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May 29, 2014

Sloane Stephens


6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Another very solid match for you here.  Things feel like they are coming together this week?  Do you feel that you're still moving forward?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I feel good.  Obviously I play pretty well on clay and I'm really comfortable here.
I mean, I played really solid today, which is good.  I was happy with that.

Q.  What is it about this place you like?  A lot of Americans over the past recent generations have not always loved it here.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, it hasn't been bad for me.  It's always been good, and I always enjoyed myself.  I love Paris.  I love being here.
Yeah, nothing to complain about ever.

Q.  Is there anything that's different about the majors?  Is it just the atmosphere?  Does it pump you up more?  Any sort of effect on you as opposed to the lesser tournaments?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  If I had the answer for you, I would tell you, but I don't have the answer.
I probably would be doing whatever it is that I do here, I'd do every week.  But I just come out and play and compete, and I guess at the slams it's a little bit better than the other weeks.

Q.  What's feeling like at the moment in the changing rooms with the top two seeds gone, do the people who perhaps came here feeling they didn't have a chance feel they really now have a chance?  Is it time to make a name?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think if you come into the tournament thinking you don't have a chance, then you've already kind of defeated yourself.
So, you know, I think it's the two top seeds being gone, I mean, it means nothing.  Every match is a tough match.  Every match is going to be a battle.  You have to go out there and compete.
I don't think anyone is thinking they're gone, whatever.  It's just every match is a battle.  You have to go out and compete no matter what.

Q.¬† But do you think there is more pressure now because everyone, with the top two gone, there is more of a chance because logically it's always going to be about Serena, perhaps Li Na, but with them gone everyone really ‑‑it's open season for people who are left?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† I mean, there's still a lot of players that are seeded high that have ‑‑ that do really well in slams, that have a great opportunity to do well like the rest of the top 20 players.¬† I mean, there is a lot of people that could do well.
I mean, it is what it is.  You've just gotta go and compete, like I said.

Q.  On the tour and maybe in Fed Cup the results earlier this year were not the greatest, but things are sort of clicking here.  What are your thoughts about that in terms of American tennis?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  What are my thoughts in terms of my tennis?

Q.  American performance here at this tournament.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Americans in general?  I'm lost.  Okay.

Q.  In general.  Yes, the general American performance at the French Open this year.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think it's been good.  I mean, there is a lot of players still left.  Everyone is playing pretty solid.

Q.  Do you talk to some of the other players, or do you just focus solely on your own path?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Just focus on myself.

Q.¬† You were at Wimbledon last year when the draw sort of broke apart and things got crazy.¬† Did that sort of change your mindset at all when you were one of those last eight players and you knew that you were maybe one of the higher‑ranked players left, even though your ranking wasn't as high as normal, yet you were one of the higher‑ranked ones left in the quarterfinals?¬† Does it sort of all heighten things, that one experience, when you look back?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† I don't think so.¬† I think once ‑‑like I've played a lot of tennis, I've played a lot of tournaments, and I know anything can happen.¬† Anyone can have a bad day.¬† Like with girls extra things can happen.¬† That's just how it is.¬† That's just the game of tennis.
And obviously last year there was ‑‑what was it called?¬† Wimblegeddon, like we had that, and that was crazy.¬† In Australia this year.
It is what it is, and you have to go out and compete.  And whether a top seed loses or top seed wins a tournament, you just focus on yourself and do the best you can.

Q.  When you talk about extra things happening with girls?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  You know, all those extra things.  I won't mention anything because then I will just get something else started (smiling).

Q.  Paul had tweeted you might have a tougher practice after discussing his technological deficiencies.  Did he follow through on that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I feel so bad.  You guys gave him a complex and when he wrote about it.  The poor guy.  Then his phone messed up, his iMessage messed up, and he didn't want to ask for help because he was getting so much grief.  The poor guy.
Not a tough practice.  I sent him a very nice message and told him I loved him very much, so he shouldn't be upset.

Q.  So you guys made up, that's good.

Q.  A lot of players have routines at a tournament.  Do you have a place where you eat for dinner?  Do you stick to the same thing?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I pretty much eat the same thing all the time.

Q.  Which is?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, it depends on which city I'm in, depends on what food there is.  But lately I have been going with the Indian food.  I have had a lot of Indian food lately.
Doesn't agree too well with the stomach, but it's so delicious, so I do it.

Q.  Do you get out much here and if so what things do you enjoy doing?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Not much.  I just walk around on the Champs.  Like a day like today, I got here at 8:30 this morning and it's 5:00, it's almost 6:00, and I'm still here, and I have other things to do.  So I don't have that much free time.

Q.  Long day for you, eh?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, a lot of long days.

Q.¬† How if any, being now the top‑ranked American in the tournament now, have any effect on you, if any?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  It means nothing.

Q.¬† How did you wind up playing doubles with Lucic‑Baroni?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† I wasn't going to play doubles, but she messaged me, she messaged me on Facebook.¬† And like our Wi‑Fi in the hotel doesn't work, so I didn't get the message.¬† The next morning she texted me and was like, My partner pulled out and I have to sign in with someone.¬† Would you want to play?¬† I was like, Sure, why not?
So we ended up playing.  We played really good together.  It's just the other team was pretty good, too.  It was tough.

Q.  You weren't planning on playing doubles here?

Q.  Just helping a sister out?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, just helping a sister out.
I mean, I don't know.  It was weird and whatever, but we had fun.

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