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May 27, 2014

Sloane Stephens


6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Pretty solid start here.  Big smile afterwards on court.  You seemed pretty happy with that compared especially to the last few matches I've seen you play.  This looked better on all fronts.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely felt a lot better out there today.  Obviously tough playing someone that you've never beaten before.  Obviously that's good to get that win.
It's always tough the first round of a Grand Slam because you're a little nervous and a lot of things are going through your head.
So definitely pleased with that and happy to get the win.

Q.¬† Just in the second set it was tight there; didn't serve it out at 6‑5 and the breaker was back and forth.¬† You had a bunch of match points.¬† What's going through your head?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Just stay positive and stay composed.  Second set was really tight.  Could have gone either way.  Just tried to stay tough.
Obviously playing someone like her, she plays very, very tough always.  She hits the ball very hard, so that makes it a little tough at times.
Bu I just stayed tough, and I was happy to pull it through.

Q.  How were the conditions out there to you?  A lot of players are saying because of the rain it's kind of slow and sticky.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely a little slow because the rain.  It slowed the courts down.  A bit cold as well, which doesn't help.
But it's the same conditions for everyone.  Just got to go out there and battle.

Q.  Something click for you when you get to slam?  You've talk about this before, but you've had tough losses here and coming into other slams, too.  You haven't lost in the first week of a slam in quite a while.  How does that sort of switch happen?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't know.  If I knew what the switch was or what I was supposed to do, I would probably do it every week.  Just come in and play and do my best.
I guess fortunately it's at the slams I play well.  Not too disappointed with that.

Q.  Just talk in general about your feeling about clay court play.  I mean, obviously the Americans aren't noted for usually loving it.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, no, I really like clay.  I mean, I've always played really well on it.  I think it suits my game pretty well.  No problem with it at all.
Definitely different coming from Madrid, Rome, and then here ‑‑ or Strasbourg and then here.¬† They're all a little bit different and play a little bit differently.
In general, it suits my game well.  I've always played well on it.

Q.  How is the transition going for Paul from coaching men to coaching a woman?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think it's definitely a learning experience for all.  Definitely there are things that we have to help him understand.
But it's pretty much the same.  Tennis is tennis.  He knows what he's doing, so that's a good thing.  Just have to tweak a few things here and there.

Q.  Does he ever say he has to change how he communicates with you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† No.¬† I don't think ‑‑ it's not about communication.¬† It's about putting his wifi on for him four times a day.¬† It's little things like that that make it a little tough.
Other than that, he's pretty good.  He's good at what he does.

Q.  You guys were sharing a place at Indian Wells?  I can't remember now.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, that was in Charleston.

Q.  Yeah.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  That was interesting.

Q.  Right.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Probably won't happen again, but, yeah, it was an experience.

Q.  They often say that obviously the Americans don't do that well here on the clay.  First round showing we have six women with three still to play, and I think I about four guys with one left.  You see any reason for why it's picking up for us or any surprise on your part on that?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, no reason at all.  Everyone is playing well, especially the younger ones are playing pretty solid.
It was unfortunate that Taylor and Vania had to play each other, because that would've been another one.  Everyone is pushing each other, everyone is playing well, so it's a good thing.
Overall it's good, so I don't know why.

Q.  Do you ever say to yourself, Hey, it's pretty cool having the same coach as Sampras and Federer?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I've never said that, but I guess it is kind of, yeah.  I mean, if you think about it, it's pretty cool.

Q.  Talk about your mom and what kind of degree did she get?  What did that mean to you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† Yeah, I'm not sure.¬† (Laughter.)¬† She got her‑‑ wait, she's right here.
She left with Mark.  Lindsay said it's organizational leadership, so I hope she's right.  I don't know how you're a doctor of that, but you are.  She is.

Q.  You look pretty proud.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I am.  It's really cool.

Q.  Take a minute and talk about the Carson training center.  Have you worked there much at all in L.A.?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I used to practice there.  When I was working with David Nainkin I was there every day.

Q.  Talk about the dynamic there.  Is it a strong place to develop your game?  Just reflect on that for a minute.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, yeah, I practiced there every day.  It's a good training facility.  They have everything you need.
I don't know.  I mean, why?  I mean, that's so random.

Q.  We're doing a piece on it, that's why.

Q.  Yeah.  But did it help your game?  I guess it helped your game.  You enjoyed working there.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, the coach I was working with helped my game.  It was a good facility to practice.

Q.  Good having other Americans around?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, at the time I was there I was the only girl, so it was a bit tough.
But, I mean, yeah.

Q.¬† Paul was saying you're such a perfectionist that one of the things he emphasized to you is putting struggle or bad shots behind you and moving on.¬† That's a key point or thing for you to adjust to.¬† How would you ‑‑ talk about that.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely I get really frustrated when things aren't perfect, but I'm learning in life things are never going to be perfect.
It's a lesson to be learned, but I'm working on it.

Q.  There were so many expectations last year after the Australian Open.  What do you think of those expectations in general, and how do you think things have gone for you?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Expectations, everyone has their opinion of what I should be doing or how I should be doing it or who should be coaching me or my fitness trainer or what have you.
It's definitely tough when there are a lot of people that have a lot of different things to say.  I just to have focus on myself and do the best I can.  It's a long year of tennis, and you just got to play every week and battle and stay happy and just enjoy yourself.
It's the only thing you can control.  That's what I try to do.

Q.  I wanted to go back to Paul and his wifi issues.  Is it just that he's not tech savvy?
SLOANE STEPHENS:¬† He doesn't know what he's doing.¬† I don't know.¬† He had a BlackBerry ‑‑ it's really weird.¬† He had a BlackBerry and he said he could do everything on his BlackBerry.
He switched to an iPhone.  If you see the letters on his iPhone, one word is the whole screen.  It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in my life.
He doesn't know how to put on wifi or anything, so in Australia he had like a $2000 phone bill because he was like on Twitter.  He had his data roaming on or whatever instead of being on wifi.  I'm like, Dude.  He's like sending Twitter pictures off his data.  I'm like, That is not ideal.
Yeah, he's had some trouble.

Q.  He's old.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, he's old, so it's tough for him.  But like here he's pissed at the wifi because it doesn't like automatically sign back on.  He's like, What's the password?  I'm like, Oh, my God.  Andrew, help him.

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