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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #2132
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

March 29, 2011


M. SHARAPOVA/A. Dulgheru

3 6, 7 6, 7 6

An interview with:

MARIA SHARAPOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about that match? It's obviously one of the most dramatic matches of the tournament, if not this year?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was long. It was tough. It was not my best performance, but, you know, I gutted it out till the end. I didn't feel great throughout the match. I was making too many errors.
My opponent was playing really well and consistent, and I just never felt, even though I had the lead, I just never took care of it. But at the end of the day I won, so I'm really happy.

Q. How much of an impact was the crowd? Could you really feel the energy in the building?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, after, you know, they've spent the whole day with the rain delays, and, you know, sitting around waiting for matches and then the match goes long, so, you know, their enthusiasm builds. You can definitely feel the energy.

Q. Were you asked already about your ankle?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. We saw it. It made everyone cringe. It was quite a turn. How much did it hurt? How does it feel now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It hurt when I did it. Yeah, I iced it a lot and did an ice bath and got it taped. Yeah, I think I'll be okay. I'm tough.

Q. How about right after that. Was it hard to play on it or step on it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was taped. I don't really get taped much, so it was a weird feeling, first of all, for me. I haven't had tape actually anywhere I think for the last five, six years.
So I just don't like tape at all. I feel really restricted, so that was really strange.

Q. Did you have the feeling that the court was particularly slow with the humidity?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, but that's expected. It was really humid. It was probably it's expected in Miami. I mean, I've trained in Florida so many years, and sometimes at night it gets even worse than during the day.
Yeah, the conditions were really slow, and I think that helped a lot.

Q. How do you see your match against Petkovic?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I didn't have a good result against her in Australia, so, yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It's the semifinal. She's playing really good tennis.
Yeah, I'll have to definitely raise my level.

Q. But you are playing better now than in Australia?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I feel like I'm today wasn't my best tennis that I played in the last couple tournaments, but it doesn't matter. I played a few good matches here already, and, yeah, I just have to build on what I have.

Q. Do you have any particular plans for tomorrow in terms of training, practicing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it will just be pretty basic, just work on the strokes if my ankle lets me.

Q. What is it about Petkovic? What's she been doing in the last few matches, you know, to beat the players she's been beating?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't seen any of them, but knowing how she played against me, she's very steady, you know, really good athlete, moves really well around the court.
But, yeah, she's in really good form and playing, you know, some of the best tennis of her career.

Q. You look very, very happy at the end of the match. It is because you win not playing your good tennis?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Some days are like that when you don't feel that many things are working for you and you're making a lot of errors, but you just find a way to win.
You know, it sometimes feels better, because if you're up and everything goes your way and it's easy I mean, of course, that's great, it's fantastic but sometimes when it's tough and you find yourself down and then up but never really playing your best tennis, it's always nice to win.
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