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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #2528
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Interview after match against Lucic:

Question: You didn't pretty much miss a ball the last nine games. Looks like you're completely in rhythm now.
Maria Sharapova: Yeah, it was a tough beginning because she started off serving really big, and I didn't get too many looks on second serves, and once I got a good rhythm, you know, I felt like I started playing better and better.
Yeah, it's a good way to start. First round is always a little tricky, especially when you don't know your opponent too well.

Question: So confidence-wise, when do you think you really find it? Was it against Wozniacki or Sam? Now it looks like you can pretty much hit any shot.
Maria Sharapova: Thank you. Um, I felt, you know, I started the tournament off really well, and I felt like I continued with that. You know, even though I lost the first set to Azarenka, I felt like I adjusted well, and I did that really well throughout the tournament, felt that like if something wasn't quite working, you know, always had a plan B, and was able to find a way to win and do it in good manner.

Question: It's been quite a road back, maybe a little bit longer and tougher than you thought, but do you think things are kicking in; that it's all paying off now both in terms of strokes and results in terms of all your work? Could you talk about that process, please.
Maria Sharapova: Yeah, I don't think any road is particularly easy. If you don't have the tough days and if you don't go through adversity, I don't think that the good ones and the wins mean as much as when everything seems to be going our way.
You know, I've put a lot of work in, and, you know, starting from the offseason, no matter-- you know, I had a tough period in the beginning of the year, being sick for a while and having to wait to play a tournament. I was just really positive. I trained really hard. I don't think maybe I had that work ethic last year. At some points I didn't push myself as much as I wanted to.
But, yeah, as far as that motivation, it's really kicked in this year, and I hope I keep going with that.

Question: I'd like to speak a bit about jewelry. Can you give me some details about your earrings? Are they new? Which company made them?
Maria Sharapova Yeah. I wear Tiffany earrings at Grand Slams. They're provided by Tiffany. Unfortunately I have to give them backafter the tournament. I would prefer to keep them as I think these are one of my favorite pairs I've worn.
But, yeah, I might keep them for a couple of tournaments.

Question: Critically important question: How do these earrings compare to, say, the Gehry earrings you wore at the US Open?
Maria Sharapova Well, they're not as architectural, and these have a lot more diamonds in them. So it's a tough balance. It's like Gehry or diamonds.
Well, the experience with Frank Gehry was one of the coolest of my careers. I think going into a studio and working with one of the most famous architects in the world on a pair of earrings that you're going to showcase in front of many people was great, special, and something I'll have for the rest of my career, or life.

Question: Do you plan to visit Slovenia with Sasha?
Maria Sharapova: At some point. We haven't yet, but at some point, we will.

Question: Is it fair to say that this year you knew with the coaching change and Cecil coming in as the hitting partner that there was going to be some time for adjustment and you had to put the faith in Thomas to a certain degree because he wanted to do a couple of changes? You had to have faith but eventually things would come around and it would start clicking?
Maria Sharapova: I don't think you ever quite know. There's never certainty. There's-- I think you just try to get the best possible thing for you, and you always try to-- whether add or sometimes take away things that maybe you feel are ultimately going to make you better. And the most important thing is just realizing that it's never just gonna come together in a matter of minutes. It's always gonna take time.
Things-- I mean, adjustments ultimately hopefully will get you into a better place, and that's what-- it was a tough change for me, definitely. You know, I had the same sort of routine and the same stuff for so many years, but in a way it was refreshing and new. Yeah.

Question: How much are you aware of her backstory, being part of the Hingis-Kournikova-Williams sisters generation? Not that you're going to feel sorry for any player today, but do you sympathize and sort of admire her for all she's been through?
Maria Sharapova: Lucic?

Question: Yes.
Maria Sharapova: Actually I've never faced against her and we've never practiced together, but we have seen a lot of each other growing up at the academy in Florida. She trained there for many years. She was already a professional. I was still training there, and then during her time off when she didn't play for a while, you know, I used to see a lot of her because she lived close to the academy.
So we would always bump into each other but we didn't quite know each other that well. I knew that she's had great results in the past and that she can play.

Question: You have a Russian passport?
Maria Sharapova: Uh-huh.

Question: You sound like an American. The question is: What language do you think in? Do you think in the same languages every time or is there different circumstances, that you dream in Russian maybe?
Maria Sharapova: I dream more in Russian than I do in English. I think in English sometimes more than Russian.

Question: On court, is it like when you're on court, do you think in Russian or in English?
Maria Sharapova: I'm not sure why that's so important.

Question: Just out of curiosity.
Maria Sharapova: Something you're gonna write about?

Question: Yeah.
Maria Sharapova: Oh, okay. Nothing-- I don't know. I think both. Yeah, I mix a lot of languages when I'm at home, and when I'm with my parents you find yourself speaking Russian all the time, and then all of a sudden there's an English word that's in there, and I always make fun of my dad for doing it. He's the best for that. He says three words in Russian and there is an English word, and he's like, I forgot how to say that in Russian.

Question: Coming into this tournament, because it's so open-ended, do you have a greater sense of opportunity about, you know, taking the title there? And, secondly, you know, even in the years when you've come in here and you've maybe won a major, did you ever feel like, you know, more sort of pressure that maybe this is your time?
Maria Sharapova: I never have. I never had a reason to feel like that, because every Grand Slam is a new opportunity, whether you've won it before or not.
If you feel pressure, it's part of the business. It's part of the sport. If-- that means there's something on the line. That means you want it bad. It's how you handle it.Without pressure, what's the sport about? It's how you really handle the situation.

Question: Do you feel like you're kind of a favorite at this point considering what you've been through the last couple of years?
Maria Sharapova: To me, it's not a big deal, because even, no matter if I'm ranked 100 or if I'm in the top 10, I think that no matter who I play against, they want to beat me because of what I've achieved in the past and I've been No. 1 in the world and I've won Grand Slams. My opponents always raise their level, and that makes me want to raise mine even more. To me, I certainly don't think about the favorite or the ranking or what position I'm in to win the tournament.
Question: Off court, I'm sure you don't have that much time away from the courts, but what hobbies do you have and what do you enjoy doing with those hobbies? How long have you been involved and what caught your fancy as far as any hobbies are concerned?
Maria Sharapova: Just away from the courts?

Question: Yeah.
Maria Sharapova : I do a lot of inspiration for Nike and Cole Haan, especially in cities like this. I have been to really cool cities in the last few weeks starting in Madrid and Rome and here, and I love walking around. I love-- I find a lot of inspiration in street style and watching women walk, the way they wear things and what they're wearing. I take a lot of pictures. I do a lot of collages, and that ultimately goes to Cole Haan and Nike.
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