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An Interview With: Sloane Stephens

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Q. Up 3-Love in the second set, what happened from there from your perspective?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Things just got a little shaky. Obviously she played some good games after that. Start of the third set I tried to just put it behind me and came out swinging. I did. Today she played a solid game, and it was just unfortunate. I had many opportunities, but just couldn't convert.

Q. Was the heat at all a factor?


Q. A lot of young, still starting out players - even though you have been here - tend to have a really great year and then sometimes they have kind of iffy year like you had this year. Then they come back. Does that give you a good perspective, or you don't even think about that?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Everyone works at their own pace, and you just kind of -- I mean, I'm not gonna dwell on this. I'm just gonna keep improving and getting better and looking forward to the next tournaments.

Q. How is it that you sort of perceive you getting better? Because you performed so well in the slams, but what is it you have to do to get better at this point?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Just keep working hard.

Q. Well, I mean, when you say working hard, is that also working on trying to build up confidence in some way, or are you lacking in any confidence at all at this point?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I mean, obviously I need to play. I haven't had that great of a season. But like I said, I'm not going to dwell on it. There is always room for improvement. Everyone has their ups and downs. Everyone goes through times like this. I'm not the first person and won't be the last. Like I said, I'm looking forward to the next tournament. And that's all I can really do, just look forward.

Q. You say you're not the first and not the last; it's going to continue like that. Thomas has had his experience working with players with similar things. What advice has he told you about getting through this kind of period?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Just keep working hard. I mean, there's no magic that he can tell me or do that will just all of a sudden I'll be top 10 or whatever. That's not how it works. You have to keep working hard and do better every day. That's all. Think about this as a little speed bump and work through it and I will get better.

Q. Do you have to change what you're doing or...

SLOANE STEPHENS: Like I said, just keep working hard, get better, and improve.

Q. What are your goals for the rest of the year going into 2015?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, that's -- goals like what? Like ranking goal? Like what?

Q. Anything. Ranking goals.

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, not really that. I'm just trying to get my game together and play solid tennis and just have fun out on the court. I think that's the most important thing right now. I'm not too worried about ranking or winning a tournament or anything like that. Just focusing on myself and mostly just enjoying myself out there.

Q. When you say getting your game together, what part of it doesn't feel right now?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I didn't mean that in any like it's not together. I just meant getting everything in order. You know, my team. Like I said, having fun on the court. I'm not the first player; I'm not the last. I just kind of work my way through it. I'm sure you guys will be here every tournament to see me get through it. So welcome and I'm glad you guys are along for the ride.

Q. Is there a part of you that would like to see this year -- kind of like wished it was over so we can start 2015?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. There is a lot of the year left. I mean, we still have Asia. There is probably seven more tournaments after that. It's far from over. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Are you not having fun on the court?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I just said I wanted to have fun on court. Just enjoy myself out there. I think that's the most important thing.

Q. Down the line when you reflect on the match today, what do you think your emotion will be? Disappointment? Anger? Doesn't matter? What are your thoughts?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Missed opportunities. Didn't take advantage of the times I could have. That's definitely something I will look back on, but I won't dwell on it too much. There is room for improvement and I can do a lot of things better. I'm just going to take that and move on with it.

Q. What, in your mind, is different about your game, say, from the time when you made the run in Australia, say, or had more success in Grand Slams as opposed to today?

SLOANE STEPHENS: The difference in my game?

Q. Yeah. I mean, how were you playing differently then when you were making deeper runs in Grand Slams as opposed to right now?

SLOANE STEPHENS: That's something normally you guys write about because you guys critique it. I mean, there's not much really I can do. It's a game. The girl I played played a good match today. She played really solid. There is a lot of things I could say that's different, have changed, better or worse. That's just a matter of, I don't know, just things. I don't know.