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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #805
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Maria Sharapova speaks to the media following her second round defeat to Michelle Larcher de Brito.


Q. We're very unused to see you losing to unseeded opponents. Did you put that down to the quality of her play, the court? What was the issue today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it was a combination of everything. I give her a lot of credit. I think she played extremely well today. She was really solid from the baseline. I don't feel like I was aggressive enough, that I hit the ball deep enough. I wasn't ready after the returns or the serves. She's someone that plays extremely aggressive. I just wasn't there.

Q. You seemed to be unhappy with the state of the court. You slipped a couple of times. Were you unhappy with the surface today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think I've ever fallen three times in a match before in my career, so that was a little strange.
But that's certainly not an excuse. I think today I've seen a lot of players fall and take a few hits and a few injuries. So I think that's just part of the game, part of what we have to deal with.

Q. How would you describe the court conditions and what you experienced today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was a bit slippery on the outside.

Q. Most of your press conferences so far this week, people have been asking you more about Sugarpova, Serena, boyfriends. Has that been a distraction for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've handled a lot of things off the court in my career. I'm a four time Grand Slam champion. I've been No. 1 in the world. I don't know if you can call those things a distraction.

Q. Are the courts different in any way this year that you've noticed?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I just noticed a few more players falling a bit more than usual. And understandably the first couple of days, they're always a bit like that, but I don't think I've seen as much as I have maybe in the last few years.

Q. The lip readers who looked at the television pictures think that you said to the chair that, This court is dangerous. Is that what you said to her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, after I buckled my knee three times, that's obviously my first reaction. And because I've just never fallen that many times in a match before.
Those are the conditions that are there for my opponent, as well. Just took a lot more falls than she did today.

Q. You played a solid first round. How big of a blow is it to get out of the tournament that you like this much?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's frustrating. You certainly don't want to lose matches, I mean, whether it's early or late. As I've said, this tournament is extremely special, and it's definitely tough to lose.
But I'm going to keep my head high about it because there's no other way, and try to find the positives out of what I have today and my career, set new goals, and just keep moving forward.

Q. Did you hurt yourself? Are you injured? Are you okay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't really checked my hip yet. I haven't had time. But I think I strained a little bit the muscle.

Q. When you said you weren't there today, you don't know why?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, sometimes, you know, you go on the court, like I said, it's a combination of I thought my opponent played really great tennis. She was solid. She didn't make many mistakes. Sometimes on a bad day, you know, your opponent can make a few mistakes.
But all the credit to her. She played extremely well from start to finish, and I just wasn't doing the right things.

Q. After you slipped once or twice, is it now in your mind every time you try to stop that your feet could leave you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'd probably be lying if I said that you don't think about it, because obviously when you do, you know, fall twice or three times, I mean, yeah, you do think about it. Maybe if I fell all the time on the court, that's just part of the way I play, but I rarely see myself on the ground, so a little bit.

Q. How much does that uncertainty about your footwork or the surface seep into your entire game? There were returns you were missing. Did it generally leave you completely rattled?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, that's not an excuse. I'm not making an excuse about the court. That's not why I made errors or I didn't make returns.
As I said, the situation on the court was exactly the same as it was for my opponent. I just didn't deal with it as well as she did.
I can't make excuses for my errors. Those are in my own hands.

Q. Do you think Wimbledon needs to check the courts just to make sure they're safe?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not sure. I'm not a groundsman. I've never really worked on grass courts before. Especially those courts, even Centre Court, Court 1, 2, 3, maybe having the opportunity to practice on them a few days before, because no one can practice on them. The first few days, you just know that they're going to just be really different. Other than that, I have no clue how to change that.
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