding (smiling).

Q.  So when the windstorm came in, you said it was totally out of the blue, unexpected.  You and Paul, will you sit down and talk about how you played through that third set with the wind?  Like, say, it happens again.  Do you sort of get teachable moments out of playing in that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah.  But if you think about it, that will probably never happen again at another tournament this year.  Like it's just something that happened and you kind of have to battle through.  She was battling; I was battling.  It's all you can do at that point.
I live in LA.  There is no wind.  It's not like I can go somewhere and practice in the wind.
It's just something you kind have to learn from, and next time I play in the wind it will just be another battle.  That's all you can really do.

Q.  Guess what?  It's windy in Florida.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Not like that.  I saw dust.  It's not as intense as that.  It's one of those things you have to battle and do your best.

Q.  Overall satisfied with the week?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely.  Something to build on, and just want to keep getting better and improving.  It's a long season.  We have a long ways to go.
So if we can build on that and keep doing well, then it'll be good.

Q.  I think last year you were saying you found it more comfortable to play in Europe and not in the States because of the attention; you can fly under the radar.  Are you finding it easier this time around?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† It's still difficult, but it's definitely‑‑ like I said, it's still a learning experience.¬† Like when Kevin is walking off the court and I'm like near tears and Kevin's like, So what time do you want to do press?
I'm like, Really, Kevin?  It's still difficult.  It always will be.  But it comes with the territory.

Q.  Is it worth it so far?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Definitely.  I won't have to work when I'm like 50, so it's a good thing.  If that's helps the situation.

Q.  This is obviously one of the bigger American tournaments, and you're one of the more recognizable Americans in the tournament, especially for the women.  Do you ever feel you have to represent the American women in this tournament, especially considering it's been a while since we have had an American woman win this tournament?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I don't really think about that.  I think just do my best and hopefully, you know, what comes out of it comes out of it.  Don't put that kind of pressure on myself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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