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Sloane Stephens interview

Monday 24 June 2013

Sloane Stephens gives her Wimbledon press conference following her 6-3 6-3 first round defeat of Jamie Hampton.

Q.  Three and three.  Must have been a little smoother than you were expecting.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely.  Jamie has been playing well.  Even though it was three and three, it was a really tough match.  I think we played a pretty high quality of tennis.

I thought she played well.  I played well.  Just glad to get the win.

Q.  Tell us about your preparation.  You had a bit of a disappointing French Open.  What have you done between then and now?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I had a disappointing French Open?  I thought it was pretty good.  I mean, fourth round after not having that many great results over the years.

I thought I played well at the French Open and built a lot of confidence.  And I'm feeling better.  Coming into here I didn't play a warmup, so but definitely a little bit tricky.  I think other than that I've been playing well.  I went out and played well today, so I was happy with that.

Q.  On grass, what do you think comes easy to you and what is challenging for you on this surface?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think you get to hit the ball as hard as you can and most of the time it's still going to go in.  I think that's good, and that's the easiest part.  You just, like, go for your shots on.  Most of the ones on hardcourts are like going to go to the fence, and on grass for some reason it stays in.

Moving is the hardest part.  You want to run, and when you think you're going to slide and do something cool you're on the floor.  So I think movement is the hardest part.

Q.  Was it trickier out there today kind of overcast and cold?  Did it feel more slippery?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, the back of the court was a little bit wet.  I think that's how they all are.  Other than that, it was okay.

Q.  Talk a little bit about practicing and not playing any tournaments beforehand.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I practiced here all week at Aorangi.  I had a pretty good week of practice.  I think you just need to play the grass a lot to get a feel for it.  I didn't play a tournament, but I probably practiced as much as everybody else played.

That's good.  You've got to go out and play your hardest and compete.

Q.  What do you think the difference was in this match?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think I was really aggressive on my return of serve.  I think that helped a lot.  I mean, she played really well and I thought I played really well, too.

So just kind of some points here and there.  I just stayed really aggressive the whole time.  I think that worked well for me.

Q.  Jamie was highly complimentary of your game, power athleticism, and all that.  Also said she was aware of your ranking, and that you're the highest ranking American after Serena, and that the young Americans, too, sort of pressure each other.  Talk about that factor.  Do you see yourself in a way as the leader in the post Serena generation?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, obviously now she's the third highest ranked American.  I told her after the match I was really excited for her.  Obviously she's been playing really well.  She played great at French Open and had a really good week last week.

I'm happy for her.  Everyone has their time and time to move up the rankings and push.  I think she's playing really well.  I'm excited for her.  I don't think of all of us    we all want to see each other to do well.  For Jaime, I'm really happy for her.  She is one of my favorites.  It's good.

Q.  Do you think an American in the post Serena generation can a win slam in the next couple years?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think so.  I mean, if I said yes everyone would be like, Oh, she thinks they're great and whatever.  If I say no, there's no confidence.  I mean...

Q.  What do you think?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think, yeah.  So we'll see though.  We'll see.

Q.  Were you disappointed to have to face Jamie in the first round?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  It's always disappointing when you play a slam and end up playing someone from your own country.  It's tough, but like we said, at least someone will win.  So someone from the U.S. will be in the second round.

It's definitely tough.  You never really want that.

Q.  Do you feel like you've played enough of these four Grand Slams to give us your characterization of Wimbledon versus the other ones?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I don't think so.  Even though I played a lot slams, I feel like it's all new.  Like I came and I was like I didn't even know how to get to the locker room.

Ask me next year.

Q.  You said in France, I'm a 20 year old and I can do whatever I want.  What do you want to do?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  What do I want to do now?  Well, I want to go to Rajdoot before it closes.  We need to speed this up.

Q.  You got plenty of time.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I do actually.  No, I mean, I don't know.  I just do whatever.  I don't have anything on the schedule now except for Rajdoot.  Just that for now.

Q.  What do you order?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Well, normally I get the chicken tikka masala, but the last two nights I've got the chicken korma.  It's like spicy.  It's been really good.  You guys got to go.  It's tasty.  I go there every night.

Q.  What about, was it your grandfathers crab curry?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Curry crab.  It was amazing.  It was really good.  My mom said it was the best one I've ever made.

Q.  You found the time to write to Häagen Dazs yet?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, but I think Drew did.  You know, how you would get ice cream from Europe?

Q.  Dry ice.  So is that a super superstition that you got to go to Rajdoot?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I really love it.  That's the only Indian that has everything.  They have coconut naan, the papadums with none of those little seed things in them.  They have, yeah, the coconut naan, the papadums.

Yeah, you don't find an Indian restaurant that has both of them together.  It's always a plus.

Q.  What's you are with favorite Indian restaurant in L.A.?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't like Indian in L.A.  They're like too not good.  My mom can make better Indian if that's the case.

Q.  So you don't like Wimbledon Tandoori?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Everyone has been trying to get me to go there.  I like Rajdoot.  I'm committed to them.  They like me.  It's been a year and the guy brought out my order on the first day.  He was like pineapple juice, chicken tikka masala, and the rice.  I was like, yeah, I like them.  I'm not going to venture out.


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