Jan 16th, 2013, 08:09 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Living in technicolor
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Maria Sharapova 16-1-13
Wednesday, 16 January, 2013
Q. You obviously have a pretty big candy business now, but you're also making a lot of bagels.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I didn't offer candy today (laughter). Trying to make a good question?
I was just really trying to be focused. You know, I didn't know too much about my opponent; just knew she was a few inches shorter than I was.
But it's always tough, especially when you're up a set and a couple of breaks to keep that momentum. You know, I really forced myself to concentrate and just get the job done today.
Q. Seemed like you wanted this one. In the last game you were getting upset at an incorrect challenge.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not really. I don't think I was.
Q. There's no temptation to ease your foot off the gas at any stage in today's match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I mean, my focus is always on the next point and to try to win as many of them as possible. When you have your chances and opportunities, little doors that open up, you try to take them.
Without looking at the scoreboard, I don't want anyone to know what score it is on the scoreboard just by looking at my face or my attitude. I try to play every single point like I really need to win it.
Q. Scoreline aside, how do you feel your own level has been in these first two matches, especially having no matches coming in?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I feel like I've been solid. I've been getting the job done. You know, knowing what's ahead of me, I know that I'll need to improve and step it up.
I'm looking forward to the next challenges that come my way.
Q. And if that's Venus, can you talk about that a little bit?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely.
There are certainly no secrets coming into that matchup. We've played against each other many times. You know, despite the fact that she might not be seeded high or didn't play for a little bit, she's still a very experienced player and a tremendous athlete.
Going out there, there won't be too many secrets. I hope for it to be a great match.
Q. When you played her in Rome, did you find any difference in her level than two or three years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. In Rome I thought she actually played a good match. I thought it was a good quality of tennis out there.
Q. So you expect what exactly?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A good match (laughter). What do I expect?
I expect to go out there, two athletes competing in front of, you know, thousands of people like we do all the time and trying to win the match.
Q. But when you're playing another great player, is there more intensity to the match than if somebody that doesn't have the experience?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, you certainly know what she's capable of. But when you're out on the court, you're not thinking how many titles she's won or how experienced she is.
You're thinking about what you need to do to step it up in a certain situation and win as many points as you can.
Q. Is there any disadvantage to not having faced a little bit of adversity in the first two rounds, losing a few games here or there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't want to look at it that way. In any single match, you give a person a little opportunity and they can run with it, so...
Q. Have you enjoyed your first 48 hours on Twitter?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm a rookie. There are a lot of things I'm still learning about. I'm just starting to follow things and people. Now I'm learning how to, is it hashtag things, right? That was a new one for me.
But it's interesting. I mean, I won't be doing it like every single minute. I won't be telling people what I'm eating. I think that's very non interesting.
But when I do have things to say, I'm sure I will. Last night I was watching this match I really wanted to say something about the commentating going on, but I really bit my tongue on that one.
I was like, Isn't that what Twitter is for, to open up? Itself like, No, no.
Q. Andy Roddick has been doing that. He's been criticizing commentating since he retired also on Twitter.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's not like he didn't when he was playing, so...
Q. Does it surprise you that you can just say hello on social media and get 200,000 followers just like that (snapping fingers)?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It does. It's very flattering. But it just shows you the power of social media, how everyone is just online these days with devices.
I mean, sometimes you see me and I have my notebook here and my phone here. It's like I'm looking back and forth. Sometimes my mom speaks to me and she says, I think I need to send you a text message to get your attention. It's pretty crazy.
But it shows you how powerful these things are. I'm happy that I'm able to share some things with my fans that maybe they don't get to see or hear me say. Just a fun way to communicate with them.
Q. We can see Venus on this TV screen here. She has a bright colored dress on. Tricky to make comments. She wore the same dress in her last match. Any comment on her fashion statement?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't seen the dress. Maybe I'll see it in the next round and can comment.
Q. Are you happy with these two bagel matches? This happened 28 years ago. Are you happy with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's not really the statistic I want to be known for. I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6 0, 6 0.
You know, I'm just happy that I won the match and I get to go through and I'm in the next round.
Q. When you're at a tournament and some big players or personalities are missing, like a Kim or a Roddick, do you feel that? Are you still too much in your own thing to sense their absence?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's a good question, because you don't think about it on a daily basis. But sometimes you're watching the TV, you see the draw, you see a few openings, and you think, Why is that? Then you think back on some of the retirements.
Yeah, I remember playing when Kim, Justine, Serena, and Venus were in the draw. Yeah, it's different. But you don't really, really think about it. I don't think anyone misses these players so much because we're constantly just doing our thing to go out and compete and play the next match. It's just like a revolving door.
But meanwhile, there they are on vacation trying mojitos watching us on television living the life while we're out there sweating in 35 degree weather. So I don't know who has it good.
Q. Date was talking about relating to the other generation. Clearly she is a lot older than you, but do you find yourself feeling like an older player, and can you relate to the 18 year olds?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Maybe not as old as that, but I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle definitely. I feel like I've seen an older generation when I was quite young and just getting on the tour be at the peak of their career and competing really well and learning so much from that.
Now I find myself in a moment where you see so many, you know, youngsters not young, but 17, 18, 19, 20 years old that are doing really well. And I guess that is the newer generation.
Sometimes you think it's quite crazy because it seems like last minute you were there, you were one of them.
Jan 18th, 2013, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Maria Sharapova 18-1-13
Friday, 18 January, 2013
Q. At the last press conference you said there would be no surprises tonight. How surprised were you with at least the first set and a half?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she's capable of producing and playing.
Despite what she's ranked or seeded, it doesn't matter when you go out on the court. She's been there. She's experienced enough to know no matter if you're playing the third round, the quarters, or the final, you have to be ready.
I certainly was. Since the draw came out, I was really looking forward to that matchup.
Q. Of the eight you've now played, only one has gone to three sets. Is it a coincidence that it's fairly decisive one way or the other?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's not something that you're thinking about certainly during the match. I try to keep the level that I had in the first set and carry that into the second. I did a good job of maintaining that.
Lost a few closer points. Made a few more errors. She started improving her game towards the end of the second set, so I was really happy I was able to close it out the way I did.
Q. Has much changed about her game? Did you have to do anything differently to prepare for tonight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, we've played each other so many times. It's not like we're looking at each other's videos because we haven't seen each other play. We've faced each other. We've seen each other play on television. I saw her play way before I even started.
That's why I said there's really no secrets. We know each other's games very well. A lot of it is about executing from our own sides. I thought I did a good job of what I had in my head and what I wanted to accomplish out there today.
Q. That was a big celebration at the end there. Were you thinking about another Williams sister in the final at that moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I lost a couple I was up 5 1, down Love 40, and it was swinging back and forth for those couple of games. Then I was up 30 Love, it got back to 30 All, and I served that game out really well. I was just really pumped. Why shouldn't I be?
Q. It will be your 17th quarterfinal in a slam if you make it that far.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's the fourth round, right?
Q. If you win on Sunday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I was like, Hey, am I in the quarters? Great. Do I not know something you know (laughter)?
Q. Your 17 quarterfinal shows consistency. But does it show you anything else?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's always the ultimate goal is to get to the later stages of the Grand Slams. That's really where you need to improve, and the matches always get more tougher and more physical.
In a way, I am quite experienced about how to pace myself mentally and physically throughout these two weeks, because it's a long grind. Not one match is the same. Not one day is the same.
Of course, it's tough to be as fresh in the finals as you are in the first round. But it's certainly a great achievement, and I'm happy that I've been able to be so consistent. But I'm not looking to stop in the quarterfinals.
Q. Have you been pressing yourself so far in this tournament? Do you still feel like you have another level to go?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's always things that you want to improve on. I think the reason I started so well in this tournament is because I knew that I had to. I knew I was coming in without any match play. It's tough. I hadn't played a match, you know, a professional match, a real match, in over two months.
Coming into a Grand Slam, it's not always the best case scenario. I've been experienced enough to manage that.
But I was coming into the first round knowing that I was healthy and ready to go. I think I was just much more mentally prepared, and I knew maybe I would make a few more mistakes than I would if I had match play.
But I was just really determined from the start.
Q. Has that surprised you, how well you have played?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Considering I didn't play any matches, I'm happy with my form.
But, like I said, I'm always looking to improve. That's always my goal.
Q. Can you talk about Flipkens, your next opponent?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I believe the last time we played against each other was many years ago at Roland Garros. I think this is the best slam that she's done, right, fourth round? So there's a reason she's at this level. It's great to see her playing like that. She did extremely well in the juniors.
She's obviously doing a good job of transitioning her game into the pros. She's a tricky player, uses her slice really well, and a good athlete as well; moves around the court quite well. It's an opponent I really have to look out for.
Q. There was a lot of talk today about the Lance Armstrong interview. Did you catch any of it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I saw a little bit of it, yeah.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on his admission today, how he justified it as not cheating?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's just a really sad story, sad for that sport itself. I'm happy that our sport is as clean as it can be and that we're constantly tested. You know, we give whereabouts of where we are every single day of the year. Hopefully not on birthdays and Christmas Eve, that would be pretty tough.
Although they did show up on my birthday and I was very disappointed. They did a couple of years ago. I said, Unless you bring flowers, I'm okay with it. But they came empty handed (laughter).
So as long as we're getting tested, whatever it takes, urine, blood, we're all here to make the sport as clean as it can be.
Q. Do you feel tennis is pretty clean at this moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do very much. For the amount of times that we get tested throughout the year and as random as they are, definitely.
Q. You are thinking about the next match, but you beat Venus today. How do you think about the performance of Serena Williams to win this title?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's on the other side of the draw and other players are on the other side of the draw as well. Until you get to that stage, and if you do, if you're facing each other, that's the point when you're thinking about that particular opponent.
Q. Have you heard if Flipkens had some advice from Kim Clijsters?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've heard she's kind of taken her under her wing. I think that's great.
Its Just About Maria >>
Jan 18th, 2013, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Sharapova charges on
Friday, 18 January, 2013
By Alexandra Willis
The return of Serena Williams to the top of the tennis tree, in thought if not in ranking, has been so remarkable, that it has left little room to appreciate the efforts of her sister, Venus. For while Serena was recovering from lacerated foot, pulmonary embolism and haemotoma, Venus was also trying to steer herself around an ongoing influx of injuries, and, as it later emerged, the debilitating Sjrogen’s Syndrome.
While Serena won Wimbledon, two Olympic golds and the US Open, Venus produced small victories of her own. She defied the odds to qualify for the Olympics on her ranking, without relying on a wild card, much of which involved winning on clay, her least accomplished surface. She won Olympic gold alongside her sister. And then, almost the most impressive of the lot, the reached her first semi-final since 2010 in Cincinnati, before winning her first title in two and a half years in Luxembourg to close the season. Venus Williams, it was made clear, would not be retiring anytime soon.
But be that as it may, there remains a gulf between the Venus Williams of today and the way she once was. And that was exposed to its full degree by Maria Sharapova, the second seed, who unpicked and out-hit Venus 6-1 6-3 in their third-round encounter on Friday night.
“She played very well. I expect her to play well,” Venus said. “Definitely not my best day today. But, you know, there's always other days to play better.”
There had been much talk of this being a blockbuster. A Friday night lights affair on Rod Laver Arena as two erstwhile rivals went toe to toe. Except Sharapova, only 25 to Venus’s 32, didn’t come close to letting that happen.
“I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she's capable of producing and playing,” Sharapova said.
“Despite what she's ranked or seeded, it doesn't matter when you go out on the court. She's been there. She's experienced enough to know no matter if you're playing the third round, the quarters, or the final, you have to be ready. I certainly was. Since the draw came out, I was really looking forward to that matchup.”
For the first four games of the match, Sharapova maintained her perfect record at Australian Open 2013: 28 games won, none lost. Two breaks, two service holds, and barely a wobble among them, aside from one break point. Venus, by contrast, looked as flummoxed as the blobs of paint on her dress. Her former foe out-hit her by only two more winners. She served just 44 per cent of her first serves in. And yet Venus found no way in against Sharapova.
The tale was true of the second set too. Sharapova broke to lead 3-0 before the American held to cheerful applause. There would be no bagel to humiliate the former great, who, despite never winning at Melbourne Park, still held seven Grand Slam titles to Sharapova’s four.
“We know each other's games very well,” Sharapova said. “A lot of it is about executing from our own sides. I thought I did a good job of what I had in my head and what I wanted to accomplish out there today.”
Thus there was no stopping the Russian on this occasion. Serving out the win at 6-3 in the second, Sharapova let slip how much this matchup meant. Producing a gutteral yell that Novak Djokovic would be proud of, she earned a withering look from Venus. But what did it matter? She had won.
“I served that game out really well. I was just really pumped. Why shouldn't I be?” she said.
It’s hard to argue with that. Or the way she played.
sing when you are winning..
Jan 20th, 2013, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Press conference after today's match.
Q. Is your collarbone causing you too much trouble at the moment, Maria?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I'm feeling healthy.
Q. When you're playing as well as you are, what do you do to keep it up? Does it ever get nerve wracking that it might stop at some point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's really about keeping your focus and, you know, no matter what the score is, no matter if you're up. You know, I didn't start the match really great. I was facing a different type of opponent today and I was making a few more mistakes than I would have liked in the beginning.
But after, you know, I held at 2 1, you know, I really started making her play a little bit more. Started really getting under the ball and being aggressive and just had a little bit more energy which really helped me and I carried that throughout the match.
It's always much easier said than done to keep that focus, especially when you have a first set, you know. And maybe in the end of the second your opponent can start going for it a little bit more. She started serving and volleying the last game, which she wasn't really doing too much.
All of a sudden, especially in women's tennis, things can change really quickly. It's really about, you know, sticking to your game plan, being consistent, but playing your game.
Q. Statistically you've probably never had as good a start. Can you remember when you've had anything like this, dropping as few games as you have?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think I can remember not as many games, no. I mean, the year that I won here I don't think there was many games that I lost, but I don't think it was five or six.
Q. The year you won here you beat a lot of good players, three former No. 1's.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Toughest draw in my career.
Q. Dementieva in the fourth round. All respect to Flipkens, but she's not Dementieva. Do you know where your level is right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You have to face whoever's in the next round. Whether it's Flipkens and it won't be Dementieva now it's who's ahead of you, who's the next one. It doesn't really matter. There's a reason why your opponent gets to that stage of the tournament. I mean, she beats Zakopalova like, what 2 and 1 or something.
She has a different type of game, one you don't see so much. That's why she wins so many matches. She's doing it more consistent. Maybe before she was making a few more errors.
But, you know, she's a very solid player. It's such a contrast to the match of my previous round where it was all about power. So that's certainly not easy, you know, to come from that and adjust to a match like this.
Q. Do you know much about her story, what she's done in the last year, after blood clots and everything?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.
Q. She had blood clots last April, ranked 260; she's done pretty well.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's for sure. Definitely. To be playing tennis as well as she is after that, that's a nice story.
Q. Do you think you're playing well enough to win this or do you really have to wait till you play some of the fellow high seeds to find that out?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Like I mentioned in my previous answer, it's not about waiting to see where you are in the semis or finals, it's about who's ahead of you.
And my next match is against Makarova. I have to do the right things to beat her.
If I win that, it's moving on to the next one. That's how I go about a tournament, a Grand Slam. Obviously I want to be playing my best tennis towards the end of the second week.
Q. You've been playing very well, but particularly this tournament we can see lots of return winners. How do you feel about your return at the moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel like against Venus I returned pretty well. But if you don't, I mean, the scoreline is not going to be the way it was. I think that was really important, you know, the return and the serve, the first shot.
The court is playing a little bit faster this year, I feel like. So those are two very extremely important, you know, shots because they start the point off and, you know, hopefully get you in a good position in the court and finish the point how you want to finish it.
Q. So you are happy with your return?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think so. I could have maybe returned a little bit better in the beginning of today's match, but overall I did, yeah.
Q. When you spend so little time on the match court in matches, do you then go onto the practice court or are you satisfied with just the match? Some people feel they haven't been extended and want to play more in the day.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have in the past certainly when I felt like I've come off a match and I'm feeling like something needs a little bit of extra work or I need a little bit more time in the gym, do a little run.
But it depends. You also have to pace yourself because it's a two week event. Over the course of those two weeks, it's important that your body and your mind is as good as it can be towards the end of the second week as it is in the beginning. You're not going to be as fresh.
The work that you put in before the tournament is the most important. What you do in the off season, you're not going to put this work in during the tournaments.
I actually love coming to tournaments. You practice less and just go and play matches. It's like the best case scenario.
Q. How much more time do you spend on recovery than you did maybe four years ago or eight years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I spend a lot more time doing like little shoulder exercises that are a complete bore, that I wish I didn't have to do, but I do. You know, I have to get treatment every day on the shoulder and also the body.
Yeah, I mean, usually on the days off I spend a good 45 minutes to an hour in the gym. But it's not like lifting heavy weights. It's more preventive exercises for the whole body. Then another hour on the massage table. I'm usually doing emails and my trainer is working.
Q. Is there such a thing as getting like a special feeling during a Grand Slam that you know you're going to play well or is it really match to match, day to day?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It is. The lead up to the tournament, you know, sometimes if you're playing really good in practice I get a little bit worried. But I never do. I'm horrible in practice most of the time.
I'm like, That's a great sign, because I come to the matches, you know, and my expectations are quite low.
But I think it depends. Every Grand Slam that I've won or done well at, I've always felt different actually. You know, sometimes I feel like I'm not playing my best tennis in the beginning, but I start playing better.
And then a couple that I've won, I felt like I was playing great from the beginning and I was able to carry that through the whole tournament.
Q. 2008, what match did you know you might win? Was it Justine when you beat her in the quarters?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think so. I was really ready for Justine's match, especially after losing to her in Madrid.
Q. Do you have any certain habits to give your game confidence before the game? For example, like when you wake up today, what do you usually do? Like choose a certain color of dress or do something that makes you feel good looking or fresh?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, if it was good for business, I'd wear a different dress for every match. But the dresses are the same for every match. If you played well, you're wearing it again, great; if you didn't, it's just bad luck. You have to wear it again.
I mean, I have my routine. I wouldn't say it's very superstitious. But I think over the years when you find a routine that works for you, you stick with it, whether it's the times and when you warm up, how long, how long you like to give yourself before a match.
It's more those things that make you just feel comfortable because you know it's worked for you before.
Q. Are you still practicing your Yoga every day?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: My Yoga? No, I haven't. I've got so many other things to practice. Yoga just really isn't on that list anymore.
Q. If you were to make a new Sugarpova flavor based on your first four matches, what would it be called?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think you get a bag for that (laughter).
Oh, I don't know.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I would call it steamy, but just for different reasons. (Laughter.) You know what I'm talking about, Max.
What does she mean answering to that last question?
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