Maria Sharapova beat Tatiana Perebiynis 6-4 7-5
I'm doing an opening statement. I'd like to talk about the match a little bit. It was an up-and-down match for me. At the beginning, I was a bit tight. Nothing seemed to be going my way, especially with the serves. But I found my rhythm, and I was able to come back and to try to dictate the points, which was working well until I was up 4-1 in the second, and then I had another letdown. But I just managed to pull through. And she definitely gave me a big fight out there. She's definitely a great player to play - coming out of the qualifying, winning two matches is never very easy. But I managed to come through. And being here in Rome, I'm very excited. It's my first time in Rome, and Italy is one of my favorite countries so I'm really, really excited to be here and visit and play in front of the Italian crowd.
First question for Maria, please.
Q. Bring me up to date on the rules. Are you able to play as many tournaments as you want now?
Q. Will you be at the French and Wimbledon?
: Oh, yes, I will be. I don't know the specific details of the rules - I think you'll have to ask the WTA Tour - but I know I have a few extra tournaments this year. And this is my last year under the rule, since I just turned 17.
Q. It's your first time in Rome. What are you going to do? Are you going to do any sight-seeing?
I want to go , yes, I want to go to the Vatican City, and I - oh, gosh - I just want to explore the whole city. I know there are amazing things to do, and the shopping's amazing, so I'll definitely do that. But when I was a kid, I did a research paper on Vatican City, so I really want to go there and see it.
Q. Which kind of shopping?
Well, which kind do you mean?
Q. I mean, what do you want to buy?
What do I want to buy? Shoes. I'm a big fanatic of shoes, and every shoe I have is made in Italy so I actually want to buy some shoes in Italy (laughing).
Q. Beside Italian shoes, why do you love Italy so much? You never came here.
I came here. I was in Milan when I was like 11 years old, and I remember. The culture is amazing, and I read so many things about it, and I've always wanted to play here again. So, you know, being in Rome for the first time is just another experience. And everywhere you drive, you just see like a monument, or it's just so different. It seems old-century.
Q. Many Russian girls read a lot of books. You are 17 years old. Do you still really read books, or you read just magazines?
No, I love books. I'm a book fanatic. Every time, I have a book in my hand. And I am still in school, so I do English school and I read Russian all the time. But right now I am reading an American book. But, I mean, when I travel, half of my suitcase is with books or schoolwork and clothes.
Q. What kind of authors, writers?
I'm not very picky with authors, but I usually -- I like to read a story or a poem or whatever it is, and if I enjoy it, I enjoy it. If I read 50 pages and it's terrible, I just throw it away and the author can be amazing. So I don't know. I just -- I like to read what's interesting towards me. I'm not very picky.
Q. We had Serena Williams in here, who talked about the fact that she likes acting very much. You're quite young as a player, but should you have a choice like that, would you be tempted by another world, especially acting, or don't you think about it maybe for the moment?
Well, I know that tennis is not going to be my whole life. It's my career, of course. This is, you know -- I came to the United States when I was seven years old to play tennis, and I have a big talent at it. And if I can succeed and this is what makes me happy, then this is what I'm going to do. So far, I'm very happy at what I'm doing. I know it's not my whole life I'm going to be playing tennis. I have many other interests I'd like to pursue and I'd like to develop, which I love fashion and, yeah, maybe acting or something like that. But of course I'm very young - I'm only 17 - and right now I just want to be a professional tennis player. And, you know, other than that, when I'm off the court, yeah, I definitely like to do a few things.
Q. (Question was being asked in Italian and was not yet translated.)
That's a long question (laughing). I already know what to answer.
No, no, it's not that. It's not what you think.
Q. When people think about you, sometimes the name of "Kournikova" comes up. She's a player who's had a very good start in tennis and then she concentrated more on other things because she had the possibility. Should you be confronted with the possibility of doing other things as she has been, would you be tempted, or would you continue playing tennis?
Well, sitting here and loving the sport, you know, I can't say what I'm going to be doing when I'm older, but I have a really big passion for tennis and that's why I'm here. I am not here to do something else, I'm not here to act or to model. This is my job, and I'm here to do it. And as long as I love it, I'm going to do it.