Re: Tennisleaks: RG transcripts (update Day 9 - links post # 1)
M. SHARAPOVA/A. Radwanska
7 6, 7 5
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thank you.
Q. It was a big fight again. Can you talk about each time you got your back on the wall you're finding your way back in the match and to turn this around.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, from the beginning I had quite a slow start today. It was 1 4 and 15 40, so I think the one thing that really saved me in the first set was I served really well and kept her off balance and started playing better.
That gave me a lot of confidence. I had the chance to be up 3 0, could have been 4 0 in the second set, and just kind of rolled the other way. She had so many chances.
Overall it was just really tough. I played smart when I needed to be smart and was patient at the right times.
Q. Now you're going to play against Petkovic like in Melbourne. Talk about this next battle.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, we played in Melbourne. Also in played Miami, you know, a month or so ago. Yeah, she's a very tough opponent. She is also quite good on this surface and moves very well. She'll use that to her advantage.
But, yeah, it'll be tough. I'll go out there and try to win that match.
Are you observing the picture?
Q. Yes. I'm trying to frame my question.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, around the picture?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why are you giving it to me?
Q. Because I want to ask you a question.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Okay.
Q. So, Maria, we had some fun in the pressroom about the official publication of the tournament's with that little headline. Does that give you a laugh? What you are your thoughts?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It's just a cover of a paper. That's it for me.
About, you mean, the headline?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, there have been so many headlines thought my career, and this is just another one. (Laughing.)
Q. If I could switch to tennis...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yes. Let me give this back to you. I don't want myself staring at me. (Laughter.)
Q. So just talk about your serve. How is your feel on it? Number of double faults today, but you seemed to be going for it on the second.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I did. Um, yeah, I thought the serve saved me in the first set. I served really well. I think that that gave me confidence throughout my whole game, because from the beginning I was just making I was making errors, all of them kind of went long.
I thought I served my way out of the first set there. You know, there was a little dip in the second set, but overall I felt pretty good and I felt confident on it.
Q. What would it mean to you win this tournament, Maria?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, this tournament has a very rich history. It's one that I've always said would be the most challenging for me to win. But I've always worked really hard on trying to get myself prepared as well as I could for it, you know, physically and mentally, knowing that sometimes you just have to be more patient than maybe in other points in other tournaments.
Yeah, a lot of it is preparation and just going out there and believing in what you have done before and the way you prepared.
Q. The first two matches you had with her this year you split, and they were on hardcourt. Do they have really no impact on your preparation? Is it a whole different thing going out on clay against her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I guess. I think every match for me is different. I mean, you look back at a few things that maybe helped you or maybe changed things around if you were down or what you did to change.
You know, I had lost that first set in Miami, so, yeah, just maybe looking back on those things.
But as far as, yeah, it's really about it's really another match, a new one.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit what your coach Thomas mean to you and how it all started, why you started working together?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why?
Q. What does he mean to you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I've said it a few times. He's brought a really great work ethic into my tennis, into my practices. A lot positive energy. He's been a great new voice for me and something that I needed.
When you've had a coach for many, many years, sometimes it's not even about new things that are being said. Maybe sometimes it's the same things, but coming from a different person in a little bit of a different way, gets to you differently.
Yeah, he's pushed me and believes in me. He's also coached against me, which I like.
Q. You won three tournaments on clay, and then Rome. How important was Rome for you? Before you had just Strasbourg and not great, great clay court season. How important was Rome? And what is the difference that you find between the Rome tournament and this one?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, Rome brought me a lot of confidence because I beat players that have had a lot of their success on clay and were maybe favorites against me on clay courts and I was able to beat them.
And, yeah, I felt like I improved as the tournament went on. That certainly gives me a lot confidence.
But when you get to the next tournament it starts from scratch. You start from the first round and you face different opponents and it's a new day.
Everything is different. We have a different ball. The courts are a little bit different. The atmosphere.
Yeah, but it's really about adjusting and taking that confidence, but also knowing that it's not going to be the same.
Q. You once famously described yourself on clay as cow on ice.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uh huh. And I don't regret it. I really don't.
Q. What is your comfortable level now on it? Obviously you've come a long, long way.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I've certainly improved. When I said that comment I was referring to the first few days and weeks on clay when you're after you've played on hard court for such a long time, it's such a different feeling.
Used to be tough for me to move around and get back into position. Also I mentioned recovering from tough matches and going into the next ones was quite difficult for me maybe four years ago or so. I feel like that's the one thing that I've really improved and I've really worked hard on.
Q. The other day you spoke of your love of street culture. Obviously Paris is quite different from L.A. or New York or other capitals. Talk a little bit about Paris's culture, street culture.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's classic and I think it's unpretentious. The whole city is beautiful. I think people take part in the beauty of it and they come here and enjoy every little angle and aspect of it.
I unfortunately haven't had that amount of time to be able to browse and to go in different areas as much as I would have liked to in the past.
But that's something I can't wait to come back when I have more time. It's one of the cities I would love to even have an apartment or just browse.
You know, I'm kind of stuck around the hotel. But hopefully one day.