S. STOSUR/S. Stephens 7‑5, 6‑4





Q.  For the Aussies it was a bit tense in the stands.  How did you feel out in the court?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, for sure the start was, I guess, pretty tense, like you said.  I mean, she came out playing very well.  I felt like I was struggling to kinda get into it, like I played a good point and a couple of bad ones.

She came out playing very aggressive and kinda got me off guard, I think.  I went down that break and got a little bit mad with myself and then recomposed, and, yeah, really tough to come back from 5‑3.

I think that 5‑All game was huge for both of us.  Luckily I was the one that got through and was kinda able to step it up and get on a little bit of a roll from that point.

Q.  She did surprise you?  Didn’t really miss, did she?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  No, I knew she played aggressive and the little bits and piece about her it, yeah.  Her forehand was, I thought, excellent.  She hit it very, very well.

If I didn’t hit a really good shot into that side then I was kinda getting burnt.  So I kind have had to raise just a few things and really kind of, yeah, change what I was trying to do a little bit from that point on.


Q.  Talk about the atmosphere.  It was so quiet in there.  You could almost hear people coughing.  Kind of strange when you play you have nothing to feed off from the crowd, no energy?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I think when a match always kind of gets moved late in the day like that it’s a bit dead.  You know, everyone was enjoying the center court match.  We had to move, which is fine.  It’s no problem.

But, yeah, when you got a big stadium like that and it’s pretty empty, it’s hard to kind of feed off any energy because there really isn’t any out there.


Q.  When you kind of drawn to play Azarenka in the quarters and she gets knocked out before you play, what kind of effect does that have on you, if any?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  No, I think that obviously I’m the last match to play today so I could see everything that was going on.  I watched the matches this morning on TV.

But I think that’s one thing you’ve got to be careful of, is not to get caught up in what’s going on with those other matches and get ahead of yourself.

You know, I was aware of what happened, but I had to play Sloane Stephens today, and that’s really all that mattered.


Q.  How much do you think the experience played in the ultimate result of the match?  Also, just what do you think?  She’s a pretty young girl, 19; talk about her potential.

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I think she’s, yeah, got a very bright future ahead of her.

I think again at that point of maybe 5‑3, 5‑All, 5‑4, 5‑All, that inexperience probably showed through a little bit.  And then again for me to be able to run away with a string of games, I think that’s just, yeah, being young and maybe not handling it as well as you might down the track.

And, yeah, but I think like I said before, she’s got an excellent forehand and serves pretty big and moves very well.  I think, you know, as she matures and gets a little bit older that’s all going to really come together.

I think she’s, yeah, got a very good future ahead of her.


Q.  What are your thoughts on playing Cibulkova?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  If I remember correctly, I think we’ve only played ‑‑ last time we played was in Stanford a few years ago.  So, yeah, totally different again.  She’s had a couple of really good results here at Roland Garros in the past, and a player that has beaten, you know, top 10 players before.

I think that’s one of those ones where I’ve got to be ready and expect a really tough match.  She gets a lot of balls back; she moves quite well.  I’ve definitely got to be ready to step up, be aggressive, but also be patient at the same time.


Q.  A lot of big names are now missing from the draw.  Are you beginning to view this as an opportunity to maybe finish business that you didn’t two years ago?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, I definitely would love that to be the case, but, again, I’m still only in the quarters.  Now, you know, quarters is a great spot to be, but it’s two matches before you’re even in the final.

So, you know, I’ve got to worry about this next one and then hopefully go from there.  For sure I think it’s an opportunity.  It’s an opportunity for a lot of players.  You know, that’s good.

But like I said, you’ve got to worry about this next match and that’s it.


Q.  What did you learn last year at the US Open that got you through the last three matches in the second week?  Any particular attitude?  Anything, you know, how to manage your time, matches?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, I think in New York for sure I managed my time very well.  You know, I had a couple of those really tough matches third and fourth round and then had an extra day’s rest with the rain and didn’t even go to the site.  I think that’s one thing I learned from the year before.

I think it’s just staying in that moment and playing each moment for what it is.  You know, I handled those occasions very well in New York and had a really good attitude and nothing really bothered me.

You know, I think that’s kinda one of the biggest things I’ve learnt from that particular tournament is you’ve got to make all that happen.

So try and do it again.


Q.  Moving into next week more or less the same, or is Paris a little bit different and you have to maybe do a few different things?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  No, I don’t think so.  I think it’s a matter of sticking to your routines.  I’ve played well so far, and tomorrow I’ve got another day off, practice, and you come back again the next day.

Hopefully then you can practice the next day and do it again.  I think it’s a matter of keeping things simple and, like I said, staying in that moment and worry about that next match that you’ve got to play.


Q.  Did you come in any more nervous to this match, and do you naturally as a slam goes on the stakes get higher, or have you felt the same emotionally going in today?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, for sure I was a little bit nervous before we went out there.  I think anyone in that kind of moment you’re going to feel something.  The match before I was probably a little more anxious than nervous, and today was what I felt today.

I think it’s one of those things you’ve got to deal with.  There’s always matches that you feel something before you go on, usually.  As long as you kind of handle that once you get out there and start playing the points, then, you know, it doesn’t really matter.

I think it’s kind of good to feel something, anyway.