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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 04:47 AM   #1
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Articles & Interviews

DOHA, QATAR

Quote:
S. STEPHENS/A. Tatishvili
6‑2, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So has it sunk in that you're a Grand Slam semifinalist?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it was kind of, it was‑‑ I don't know. I don't feel any different. Just like, whatever.

Q. How did it feel out there? I know you had the stomach injury, took you out of the Fed Cup last...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I felt good. Obviously I didn't serve that great because I haven't really been serving.
But other than that, it was okay. I mean‑‑ yeah, it was okay. Actually last weekend I got like, I don't know, like a stomach virus or something. I don't know what I had. I was like throwing up and it was just so disgusting. I'm just happy that I can play now.

Q. How is the jet lag?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Actually last night I slept from 12:00 to 10:00, like that's unbelievable, I think. I don't know.

Q. You have been doing a lot of cool stuff, and you went on Ellen, tweeting Richard Branson, stuff like that. How has it been for you since the Australian Open? Is it distracting at all, or are you enjoying it? Is it motivating you?

SLOANE STEPHENS: The first week at home was really tough. Everyone was like, Oh, my God, I want to see you. When I was on Ellen, it was really weird.
Of course I had people tweeting me and stuff. And I wanted to make time for like my friends and see like the people who I was supposed to see.
So, I mean, it was just really tough the first week, but then I was glad that I was able to just stay home. I mean, I got sick, which was unfortunate, but other than that, it was‑‑ I mean, the first week was tough, but I adapted well, I think.

Q. When did you let Mary Joe know that you weren't able to come? How long did you wait?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think I was supposed to leave on Monday. I think Friday. Yeah, Friday, I think.

Q. So are you thinking of the playoff? You hope to play that? The Fed Cup playoff?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, yeah. Of course, of course.

Q. Just tell me how it is for you playing in this part of the world. There are a couple of tournaments here in the Middle East. Just talk to me about the atmosphere and whether you feel there is any difference on tour coming here.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I have never been here before, so it was very different for me. And last night my mom was like, This reminds me of Indiana Jones. We have never been here.
It's really cool. Obviously like everything being built and still being developed, I have never been ‑‑like where I live, everything is totally developed and not building anything new because there's no space. There's nothing.
Here it's so open and there's, like, so much to build on. It's really cool to see like something start from scratch, and then in like 20 years like when I have kids and stuff, I will be like, Oh, my God. I was here when it first started.
It's really cool. I like it.

Q. So what could you gain now and think differently of where you can go, what you need to improve? Has any of that mindset changed after the Australian?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. I think there are still things I can improve, always can improve. But I think ‑‑I mean, I don't know. I feel comfortable on the court, and I feel confident. And I'm just going out there and playing and not letting anything really get to me and just go out and playing.
Just obviously goals I set at the beginning of the year for myself I still want to reach and things like that.
So just kind of keeping everything the same. Even though Australia was a really good trip, I still have to build on it and keep the momentum going.

Q. What are those goals? I assume top 20, which you have already done.

SLOANE STEPHENS: They weren't like ranking goals. I didn't have a ranking goal. I just wanted to be better than Sam. I mean, that's already accomplished.

Q. So it's all about Sam?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, really. We were like fighting for David's attention. So it's like... (Laughter.)

Q. He had a big Davis Cup win.

SLOANE STEPHENS: That's true, but as long as I'm doing better than him and I'm more important, obviously, then that's all that matters. (Smiling.)

Q. Life is simple, isn't it, when it's all about you and Sam Querrey?

SLOANE STEPHENS: When you're 19, it's easy, yeah.

Q. Is there something going on we don't know?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No, definitely not.

Q. Health‑wise, how is your health?

SLOANE STEPHENS: It's good. Better. I mean, I hadn't really been serving since my ab was a little sore. I didn't serve that great today. Other than that, it's been good.

Q. Talking about your game and everything, I mean, after Australia, do you walk on the court a little bit differently? I mean, do you kind of, after a victory like that, does it kind of carry over to this tournament where you come out with a different attitude, or do you think the players, Oh, there she is, she's beaten Serena, so there is a bit of an intimidation factor there or no?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, there probably is. But, I mean, I don't think that in my head. I just go out, and I have to do the same things as I did the first week of Australia, second week, even in the third week.
I just have to go out and play. You start thinking about all those other things, and it's just going to make you crazy.
So I just try and go out and play. I mean, who knows? I mean, I haven't played since Melbourne, so coming out and playing today, I played a good player, and it was just kind of like you have to go out and play your game. I just try and stay solid. That's what I will try and do for the rest of the tournament.
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S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Stephens after losing to Cirstea: "My life has changed drastically. I'm going through a change, and sometimes it doesn't click right away" From Twitter
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Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Sloane Stephens lost in the first round of the Dubai Championship on Monday, the latest setback for the American rising star who reached the Australian Open semifinals.

Complete results
Need the scores from any match played in today's tournaments? Results

Stephens, 19, who has risen to 16 in the world rankings after knocking out Serena Williams in Melbourne, lost to Sorana Cirstea of Romania 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Last week, Stephens lost to Klara Zakopalova in the third round of the Qatar Open
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Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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Article

Quote:
First up was Sloane Stephens, who moved up to a career-high No.16 this week - but things didn't go her way, as she built a 75 31 lead but eventually wound up falling to Sorana Cirstea, 57 63 62.

"Tough match," Stephens said. "She obviously played some good tennis. Today I didn't play my best tennis. Every match isn't going to go the way you want it, and obviously I got a little frustrated, but no need to dwell on it - you just keep working hard and hanging in there and you'll be okay."

Stephens talked about how all of the attention on her since Australia feels. "It's obviously tough," she said. "I'm in a completely new situation. I'm coming from not being seeded at tournaments to seeded and going to tournaments I've never been before. It's a change for me, and obviously now I have a lot more media responsibilities and other things like that. My life has changed drastically.

"Sometimes it doesn't click right away, but I'm working on it, and I don't feel any pressure."

And on her first trip to Dubai? "I saw the Burj Khalifa and the mall and it was really cool," she said. "It's overwhelming - I'm like, 'Oh my God, there are too many stores, too much stuff to do.'
"I had fun while I was here. It was a short trip, but hopefully next year it will be a bit longer."
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Feb 19th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Article

Quote:
Sloane Stephens

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

S. CIRSTEA/S. Stephens
5‑7, 6‑3, 6‑2


Q. Maybe you could just talk about the match.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Tough match.

Q. You were up obviously a set, and things seemed to really go wrong with the serve. You were really frustrated out there.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, things happen. It was a rough day, and I think she obviously played some good tennis. Every match isn't going to go the way you want it, and obviously I got a little frustrated.
Things happen, but, I mean, no need to dwell on it. I mean, another tournament.

Q. You were able to hang in there during the Australian Open, and in tough situations it seemed like as soon as she got the lead at the end of the second set it was tougher for you to stay into the match. Do you feel the same, that mentally speaking it's tougher for you?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I wouldn't say that. I'd just say I really have been focusing on certain things that I want to work on, and it's frustrating when you're trying to do it in a match and things aren't really going your way.
But I think, you know, I'll just keep working and keep enjoying myself. I mean, it's two tournaments to a place I have never been before, very different and different situation for me.
Definitely weird, like, being seeded last week, and then this week, I mean, playing a tournament ‑‑ I barely got into this tournament. I think I was the last person in. Definitely a different situation and kind of a crazy time for me, but I think I'm not going to ‑‑I won't dwell on it and just keep moving on.

Q. You have had such a great Australian Open. How easy is it to maintain that sort of high standard continuously?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, it's always tough. It's very tough to keep a really high level, but I think you just keep working hard, and, you know, hanging in there and you'll be okay.
I mean, obviously it's really tough week in and week out playing perfect tennis and just really being able to execute. Some days you're going to be on the court and it's not just going to turn out the way you want. Like today I didn't play my best tennis, and last week I didn't play my best tennis, but, I mean, you just kinda gotta move on. There are so many more weeks left in the year and so many more opportunities.
I just think, you know, I'm not going to dwell on it and just gonna, you know, keep improving.

Q. When you look at the last two weeks, what were some of the things ‑‑was it your serve or ‑‑when you look at the game last week compared to Australia, what was wrong? What was missing? And also, was your health an issue? Because you had the abdominal...

SLOANE STEPHENS: Last week I served awful. I mean, I haven't served at all because of my ab. I wouldn't say last week was bad. I played a really good match last week. I had match points.
I mean, I wouldn't say that it was a terrible week for me. I had match points. I lost, still played really well. I mean, that's how it kinda goes sometimes.
This week a little bit frustrated, and it kinda ‑‑it just goes like that. But I wouldn't pinpoint one thing and say, Oh, I lost because of this. Because that's not what happened.

Q. Obviously there is a lot ‑‑there is all this media expectation of the face of future tennis, a lot of expectations. Does that kind of pressure, did that weigh on you coming out of it? Is that something that was ‑‑I mean, is that reading too much into these losses?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I think you're going like in a completely different direction.
But, I mean, it's obviously tough. I'm in a completely new situation. I'm coming from not being seeded at tournaments to seeded and coming somewhere I have never been before.
I mean, it's definitely ‑‑it's a change for me, and obviously I have a lot more media responsibilities and things like that and a lot of things ‑‑my life has changed drastically.
I mean, it's just ‑‑I mean, I'm going through a change, and sometimes it doesn't click right away. But I'm working on it, and, I mean, I don't think that ‑‑I don't really feel any pressure. Serena Williams is No. 1 in the world. I don't feel any pressure. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you enjoy being the center of attention?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not really. I wish you guys would all just forget about me and just let me do whatever. (Smiling.)
That's obviously not going to happen. I'm definitely working with you guys and hanging in there.

Q. Do you think you're going to be more comfortable in the coming tournaments, Indian Wells and Miami? Your high ranking at 16, congratulations by the way. Do you think you will be more comfortable playing there?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, definitely. Definitely the easy way out would have just been to stay home and play Memphis and say, Oh, I'm at home, no worries.
But definitely I think when I get back to Indian Wells or get back to Miami I will feel a lot more comfortable.
You know, even if I happen to lose first and first both tournaments, it doesn't matter. It is what it is. Things happen. Plenty more weeks left in the year.

Q. Given that you, as you said, you could have gone back home to Memphis and despite the results haven't gone your way the past couple of weeks, any regrets coming here, or is it a fact that you have more experience, different conditions, all that sort of stuff?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, this year I think is the last year that Memphis is even having women. So definitely I don't feel like I missed out on anything, no regrets at all. Just another opportunity.
And next year I will be better prepared coming here because I will know what I'm getting myself into. It should be okay.
I didn't even know last week after I lost‑‑ my coach is like, All right, we have to go to Dubai. You might play on Saturday.
I'm like, What's on Saturday?
He's like, You're in quallies.
I'm like, What?
So definitely like the whole emotional roller‑coaster, but it's coming together. It's coming back together. It's okay.

Q. On the subject of Serena, we all know that she's one of your idols. Put her getting back into No. 1 into context.

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, it's great. I mean, she's like the oldest person ever to be No. 1. I guess that's a great thing.
I don't know. I'm happy for her, and I hope she stays there.

[b]Q. Does it inspire you on an individual level?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I mean, she's obviously a great player. And I always saw her at No. 1. For me, it's not really ‑‑ just because you have a computer ranking of No. 1 doesn't mean she wasn't No. 1 when she won the Olympics, when she won Wimbledon, when she won the US Open.
I mean, the computer ranking is a computer ranking, butI think we all know who the best player in the world was at the time.

Q. Were you affected by the match against Zakopalova? Because it was very tough conditions. You smashed your racquet after match point. Today you seemed frustrated out there, as well. So were you affected in a way by the experience from last week?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Last week I think was completely different. We played ‑‑we played at night ‑‑not at night. We played in the day and then it got late, and then it got extremely windy. It was just the whole situation.
I mean, last week was completely different to this week. Obviously I got a little frustrated but nothing...

Q. No bad vibes about coming to this tournament because of it?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. The only bad vibe I had was that I was playing quallies, but I got in, obviously so it was okay. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you think you'll have time to see a little bit of the city before you leave?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, yeah, I saw the Burj Khalifa and went to the mall and it was really cool.
It's overwhelming. Like I don't even enjoy it because I'm like, Oh, my God, there are too many stores, too much stuff to do.
I had fun while I was here. I'm pretty sure I'm leaving tonight. It was a short trip, but hopefully next year it will be a little bit longer.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Mar 11th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Interview

Quote:
U. RADWANSKA/S. Stephens

6-3, 6-4

An interview with:

SLOANE STEPHENS

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a tough match. What do you think made the difference today or what was not working for you?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Just, I mean, the court played really slow; wasn't really moving great. Just tough day. Really just stuff.

Q. Tough last three tournaments post Australia. Are you happy?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, everything is fine.

Q. So confidence? Just talk about what's been going on since then?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Just struggling. I mean, three losses in a row. I'm going to be No. 18 in the world now. Really doesn't matter. There's always next week. I have 15 or however many more tournaments. I mean, it's tough now, but just move on.
Maybe play doubles next week.

Q. Do you have a partner in mind?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I do, but I can't tell you.

Q. Looked like you might eke your way out of that second set and force it to the third. What was going on there?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, but it didn't happen. She played a good game at 5 4. She played a really good match, and just I mean, just tough conditions, but she played really well.

Q. Do you feel at all any after effects from Australia?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, just tough. I have been playing great in practice. I mean, I don't really know. Match could get a little tight and not hitting the ball as well. I mean, definitely tough conditions, but, I mean, who knows really. Next week I'll I mean, maybe I will play better next week.
I mean, I hope I play better next week. You know, just moving on.

Q. Can you just talk about, you know, we live in a culture of celebrity and notoriety. What's it like to have all the attention on you and so forth? Could you just reflect on that?
SLOANE STEPHENS: It's been fun, but all's I want to do is play tennis. I don't care about all this other stuff. I just want to be on the court, have fun, enjoy myself, play like how I played in Australia, and just do what I was doing before all this happened.
I mean, definitely comes with the territory. But definitely just want to get out and have fun and just do what I was doing before.
And, I mean, it is what it is. It's definitely overwhelming. But like I said, I just want to play tennis.

Q. Do you think you could do anything to have changed it, sustain what you did out of Australia a little bit more in terms of this period?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, no, not really. I have been practicing well, like I said. Been doing fitness, doing everything great. Just definitely struggling in the match situation. But everyone says you go through tough times and you do get through them. I'm waiting to get through them.

Q. Did the injuries set you back at all post Australia by the time you got to Doha?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, a little bit, but no excuse. I don't want to say that anything nothing if you go and play, that means you're fine. So it is what it is.

Q. I guess learning to win with your B game is probably something you want to look at in the future because the A game isn't always there.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Definitely, definitely. Like I was thinking this week no one knows what you go through when you're at home practicing. You might be having a terrible week of practice and you might be just everything going terrible, but when you come to a tournament, nobody knows any of that.
You have to just go out and fake it and do whatever it is you have to do, and sometimes it's bringing your B game.
I mean, definitely tough, but I needed my C game today. I don't know. It was tough.

Q. Is there a mental transition that you have to go through? You're going into matches now as the seed where maybe you're expected to win, or do you feel like these are matches you're supposed to win? Do you feel that, like maybe it's different from being the underdog that you've kind of always been up until this point?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, not really. I mean, definitely being seeded I didn't play my I got a bye first round. I mean, like, that's fine, but I don't think being seeded or anything like that is the issue.

Q. John was talking earlier about how he was used to earlier in his career working his way like outside in to the big stadiums, and now he's starting on the big stadiums having the spotlight right from the beginning of tournaments. It's different for him. Do you feel you can relate to that?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Definitely. I mean, I would have definitely been used to playing first on at 11:00 on Court Timbuktu back there. But, I mean, definitely, it's tough like being, you know, night match on a Saturday. All your friends want to come and this and that.
It's definitely tough, but I guess that's just what happens when you're slightly good.

Q. It's not like you don't like a little attention, and you're not camera shy. You performed well on the big stage. So what's flipped here?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. Was it on Tennis Channel?

Q. Yeah, it was on Tennis Channel.
SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't think so.

Q. Oh, they cut off after Rafa.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, so no one to play for tonight. Nobody to play for.
I mean, obviously I love playing tennis, and when I get out there I love just having fun and enjoying it. Definitely love being on TV seeing myself after.
I mean, that's all fun and everything. But just going through like a little, I guess like you said, transition and working my way out of it, I guess.

Q. If I recall correctly, you played really well from behind, especially in Australia. Do you think there is a factor of just being out of the hunted rather than the hunter in a way?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I mean, I'm still playing fine. I mean, I don't know was I down that much in Australia? I was down in one match, maybe two. I don't know. But, no, I don't think so. I mean, no.

Q. So you came in here not with your BS face on about having a bad week of practice. Like you had a good week of practice.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, everything is fine.

Q. You felt good and striking the ball okay? You feel like you didn't have enough matches the last few weeks?
SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I feel fine. I had a tough match. She played well. Just trying to get it together and get through this little rocky road or whatever you want to call it.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=87769


Quote:
March 21, 2013

Sloane Stephens

MIAMI, FLORIDA

S. STEPHENS/O. Govortsova
0‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously it was a tough first set, but were able to hang in there and fight back. Take us through that. You were battling with your emotions out there. Seemed like there were moments where you were struggling.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. I wasn't playing that great. I mean, it's not that I wasn't playing great. I was asleep out there. I definitely just needed to wake up and start playing.
I thought I played some good points even in the first set when I was, like, not there. But definitely tough. A lot of just battling and just hanging in there.
I was just happy to get through in the end.

Q. When did you start to feel like maybe things were shifting? Was there a moment, a point, or anything where you started to feel like, Okay, I'm finding my groove and finding my rhythm?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No, I think after I won a game in the second set I was much better and I thought, I'm just going to go ahead and play.
Definitely she played ‑‑she played actually really well. It wasn't all just me, but she was playing some good tennis.
So it was tough in that case, too. But just, you know, once I got a game, I was like, Okay, now I can play.

Q. Does losing a set like that and then coming back, is that actually a good experience? Does that help in a way psychologically?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No, like, my coach came out on the court and he was like, I love losing a set 6‑0. I'm like, Dude, shut up.
No, I mean, it was like normal. You've just got to play. I don't know how I'm ranked as high as I am losing a set 6‑0. Like that's insane.
Definitely tough experience, but it's nice to win the next two sets.

Q. Can you talk about how it feels to have the whole stadium cheering for you? Does it feel like you have a home court advantage?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I mean, yeah, I mean, it's good when they get excited and they're cheering a lot.
It's definitely tough. I think they are as exhausted as I am just, like, being out there in the sun and cheering.
So it's definitely a good thing, but it also ‑‑it's exhausting.

Q. Would you consider Sony Open to be a fifth Grand Slam?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Um, yeah. I mean, I think all premier mandatories are like a fifth Grand Slam, which would make it 11, 12, like however many there are. But definitely the higher tournaments, like especially this one, definitely is in there.

Q. Which tournament would you like to win? Which one is your favorite to win?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I want to win US Open obviously. It's a home slam.
But outside of that probably here and Indian Wells are, like, my other two favorites.

Q. You'll play the winner of Venus and Kimiko. Can you talk about each of those people? Have you played Venus before?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I mean, I have played her in World TeamTennis match, but not in a real match.
Definitely to play Venus, that would be awesome; to play Kimiko, it would be awesome again.
So I think I'm just looking forward to it and just see who wins later tonight and hopefully give you guys another good match for next round.

Q. What do you like the best about Key Biscayne?

SLOANE STEPHENS: There's a restaurant here ‑‑oh, my goodness, this table just cut my leg. There is a restaurant here called Sir Pizza. It's my favorite.

Q. Do you enjoy tennis life, staying in hotels, traveling?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, it's okay. I mean, it's not bad. It's definitely long weeks on the road and away from home. You get used to it, and, like, the places we get to go to are pretty nice. The overall experience is good, so it's not bad.

Q. I know you started playing first when you were younger at Plantation Central Park. It says you live now in Coral Springs; is that correct?


It says residence, Coral Springs.
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, but when I first started playing tennis I lived in California.
But I mean, I've practiced at Frank Veltri a lot, but... What's the question?

Q. Do you live in Coral Springs?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, my house is in Coral Springs.

Q. It is. Do you spend a lot of time there?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah.

Q. You do.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Uh‑huh.

Q. So this is definitely home for you?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, this is a long way from home, but, I mean, yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. You have talked a little bit in the past about the pressure and how your life has changed since the Aussie. To be able to move forward in this tournament, what does that do for you and your confidence as you just continue with this new life and in the new spotlight that you're in?

SLOANE STEPHENS: It's good. I mean, it's definitely tough, like, the way I'm living now and compared to what I was doing before. It's a lot of ‑‑it definitely feels like every day runs into each other and there is not enough time in the day and it's stressful.
I mean, it's tough, but I'm getting the hang of it. I mean, I think anyone would die to change places with me, so I'm just happy where I'm at.
It just feels good to get a win after having some tough losses after Australia. So, yeah, I mean, like I was saying, I was telling my mom earlier, I was like, Last year I played five matches in a row to get to the third round, or ‑‑four matches to get to the third round?
Yeah, quallies ‑‑yeah, so I played four matches to get to the third round, and now I won one round and now I'm in the third round.
It's definitely an experience, and how things change in a year, it's obviously very crazy.
But, I mean, wins and losses and going through, like, the tough situations after Australia, I mean, definitely helps me. I mean, I'm happy to be where I am now.

Q. How does it feel to be on TV and the Ellen Degeneres Show?

SLOANE STEPHENS: It was fun. Definitely part of, like I say, all those crazy experiences I had after Australia. It's been fun, though, and my grandparents and brother gets to see. And, like, my brother gets excited, so it's definitely fun and good times.
But, I mean, that's, like, normal now. I mean, before it was kind of like, Oh, my God! I'm going on Ellen. Now I'm like, Oh, my God. I'm going on Ellen.

Q. I saw your match earlier, and you obviously struggled really badly in the first set. What was it that you were able to get together after that and get going?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I don't think I struggled really badly. I mean, that's pretty extreme. I lost the first set 6‑0, but I actually didn't play that bad.
Definitely had to fight back and battle and play some good points. Just glad to win the last two sets.

Q. Who is here from your family watching today?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Just my mom.

Q. Mom?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. My brother is coming tomorrow so he'll be here for the next match.

Q. How old is your brother?

SLOANE STEPHENS: He's 14.

Q. So his spring break starts tomorrow?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=87935

Quote:
March 23, 2013


Sloane Stephens

MIAMI, FLORIDA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Disappointed that you didn't get to play Venus and get that match out of your system today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, a little bummed. But I guess a win is a win, so just on to the next round.

Q. Did you go hit for a while this afternoon after it got called off, or what did you do?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I just wanted to hit and just went to the gym and that was pretty much it. Just normal. Like another day off, I guess.

Q. How did you find out? Were you getting ready to walk out?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, no. I was sitting in the gym before the match, and the lady came up to me and, Oh, Venus is going to withdraw. She wanted me to let you know.
I was like, Oh, okay. It was like 30, 40 minutes before.

Q. How does that affect your mindset? You're preparing your mindset for a match like that and then she pulls out.
SLOANE STEPHENS: It was like, okay, I don't know, I wouldn't say a letdown, but you're so ready to play and it was like, Oh.
It was tough, but I guess it's good. I get to play another match. That's always a good thing.

Q. What time exactly were you told? It was a not‑before 4:30. What time were you told?
SLOANE STEPHENS: About a little after 4:00.

Q. Probably tired of answering these questions, but you're supposed to play Venus today, and when you were in Australia and you played Serena there has been a lot of comparisons. Is that sort of overblown how much you have looked up to them, or is that accurate?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, I definitely ‑‑ obviously Venus and Serena are great inspirations to kids, and especially to American girls in the sport. Definitely it was a little bit blown out of proportion, but obviously looked up to them because they are amazing athletes and great tennis players.
But I think ‑‑ it's kind of died off a little bit now, but it's definitely they have always been great inspirations, not only to me but to everyone.

Q. You may not want to answer this, but who would have won today?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I hope me. (Laughter.)
Jeez. I'm definitely not going to say the other person.

Q. How do you feel your game is this week? You had the big win in Australia. Didn't do as well as you wanted to in Indian Wells. Do you feel your game is back together?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely some tough matches after Australia. It was definitely a tough time, but I think now I'm just getting back into it and just having fun out there again.
Obviously I had a little bit of a slow start here, but, I mean, you've just got to keep it going and keep having fun. Obviously going week to week is a little difficult and a little bit draining, but just got to keep going.

Q. As your career progresses, what is the key to being consistent, consistent through the ups and downs of tournaments all over the world?
SLOANE STEPHENS: To have a positive attitude and just have fun out there. It's definitely tough going week to week and always being away from home and everything.
It's definitely tough staying in there, staying focused. It's a lot of effort, a lot of hard work. But I think once you kind of get into a groove of, like, what you have been doing, I mean, to stay consistent, I think it's pretty ‑not easy ‑ but it's definitely easier.

Q. Do you ever think back to last year when you were in the qualifying match here and ended your match and somebody heard it was your birthday and the crowd started serenading you with happy birthday?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, yeah, it's crazy how last year I played four matches to make it to the third round, and then this year I got a bye and won one match and I was in the third round.
So definitely things have changed, but in a good way. That's good.

Q. Do you have to kind of concentrate, now that you're becoming more known and there are are more media and outside requests, just kind of the balancing of staying sharp with the tennis, with the other stuff?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I think the biggest thing for me was just learning how to say no. That's definitely tough, just having everyone saying, I want to you do this, I want you to do that.
Sometimes I just, I don't want to do it, and it's tough to fake it. But I definitely have some times where I just say yes just because I want to please someone else or whatever.
Definitely I think the most important thing is learning how to say no and sticking to what you want to do.

Q. How much of a support system is your mother? How much what kind of impact does she have on you?
SLOANE STEPHENS: My mom, obviously she's everywhere pretty much. My brother is coming tomorrow. I think we're pretty close. I think it's tough on my mother because my brother is in high school and he's playing baseball and running track and he has a lot of stuff going on, too.
So it's not easy raising two athletes, but I think she's done a pretty good job.

Q. Venus is 32. Could you see playing that much, that long?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, man. That's crazy. I don't know. I just turned 20, so I don't know. I mean, I hope. I mean, if I can I want to, but that's still really a long ways away for me.

Q. Have you set any kind of goals in terms of your career longevity?
SLOANE STEPHENS: My age? No.
No. I mean, no. I want to play for as long as possible, but if that means I can play until 42 like Kimiko Date, like, I don't think I'd push it that far, but as long as my body is willing to go with me.

Q. Is your life more difficult now than it was a year ago? I know tennis‑wise it's much better, but...
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely a lot of ‑‑no, I have a lot more things to do and I'm really, really busy. It's definitely tougher.
But, I mean, it comes with the territory. I mean, I want to be a professional tennis player, and this is what I wanted to do with my life. Definitely it's everything that comes with it.
I want to play tennis and this is what I love to do, so I have to do all these other things, too.

Q. Are you primarily based in Southern California or South Florida now?
SLOANE STEPHENS: I spend a lot of time both places. We live here, and, I mean, I practice in LA because I split David Nainkin with Sam Querrey. I definitely practice in LA but I live here.

Q. How often do you think back to these days, to the courts in Coral Springs?
SLOANE STEPHENS: What did you say?

Q. When you got started, first started playing tennis. How often do you think back to how much fun it was back then without all these obligations?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Well, I mean, I was ten so it's a little bit different than now. But I'd say it was fun. Like when I first started playing it was always fun and it was just something to do.
Now I have, like, to come to press after practice and I have to, like, do all these other things, and media, blah, blah, blah. But it's definitely way different than when I started playing.
But, I mean, I guess that's what you kind of, like, work towards. You work to, like, slave yourself. I don't know if that's bad. You work hard to do more work.

Q. Next person you face is the defending champion. Any thoughts on that match?
SLOANE STEPHENS: It will be a good match. We played in Cincinnati. We played a great match. Just looking forward to getting back on the court again.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Quote:
More blues for Sloane Stephens
Updated: March 25, 2013, 8:00 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com
--Immediately after she broke through in spectacular fashion at the Australian Open, beating her idol, Serena Williams, in the quarterfinals, Sloane Stephens reached into her tennis bag and checked her phone.

There were 145 messages. Afterward the 19-year-old Floridian said, "I hope to have a lot more Twitter followers."

Be careful what you wish for, for fame and fortune require a price -- consistently excellent results in one's chosen field.

We are happy to report that Stephens' Twitter follower count has swelled to 61,320. But as far as those bottom-line results -- perhaps, predictably -- she hasn't come close to backing up that spectacular victory in Melbourne.

Beginning with a loss in the Australian Open semifinals to then No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka and her most recent defeat, to Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round here at the Sony Open, Stephens has lost five of seven matches.

There is no shame in losing to the WTA's No. 4-ranked player, but it was the way she lost.

Stephens actually handled Radwanska in the first set 6-4, before losing 12 of the last 14 games. The last set was 6-0, and Stephens won all of two points on her serve. Radwanska has made a nice little living as an artful counterpuncher, and on this breezy Monday afternoon she defused Stephens' far heavier weapons with increasing ease. Stephens' demeanor on the court and in those final changeovers -- when her face wasn't buried in a towel, it wore a powerful scowl -- bordered on unprofessional.

Afterward, she wasn't any better. In her brief postmatch news conference, Stephens seemed focused on a spot on the floor in front of her. Chin in hand, she answered the first three polite and positively framed questions about the match in a bored, monotone voice.

The fourth, though, got her attention: Has it been harder to follow up on that Australian Open victory than she thought?

"No," Stephens said, narrowing her eyes.

What has changed in the recent losing streak?

"I mean, just a rough time," she said. "I don't know. There's not -- there's no specific thing that I'd say has happened or is not happening, but I don't think it really matters. "I'm [ranked No.] 16 in the world. I can lose in the first round the next two months and I probably would still be top 30. I'm not really too concerned about winning or losing or any of that, I don't think.

"My life has changed, yeah, but I wouldn't say I'm in a panic or anything."

No one said anything about panicking.

To be fair, Stephens had just lost a tough match that would have vaulted her into the quarterfinals of an important tournament. And, yes, she turned 20 just last week. But her answer about staying in the top 30 was an interesting glimpse into her mindset.

She obviously has taken the time to do the math. Maybe she should focus more on her comportment on the court and in her sessions with the media -- her window to the world of Twitter and hoards of potential followers.

A few days earlier, when she advanced to the fourth round because Venus Williams pulled out with a back injury, Stephens was summoned to a mandatory news conference. According to those in attendance, it didn't appear she wanted to be there.

"I'm really, really busy," she said of her new life. "It's definitely tougher. But, I mean, it comes with the territory. I mean, I want to be a professional tennis player, and this is what I wanted to do with my life. I want to play tennis and this is what I love to do, so I have to do all these other things, too."

When she started playing tennis at the age of 10, Stephens said, it was fun.

"Now I have, like, to come to press after practice and I have to, like, do all these other things, and media, blah, blah, blah. But, I mean, I guess that's what you kind of, like, work towards."

Blah. Blah. Blah. Stephens, clearly, is still adjusting to the grind of the professional tour.

"Obviously going week to week is a little difficult and a little bit draining, but just got to keep going. It's definitely tough staying in there, staying focused. It's a lot of effort, a lot of hard work."

That's why they call it professional tennis.
ESPN.com

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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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Re: Articles & Interviews

March 25, 2013

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=87990

Sloane Stephens

Quote:
MIAMI, FLORIDA

A. RADWANSKA/S. Stephens
4‑6, 6‑2, 6‑0


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You started well and then she kind of got back into it. Can you talk about the match?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, I played good at the beginning. Came out playing well. She raised her level and she played some pretty good tennis.
In the end she just played a little bit better.

Q. Are you able to take a positive from a match like this where you really were hanging tough against her and then maybe the match slipped away from you a little bit? Are you able to take the positives from that?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, definitely. You can always take something from it and get better. That's always a good thing.

Q. You had the ace to go up 40‑15 with a chance to even that second set at 3‑All. Did you feel that was a big momentum shifter when she was able to come back and break you?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I mean, I definitely felt I should have held serve at 3‑2. It didn't happen, and it is what it is.

Q. Has it been harder for you in professional tennis since beating Serena at the Australian Open? You're 19. You have just done the greatest thing you can possibly do. Has the next step been harder than you thought it was going to be?

SLOANE STEPHENS: No. I mean...

Q. What's happening differently since Australia in these matches? You've lost five of seven. What's going on differently than what was happening at the Australian that was working so well?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, just a rough time. I don't know. There's not ‑‑there's no specific thing that I'd say has happened or is not happening, but I don't think it really matters.
I'm 16 in the world. I can lose in the first round the next two months and I probably would still be top 30. I'm not really too concerned about winning or losing or any of that, I don't think.
My life has changed, yeah, but I wouldn't say I'm in a panic or anything.

Q. But you want to win, obviously.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Obviously.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Apr 3rd, 2013, 02:39 AM   #11
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://tennis.si.com/2013/03/26/sloa...?sct=tn_bf3_a4

Quote:
It says much about the expectations that weigh on Sloane Stephens, who is 20 and only recently became a top-20 player, that a three-set loss to fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska feels like a disappointment. Yet that’s where we are after a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 defeat Monday.

Losing to Radwanska wasn’t surprising in and of itself. Radwanska is a Wimbledon finalist and the best player in the world outside the WTA’s Big Three. But the match was a microcosm of Stephens’ year. She played a strong first set and took advantage of a slow start from Radwanska, blasting winners and overwhelming the Pole with power and movement. But after blowing a 40-15 lead and failing to hold her serve at 2-3 in the second, Stephens just went away. Her body language was blatantly negative from that point forward. She threw up her hands in exasperation after errors, tossed her racket to the ground and glared at her box with anger and resignation.

Serena Williams ‘mentally fried’


A dream two weeks at the Australian Open launched Stephens into the top 20 and cranked up the hype machine, but she hasn’t come close to capitalizing on any momentum or confidence. After making the semifinals in Melbourne by beating Serena Williams — an injured Williams, but hey, that still counts — Stephens automatically became a woman to watch. CNN and Ellen DeGeneres called, and her Twitter following shot through the roof. By all accounts, Stephens looked to be enjoying the attention and the opportunities.

But the flip side of that success is what happens when you can’t deliver on the court. The last two months after the Australian Open have been a forgettable time for the young American. She withdrew from Fed Cup at the beginning of February with an abdominal injury and then opted to play two Premier tournaments, in Doha and Dubai, walking away with only one match win. Returning to North America hasn’t helped, either. She lost in her opening round in Indian Wells and struggled to get past Olga Govortsova in three sets in her first match in Miami before benefiting from a walkover from Venus Williams. Then came this disappointing loss to Radwanska.

When it came time to face the press after the match, she had already collapsed into a defensive shell.


“I mean, just a rough time,” Stephens said. “There’s no specific thing that I’d say has happened or is not happening, but I don’t think it really matters.

Belgian babies for Clijsters, Henin

“I’m [No.] 16 in the world. I can lose in the first round the next two months and I probably would still be top 30. I’m not really too concerned about winning or losing or any of that, I don’t think. My life has changed, yeah, but I wouldn’t say I’m in a panic or anything.”

It’s odd to hear a professional athlete actually say she’s not concerned with winning or losing. Being concerned with winning or losing is kind of your job, and in tennis, where players aren’t paid by multiyear contracts or salary, winning is even more of a concern. Win, and you get rankings points and cash. Lose, and you don’t. There’s no welfare state in tennis and therefore little tolerance for dry spells. It’s one of the cruel realities of the sport.

But having interviewed Stephens and observed her in news conferences, I suspect her words are more empty than truthful, placeholders used to get the hounding reporters off her back and move on. Until January, Stephens wasn’t a player regularly called into press after every loss and asked to articulate her disappointment. Last year, a first-round loss would barely register a blip. Stephens was in that perfect honeymoon stage of her career, where losses were forgiven and every win, even a marginal one, was celebrated. Now she’s expected to win. That takes some getting used to.




The truth is the expectation that Stephens is supposed to challenge deep into tournaments and beat other top-20 players regularly is off the mark. Yes, she made a Grand Slam semifinal and beat Serena. But let’s be brutally honest here. Stephens took advantage of a draw that broke wide open when Laura Robson beat Petra Kvitova in the second round and headed into her quarterfinal showdown with Serena having faced no one in the top 40. In the semifinals, she lost the first set 6-3 before Serena aggravated a back injury and was unable to play her best. Once into the semifinals against Victoria Azarenka, Stephens dropped the first set 6-1 and probably would have been brushed off the court had Azarenka not had a panic attack when she tried to close out the match.



None of this is meant to take anything away from Stephens, who is the best young raw talent in the game and already one of the best athletes in women’s tennis. It simply shows that in our quest to find the next star, sometimes we overlook a few things. Those “few things” would include the fact that Stephens, who turned pro in 2009, has yet to make a WTA final. She never won a junior Slam singles title. Just a year ago, she was battling it out in Miami qualifying. Since the Australian Open, she is 2-4 with three losses to players ranked outside the top 20. Stephens’ best results have been at the Slams, which is a career-boosting trait. She’s already made the third round or better at all four majors. All that is to say, she’s still learning how to replicate that success on the smaller stages. That will take time.

So what’s next for Stephens? She goes next week to the green clay at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., where she’ll join a field that includes both the Williams sisters, Sam Stosur and Sara Errani, before heading to Europe to get reacquainted with the red clay. Historically, clay has been her best surface. She made the semifinals of the French Open junior tournament in 2009; won an ITF event in Italy in 2011; and, before this year, her best Slam result was making the fourth round of last year’s French Open, losing to Stosur.

Her game is perfectly suited to clay. Not unlike 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Stephens is blessed with the athletic ability that allows her to move well on the surface to frustrate the big hitters, and the natural power that allows her to hit through the court to beat the grinders. Last year, she played a heavy clay schedule of Charleston, Barcelona, Estoril, Madrid, Rome, Strasbourg and the French Open. It remains to be seen if she intends to do the same this year. It might do her confidence a world of good to drop down and play some of the lower-level events. Her entries since the Australian Open have been the tour’s four biggest events of the last two months. Dropping out of the spotlight and stringing together some wins could be exactly what she needs right now.
__________________
Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

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Old Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://tennis.si.com/2013/04/02/sloa.../?sct=tn_t2_a4

Quote:
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Green clay wasn’t the cure for Sloane Stephens’ post-Australian Open slump, as the 20-year old won a mere two games in her opening round at the Family Circle Cup on Tuesday night, losing to Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-0 in a quick 57 minutes. The loss dropped Stephens to 2-5 since she made the semifinals of the Australian Open in January and left her on the verge of tears during the second set. Stephens struggled to find her rhythm and range in the chilly air and Mattek-Sands, who played a three-hour and 42 minute match the day earlier, was committed to getting on and off the court quickly.


“I feel like I played very well today,” Mattek-Sands said. “I mean she’s a great player. On top of that I lost to her twice last year so it was a little bit of a revenge match for me. But I really stuck to my gameplan regardless of how she was gonna play. I wanted to play aggressive. I wanted to make it shorter than yesterday, either way, win or lose.”

The win puts Mattek-Sands into the third round of a Premier-level tournament for the first time since 2011 and on the verge of breaking back into the Top 100. She’ll face another young American on Thursday, either Madison Keys or Grace Min.

As for Stephens, the loss seemed to serve as a wake-up call. After weeks of trying to brush off her early-round losses in the Middle East and Indian Wells, Stephens looked humbled by this one. “I was disappointed with the way I was playing,” a downbeat Stephens said after the match. “I was like ‘oh my God, this is terrible.’ But obviously I really love clay and so to get out and not be able to play so well was obviously disappointing. But what can you do? Sometimes you’re just gonna not play so well and she played a good match. So not really anything I could do.”


Mattek-Sands sympathized with Stephens’ slump. “I think a big thing is not really thinking about it too much,” she said. “I think sometimes you let it get in your head a little bit and you just have to go out there and trust your preparation. For any of us playing on the pro tour we’ve been playing for 15, 20, 22 years. It’s not like we can forget to hit a forehand or anything. Simplify it, figure out what the answers are, and don’t think about what the problems are. Otherwise you’ll get pretty depressed.”

It’s been a crazy three months for Stephens, who’s been thrust under the spotlight after beating an injured Serena Williams at the Australian Open to make her first Slam semifinal. Perhaps no other American knows what that pressure feels like better than Melanie Oudin, whose miracle run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 2009 immediately created unreasonable expectations that she just couldn’t live up to. Now ranked No. 86, Oudin says she’s talked to Stephens about the crippling weight of expectation.

“I just told her I know exactly like how she feels, you know. I mean her and I, I guess kind of the same thing kind of happened for us, and she told me, ‘yeah, I’m so glad that my slam didn’t happen in the States because it would have been like so crazy.’ She was glad it happened in Australia.”

Stephens admitted that the last three months have been overwhelming and tough. “But once I find my rhythm and find how I have to handle certain situations and things I have to do before a tournament to get focus and things that are kind of too overwhelming and that I can’t do, I kind of have to refocus and try and do my best,” she said.

Perhaps a change in continent away from the spotlight of the American tennis media will allow her the peace and quiet to find her bearings. Stephens said she was looking forward to heading to Europe for the clay season just so she could get away from her suddenly hectic life. ”I think here there’s always too much to do.” she told a pool of reporters before the tournament. “There’s always something you could be doing. In Europe they’re like ‘Sloane Stephens? Whatever.’”

Stephens will now prepare for the U.S. Fed Cup tie against Sweden later this month and then head to Europe, where she plans to play Madrid, Rome, and Brussels before the French Open.

“I love clay so it’s definitely disappointing,” she said. “Looking forward to Madrid and obviously getting back on the red clay–I definitely gotta shake it off and get ready for the red clay season.”
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Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

Last edited by Trey : Jun 17th, 2013 at 09:40 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://tennis.si.com/2013/05/04/sloa...na-williams-2/
Quote:
In an interview in the May 13 issue of ESPN The Magazine, Sloane Stephens reveals that her relationship with Serena Williams has completely deteriorated since Stephens beat Williams at the Australian Open in January.


Here’s a snippet from Marin Cogan’s story:

“She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”

Her mom tries to slow her down, but Sloane is insistent. “Like, seriously! People should know. They think she’s so friendly and she’s so this and she’s so that — no, that’s not reality! You don’t unfollow someone on Twitter, delete them off of BlackBerry Messenger. I mean, what for? Why?”


Stephens also responds to this cryptic tweet that Williams sent two days after their quarterfinal match:



“I was like, ‘You really don’t think I know that that’s about me?’” Stephens tells the magazine.

Needless to say, it seems like Stephens had some things to get off her chest about the media’s portrayal of her relationship with Williams and she didn’t hold back.

In the interview (which was conducted in late March), Stephens debunks the myth that she and Williams have shared a close bond. Though both played a part in allowing that narrative to spin out of control during the Australian Open, Stephens now says that contrary to popular belief, Williams was never her favorite player.

“I’ve always said Kim Clijsters is my favorite player, so it’s kind of weird,” she says.

In fact, Stephens describes an incident when she was 12 and first saw Williams play, in Delray Beach, Fla., at a Fed Cup tie (ironically, the two were Fed Cup teammates two weeks ago in Delray Beach), that left her with a bad impression of Serena and her sister Venus.

“I waited all day [for an autograph],” she explains. “They walked by three times and never signed our posters.”

Stephens adds of the poster: “I hung it up [in my room] for a while. I was, like, devastated because they didn’t sign it, whatever, and then after that I was over it. I found a new player to like because I didn’t like them anymore.”

The story is particularly enlightening given how much was made of that Serena poster in the lead-up to their Australian Open match. Asked about the poster during her post-win interview with Rennae Stubbs, Stephens joked, “I think I’ll put a poster up of myself now.”

Stephens also eviscerated any shred of truth behind the overblown mentor-protege angle that many media outlets ran with when the two faced off in January, first in Brisbane and then in Melbourne:

“For the first 16 years of my life, she said one word to me and was never involved in my tennis whatsoever,” says Stephens. “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal that she’s not involved now. If you mentor someone, that means you speak to them, that means you help them, that means you know about their life, that means you care about them. Are any of those things true at this moment? No, so therefore…”

I offer: “They want the next great American player.”

Stephens says: “They want another Serena.”
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Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews

Last edited by Trey : Jun 17th, 2013 at 09:41 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #14
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Re: Articles & Interviews

That Interview Was so Very Un Call For IMO That Something she could have keep too herself, She just was talking too Serena & Venus at Fed Cup
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Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews
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Old May 28th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #15
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Re: Articles & Interviews

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/.../#.UaQ_0lLpzuc

Quote:
A soft-spoken Sloane Stephens tells TENNIS.com at Roland Garros that she has not toned herself down due to the backlash she received for criticizing Serena Williams in various magazines. The two have said to have made up. In Paris after her first-round victory, the normally bubbly Stephens was subdued, but the American said she hasn't purposely pulled back.

“Not at all. I'm still me,” she said. "It's all been discussed [between Serena and I] and everything is fine. Just moving forward. I think it was just a learning process. I got through it and I'm back to playing good tennis.

“Loving being out on the court and loving practicing and being at tennis center all day, which is very -- that's not common. I'm loving being here. I think that's all that matters.”
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Team USA
Serena Williams (XVIII) | Venus Williams (VII)

S. Stephens | M. Keys | A. Riske | C. Vandeweghe | J. Hampton | T. Townsend | V. Duval | S. Vickery | S. Crawford

L. Chirico | Cici. Bellis |T. Black | H. Black | J. Daniel | M. Gordon | S. Kenin | W. Osuigwe | M. Shishkina | G. Faith Andrews
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