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Sloane Stephens - third round

Saturday 29 June 2013

Sloane Stephens' press conference after her 7‑6, 0‑6, 6‑4 win over Petra Cetkovska.

Q.  There was a rough match in the middle there.  Lost eight straight games.  You survived.  How did you pull yourself out of that?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, it was definitely tough.  Lost focus there.  But, I mean, it's a Grand Slam, so you just have to play hard, just keep going, know battling will go a long ways.

I was like, All right, one point at a time and just play.  I think that always helps, so...

It's good.

Q.  What was the decision like to stop like last night and what was it like having to sleep on just losing a set 6‑0 and having to reset?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think it was a little tough, because at the end of the first set I couldn't see anything.  I was like, Okay, this is going to be interesting.

At 3‑0 in the second, I asked the lady, I really can't see.  She is like, Oh, we're going to play for like 45 more minutes.  I was like, Oh, that's not good.

After the set, I was like, Okay, you won the set but I can't see.  We're going to have to stop.

It was definitely tough.  Today was a new day.  Had to come out and play hard.

Q.  Was that second set solely to the fact you couldn't see?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  She played well, obviously.  I knew I probably wasn't seeing that well when I started shanking a lot of balls, which I normally don't do.  Maybe it was my racquet.  Then it was, No, I just can't see.

Obviously it wasn't all because I couldn't see.  Obviously I was playing someone.  She was playing well.  It is what it is.

Q.  How much of today was about survival?  Didn't look like you had your A game.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, definitely tough.  It's always tough coming back like the next day to finish the match.  It was like a full set yet to play.

I don't know.  I just feel a lot better coming back to play knowing I'm playing two out of three, not one out of one.

Q.  You felt pressure because it was immediate?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, I don't know if I felt pressure.  I just felt weird.  I'm only playing one set.  This is like a practice set.  I don't know.  It was a little tricky.

But, I mean, you know, just had to go out and play, play hard.

Q.  How many times have you done that in your career where you've had to come back and play?  Countless?  Very small number?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No, yeah, like that might be one of a couple of times it's happened.

Q.  Do you sleep well on a night like that?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, no, I slept fine.  It wasn't like that drastic.  But when you think about it, going out to play, Okay, it's only one set.  It's a little different, but it's okay.

Q.  Second week of all three slams so far this year.  Talk about that consistency, what that brings to your game.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I mean, it's been good.  I played the slams well.  I mean, excited to be in the second week again.  Playing well, feeling good, so I guess that's always a good thing.

Just going to keep going hopefully and play hard.

Q.  How well do you know Monica?  She lives mostly in Miami, and you've live in South Florida a lot.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, we went to the same academy for a while, so I think I've known her for a really long time.

Obviously it's the fourth round of a Grand Slam, so you just got to go out and play hard and just play your best and do your best really.

I mean, I'm looking forward to it obviously.  I love getting out there on the court.  It should be good.  I think it will be a battle.  It will be a good match.

Q.  And that's Saviano's?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah.

Q.  What did Nick bring?  What's his special ability that he brings to player development?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I think Nick, he's a very good technician.  I think pretty much anyone he's coached has like perfect technique.

So, I mean, myself, Monica obviously has good technique, Laura Robson, Genie Bouchard.  We all have pretty good technique.  That's what he does well.

Q.  Are you glad you went there?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Oh, of course.  If I went anywhere else I guess it wouldn't be as pretty to watch.

Q.  You never played her in juniors, Monica, did you?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  We played in a girls 12, like, designated final or something, so I don't really think that counts.

Q.  Did you play a lot at the academy, practice sets?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, she wasn't there that long, probably like a year maybe, a little more than that.  I mean, not that much.  We were like 14, so...

Q.  Can you describe a little bit about her game, her personality.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, we're not like besties.

Q.  But on court, too.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I haven't seen her play that much.  I know she's really aggressive and fights hard.  She's a really good player.  I mean, fourth round of a Grand Slam you have to go out and play your best and do whatever you can to win.

Q.  When your opponent double‑faults three times in one game as she did today, is it hard for you to concentrate at all?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I don't really think about that.  You got to play every point, you know, like it's the last one, I guess.  It doesn't happen often.  I mean, it is what it is.  You don't really think about it.

Q.  What goes through your mind when you hear some people projecting a week from now the possibility, even the possibility, that you could be facing Serena Williams for the title?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  That's a long ways off.  So, uhm, if we get there, we get there.  If we don't, you know, there will be more.

But I think you can't predict what's going to happen.  We'll just have to see about that.

Q.  What feeling does that give you when people think of you with that regard?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  It means nothing.  Everyone has an opinion and everyone is going to have a projection.  It means nothing until the match is actually going to happen or we get that far in the tournament.

Q.  You had a tough first‑round match.  Has the rest of the tournament felt like sort of getting the job done every round to you?  Like you had a little bit of a letdown after the first round?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I think everyone kind of just wants to put it on like we had like Wimblegeddon or something.  People are dropping like flies.  The seeds are out.

I don't think so.  You just have to go out and play hard.  Every match gets harder.  Every round guess harder and harder.  There's a reason the person you're playing is in the third or fourth round.

I don't think it's because I had a letdown.

Q.  Is there pressure for you when you're playing someone in the next round who you're older than?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I mean, who knows.  I'm older than Monica, you're saying?

Q.  Yeah.  She's 19.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Like a year, okay.  I mean, when you're playing someone the same age it's tough, but I don't think so.  I mean, it is ‑‑ no, not really.

Q.  After the second set yesterday, did you appeal to the umpire?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yes.  At 3‑0, I said, It's getting dark; I can't see.  She said, We have 45 minutes left.  I was like, That's not good.  After the second set, I couldn't see.  You won the set.  Set's over.  Can we stop?

The other girl was like, Yeah, fine.  The guy came out.  So there's really nothing you could do.  I couldn't see.

Q.  Last night after you were done, were you angry at yourself for losing that set 6‑0 or were you angry they kept playing in the dark?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I mean, obviously if I was down a set and 5‑0 or whatever I probably would have been a little bit more upset.

Today was a new day.  I knew I could come out and play, go for it, play a full third set.  I was okay with it, but obviously a little frustrated because I had such a letdown.

I mean, it was okay.

Q.  With you and Madison and Serena all on court deep into the first week at arguably the world's most important tournament, some people would say, That's pretty significant that there are three African Americans playing.  In the past you've been fairly nonchalant about such things.  Do you think it is significant or not really?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  No.  I think the more significant thing is three Americans deep in the tournament.  I mean, I don't think it has anything to do with race.  We're all pretty good friends.  I mean, I think we're happy for each other.

I think mostly it's just three Americans deep into the tournament.

Q.  In a way, just because it doesn't matter, do you think that sort of says something?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  I mean, personally it's not a factor.  I don't think it's a factor anymore.  I mean, that's just what I think.

Q.  Do you know Alison Riske at all?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  She's playing today, right?  Yes.  Another American.  Awesome.  Playing good.

Q.  How well do you know Monica off court?  In here she's been very confident.  Seems like she has a big personality.

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Like I said, we're not besties.  I don't really know her that well.  I mean, I know her mom and her coach and everything, but we're not, Hi, Monica, bye, Monica.  Well, we are hi, Monica, bye, Monica, but other than that...

And that's how we are with everyone.

Q.  She said the other day that all of you know each other, but that doesn't mean that you talk that much or are besties.  Is that common on the tour amongst the younger set?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I think Americans, we have a little bit more in common.  We can talk about like what restaurant we're going to go to when we go home.  Can't wait to go here, like Ruth's Chris, someone else you can relate to.  Yeah, I get the crab cakes, whatever.

I think with other different players it's kind of like if you don't really relate to them, you really don't have anything to talk about.  It's like, Hey, how is mom?  How is dad?  That's it.

Q.  That's it?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  That's really all.  That's as far as it goes.

Q.  I know you're close to Mallory.  Are there other players that you keep in touch with?

SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, I talk to Mallory a lot.  I think Mallory is probably the only person I talk to consistently.  Mallory is like a part of our family, so I think like my grandparents ask about Mallory more than I do.

I don't know.  But Mallory is probably the only person.

 


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