Mar 16th, 2011, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2
4th Round Interview:
Q. Is there any part of you that can understand or feel empathy with what Dinara was going through out there today? I mean, she's clearly suffering the effects of her injury and loss of confidence. It looked like at one point she was even starting to cry during one of the changeovers.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I didn't notice that. It actually seemed like this tournament she was starting to pick up her game and play a lot better. I think that's what she's been working towards. You know, she hasn't had, you know, the results that she's wanted the last two months and she's trying to find her form, and I think this was the tournament where I think she was starting to, you know, get more confidence.
I don't think she played that poorly throughout the match, actually.
Q. How about your form? It looks like you're starting to get up to a higher and higher level each round.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I thought that was going to be important today. You know, it was a little unfortunate I didn't win that first game, because I thought, you know, when you're Love-40 on her serve, you know, played a solid game, and I missed that one shot close to the line.
Yeah, but after that I felt like, you know, I stepped it up. You know, I put a lot of pressure on her from the first ball and felt like she was on the defense. That was really important.
Q. Did you expect the old Dinara who used to battle you, or were you not kind of sure who was going to come out?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You just go out there, and no matter who you're playing, you have to expect your opponent to play great tennis. Like I said, this was one of the first tournaments that she's starting to play a lot better and find her form.
That's dangerous, because, you know, she comes into a match, and, you know, confidence is a huge thing. You can come in and swing away.
Yeah, I just wanted to take care of business.
Q. When you're not playing a lot of matches, what is the toughest thing to replicate? Like what is it almost impossible to replicate in practice that you need to summon in a match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I talked about it a little bit in my other press conference. I think a lot of it is just the feelings that you go through during the match almost like you're on autopilot when you're down a breakpoint. You know, you have a similar feeling. You're not questioning yourself so much. You automatically know, you know, what you're going to do, where you're going to stay.
When you haven't played a lot of matches, you almost -- you're unsure, you know. You're not too -- - obviously not too confident because you don't know when, you know, if you've been practicing well, when is that going to transition over.
It's a different type of match. It's a different type of atmosphere. Yeah.
Q. Roger said that now that he's in a different phase of his career, he's not playing with the freedom he had as a younger player, that he has sort of more to lose now, that he sort of didn't know what he didn't know when he was young. Do you feel any of those elements in the big arc of your career?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I just always try to push myself, because deep down inside I always feel like I can be better, that I can achieve more. You know, I always feel like it hurt me being away from the game. You know, I wanted to build on what I what started in the beginning of 2008 where, you know, I was playing really unbelievable tennis and I felt like something was coming on and I was trying to push through it.
And, yeah, I think it's -- I think for everyone, you know, it's tough to -- I mean, to hear it from Roger after what he's accomplished already, it's almost laughable. I think everyone -- there are only a few players that can say that in his position, I think.
But, yeah, everyone is in different stages of their lives. Some become fathers or mothers and some are trying to come back from injuries. Some are, you know, retiring and then coming back.
So everyone feels differently out there. It all changes match for match. That's, you know, the beauty of the sport, really.
Q. You were talking the other day about how much Sasha loves basketball. How does your love for tennis compare to his love for basketball?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think he likes to practice more than I do. (Laughter.)
I think that's a fact. Um, no, I think love for the sport, it's tough to compare. We're both big competitors, and we had a very similar upbringings in terms of sport. I mean, the way he slept with his first pair of basketball shoes, I certainly never slept with mine. I slept with an a pair of high heels. (Laughter.)
Q. Is that true?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it's not true, but it's almost true.
Q. Did you ever sleep with a racquet?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no. It's funny. Actually, you come to my house and I don't think you'd even know that I play tennis, honestly.
Yeah, I mean, you don't see any tennis things around. Even my trophies are pretty, you know, pretty stored in a cabinet. Only if you sit in the dining room table, that's usually -- that nobody ever sits at. So unless you point them out, I don't think anyone really sees.
But, yeah, it's different. But as far as from a competitive point of view, we're both pretty big competitors.
Q. Why do you put all that stuff in your house aside that's related to tennis? You just need the separation from career or just...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I just don't like so much cluster. We get so many things would we travel, tennis souvenirs and books. I don't know. I think I got it from my mother. She's very organized and everything was always pretty clean, and there's just -- you come to my house, and you don't -- I mean, all the tennis equipment is stored in one closet somewhere in the basement, or in the garage you see my tennis bag.
Other than that...
Q. You don't have the...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You see my dad's four pairs of skis and his new bicycle. God, what a view that is at like 9:00 in the morning.
Q. And your Slam trophies are where? You don't have them on a mantle somewhere?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, there is like a dining room table and like a cabinet that's glass, so you can see it if you sit at the dining room table. But it's one of those places that is more like for view.
Yeah, it's a formal living room, dining room table that -- yea, I just, I don't know. I was never like a souvenir type of person. You know, when people come to the house, of course I show them my trophies. I mean, like I don't hide them. I don't have like pictures of me. You don't see like a picture of me with a Grand Slam trophy.
Q. No gigantic posters?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. The only thing I have is in my bedroom I have like the three racquets that I won the three Grand Slams with. They're like behind the closet so you can't even see it.
And my tennis dresses are lined up in my closet, each one that I've worn. I don't know what to make out of it, but it's like that with everything. It's like...
Q. The tennis season is sort of its own journey, has its own rhythm to it, and starts fresh with the Australian and hard court and clay and so forth. What's your favorite segment preWimbledon, preUS Open, now, American hard court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's a good question.
They are quite different, and I like the freshness coming into the Australian Open. I like that feeling of everyone has kind of been away and just training and having a holiday, and then you kind of see where everyone is and their form, how they're playing. You also get a feel of where you are.
And then, I mean, the summer is obviously my favorite going from the clay to the grass, even though actually for me it's a long trip because I stay in Europe most of the time. I don't go back home in between, so it's usually a little bit tough on, you know, on the travel.
But the great thing about it is you stay in a house over there in Wimbledon and you have that homey feel. It helps a lot, and you're able to have normal meals and have some sort of like normal life a little bit.
Q. Are you a bit haunted from what happened here last year? It was sort of a flukey sort of injury.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Here?
Q. Not really haunted...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, that's a really -- not a good word.
Q. Anything haunting your house?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no.
Q. Coming back this year after kind of a crazy sort of thing happened last year, do you have little bit more trepidation?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was just one of those things. Last year I felt really good coming in from Memphis. I thought I was playing really well like even the week before here, and then I started feeling something in my first round.
Then, yeah, I just got progressively worse in my second round. It was just one of those things that -- but I never lack a bone bruise in my body, so I'm never surprised when hear of one again. Yeah, it was disappointing, because bone bruises, you just don't do anything about it. You just have to rest and it heals on its own. It was one of those things, like, Here we go again. Can't practice. Let's do some more arm exercises. Yeah, I took up French for a while.
Q. How far did you get?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I thought I was doing very well until I came to France, and then I realized I was doing pretty poorly. No, I was already all right. I studied it when I was young so it was easier to pick up, but I wish I was fluent.
Q. The year you won here, you said, Whenever I wake up and I don't have any pains, I'm shocked.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, that's true.
Q. That was five years ago. So five years on, is it worse? How much worse? Or in some ways, the time you have been forced to take time off has been restorative in that respect?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it was just -- it's pretty -- I mean, it's pretty tough to wake up and not to feel like some part of your body is not hurting. When I say hurting, I mean in terms of like muscle soreness or a little tweak or this, or, I don't know, even a headache. I don't know.
You're just an athlete. I mean, I said my first round, you, you know, you haven't played for a while. You come in and you play, and it was just under three hours. I mean, you're going to feel something the next day. I don't care how good a shape you are in. I know you're going to feel some tight muscles.
I mean, recovery is just really big in our sport. You know, I've always -- I mean, I have pretty loose joints, so it's just really important to -- I'm fortunate that I have a good physical therapist, and, you know, a constant one that travels with me all year long and makes sure that my body is in tune. From warmup to recovery, it's important.
Q. To follow just real quickly, is that perhaps the one thing that you will look forward to not experiencing once you're done with tennis, is to be able to wake up and feel like a so-called normal human being? I mean, most of us wake up and don't have those aches and pains every day.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Really?
I wish my dad was like that. He complains a lot about aches and pains.
I think the one thing I look forward to -- I mean, as far as normalcy, I do consider my life pretty normal because I never really knew any other way. But I think one of the things I will enjoy is actually being sick and being able to go to the pharmacy and being able to get any medicine on the counter and not have to send it in to the WTA physician and get an approval on it. That's one thing that I'll -- even if it's a Vitamin C.
Q. That's crazy.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's one thing I think I will enjoy, especially when you're in a foreign country.
Q. So you were on antibiotics, I assume, in Moscow, and you had to get approval for that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, I was on three.
Q. But you had to get approval for all of them?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, yeah, I did.
Q. And you had to wait? How long did it take?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it's pretty fast. That's the good thing. It's pretty fast. Yeah, but it's -- well, I got it in Paris because I was starting to feel it in Moscow. I didn't want to take antibiotics. Obviously that's not the best thing.
Then I got to Paris, and the tournament doctor came over to the hotel and they were looking at -- yeah, they were online in my room for 30 minutes like looking at their book and then looking online to make sure that the -- even, I mean, the worst is the cough medicine, because I think most of the cough medicines have some sort of thing in it.
So that you have to be very careful with. Then I came home and I had to get another one because I had an ear infection, so it was great. It was just wonderful. But now it's all better.
Mar 18th, 2011, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2
Q. Happy after that? Satisfied? Content? Just okay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, I'm really happy to be in the semis of this tournament. You know, I felt like I was playing really well for the first set and a half, and then, you know, really let her back in the game.
You know, even 2-0, look at a good second serve, I missed it, and she played some good points. Then after that I was forcing so many things. My first serve -- I was giving her so many looks on second serve.
She's a really aggressive player and puts a lot of pressure on from you the first point, and if you're not the one doing that, you know, it becomes dangerous. That's what happened.
I just started, you know, making too many errors. Yeah. But then, most important thing is I got myself together, and, you know, I focused and regrouped. Yeah, the match is never over till the last point, so, you know, I was really strong, and I'm really happy about that.
Q. That's called experience, isn't it? Match experience?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, but it's also just, you know, realizing the situation and, I guess, battling through no matter how good or bad you were playing, and knowing that you still have many points and games ahead of you and just make the most out of it.
Yeah, there's no reason why - if you did it for that period of time in the beginning, there's no reason why you can't continue it, you know. I knew that in my mind.
Q. When you are going through a rough patch with considerable errors what kinds of things can you do to get yourself refocused? What are you telling yourself during those times?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, well, I mean, I think the toughest part is right away your opponent gains a tremendous amount of confidence. You can see that, because, you know, for a period of time you're, you know, playing well and it seems like they're making, you know, all the errors, but you're doing something in order for them to make those errors.
Then, you know, little by little, whether it's -- you know, you lose something on the ball - I mean, you know, speaking for myself - you're are not as aggressive, not stepping in, not making enough first serves, giving her easy, you know, easy points, they right away gain a lot of confidence.
It just sometimes becomes, you know, difficult thing to get back. That's why I'm really happy that I was able to come back.
Q. When you called for your coach, is that partly to slow that momentum and maybe disrupt her game a bit to give yourself a breather?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, well, you don't get any more time when you call for a coach, but just to get a little bit -- sometimes an outsider's perspective is a little bit different than what you're seeing or thinking on the court.
So, you know, sometimes from the outside you see a little bit different and you don't realize what exactly you're doing. But, yeah, for me, it's a little bit more just motivational and an energy-type of thing than anything else.
Q. Have you had a chance to kind of step back and take an overview of this and the opportunities? I mean, Serena, she's ill and all, but she's not there anymore. Venus is not there anymore. Clijsters gets hurt. I think you're back in the top 10 with this victory, I think.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No idea.
Q. This is an opportunity. You're only 23 years old, and there are plenty of Grand Slams out there. You seem to be healing. Is this kind of like the time? Do you feel that? Have you thought about that? Any strategy?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I don't know when a time is. I mean, I don't know if it's yesterday, today, or tomorrow. (Smiling.)
I mean, I think at way I look at it is the more matches you win, whether it's here, whether it's at a Grand Slam, the better your ranking is gonna be, I mean, yeah, the further you get in a tournament. So.
I don't know. I never really focus, this is my time, it's now or never. Might as well -- yeah, I don't know, jump off one of the canyons over there if you have that mentality. It's pretty tough to think like that.
You just have to -- you know, even if you do feel -- sometimes you come into a tournament and you feel great and you feel like you're confident and everything's working well, hitting great in practice; sometimes you come in and those things don't quite work match in match situations.
Other times you feel kind of crappy on the court, and you come in, and all of a sudden you find yourself swinging away and balls are going in and you're in a later stages of the tournament, you're loose because you didn't really expect much.
It's very different. It makes the sport really unique.
Q. What do you expect out of yourself at this point? Is it match to match, or are you looking kind of big picture?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I look at the big picture, because I think it's really important to have a good perspective of where you see yourself now and where you want to see yourself. I mean, I have personal goals, of course. I still believe that I have a lot in me.
That's why I, you know, fight so hard to -- you know, no matter whether it's a match or on the practice courts, I'm always trying to get better. Yeah, that's my goal right now, is to try to improve, is to try to improve.
And right now's goal is I'm happy that I'm playing matches, and I just want to keep doing that on a more consistent basis and doing it on a healthy basis, as well.
Q. Could you take a moment and try and put into words the feeling you get at that moment of triumph when you know you've won a really big tournament, Wimbledon, the U.S., Australia, that sort of ecstacy? What floods through you at that moment? Can you try and put that into words?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I'm getting goosebumps.
It's a special moment, because you're practicing, and when you're young it's what you dream of; it's what you see on TV. Those are the big trophies that you just dream of, whichever Grand Slam it is. Some have their favorites.
And it's just a moment of -- I mean, the first thing that comes into my mind is there's days that are just so hard and you really have to really push through them.
Sometimes you have to have someone that pushes you a little bit more, and it just feels so good, because you did -- you fought through. You never knew if you were going to have that chance, if you were going to have the chance to hold that trophy, but you did everything in order -- everything you did, you're not regretting.
That's a good feeling to have, because it's so important, especially for younger kids. I always say you never really want to have that feeling of regret, like you had so many choices that you were never sure if that was one you wanted to follow. You know, it's a really cool -- it's an incredible feeling, yeah.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Caroline? She seems to be getting better by the month. Extremely consistent.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.
Q. Invites unforced errors from other opponents. She's had a few problems in the slams against the more experienced players, but for the most part, she's every single week going deep.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Listen, she's the No. 1 player in the world, and she certainly deserves it. She's doing a lot of things really well right now, and like you said, she's a very consistent player. That has won her many, many matches.
You know, I think tomorrow -- I didn't have a great match against her at the US Open. I didn't feel like I played that well. I'm hoping that tomorrow, you know, I'll come out and it will be a different situation. I'm just gonna fight for every point.
I look forward to it.
Q. US Open? I know you don't like to look back too much, but for you is that just more of a lack of execution than anything else?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I just remember a lot of errors. Yeah, definitely when you're making errors, you're definitely not executing a game plan.
Q. How's the new coaching arrangement going? How would you describe his voice? Any comparison to Michael's? How is he different?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's been great. It's only been a short period of time. It's hard to say, you know, after you've only spent a couple of months with someone new, especially when you've been, you know, with someone for so many years before that.
So obviously it's new and it's fresh. It's something that I wanted. That's why I made the change. I'm happy with it. Like I said in Australia, I really like the energy that, you know, he puts in my practices. You know, he's very professional. A lot of good qualities. We'll see.
Q. Is he more X and is Os, or is he more sort of emotion, feeling?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Like a game plan, Xs and Os?
Q. Yeah, like strategy.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not really great with strategy, like certain strategies. I hate to say it, but I think it's more -- I think it's just more of a different voice and a different perspective. He's also coached against me, and, you know, he's coached against other players, as well.
So it's -- I don't know. It's new; it's fresh; I'm enjoying it. Yeah.
Q. When you arrive at one tournament to the next, just before things start, do you have the same sort of feeling mentally and all that, one tournament to the next? Or do you feel that, Oh, God, here I can do really well; I think this could be a good week for me? Or this is not really working out the way I wanted to? How do you feel from one tournament to the next?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it always changes. Because especially when you have back-to-back tournaments, it's a good way to, you know, see what worked and what didn't work in the previous tournament, what you feel like you might need to work on.
You always get a better idea of things when you're playing matches, so you're more aware of things and you know what to work on more than maybe when you came into the first tournament after only practicing for three weeks or -- you know, having the tournament I think really helps you.
Q. Coming into here, how did you feel?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Coming into here? I was just really excited to play. I was out of competition for a while. I hadn't played tournaments since Australia. I was really eager. To be honest, I was getting really sick of practicing, so I was just really happy that there was a tournament.
Q. We of course are here in California. Glamour, cutting age, diversity. In what ways do you see yourself as a Californian?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, it's interesting, because I spent so much time in Florida growing up, and, you know, because of Michael living in Los Angeles, I ultimately bought a place there.
So being able to have, you know, both of those has been really interesting. They're both very different. I mean, my house is pretty -- on a quieter side of Los Angeles, so it's more of a beach town.
In some ways it's similar to Florida because it's quite relaxed, and I don't think I see a human being, maybe five miles from my house. So it's really quiet, and it's nice. I think you go there, you have the house, and, you know, you practice there.
It's kind of like you eat, breathe, and sleep tennis in a way, because that's where I grew up and that's all I did when I was there, so that's the only memories that I have of going there.
And then, I mean, California is very different. I think it's a little bit younger and maybe fresher, and you have different parts of it and many places to visit. It's fun. I have been on vacation in different parts of it. Napa is actually one of my favorites. Yeah.
Q. Can you talk about your support of the survivors of Chernobyl and what that brings up with you regarding the survivors of Japan. Knowing your support for the survivors back in Chernobyl, what does that bring up for you as you're reading the news and about what's happening in Japan?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's really devastating, and something I don't think even words can describe I think for many of us seeing the paper on a daily basis. Sometimes I'm just even, you know, afraid to look at what's written under the photos. It's really horrifying.
But, um, I mean, right now I think it's -- once hopefully the radiation settles down, and hopefully -- I mean, that's going to be the most important thing right now, is settling that down, making sure it doesn't spread, not only around Japan, but everywhere else.
And then it's going to be a recovery process. It's so interesting. I mean, ten years ago if maybe something like that happened you wouldn't see such quick recovery effects. You can go on any website right now and you can donate to the Japan relief.
Ten years ago I don't think you had that accessibility. So I think that's really fortunate, and I hope many of the players will hopefully get together and think of something.
I'm actually hoping if maybe the Japan tournament still goes on after the US Open that maybe we can do something before it, an event with some of the players and raise some money with that.
Mar 19th, 2011, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2
sven10s sven groeneveld
Miss sunshine (@CaroWozniacki) to strong for @mariasharpova
12 hours ago
sven10s sven groeneveld
Sorry that I misspelled @mariasharapova but it does not change the score with @CaroWozniacki
11 hours ago
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
HTML code is Off