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goldenlox
May 3rd, 2004, 03:08 AM
Maria starts her final year under the AER in Berlin -

Safina RUS vs. Sharapova Maria RUS

She plays doubles with Nicole Pratt -

Ruano Pascual / Suarez vs Bye
Peschke / Rittner vs Dementieva / Sprem (WC)
Pratt / Sharapova vs Tarabini / Tu
Bovina / Chladkova vs Callens / Mandula

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 3rd, 2004, 04:20 AM
Masha still doesn't have a regular doubles partner...

thegalaxy
May 3rd, 2004, 03:00 PM
she will play dinara safina in the 1st round after the draw is re-scheduled

goldenlox
May 3rd, 2004, 07:21 PM
Farina Elia pulled out, and Maria was moved to a tough section of the draw. Maria plays singles and doubles tomorrow.

goldenlox
May 4th, 2004, 02:20 AM
I think if Maria wins this match, she can win the next two, Mandula and Capriati.
This match against Dinara is big.

the cat
May 4th, 2004, 02:21 PM
Well said, GL.

Edward.
May 4th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Maria defeated Dinara Safina 6-1 1-6 6-3

A very good win against a co-patriot with proven clay court ability :yeah:

goldenlox
May 4th, 2004, 07:29 PM
Maria also won in doubles with Pratt 7-5, 6-3. Maria plays Mandula on Wednesday.
Another match that Maria has a great chance to win.

Edward.
May 4th, 2004, 09:59 PM
.....and then it will be Capriati should she progress- a real test for Maria, but one that Maria can pass if she plays a solid match.

goldenlox
May 5th, 2004, 07:08 PM
Maria was trailing Mandula 4-5 when Petra retired. Now she plays Capriati.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 6th, 2004, 01:29 AM
Maria was trailing Mandula 4-5 when Petra retired...
Who was serving first?

There wasn't any breakpoint, right?

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 01:33 AM
I don't know. Mandula was listed to play doubles tomorrow. That schedule came out only a few hours ago.
I don't know what happened, or how well Petra was playing.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 6th, 2004, 02:06 AM
I think it's quite likely that she would be withdrawing from that doubles match.

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 02:14 AM
That makes sense, but Elena D. retired at the B&L, and then still played the doubles match.

Stephieva
May 6th, 2004, 02:17 AM
gee-al...me knows what ya mean..but lena d. had a week before playin again(lena didn't play doubles at B&L). petra has one night. if petra is really injured..petra can't play tomorrow.

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 02:21 AM
Petra retired almost 12 hours before the Thursday schedule was released. I think she might show up.

Stephieva
May 6th, 2004, 02:23 AM
maybe petra will wait until da last min...that's possible. :)

no1mariafan
May 6th, 2004, 03:35 PM
Maria was 5-4 up when she retired. Masha served first so no break.

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 07:26 PM
Maria lost to Capriati 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. Maria doesn't always compete for a full match.
Mandula didn't play doubles, Maria/Pratt play Ruano Pascual/Suarez tomorrow.

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 08:40 PM
http://www.red2proserver.de/mcgo2003/fotoarchiv/fotogalerie/06052004/0605sharapova_IMG_4817.JPG
Maria Sharapova (RUS)

goldenlox
May 7th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Maria/Pratt lost 2-6, 2-6 to Ruano Pascual/Suarez. So in Berlin, Maria won one match in singles and in doubles, and Mandula got injured. Next is Rome.

goldenlox
May 8th, 2004, 02:44 PM
Maria heads to Rome where she might play a second round match against Elena D.
A rematch of Maria's first big win. And a chance for Maria to beat a top 10 player.

Dementieva [6] vs bye
Qualifer vs Sharapova

goldenlox
May 9th, 2004, 02:37 PM
Maria has another doubles partner -

(1)Ruano/Suarez BYE
Grande/Vento vs. Dulko/Sharpova

Kafel
May 10th, 2004, 03:20 PM
M. Sharapova d. T. Perebiynis 6:4, 7:5 :bounce:

Next round - Elena Dementieva. :wavey: :bowdown:

2003 - Birmingham
QF Maria vs Elena Dementieva 2-6 7-6 6-2
2003 - Shanghai
QF Maria vs Elena Dementieva 4-6 6-7

goldenlox
May 10th, 2004, 07:33 PM
Maria plays singles on Tuesday also, against Lena D. They know each other's games pretty well.

goldenlox
May 10th, 2004, 08:10 PM
http://www.gotennis.com/Photos/2004-05-10T154022Z_01_ROM302D_RTRIDSP_2_SPORT-TENNIS.jpgRussia's Maria Sharapova hits a forehand return to Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine during their 'first round' match at the Rome Masters WTA tournament in Rome May 10, 2004. Sharapova won 6-4 7-5. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

goldenlox
May 11th, 2004, 01:53 AM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20040510/capt.sge.oww97.100504183451.photo00.default-389x255.jpg Mon May 10, 2:34 PM ET

goldenlox
May 11th, 2004, 01:57 AM
http://aapimage.com/fotoweb/bin/preview.dll/ITALY_TENNIS_XDS102.jpg?D=FA6E24721683B47003454C78 6213F34C9E25BE1EB61F636754559B7AD4A67C338652908426 BDE4F2CDBF53C015F1DE89E89B083986052355FC870DAB7212 F3E359FF31F30A587E4851AD9B4B557C037EC3465A96BB41F3 9B89AAF3D4EF917D8976516D71026C95878F69B8797F5C6B98 075A9419E6C6BEE399814CA8BE83323EDC0F0A78AE52F0C609 6C80C2848BC4B607817416036A5DA4B3DABC915414AA787D52 7F2DF5937736B7BD3ED57CB2F3EB5C9040A211D77180ACC8E9 FBCBF0D002F25AAA1929482833http://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gifhttp://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gifhttp://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gifhttp://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gifITALY TENNIS
Russia's Maria Sharapova prepares to serve to Ukraina's Tatiana Perebiynis during the women's clay court Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Monday, May 10, 2004. Sharapova beat Perebiynis 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/ Domenico Stinellis)http://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gifhttp://aapimage.com/fotoweb/images/sitewide/blank.gif

goldenlox
May 11th, 2004, 02:17 AM
http://www.polfoto.dk/Polfoto/Photo/Live/watermarking/AP289794.jpgITALY TENNISPolfoto 10-05-2004 Russia's Maria Sharapova prepares to serve to Ukraine's Tatiana Perebiynis during the women's clay court Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Monday, May 10, 2004. Sharapova beat Perebiynis 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/ Domenico Stinellis)

goldenlox
May 11th, 2004, 02:54 AM
http://www.polfoto.dk/Polfoto/Photo/Live/watermarking/AP289793.jpgITALY TENNISPolfoto 10-05-2004 Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts winning a point to Ukraine's Tatiana Perebiynis during the women's clay court Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Monday, May 10, 2004. Sharapova beat Perebiynis 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

goldenlox
May 11th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Maria beat Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-4. On Wednesday she plays doubles with Dulko.

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 05:28 PM
Maria and Dulko won their first round match 7-6(11), 6-2.

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 06:47 PM
Tomorrow Maria plays Shaughnessy or Farina Elia. Later Maria and Dulko play Suarez/RP.

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 10:43 PM
The tournament website says Shaughnessy vs. Farina Elia will be played at 11AM. Then after two other matches, Maria plays the winner.
That's a huge advantage for Maria. Especially if the first match is long.

goldenlox
May 13th, 2004, 03:43 PM
Maria lost to Farina Elia 7-6(3), 6-0. Just like the losses to Hantuchova and Lena L.
Maria still has to learn to compete a for a full match.

goldenlox
May 13th, 2004, 06:56 PM
Maria lost in doubles 6-1, 6-1.
Two red clay Tier I's, reached the third round both times. I don't think many players do better interviews than Maria.
She is very fast, very smart.

goldenlox
May 14th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Maria's next tournament is her first major as a 17 year old, the French Open.


http://www.gotennis.com/Photos/2004-05-13T173702Z_01_ROM309D_RTRIDSP_2_SPORT-TENNIS.jpg

goldenlox
May 16th, 2004, 12:38 AM
I was interested to read that Maria reads Pushkin-

Russian 19th century author who often has been considered his country's greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin blended Old Slavonic with vernacular Russian into a rich, melodic language. He was the first to use everyday speech in his poetry. Pushkin's Romantic contemporaries were Byron (d. 1824) and Goethe (d. 1832), but his ironic attitude can be connected to the literature of the 18th century, especially to Voltaire. Pushkin wrote some 800 lyrics with a dozen narrative poems.



"Love passed, the muse appeared, the weather
of mind got clarity newfound;
now free, I once more weave together
emotion, thought, and magic sound."
(from Eugene Onegin, 1823)

paulhc
May 16th, 2004, 12:48 PM
Thanks for this post, Goldenlox :)

goldenlox
May 16th, 2004, 09:37 PM
Maria is probably learning more online than I do in school.
I sit there counting the minutes until class is over.

goldenlox
May 21st, 2004, 02:31 PM
Maria has a decent draw in Paris, she should win at least two matches, maybe more -

VERA ZVONAREVA RUS (10) vs. Qualifier
Magui Serna ESP vs. Akiko Morigami JPN
Rita Grande ITA vs. Henrieta Nagyova SVK
Barbara Schwartz AUT vs. MARIA SHARAPOVA RUS (18)

goldenlox
May 23rd, 2004, 03:54 PM
Maria starts on a small court, but she's first on, which is good -

Court 6 11:00

B.Schwartz (AUT) vs. MARIA Sharapova(RUS)[18]

the cat
May 23rd, 2004, 06:34 PM
Playing the last match will make her nervous. I think this is a very tough match for Maria because Schwartz has a tough lefty serve and red clay is her favorite surface while red clay is Masha's worst surface. :(

goldenlox
May 23rd, 2004, 11:16 PM
Schwartz did reach the RG quarters in 1999. I saw Maria's speedminton commercial on NBC.
During the Laureus Sports Awards ceremony in which Maria was nominated for a newcomer award.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 24th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Playing the last match will make her nervous...
"last match"?!

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 24th, 2004, 09:14 AM
Masha, Udachi with your 1st round match today!!

Davai Mademoiselle Sharapova!!

goldenlox
May 24th, 2004, 04:28 PM
Maria won 6-3, 6-0. She plays Rita Grande in round two.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 25th, 2004, 02:38 AM
I wanted to post in this thread yesterday but I had to leave the office before I could do so. Then I couldn't post at home because the telecom system in my country sometimes isn't reliable (we have a different network at the office).

goldenlox
May 25th, 2004, 02:54 AM
I don't know why Maria chose not to play doubles. She needs the volleying practice.
It's also good experience on court.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 25th, 2004, 03:02 AM
Maybe because it's clay court and also because she got injured playing doubles at the Australian Open, so her team decided she shouldn't be playing doubles at Glam Slams.

(Let's wait and see whether or not she would play it at Wimbledon).

goldenlox
May 25th, 2004, 03:11 AM
And she also might have been a little bit injured in Rome.
But I would play doubles at the majors, and skip it at the other tournaments.

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 26th, 2004, 08:48 AM
Masha, Udachi with your 2nd round match today!!

Davai Mademoiselle Sharapova!!

goldenlox
May 26th, 2004, 02:23 PM
Maria beat Grande easily, 6-2, 6-0. Next is a rematch of Memphis against Vera.

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/hungary/masha01.JPG

VeraNuVirgosFan
May 28th, 2004, 07:39 AM
Masha, good luck with your 3rd round match today!!

Go Mademoiselle Sharapova!!

goldenlox
May 28th, 2004, 02:51 PM
Maria beat Vera 6-3, 7-6(3). This is the second time Maria has made the fourth round of a major.
Maria plays Weingartner in the round of 16.

goldenlox
May 30th, 2004, 12:26 PM
I started this thread because I thought Maria would become rich and famous before her 18th birthday. And I wanted to follow the changes in her life in one thread.
It's happening sooner than I thought. Maria beat Weingartner 6-3, 6-1, and she is in the quarters of the French Open.

goldenlox
Jun 1st, 2004, 12:34 PM
Maria lost to Suarez 1-6, 3-6. She didn't play her best. I'm starting to realize that Maria is a lot like Sveta.
Now we go to grass. This should be interesting.

Kafel
Jun 1st, 2004, 01:04 PM
:sad: :sad: :sad: :crying2: :crying2: :crying2:

goldenlox
Jun 1st, 2004, 01:24 PM
I saw the match, and watching the last few games, I can see why Maria loses 7-6, 6-1, a lot of times.
When Maria is frustrated, she overhits. And goes for low percentage shots.
Maria has to alter her game in the opposite way. Play a little safer. Take some pace off her shots. Go down the middle more. Keep the ball in play until she gets an opening.

goldenlox
Jun 5th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Maria is the #3 seed in Birmingham, the tournament where she had her breakthrough last year.
This is the first time Maria has to defend points.

goldenlox
Jun 6th, 2004, 08:46 PM
Doubles for the Marias - Kirilenko/Sharapova vs. Li/Sun.

~SunFlower~
Jun 6th, 2004, 10:20 PM
Maria is probably learning more online than I do in school.
I sit there counting the minutes until class is over.

:lol: I know exactly how you feel... :angel:

goldenlox
Jun 8th, 2004, 03:23 AM
Now it's summer. I don't have to go to school. Maria has to go to work. Which she wants to do.
The Marias won 6-4, 6-0 in their first round match. Maria plays Jackson tomorrow.
Maria's stay in England should be an important part of her year. She's a major celebrity there. And she's a tremendous grass court player.

VeraNuVirgosFan
Jun 8th, 2004, 04:00 AM
Maria is probably learning more online than I do in school.
I sit there counting the minutes until class is over.
"I sit there counting the minutes until class is over" - Aren't there any good looking boys in your class for you to look at?

goldenlox
Jun 8th, 2004, 04:24 AM
Sometimes, all that matters is getting a class over with. Especially when the weather turns warm.
This thread's about Maria. There's too many threads about me already.
Jackson is ranked about #250. Maria should take care of business in 2 sets.

goldenlox
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Maria won 6-2, 6-2. She has Wednesday off.

goldenlox
Jun 10th, 2004, 06:17 PM
Maria beat Stosur 6-4, 6-3. Both Marias beat Krizan/Tu 6-2 7-6(5).
Maria plays Molik in the semis.

Kafel
Jun 10th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Maria plays Molik in the semis.
No, in quaterfinal. ;)

goldenlox
Jun 11th, 2004, 03:52 PM
Maria beat Molik 6-3, 6-1, and is now in the semis.
Maria withdrew from Eastbourne, so this semifinal is important for Maria.
If Maria wins this tournament, she's going to go into Wimbledon with a lot of confidence.

http://membres.lycos.fr/noufa/MARIA_SHARAPOVA/FOTOS_DIVERSES/50949818.jpg


http://www.mariaworld.net/wimbledon0428.jpg

goldenlox
Jun 12th, 2004, 04:39 PM
Maria beat Schnyder 6-1, 6-7(3). 6-3. Another win over a top 20 player. She plays Golovin in the final.

goldenlox
Jun 13th, 2004, 04:13 PM
Maria beat Golovin 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. It's her third title. Maria heads into Wimbledon as a strong contender.

http://membres.lycos.fr/noufa/MARIA_SHARAPOVA/Final/50956011.jpg

http://membres.lycos.fr/noufa/MARIA_SHARAPOVA/Final/50956035.jpg

goldenlox
Jun 13th, 2004, 07:08 PM
Marias beat McShea/Sequera 6-2 6-1. After Maria celebrated her third championship -

http://www.mariaworld.net/birmingham0412.jpg

VeraNuVirgosFan
Jun 14th, 2004, 05:26 AM
Davai goldenlox!! Go!

Erdinger
Jun 14th, 2004, 03:40 PM
There's too many threads about me already.
Wherè? :confused: I'm really interested to read them. :) :angel:

BTW, thanks goldenlox for this cool thread! :cool:

goldenlox
Jun 17th, 2004, 04:55 PM
Maria has won 9 out of 10 matches. A fourth round match with Nastya will be fascinating. I hope they both get there -

113 Sharapova(13)
114 Q
115 Keothavong
116 Pratt
117 Hantuchova
118 Reeves
119 Q
120 Bovina(20)
121 Frazier(31)
122 Kirilenko
123 Webley Smith
124 Beltrame
125 Jugic-salkic
126 Kapros
127 Kurhajcova
128 Myskina(2)

goldenlox
Jun 21st, 2004, 03:48 AM
Maria is the #13 seed at Wimbledon. And she plays on Court 13, against Beygelzimer.

http://www.mariaworld.net/wimbledon042.jpg

goldenlox
Jun 21st, 2004, 09:38 PM
Maria won 6-2, 6-1. I thought she played very well. Especially when Beygelzimer was serving at 2-4, 40-0. And Maria played great to win 5 straight points.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040621/capt.xwim18706211949.britain_wimbledon_tennis_xwim 187.jpg Mon Jun 21, 3:51 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/ap120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/brand/SIG=br2v03/*http://www.ap.org)
Russia's Maria Sharapova serves to Yulia Beygeizimer of the Ukraine during their women's singles, first round match at Wimbledon Monday June 21, 2004. Sharapova won the match 6-2, 6-1. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

goldenlox
Jun 24th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Maria won her 11th out of 12, 6-4, 6-0 against Keothavong. Next is Hantuchova.

http://www.mariaworld.net/wimbledon045.jpg

goldenlox
Jun 25th, 2004, 06:35 PM
Maria played great in her Centre Court debut, beating Hantuchova 6-3, 6-1 -

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20040625/i/r4284032686.jpg Fri Jun 25, 2:23 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/reuters120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/reuters/brand/SIG=pd7i95/*http://www.reuters.com)
Russia's Maria Sharapova plays a backhand during her win over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in their third round match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, June 25, 2004. Sharapova won the match 6-3 6-1. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson

goldenlox
Jun 28th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Maria competed well and won a close match, 6-4, 7-5, to make the QF's of Wimbledon -

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/cpress/20040628/capt.s062827a.jpg Mon Jun 28, 1:17 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/th/lo_cpo.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/cp/SIG=10kr7s9lm/*http://www.cp.org/)
Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts as she defeats Amy Frazier of the US in their Women's Singles, fourth round match on the Number One Court at Wimbledon Monday. (AP/Dave Caulkin)

goldenlox
Jun 29th, 2004, 04:45 PM
I saw the third set of Maria's QF win against Sugiyama. It reminded me of the Hantuchova match. I think Maria can be a great, great player. I love how she hits the ball, I love her intensity, her mental toughness, and I love how she seems to be gaining more mobility.
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040629/capt.xwim17606291615.britain_wimbledon_tennis_xwim 176.jpg Tue Jun 29,12:18 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/ap120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/brand/SIG=br2v03/*http://www.ap.org)
Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts after defeating Japan's Ai Sugiyama at the end of their Women's Singles, match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon Tuesday June 29, 2004. Sharapova won 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin)

goldenlox
Jul 1st, 2004, 07:31 PM
I saw the backhand Maria hit with a bp against her at 2-6, 0-2. It was unbelievable. Maria has so much game, and is so mentally tough, she is a potential all time great-


http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20040701/mdf615567.jpg Thu Jul 1, 1:24 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/dn/reuters5.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/reuters/brand/SIG=pd7i95/*http://www.reuters.com)
Seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova overhauled former champion and fifth seed Lindsay Davenport Thursday to become the second-youngest Wimbledon finalist since tennis turned professional. The 13th-seeded Russian, playing her first grand slam semi-final, hit back after the loss of the first set to beat 1999 champion Davenport 2-6, 7-6, 6-1. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)


This is Maria's interview from Friday. Her whole world is changing. And Russian tennis changing -

Interview
Friday, July 2, 2004


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria, please.

Q. You've now had a night to sleep and think about yesterday. Looking back, what are your emotions now, 24 hours later?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I'm pretty calm. I've just been enjoying the moment. And every time I think about it, that I'm in the final, it's really ‑‑ it's an amazing feeling. Like it gives me goosebumps because I believe I'm in the situations and I feel like nobody can take it away from me. But on the other side, it happened so fast that it's still kind of new to me.

Q. When you were in this room after your match yesterday, you did not yet know who your opponent would be. Now you do. Can you describe the challenge ahead, and specifically what you need to do to do well against Serena.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, she's been playing some great tennis. She had a challenge yesterday. I think Mauresmo was very close to winning that match. But Serena again pulled it out.

She's a very tough girl and she's a fighter. And we share those similarities, so I'm looking forward to a very tough match.

Q. How about technically, what do you need to do in your game and what in her game is the biggest challenge?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Like I've been doing in every single match, just going out and playing my game. I don't really worry about the technical side of the game.

Q. When you first came to Nick's academy, you may know that Serena and Venus occasionally practised there. Had you ever run into them on a back court or seen them practise there, had an opportunity to hit with them at any time when you were very young?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I never got an opportunity to hit with them. But I did see them practise on one of the courts. I was practising, as well. So I did see them.

Q. Did you find yourself just being mesmerized by how good they were, instead of actually practising yourself?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I didn't really watch them practise because I had my own schedule. Of course, I was trying to concentrate on my work. I don't remember myself watching them, no.

Q. You were talking about your coach, about your father, growing up technically. What was the role of Nick Bollettieri when you were growing up?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, the Bollettieri Academy was the place I went to when I first went to the United States. It was kind of our destination in the US. That's where we wanted to go, and that's where we came. And Nick was there, of course, at the time. He helped us out a lot. He gave me the opportunity to practice, as well as with IMG, to give me a scholarship at the academy.

He was on the court with me. Still he's a great supporter. He gives me and my dad a lot of advice all the time.

Q. Can you tell us about the sacrifices that your father made to get you to the position you're in now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've talked about this for so long.

Well, I mean, moving to the United States, also without my mom, but, of course, it was my parents' decision, both of them. And then having to find a job in the United States while my mom was away and me having to live by myself and just developing my career.

Q. Is it true that when you were in the Chernobyl region, you moved away ‑‑ your father moved the family away from that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Right.

Q. Was it true he didn't have a job to go to, but he still did it? Is that the case?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I was born in Siberia. The reason we moved from Siberia was Chernobyl when I was two years old. My dad was still going back and forth because of the job opportunity there. And he had a very good job actually over there. So, you know, for the family, he was making a good amount of money in Russia.

My mom and I were living in Sochi. But, of course, he was with us but occasionally had to go to work.

Q. Do you feel more American as a mentality now than Russian probably?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. Not as a mentality, no, because you're growing up there?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I'm still Russian.

Q. Is your mother with you at the moment?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. Is she still in Russia?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, she's in Florida right now because that's our home right now.

Q. You've never been back in Russia sometimes? You spend some times there?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course. I still have a house there, and my whole family is there. My grandparents, my cousins.

Q. What is the reaction in Siberia when you come back?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't live in Siberia any more.

Q. Where exactly in Russia?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: In Sochi.

Q. You're a friend of Kafelnikov?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.

Q. How will you deal with the nerves that will inevitable accompany a first Wimbledon final?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I haven't been nervous throughout this whole tournament. I've just been enjoying myself, so I'm just going to go out and what I've been doing the last six matches, just play my game and enjoy.

And nerves is part of tennis. I like that part of it. It keeps you motivated, keeps you wanting to be in the situations and get out of them by winning.

Q. Did they affect you in the first set against Lindsay Davenport yesterday?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. Does it irritate you when people obsess about how you look and your image and write about that in the newspapers rather than just talking about your game?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't read the newspapers, so I don't know.

Q. Because of the selection deadlines and rankings, you didn't make the Russian Olympic team this time around. Are you disappointed about that and is that a big goal for you in the future?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I would definitely want to have played the Olympics. But this is just the beginning of my career, and I know that four years is just going to fly by like in no time. I feel like last year I was just here like a week ago, playing as a wildcard. So I'm sure that time will go by very fast and that I'll hopefully make that team in four years.

Q. Next week will be four Russians in the Top 10. Is that type of rivalry that could help you or it doesn't matter about the other Russian players or is something that rivalry could help you in growing up, improve?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I would never call it a rivalry in the first place. But it's great to see so many of your country women be in the Top 10, for sure.

Q. How difficult has it been for you to juggle the studies with the tennis? I think you said before the semifinal, you were still finishing a piece of course work. Have you had course work deadlines as well as tennis deadlines?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I just have a year to finish the course. I can take my time and do the exams. That's kind of why I can handle the school with the tennis.

Q. What do you appreciate most when you watch Serena play? Forgetting for a minute you are playing against her now, but when you just see her game, what are the elements of the way she performs that you most appreciate?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think the way she fights and the way that she figures out a way to win. Those are the two key things in tennis, you know, trying to find a way to win even when you're down. And she figures that out.

Q. Which members of your family are going to be watching you here tomorrow? If your mother's not coming, why not?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, because she hasn't been here for the last six matches. I don't want to jinx it (laughter).

Q. You told her to stay away?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, no. But she wasn't planning on coming, no. I mean, she's so excited for me. But, I mean, it's not like she's going, "Oh, my God, oh, my God, I have to go see my daughter play." For her, she's really excited for me. It's just another great moment in life, and I'm going to see her in two days, so I'm very excited about that. You know, she doesn't have a problem with staying home.

Q. Is she not tempted to come here to the final?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I didn't really ask. We didn't talk about that.

Q. Are you thinking about the huge money you're starting to earn after this tournament, because of the final, all the sponsorship? Is something that you start to be involved in, money.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't think about money. I just think that I'm in the final of Wimbledon.

Q. You have a very outgoing personality. Nick said when you arrived in Bradenton, you were very small, very thin, and very, very shy. Was there a tournament victory that made you become more outgoing and more vocal?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think it had anything with tournament victory. When you first come to the United States, to a whole different country and a whole different culture, when you're just seven years old, everything just takes you by surprise. You hit a wall where you've never seen this wall before.

I just think that I didn't speak English the first four months that I was there. So, of course, I couldn't communicate with many of the people. But, you know, I spoke ‑‑ I learned English in about four months, and then I wasn't shy.

Q. Four months?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.

Q. Is your image and looks very important to you? For Serena, it is very important what she looks like.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think it's very important to feel good about the way you look and to feel confident. When you go on court and you feel like something is messed up and something's not right with the way you look or you don't feel confident with something, I think that can definitely hurt you a little bit, and make you even more uncomfortable out there.

I mean, feeling good, just inside of you, the confidence of feeling good. I don't know if it's about the look or whatever, but just feeling good, I think that's very important.

Q. You're a pin‑up now, especially in England. Is that good? Do you enjoy that? Is that something you're uncomfortable with?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't pay attention to that at all. I never considered myself as a pin‑up. I never will.

Q. Obviously a great win yesterday. Did you sleep well last night?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I did. I slept very good. Had a good 10 hours' sleep.

Q. Do you get any sense that overnight you've almost been catapulted into a new level of attention on you? All of a sudden from now on in, your life is going to be a great deal different, getting to the final now, taking it up another notch.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't think about I'm the same person. But, yes, I'm in the final of Wimbledon. So, of course, a little bit has changed. But I'm still the same. I don't notice these things that happen in the outside world. I just concentrate on the things that I have to do.

Q. Are there things you feel you can't do, being a 17‑year‑old at a Wimbledon final that other 17‑year‑olds might enjoy ‑ going out, learning to drive?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, I know how to drive. That's not a problem. I love driving.

Q. What about going out?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Going out? I'm not really a big fan of going out. I like to go to dinner, have fun, have a laugh. But I know my bedtime. I need to keep that. I like my sleep.

Q. Have you ever closed your eyes and dreamed of winning a Grand Slam title?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I never really closed my eyes and dreamed of it, no. But I've always dreamed of it. Yeah, I mean, of course you think about it. You never expect things to happen in the day. It's the future dreams.

Q. Have you done some schoolwork this morning?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not this morning because I kind of woke up late. Had to get ready for practice, you know, the routine, eat.

Q. You said you were shocked to get to the final at such a young age. Are you shocked by the reaction you created, the reaction you had in the last few days?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know what the reaction is.

Q. Everyone is very excited.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's good.

http://images.sportsline.com/u/ap/photos/LON823070418_1024x768.jpg
http://images.sportsline.com/u/ap/photos/LON822070418_1024x768.jpg

!!!--Duiz™--!!!
Jul 1st, 2004, 09:04 PM
Go Maria!!!

Andy Mac
Jul 3rd, 2004, 01:08 AM
hey my fellow maria lover's....man she absolute skill too....tis mad my friends...well im outtie..LATEZ!