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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 03:44 AM   #3636
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

M. Sharapova/A. Kerber

6-1 6-2

Q. Pretty good. First three matches, lost five games.


MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, this one became pretty tough in the second set. She certainly stepped it up, got that break back, got more confidence, started going for her shots.

I never faced her before, but knew she's been on the big stage. Last Grand Slam she did pretty well. She's been on that stage, has beaten good players.

Yeah, I felt like I was aggressive enough. In the first set I didn't give her a chance to do what she likes. In the second set, it became a bit more of a battle. But I felt like I stepped it up when I had to here and there. It ended up being 62, so...



Q. Yesterday Bernard Tomic said during a match there's 15,000 people making noise, he doesn't hear anything during the point. Is that something that comes naturally to you since you were young?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. It's just about playing a lot of matches. There's so many people. Obviously I'm sure not everyone is in the match. Some are talking, some are doing their thing. I think if your concentration is there, you're only there for a certainly amount of time, you're not there for 24 hours. I think your time and commitment has to be on the court, the ball and racquet, what you're doing with it, instead of paying attention to what's around you.



Q. Kim said last night, she hasn't played as much as you, over the last year when she came back on tour after her retirement she pretty much felt like she knew how to play. Once she got back on court she could read things better because she wasn't such a young player anymore, so there was no panic. Do you feel the same way?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: You mean, after not playing for a year?



Q. Even playing sporadically, not having any warmup matches coming in here, hitting the ground running.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, I think you just have to take it as, okay, you go into an event, whether it's a Grand Slam or anywhere else in the world, if you're committed to playing that tournament, you have to be ready from the first match. Sometimes you have to be realistic in terms of knowing that your level might not be exactly where you'd want it to be in the first round and you're going to be a bit rusty.

But ultimately you have enough experience, you certainly played enough matches, it's just about hopefully getting through this one, getting better.

Of course, playing is important. There's nothing that can substitute that, whether it's practice, gym, running, anything. But if you don't have the chance or if you're injured, any time off, when you come back, it's about also being realistic. Sometimes you can't come out and perform your best tennis from the beginning. It's just the way things are.



Q. She also said it's an accumulation, meaning she understands her own game much better. I assume from 2004 Wimbledon till now you have a much better understanding of what you can and can't do.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. You know your strengths. You know what's won you matches before, what's won you Grand Slams. You know what's gotten you to the top.

I don't think necessarily all those things, if you repeat them the same way, will maybe get you the same result because everything always changes. You have to adapt to whatever comes your way. I mean, not one day is ever the same, not one match is ever the same. You have some good ones, some disappointing ones.

But, yeah, you stick to what you do best.



Q. Given you haven't played much since October, would you have preferred to have been tested a little bit more than you have done in the first week?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I take it as it comes. You don't know what the score is going to be before the match. If you prepare yourself well enough, you go out there, you play well enough to win with a comfortable scoreline, then I'll take it.



Q. Would you say you're happy with all aspects of your game so far then?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. You know, like I said, it became a bit more challenging in the second set. She broke back. She certainly stepped it up and played with much more confidence. You could tell she got her groove going in the second. Sometimes when the player kind of picks up and starts going for her shots, sometimes you're going to have to let that ride. Although, if she can do that for three sets or so, then credit to her.



Q. When you get through the end of the first week of a Grand Slam, do you start looking forward to a quarterfinal or semifinal opponent, or pretty much the next game?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's pretty much the next match.



Q. Thoughts about your next match?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've played each before. Svetlana I played in Cincinnati last year. Lisicki I played at Wimbledon.

Both are tough opponents. Both have very different games. Lisicki has a lot of power, big serve. Kuznetsova is more of an allaround player, has won Grand Slams before, has experience, is playing well. Either way it will be a tough match.



Q. Is it possible to enjoy your inbetween days at the slams?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I enjoy my afternoon naps (smiling). I love them.



Q. After practice, can you put tennis a little bit behind you and have dinner, shopping, have a little bit of fun?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not so much shopping. But it's pretty routine. You practice. I usually do 30 minutes of shoulder work and exercises. Go back, take a nap, read my book, watch some tennis, do some treatment, have dinner, go to sleep.



Q. What are you reading?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: George Orwell's 1984.



Q. Very light reading.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: You're telling me. I know, I'm not going to say the gentleman, but the guy that asked me the ridiculous question about the world ending. I was going to say, I really hope I can finish that book by the time the world ends (smiling).



Q. Are you glad he's not here today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Doesn't really matter to me. One less question, right?



Q. It's a good book. Pretty heavy.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was never really given to me in my high school years. So decided that this is a good time. I don't know. My trainer actually picked it up for me. I have to be nice and read it. He spent $20 on it, so... Got to be nice. Got to use my gifts. It was either that or the running book by Haruki Murakami, where he wrote about running. I was like, I don't think so. I was like worst thing about running is reading a book about running.
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