Mar 18th, 2013, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
M. SHARAPOVA/C. Wozniacki
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Caroline said that you played pretty much perfect. That's more or less how it looked except for parts of the first part with the forehand.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think, you know, the scoreline, you know, looks a lot easier than I think the match actually was. I think it was a tough match, a tough battle, and there were a lot of games that went to deuce and a lot of long games.
You know, they could have easily swung the other way, especially some opportunities she had in that second set. I always felt like I was always a foot ahead, especially with the breaks. I was able to serve well today, and that helped me.
Q. Do you feel like you were playing as well as you did to start off in Australia?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I was playing a different type of opponent. That was the first few rounds of a Grand Slam and this is a final. So, you know, I don't like to compare situations too much, but I knew that for today's match it was very important to step up.
I didn't feel like I played my best tennis in the beginning of the tournament, but sometimes it's the way it works. You know, it's always better to work yourself through the tournament and get better as it ends than sometimes start extremely well and don't feel like, you know, you're gaining momentum as the tournament goes on.
Q. She was able to beat you a few times a few years ago and frustrate you, move you around. What do you think you were able to do to turn around these matchups that helped it go so decisively in your favor today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, the one thing that hopefully as a player you take from losing matches is, I guess, the understanding of what you can try to change the next time you play against them or what you feel worked and didn't.
Those are things obviously that are a little bit tactical. But also, you know, I mean, she's someone that if she has time she can make you hit so many balls, and that's not really the way that I want to be and not the way I want to control the points.
So it was really important to try to take away that time that she likes to have.
Q. Adding to that, though, on the move today you were hitting not just winners but balls back deep even when she got you going side to side. Your defense played a part, too, no?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I mean, tennis is not just about offense. Of course, you get to offense by being a good, solid defensive player, as well. It's very helpful.
But, you know, the serve and return I thought were also very important. It was good to get a good hit on the first ball, which I thought I did quite well and opened up the court.
Yeah, those little things.
Q. The No. 1 ranking looks like it might flicker between the three of you a little bit. How important is No. 1? How important are slams? How good is it to get a title this early?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, No. 1 is a great number. (Laughter.) I have been asked this question so many times, and I don't want to be boring, but I feel like I sound boring every time I answer it. I'm trying to come up with something new.
So the boring answer is that the more consistent you are and the better results that you have and the more wins that you're able to get, the better chances you have of getting that spot.
Is it something that all of us want? Absolutely. I mean, no doubt. It's a no brainer question.
But I think at this point in my career, titles and Grand Slams are just a bigger priority.
Q. There is another question you have never been asked before. Fabulous day, a fabulous run here, Maria, but still some problems with the game of Serena and Li Na. What do you think can you do in your game in terms of facing up with them?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, those are very tough players. You know, against Vika I had a bit of a losing streak. I was able to change that around last year and have some good matches against her.
You know, Serena was very dominant last year. I mean, she played tremendous, confident tennis. She's also very strong and very athletic, so, you know, you need to be consistent with her. She's also a great frontrunner. You're down a little bit and she goes with it. She's a confidence player.
Yeah, I mean, it was a tough one against Li Na in the semis, but you look forward to that next opportunity that you can play against her.
Q. You fell a little bit short in the final here last year. Did that give you more motivation to get the job done this year?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, it's always a motivation to be in a final of a tournament. You know, obviously it's always tough to lose in the finals, but when you're giving yourself opportunities to win more finals, that's better than saying that, you know, you lost early and didn't have that chance.
So, you know, putting yourself in that position to try to gain those titles is great. I'm very proud and happy that I'm putting myself in those positions. Today I did a good job of coming through.
Q. Reflect on the difference between winning today and then the first time you won this tournament. Seems like a different generation of players on the tour and stuff like that. It's been so long.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it has been, and here we are, still asking me questions and I'm still answering them.
I don't think I have gray hairs yet, but I just as the years go by, I mean, I'm still very lucky that I'm here and that I'm still doing it and that I still love it and have the passion to do it.
I feel like I'm a different player. I'm a much more experienced player. I have learned so much over the years.
But it's nice to hold up that trophy after so many years.
Q. Can you tell us about the field? The field feels so much different now than 2006.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't exactly remember who was in the field then, but, I mean, you know, down the line you know there is going to be a generation that comes up. There are going to be players that you played in the beginning of your career that are retired and no longer playing, like the Belgian girls, Justine and Kim, which I think they were both in the draw that year if, I'm not mistaken. And Lindsay.
So of course that changes and you have a lot younger players and younger generation, and I'm probably somewhere smack in the middle of it all.
Q. I talked to your trainer a couple of days ago, and he said the biggest improvement you made might be movement, running side to side. Do you feel that way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, he's a trainer. He's supposed to say that, right? (Laughter.)
If he told you that I didn't improve then that's not a good sign. Smart guy, huh? He's Japanese.
Yeah, I think movement has always been something in my career which I have always said that I can improve, that I can get better at, the recovery, the movement, getting in the corner, getting myself back in position.
Those are all very important parts of the game. You know, I'm a tall girl and for sure not the fastest or the strongest. We knew that since I was ten years old that I was going to be tall and probably not the girl with the most muscle or, you know, lifting heavy weights.
So for me a lot of the improvements I make are when I do those drills on the court and when I, you know, do a lot of tennis and do footwork drills and quick feet. Those types of things are really big for me. I'm not looking to go to the gym and squat with weights or do, you know, biceps, triceps. That's not really my thing.
Q. Can you talk about risk taking a bit? When you're playing super aggressive and it's going well, like today, I'm sure you say, Hit, hit, hit, but if it's not playing well, do you say to yourself, Play with more margins or this is how I'm used to playing and this is the only way I can win?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Funny, you're not the first person that said I was hitting quite big, right? Did it look like it? Didn't really feel like it.
Q. It did look like it. Caroline said so.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: (Laughter.) I think I don't know, because I kind of had a different idea about the match, or about at least how I was hitting.
I didn't feel like I was hitting rockets out there. I thought I was being aggressive, but I was doing the right things and being patient enough and looking for the right shot of, you know, when I wanted to move in a little bit.
I don't know. Sometimes when you're in the match you don't really realize what's going on. Obviously this sounds like the case here.
Q. Obviously we know that you're very good with what you do on court. If you go off court, what is it that you don't do well or you can't do that you would really like to do well?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Where do we start? (Laughter.)
One thing I would love to do well is to draw. I doodle. I don't draw.
The other thing is I would like to learn more languages. I would like to know more languages. That's one of the regrets I have, is when you're younger it's just such a great opportunity to learn languages. I mean, French and Spanish, I know French a little bit but not as good as I want to know it.
Cooking. I'd love to be a better cook. And a baker. Yeah. I can think of a few others.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I can always be everyone can be a better singer except Adele. She's got her thing down.
Q. When you talk about your kind of aggressive game, which you discussed over the week, how much of that, looking back, is the game that was taught to you versus the game that kind of is your game and it's an expression of what you kind of want to do on the court in terms of taking control of points as opposed to being more of a counterpuncher or defensive grinder or something?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I went through different types of coaches through my junior days, but I would say the main one that really put my strokes and my technique not technique, but my I would say game in place is Robert.
He had the vision of just feeding out of the basket and his students being able to hit just hundreds and hundreds of balls and have that feeling they can do it over and over again no matter where they are on the court. Mentally that helped me so much because I, I always felt like I had good, you know, fluid groundstrokes.
There's nothing really but the consistency I didn't feel like when I was younger was always there.
After a lesson with him I just always felt I could go out and play and I could close my eyes and have the same type of rhythm.
So that was I think like a big key for me and very important, you know, in my development.
But then I also went to people that would, you know, help me with different things or, you know, work on serve or work on just different types of specialists, whatever you call them.
Q. You seemed to break new ground on court tweeting today.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I what?
Q. Broke new ground with on court tweeting today.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I tweeted from the court. Why did I break ground?
Q. Not a lot of people do that between the match and the ceremony?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: How long did it take for them to get the trophy out? I was getting a heat stroke out there. I was still drinking water. (Laughter.)
It takes a lot for me to start drinking water. Yeah.
Mar 19th, 2013, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
A good article on Maria:
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - She has been an elite player on the WTA for about a decade now, but having broken through so young, she's not quite veteran age yet - where does Maria Sharapova, who is fresh off her first WTA title of the year at Indian Wells, feel she fits among the generations?
Sharapova won her first WTA titles in 2003 and has won at least one more every year since then, an 11-year run - only Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf have longer streaks. And that longevity also came through at the BNP Paribas Open over the last two weeks - she won the Premier-level title for the first time way back in 2006 and repeated that feat this year, seven years later.
"I don't exactly remember who was in the field then, but down the line you know there's going to be a new generation that comes up," Sharapova said. "There are going to be players who you played at the beginning of your career that are retired and no longer playing, like the Belgian girls - Justine and Kim - I think they were both in the draw that year, if I'm not mistaken. And Lindsay.
"So of course that changes over the years, and you have a lot of younger players and the younger generation coming up as well. And I'm probably somewhere smack in the middle of it all."
A player changes over a seven year period - the Sharapova who won the title in 2006 is probably far different than the one who won it in 2013. But how does the woman herself feel about that?
"It has been so long," Sharapova said. "I don't think I have gray hairs yet, but as the years go by, I'm still very lucky that I'm here and that I'm still doing it and that I still love it and have the passion to do it. I feel like I'm a different player. I'm a much more experienced player. I've learned so much over the years. And it's nice to hold up that trophy again after so many years."
Sharapova turned the clock back even more when asked about her very early development as a player.
"I went through different coaches through my junior days, but I would say the main one that really put my strokes and my game in place was Robert Lansdorp. He had the vision of just feeding out of the basket and his students being able to hit hundreds and hundreds of balls and have that feeling they can do it over and over again, no matter where they are on the court. Mentally that helped me so much because I always felt like I had good, fluid groundstrokes. The consistency I didn't feel when I was younger was always there - after a lesson with him I just always felt I could close my eyes and have the same rhythm. That was a big key for me and very important in my development.
"But I also went to different specialists who would help me with other things and specific shots."
Sharapova's win at Indian Wells pushed her back to No.2 on the rankings, but with the seeds being set before those came out, she is the No.3 seed in Miami this fortnight after Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. The Russian has never won Miami but is a four-time finalist, finishing runner-up to Kim Clijsters in 2005, Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2006, Azarenka in 2011 and Agnieszka Radwanska in 2012.
Mar 19th, 2013, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Tough love, I guess, from 2002..http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar...ts/sp-tennis07
The vaunted coach observed Maria Sharapova, then a pre-teen, and issued his verdict.
"I took a look at her," he said. "I said, 'Well, I think her forehand [stinks]. And her concentration is no good. They [the family] basically didn't leave. They kept coming back for more, for more punishment. I was right. When you have someone who is very talented, everybody will start raving and never tell you the truth. But I really don't care."
It turned out Sharapova didn't care either. Lansdorp's tough words amused her, instead of scaring her, and if her dad had read about this famous coach when she was a child in Russia, well, this was where she would learn.
The comparisons between Sharapova and Kournikova aren't many. Sharapova actually seemed to enjoy being interviewed, something you can't say of Kournikova.
"I respect her," said Sharapova, a wild-card entrant. "I'm just trying to do my own thing, just trying to be Maria Sharapova, not look for anyone else's game. I try to be myself."
She cannot play another WTA event until she turns 15, which is April 19. Her parents decided to bring her to the United States when she was 7 for her tennis. Sharapova, 5 feet 9 and 108 pounds, was born in Siberia and moved to Sochi when she was 2.
"It was a hard decision," she said. "Of course it was great because I'm here doing an interview. In Russia, I could have been going to school with my friends and doing my homework and looking at Monica Seles on TV when I'm going to play her tomorrow."
Mar 24th, 2013, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
What an awkward interview
with some shade for good measure
M. SHARAPOVA/E. Vesnina
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Looking back, that 3 3 game in the first set, how pivotal do you think that was?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I just remember it was a really long one. I was ready for a water break. (Smiling.)
I was happy that it was over and I got the break. I mean, you know, I felt like I had so many chances in that game. I didn't take them. She had a few game points.
So we were really back and forth, but that was a very important game.
Q. When you have a game like that, seven deuces, I think, when you're in the middle of it, were you kind of thinking, This could point the direction of the match or you don't think that way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely, because I was down 1 3 so it was a very important game. I felt like, you know, after, I broke back, I held my serve, I felt like I had a bit of momentum.
But then with that game you swing back and forth, it was that was a very important game.
Q. Conditions? Windy? Was it difficult out there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, not easy. You know, not easy for the both of us with the heat and the wind. Just one of those days where you know you might not be playing your best tennis. I certainly wasn't today.
I got through, and I'm on to the next one.
Q. No. 2 in the world. Sometimes they say No. 2 tries harder. How much motivation does that give you? You could actually end up No. 1 at the end of this tournament.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's always a great position to be in when you put yourself in a position to be close to No. 1. I mean, I don't take that for granted for any time of the day.
But I also know that it's important to be level headed and think about the next one rather than the end result or how other people are going to do and where your ranking is going to stand depending on other people's results and not just yours.
So my theory on that is just to try to win as many matches on your end, and that gives you a better chance to be on top.
Q. On the subject of motivation, there are many tournaments you haven't won
. This is one of them. You won a lot of matches here, but you haven't had the trophy. When you arrive here, how much is that in the back of your mind?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's in the back of my mind because I would love to be the champion here. As you mentioned, it's one of the biggest tournaments for us and it's one that I have the most consistent at being in four finals but yet not winning it yet.
I would definitely love to go a step further here.
Q. You have talked about being here, and I know I have read it a couple times but I love the story. I guess your parents come here and taking pictures.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.
Q. Can you talk about your memories and things by the fountain?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I saw they took that away, so it's now like a little palm tree in the middle.
Yeah, I remember coming here, because we were living in Bradenton and it was just a four hour drive down. We'd watch Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and I remember watching Marcelo Rios playing. I loved watching him play, and especially the late night and all the Latin fans are still. It's probably 11:00, close to midnight, and they were going strong.
It was a great atmosphere. So, yeah, I was a fan and now I'm a player here.
Q. I'm amazed at how your tennis has evolutionated [sic]. Do you think your screams have evolutionated as well with your tennis?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't.
Q. You think you scream the same as the first time you came to Miami?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's not for me to judge. It's more for you.
Q. Did you see the story about Serena coming to work on a bicycle?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. (Laughter.)
Q.She decided the traffic was too bad yesterday so she cycled up the road from her hotel.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she's staying down the road. I mean, if she was somewhere on Brickell or on South Beach that would make for a better story. (Smiling.)
Q. Have you ever ridden to the tournament on a bicycle? Martina used to do that at Wimbledon.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't think I have. I haven't ridden a bicycle since I was five years old.
Q. You have won at least I guess one title 11 years in a row. It's very impressive. I think Navratilova, Evert, and Graf are the only three women who have done that. Can you talk a little bit about that and the continuity and longevity?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I have been on the tour for so many years, and I'm very grateful that I have been able to obviously play to be able to play tournaments and to be able to win some of them.
Yeah, that is kind of surprising, because during that time I was also away from the game with an injury for a long time, you know, for nine months. It wasn't from like a January to the end of the year.
But, yeah, I'm very happy that I have been able to achieve that.
Q. How is your collarbone and shoulder?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good. It's doing very well.
Q. And your opponent, Klara, I guess it's
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Zakopalova, yeah.
Q. She's your next opponent. She gave you a tough match I guess at the French Open.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.
Q. I guess you guys are...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, played her in Doha as well a couple months ago. I don't know when it was.
She's a tricky one because she's a grinder. She gets so many balls back and makes you hit a lot. You can never underestimate her game.
Q. Just coming back to the match today for a second.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.
Q. You dropped six games, but the scoreline doesn't really reflect how close the match actually was. What was it that really allowed you to come through today? You seemed to do better when you were facing break points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I know. Isn't it amazing what happens when you're down? You just switch on? (Smiling.)
I think it was a matter of patience. I mean, I think, you know, from the warmup the conditions are not great. You're facing an opponent that, you know, she's very capable of playing good tennis.
Maybe her ranking is not, you know, where she wants it to be right now, but she's beaten me before. I think the last time we played in Beijing. You know, I know what type of tennis she can produce.
In situations like this where it's tough and it's hot, it kind of levels out the game a little bit as well, you know, with the windy conditions, because you have to be a bit more patient. That was really important today.
Q. I wanted to know and I am probably saying it wrong is it Sugar...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Sugarpova, yeah. It's not that hard to say.
Q. Do you, like, walk around with it on you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I used to, but I thought it wasn't very good for the hips or for the bottom.
Q. You said you have a sweet tooth. Other than your own candy, what's your favorite sweet?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I like Nutella a lot. Nutella on crepes, that's one of my favorites. When I'm in Paris I kind of go crazy on that.
It changes all the time, actually.
I mean, the reason I got into gummies was because when I moved to the States when I was seven or eight, I saw like Gummy Bears and gummy type candies, and I had never seen that in Russia before.
So I was quite amazed, and I was like, I can't wait to bring this back to my friends, especially at movie theatres when you go and you choose all the different types of flavors. I think that's one of the reasons I was so excited about launching it and launching something that I have very fond memories of.
Q. The one with the marshmallow sounds good.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it has like a middle marshmallow. That's quirky.
Q. Do you like Cuban food?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I don't discriminate food. I like all types of food.
Last edited by Cosmic Voices : Mar 24th, 2013 at 10:21 PM.
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