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June 2, 2014

Sloane Stephens


S. HALEP/S. Stephens
7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  You played a pretty tough, gritty competitor who has been on a run lately.  How tough was it?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It was a tough match obviously, but she has played pretty consistent over the last, say, nine months.
It's always tough playing someone who is really consistent and has a lot of confidence and just plays a solid game.
So it was definitely tough.  A lot of things to take away if the match and learn from, so it's good.

Q.  What most disappointed about your performance today?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I just didn't execute as well as I have been.  I didn't hit‑‑ I didn't execute my game as well as I thought I could.
That's a little bit disappointing, but obviously that happens because you're playing tennis, so...

Q.  Overall a positive week for you, would you say, or no?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I mean, I could have lost first round.  That would've been real bad, right?
So not a bad week.  Just a lot of positives to take away and a lot of things to learn from today and the previous matches, so nothing to be too disappointed about.

Q.  Do you feel like compared to some of the other top players you have run into in slams ‑ Azarenka a couple times, Serena ‑ that she was a little bit less daunting because she has less experience than the other ones?  How does that work?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I think a good player is a good player.  Obviously someone playing with a lot of confidence, someone playing consistently over a long period of time, no matter stage it is, no matter if they have never been there, no matter if they've never played on that court or whatever it is, they're always going to play consistently and play their game.
That's what she did today.  Just unfortunate that I didn't play that great.  It's tennis, so some days it's going to be tough.

Q.  It's very hard to read you.  You don't seem to go up or down.  There is not much emotion showing one way or the other.  Are you feeling that way inside, too, or is just that you masking it well?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Um, I think I feel a lot more than I actually show, but when you are out there on the court and you're showing a lot of emotions and showing this and that, that is definitely something your opponent feeds off of.
Yeah, I think I just try to keep it inside and play my game and focus on myself rather than get too caught up in the emotions and things like that.

Q.  Is she underestimated, or underrated, for lack of a better word, by the general public?  She's not a well‑known name.  She doesn't have a lot of glamor, aura, or anything else.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Why would she be?  She's 5 in the world.  Why would she be underrated?

Q.  Not in the rankings.  She's not very well‑known.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, she's 5 in the world.  She's there for a reason.  I think a lot of people who watch the game of tennis or play the game of tennis, just flip it on TV and see it, I think they would know who she is.

Q.  She's risen quite a bit in the last couple years.  How has her game changed and improved?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  She just a very consistent player.  She plays a solid game.  She has obviously found her ‑‑ the way that she plays consistently.  She executes very well.
I mean, I don't know precisely what she's done.  She is a good player.  Solid player.

Q.  Looking ahead to Wimbledon, what would you consider a successful Wimbledon for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  That's a long ways off.  I have Birmingham, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon.  I'm not thinking too far ahead right now.

Q.  This is the fourth time in the last sixth slams you're the last American left, man or woman.  Pretty impressive.  Is that something you take pride in?

Q.  No consolation at all?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, not really.  I mean, it's cool, but it is what it is.

Q.  What do you see as your next step?  Do you need like the real big win on a real big stage?  Do you need to win a major?  In terms of your own rate of improvement, what are you looking for as doable but challenging?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Do you want me to say like I need to win a tournament?  Is that what you're saying, like?

Q.  I don't want you to say anything.  Just wondering what you're thinking.  Do you feel like you're ready and everything is falling in place and you could win a major, or is that still a little bit down the road?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think personal goal, that's something I'll just keep to myself.  In the end you'll see, I guess, whatever happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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