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Old May 18th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #4171
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

I think Maria was referring to Miami last year when Azarenka retired against wozniacki in Indian Wells with a hip injury but went on beating her in the final there. Like Michael Joyce said its time for the players to take responsibility for themselves because they are the person that know themselves the best in terms of health. If your not fit, then don't play and blame the rules. Azarenka and Wozniacki are way too stupid attending to the rules when paying fines can reduce their injuries.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 01:56 PM   #4172
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Sharapova Final Press Conference

Rome, Italy

Sunday, 20 May, 2012

An interview with: Maria Sharapova

Q: What sensations after a night like that – a very special win
Sharapova : A really difficult match and so may swings and having to wait an hour or two hours and then a tie breaker in the final and interesting and almost feeling difficult to have a loser and a winner and it all comes down to a game in 7 but I am happy.

Q: You played so many finals – where does this one rate --- with all that was going on..
Sharapova : I've been in a couple with rain delays but never this situation and playing a tie breaker and we were all thinking to come back tomorrow and so the warm up was longer that the match and so with so many swings. I though I was not in the match at 40 and …..and she was moving well and then down match point – when I got off the court I thought about not to think of all these swings and conserve energy.

Q: It seems that in Rome the rain is your lucky friend. Normally what is you relationship with the rain.
Sharapova: I love rain., I loved it since I was young because I didn't have to practice. Especially when I was in California –in Florida there is no chance of indoors. I like rain. I don’t mind it. I like sun too. When I won Wimbledon when I was down against Davenport and I was booking my ticket back home and then we went out and I said I am going to turn this around and so this is my most memorable tennis rain.

Q: Did you every think you would dominate the tour on clay
Sharapova : Well dominate is a strong word and that means winning every single match and I have improved and most of is comes down to the physical aspect and patience and the … not changing my game but relying in the things I have improved like sliding and playing and definitely on the serve and this is helping.

Q: If you beat the holder of the French Open title in these conditions then you are good.

Sharapova : It's great to beat someone with the level she played last year and how she can play on clay and how she defends and get herself back in position and its nice to have a week off an playing so many tournaments and so I am looking forward to getting a few days off.

Q: When you were 66 and the rain was torrential .. did it get to a point where it was ridiculous.
Sharapova : It was tough and slippery - not only the lines but the whole court and the umpires said that it was our decision and so we said lets keep playing…

Q: I think you played this tournament (inaudible)…. how long did you think..
Sharapova : A little less practice time but other than that it was great and it’s a win win with the fans and I think that there is no huge difference perhaps
not having so many courts but its good.

Q: You have more many tournaments and play many. If you have to say something about Rome in a few years apart form winning 2 times in a Rome.
Sharapova : I like Italy in general and not only Rome and I like the energy of the people and they are outgoing and you work with the people – they are not tough to work with and I love the culture and I cannot see why someone cannot like it here and its nice to come to a tournament that you have won.

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Old May 22nd, 2012, 03:01 PM   #4173
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

I thought Italian cuisine was supposed to be wonderful, but if Maria did not mention it.....what are we to think?
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 03:04 PM   #4174
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

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I thought Italian cuisine was supposed to be wonderful, but if Maria did not mention it.....what are we to think?
Maria has a different taste than you and me.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 03:39 PM   #4175
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

hm hm hm... She mentioned it more than once when she was on vacation in Italy in Positano.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 03:59 PM   #4176
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

I didn't realize that but WTA.com has stated that Maria is now tied fourth among active players with most clay titles I thought there are more players with 5+ clay titles tbh! Kuznetsova was one obvious suspect but I've checked and she's only got 3 clay titles!

Plus the MP thing

Quote:
Sharapova Conquers Clay Again
Maria Sharapova has come a long way from the days when she struggled on clay, as her victory over Li Na in Sunday's Rome championship match raised her record to 5-0 in clay finals (and 26-16 in all finals) in her career. Of her last five titles, four have come on the dirt. Also, she is 11-1 on clay in 2012. Sharapova is now tied for fourth amongst active players for most clay titles:
Anabel Medina Garrigues: 10
Venus Williams: 9
Flavia Pennetta: 7
Jelena Jankovic: 5
Maria Sharapova: 5
Serena Williams: 5

This was the fourth time Sharapova successfully defended a title:
Tokyo [Japan Open]: 2003-2004
Birmingham: 2004-2005
San Diego: 2006-2007
Rome: 2011-2012

Before last month, Sharapova had never survived match point en route to a title, but now she has done that twice:
Stuttgart 2012: Saved one match point in QF win vs. Stosur (at 76(5) 53 down)
Rome 2012: Saved one match point in final win vs. Li (at 5-6 third set)
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:59 PM   #4177
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

i love how she mentioned about the rain break during her semi at wimbledon against lindsay

sweet memories
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Old May 24th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #4178
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Steve Tignor about Rome's final http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012...s-part-ii.html
Quote:
There will almost certainly be better, or at least saner, women’s finals in 2012, but it will be hard for any of them to offer as much as the one we saw in Rome between Maria Sharapova and Li Na. There was rain. There were helicopters. There were airplanes. There was soccer around the corner. There were hooligans on the march. There was not one, but two, epic chokes. There was a two-hour delay right when the match appeared to have finally wound to its conclusion. There was a third-set tiebreaker that ended 7-5 and was decided by a shot that landed no more than an inch wide. There were laughs about it all as the two women shook hands, and this succinct description from Li afterward: “The match was a joke.” Then there was a trophy ceremony that featured two French players, Mary Pierce and Yannick Noah, who could barely speak Italian, with the theme to Chariots of Fire as a soundtrack—a fitting end to a wacky day.

It should also be said that there were a lot of quality shots from both women, and this match, distractions and all, was as enjoyable as it was exasperating. The rallies were fast-paced and, when neither player was melting down, the winners flowed. Over its course, Sharapova and Li each showed why they could win at Roland Garros in a few weeks, as well as reminding us that neither is exactly a safe bet.

Sharapova, who won her second straight Italian Open, proved again how much her game has improved on clay. If she’s not an expert at sliding into her forehand—she still loses balance when she’s forced to move to that side—she has at least made herself competent at it on the backhand side; it’s not an easy thing to learn if you didn’t grow up on dirt. And when she was able to get set, she was the superior ball-striker. This win will also serve as a reminder, not that Maria really needs one, that she’s never out of a match until, as Li put it afterward, “the umpire says game, set, match.” On the downside for Sharapova, her serve, so solid in the controlled indoor conditions in Stuttgart, faltered again in Rome’s wind and rain and noise. She lost her toss at crucial moments in the first set, and again when she was ahead in the third. And when Li was able to push her to the forehand side, Sharapova struggled to get back into rallies.

On Li’s side of the net, for a set and a half she played the best tennis she’s played since she won the French last year. She showed one more time how well she moves on clay, and how, when her forehand is clicking and everything is in rhythm, she can control the rallies against anyone. She won 15 of 17 points during one stretch in the second set, a run that only Serena Williams is normally capable of putting together against Sharapova. But Li also showed that, like most rhythm players, she’ll start to lose the beat at a certain point—i.e., when she’s trying to close out a big match. It would have been uncanny, if it hadn’t been so predictable, to see Li lose her groove and start guiding her shots once she went up two breaks in the second. When a 4-0 score turned to 4-2, and Li sent a flat-footed backhand long, her long suffering husband, Jiang Shan, leaned forward and flashed a wry, pained smile—he must have know what was coming, and that it wasn’t going to be pretty. When his wife double-faulted a few minutes later to go down 4-5, he leaned all the way over and stared at the ground.

Looking forward to Roland Garros, each player should be pleased with this performance. Li, while she couldn’t close, has found her best form just in time. And Sharapova, with her wins in Stuttgart and Rome, has split the four major Roland Garros tune-ups with Serena Williams and will go to Paris as one of the favorites, along with Serena and Victoria Azarenka. Maria also found a way through the Foro Italico madness. She didn’t double fault in the decisive tiebreaker, came up with a key service winner at 3-2, and put her forehand at 5-5 smack in the corner, where both lines meet. She’s now 7-0 in three setters in 2012, and goes to Roland Garros with her best chance yet of completing a career Grand Slam.

Still, that wasn’t what made yesterday’s final memorable. “The mind is an amazing thing,” Tennis Channel commentator Rennae Stubbs said as the normally iron-willed Maria was going through her own, much less predictable, collapse in the third set from 4-1 up. You won’t find many matches that expose that fact more clearly than this one. Watching Sharapova and Li turn into completely different—i.e. much worse—players when they had a lead made me wonder: Why do we fear success so much more than failure?

What I’ll remember most is seeing Sharapova, down 5-6 and serving at 30-30, take an easy high forehand, drill it into the net, and then, because she couldn’t think of anything else to do at that terrible moment, pull her ponytail over up over her head. On the next point, match point for Li, Sharapova got another easy high forehand. She didn’t hesitate, and put it safely away for a winner. For Maria, especially on clay, persistence . . . well, you know what it does.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #4179
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Career girl: Maria Sharapova's sweet plan for success
By Chris Murphy, CNN
May 24, 2012 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)


((CNN) -- The taste of success is sweet for Maria Sharapova -- in more ways than one.

The Russian tennis star is focused on completing a coveted career grand slam of titles at the French Open starting next week, but she already has plans for her next off-court project.

The 25-year-old is the world's highest-paid female athlete due to her top-end endorsement deals, according to Forbes magazine, and she has another lucrative sideline in the works.

Having already designed clothes for Nike and luxury label Cole Haan among her projects, Sharapova is planning to release a line of confectionery called "Sugarpova."

"I'm doing everything. The branding and all the shapes of the candy and the gummy-bears," she told CNN's Open Court. "And it is going to launch before the U.S. Open (in September), fingers crossed, so that is my next project."

Sharapova is big business, and she takes it seriously.

"It's such a different type of work to being a tennis player, working with consumers and understanding what people buy, trend reports, what's in and what's out, whether it's something that is going to last for years," she said.

"I look at it as something that is fun for me, that is creative for me, the thought process of seeing something that is on paper or just an idea. You're traveling and you see somebody wear a cross-body bag and you're like, 'Wow I love the handle on that,' and something clicks and you put it on paper and a year later you see it in the stores for people to buy.

"I am just fascinated by that, I think it is an amazing process and I've been so fortunate to work with so many great people that teach me so much about different things. I am not a designer, I never went to school for it, but I love being creative and I love learning and understanding what works and what doesn't work."

That attention to detail has also helped put Sharapova in a position to join an exclusive club of nine tennis players who have won all four grand slam titles, known as a "career slam," having resurrected her fortunes in recent years after a serious shoulder injury.

Despite having once described herself as "a cow on ice" on clay, Sharapova has improved her game on the surface to the point where the world No. 2 is now a top contender to win the French Open and add to her Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open crowns.

Last year she reached the semifinals at Roland Garros for the second time, and she already has two tournament wins on red dirt under her belt this season after retaining the Italian Open title last weekend.

"The French Open is always a big goal of mine because I have always said it is going to be the most challenging grand slam for me to win," she said.

"Whether it was when I called myself that cow on ice or whatever it was, but if I go there and play well and physically, I feel healthy and I feel great. There is no reason I can't win it.

"I've been in a couple of semifinals, I believe, last year as well. So, it's really about (whether) I put myself in that position and win it. I believe in that definitely."

Sharapova has suffered just one defeat on clay all season -- to Serena Williams in the final of the Madrid Open -- and is coming into form at the right time.

But despite her fluency on court in the past few weeks she revealed just how taxing the transition from hard courts to the much slower clay surface is every year.

"The first few days on clay are brutal, especially with the practices; you're just getting your footwork down and the movement," she said.

"It's so frustrating. I never crack rackets but those first few days I crack rackets all the time. I'm like 'Get me extra rackets!'

"Over the years I think the key for me is being physically stronger, where I have been able to play a match whether it's three sets or two tough sets and recover for the next day.

"In Europe one of the challenges you have is in one week you could be playing five, six matches a week then you have the next tournament coming up then a week off, then you have a grand slam.

"The physical aspect of all that and mentally understanding that your body has to be ready for all those matches in a short period of time on clay has always been tough for me.

"I have always recovered so much better and I move a lot better on it, so yeah it's nicer, less rackets cracked!"

The women often suffer from comparisons to the men, with the exploits of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer cementing this as a golden age of competition in the male arena.

But Sharapova insists the women's game is on an upward curve, with players like Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams battling it out for major honors, and a new generation of talented youngsters snapping at their heels.

"The level of the game from the first round that you play at a women's event is so much higher than you would see five, 10 years ago," she explained.

"I kind of felt that I'd come to a tournament, take the first few matches and see it as a warmup, in a way. Everyone in the press was saying why is it always 6-1 6-0 6-2? But now you don't see that very often.

"You could be facing someone in the first round that is maybe not as consistent but they are experienced, they have beaten top players before and it's difficult.

"I think that is why you see so much more attendances from the beginning of the week higher than you saw years ago."

Despite perching on the shoulder of history, Sharapova insists such landmarks do not dominate her every thought, though a newfound dedication to her profession was brought into sharp focus due to a serious injury.

"I've played tennis since I was four years old and when you're in a match situation -- you could be losing or you're winning -- there are so many emotions that go into that," she said.

"Even when I was away from the game for nine months with shoulder surgery and trying to get back, I never, never ever felt that.

"There were so many things I did off the court, just great experiences, wonderful people, I got to work on amazing projects but nothing gave me that feeling of being in those positions where I had to pull out of a match when I was losing.

"(When I) had to close it out when I didn't expect myself to win, it was such an adrenaline rush that you don't get in many things in life.

"Whether it's playing some small tournament in a small city in front of 2,000 people or whether it's the finals of Wimbledon where you have an amazing crowd and all that history behind it, it is really at the end of the day trying to make yourself better."


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Old May 24th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #4180
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

I'm gonna buy a shit load of sugarpova.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #4181
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Listen to what Nick Bollettieri has to say about Masha's and other top players chances in the French Open 2012 (Audio)
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #4182
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Listen to what Nick Bollettieri has to say about Masha's and other top players chances in the French Open 2012 (Audio)
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Old May 25th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #4183
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/ne...946240027.html

An interview with:

MARIA SHARAPOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. One of your famous phrases a long time ago was that you felt like a cow on ice on the clay. From your results, that's no longer the image that you can portray to the world. Really what's made the change? You seem to be at ease, fluid, at your best over the past couple of years. What's been the transformation?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm much more comfortable on this surface. Even though I don't play too many tournaments on it throughout the year, I feel like with every year that has come and the clay court season that arrives, I feel physically stronger.

I think that's definitely helped me in the recovery process, as well. I'm enjoying it a bit more. You know, before I felt like in matches I was saving myself a little bit because I didn't always believe that physically I could play seven matches in difficult, heavy conditions in Europe when it's raining. My body just wouldn't recover that well.

But I've certainly improved that. I'm moving a lot better, which has helped me, as well. Yeah, it's always nice coming to the French Open with a couple of titles on clay and having a few more days to prepare.



Q. I have been in this room when the assembled journalists have been saying to you, Why aren't you winning this tournament? Why isn't it working? I remember you saying, It will come. I just need to give myself time and experience. At the time it seemed like you were just making excuses. You obviously believed that it would come. Do you feel vindicated that the results are now starting to show?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I always believe that no matter how old you are, how many years you have been on the tour, you can

always become a more experienced player and person. You can learn a lot more with every match. You learn so much.

I have learned a lot from, you know, my matches at the French Open, the difficult ones, the easy ones, and the ones I have lost. I always believe that I can improve. I never sit here and try to make excuses.

Usually everything I say is really what I believe at the end of the day. You know, I always thought that with every year I have improved, and I hope to keep improving whether I win this year or not.



Q. Did you ever feel so well than at this moment? Do you ever feel so well, so great?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: About coming into the French Open?



Q. No, no, in general.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: In general?



Q. Yeah.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, obviously I'm ‑‑ like I said, it's always nice to come to Roland Garros knowing that I have been playing extremely well on it and having a few titles in the last few weeks. I just keep hoping that, you know, I'm able to show great tennis here and take it into the rest of the summer.



Q. I know players don't like to look too much ahead, but you're not that far from the No. 1 spot. What would that mean to you after all you've been through this year to again be the queen of this tour?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I would love to have that again, because after I came back from my injury ‑ I don't remember what my ranking was ‑ but I thought to myself, Well, when I was young I had the goal of being No. 1. I'm kind of in a position right now where I don't have a ranking. I'm just starting from scratch. If I did it once, maybe, you know, I can try to do it again.

So to be in a position where I'm close and to just be in this position, I'm really happy. I'm happy with the way that I fought through the tough moments in the days when things weren't going exactly the way I had imagined them to go, and it's obviously always nice to be in that position to try to get that. It's a position that every player wants.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #4184
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

I wish people would stop asking the cow on ice questions.

I have also realized that stopped using "you know" so often.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #4185
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Some of the questions are so dumb. Who doesn't want be number 1? Why can't they ask exciting questions?? Same old 'cow on ice' rubbish. Be inventive, journalists!!!
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