Jun 21st, 2013, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Another wonderful article from ESPN. Such a incredibly misleading title. It's hilarious how he spends most of his time writing a love letter to the abilities of Serena and, to a lesser extent, Vika while dismissing Maria as a talentless hack who has achieved everything she's gotten by that old reliable "fighting spirit". Basically, he should have called the article "Serena and Vika, what the best rivalry should be."
Sharapova-Azarenka the best rivalry
It is, at this late date, unclear whether there is anything more futile in women's tennis than trying to create a rivalry between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. The repetition of statistics never seem to dull the sharpness of Williams' scalpel piercing the fading aura of Sharapova. Against Serena, Sharapova has lost 14 of 16 career matches, including 13 in a row. Since 2005, Williams and Sharapova have played 29 sets. Serena has won 26 of them. With Wimbledon less than a week away, the last time the two met on grass was at the All England Club. No, not at Wimbledon but in the gold-medal final at last year's London Olympics. Serena demolished Sharapova 6-0, 6-1.
Maria Sharapova hasn't had any success versus Serena Williams, but her rivalry with Victoria Azarenka is certainly an intriguing one. Sharapova has a 2-14 record against Serena, yet a tone-deaf hype machine nevertheless continues to try to sell a rivalry between two players in which one has traditionally been the hammer and the other the nail. Williams is so obviously peerless that the real rivalry in the women's game isn't a battle for No. 1 but rather is between No. 2 Victoria Azarenka and No. 3 Sharapova.
A year ago, before Williams made her summer charge and restored order at the top of the rankings, Sharapova and Azarenka traded time as the top-ranked woman in the world. Sharapova has the career Grand Slam, winning each major once. Azarenka has two Australian Open titles. They've met 13 times, and Azarenka leads 7-6, including a solid 5-1 record in finals. There is actual tension of not knowing the outcome.
Eighteen months ago, when Azarenka destroyed Sharapova in the 2012 Australian Open final and two months later at Indian Wells, it appeared Sharapova was unable to stay not only with Williams but also with Azarenka.
Then the two turned in a real tennis rivalry, two fighters whose slight advantages shift based on surface. Sharapova has since beaten Azarenka on clay (2-0, including a tough three-set win in the semis at Roland Garros) and once in the year-end championships on the indoor hard court at Istanbul last year. Azarenka has proved to be better on hard courts, winning in three at the US Open semis and in Beijing. Since being crushed 6-3, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-3 in the Aussie and Indian Wells finals, respectively, Sharapova has won three of their past five meetings, showing the kind of fight
and results that so far are wishful thinking against Serena.
Curiously, the two never have met on grass, but they very well could this year at Wimbledon, in the semis or in the final, depending on how the draw shapes up, and both should be heavily motivated. Azarenka lost to Williams in the semifinals at Wimbledon last year 6-3, 7-6 (3), a match in which Williams blasted 24 aces. Sharapova beat Serena for the title eons ago in 2004, but the Russian was crushed by Petra Kvitova in the 2011 final and lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki last year.
The entire personality of the WTA is often encapsulated in the Sharapova-Azarenka matchups. First, Azarenka is clearly the second-best player on tour.
Her movement and consistency of shots and defense explain why she is generally a favorite versus anyone but Serena (or Sharapova on clay). Secondly, Sharapova's ability to refocus and fight
through her disadvantages and prevent Azarenka from dominating their rivalry speaks to her considerable fighting
mentality, and it explains why she buzzes through tournaments generally unchallenged until the later rounds. Excluding the year-end championships, only once in the past year has Sharapova lost even a set before the quarterfinals of a tournament. It was in Stuttgart earlier this year. Before that, she lost the first set to Heather Watson in Tokyo in 2012.
And third, the Azarenka-Sharapova rivalry underscores just how good Serena Williams is.
Sharapova just might be easily the least complete player to win the career Grand Slam. She cannot beat Serena, and she does not volley. She does not slice. She uses no variety that would keep Williams off balance. Her game is to approach all problems by hitting hard.
Worse, she cannot serve efficiently. Sharapova has recorded 165 aces this year against a woeful 193 double faults. Williams leads the tour with 268 aces against only 93 double faults.
Although Sharapova wilts under the inflexibility of her own game, Azarenka is not that far from beating Serena. She is athletic enough to move laterally. She is a terrific defender and hits with enough angle and variety to make Williams think. Azarenka is the best returner in the women's game, winning a ridiculous 57.1 percent of her return games. Like Sharapova, she cannot dominate a match against Williams with her serve, serving only 45 aces to 115 double faults. And, before Sharapova fell in the gold-medal match, Williams crushed Azarenka 6-2, 6-1 in the London semifinals. Being able to return is good enough to win against every player but Williams.
As Williams lives in the stratosphere -- enjoying a nearly 4,000-point lead in the rankings over Azarenka -- Sharapova and Azarenka circle one another, evenly matched, the best matchup on tour, a worthy undercard that will have to do until one steps up and challenges the queen.
Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Wimbledon Champ Maria Sharapova Talks Playing Tennis With Anna Wintour and Her Willy Wonka Career Move: EXCLUSIVE
Last night Grazia Daily had a one on one with the female powerhouse that is, Maria Sharapova at the launch of her new sweet range, Sugarpova at Selfridges. Looking divine in Pre Fall Chloe and some super high yellow Christian Louboutins we were mesmerised by the woman who has become a one woman brand. Last year Maria set up her sweet line, was the face of Tag Heur, became the first female Russian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, continued to design her own line for Nike and became only the tenth woman to win all four tennis grand slams. Casual! Its safe to say we are in complete awe, plus her team confessed that Maria was a major Grazia fan!
So what did we ask the highest paid sportswoman in the world? Well we talked Charlie and The Chocolate Factory inspirations, Anna Wintour and just how simple her pre-court beauty ritual is. Check out the top ten things we found out from the tennis ace and scroll down to see her on and off court style file.
1. Maria sees herself as a Willy Wonka of the future….
I did really love that movie (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) you might call it an early inspiration for Sugarpova! I have watched it hundreds of times, not recently though but I have watched it many, many times! I have always loved it and the whole experience of candy and that comes from having such a sweet tooth and the love of the candy experience.
2. In a Willy Wonka esque ‘Maria Sharapova and The Sweet Factory’ musical guess who Maria would want to play her…
Oh gosh, I love Gwyneth Paltrow! It would have to be her. And we are almost the same height!
3. Anna Wintour is her go to guru….
She gives me great advice on the different projects I have done in my career and when I first thought about Sugarpova I went into her offices to pick her brain, discussed my vision and how I saw it and she gave incredible input. You know she has been in the business for so many years so its nice to have her support definitely.
4. Wintour is also her dream fashion doubles partner….
Well Anna plays a lot so she’s secretly an incredible player and would be great around the court!
5. And with Anna on her team she would want to compete against…
Oh gosh! That would be fun. Maybe Tom Ford and Mario Testino. That would be a good one! (How chic!!!!)
Frowing with Anna Wintour
6. How she dresses on court is crucial to her performance…
It’s good to feel comfortable with what you are wearing, because you obviously don’t want to worry about anything except the match and how you play. So with what you are wearing it’s just extremely important to be comfortable and confident.
7. She wants to push the boundaries with her tennis wear…
I like to be unique to what’s out there on the market. I have had my own collection with Nike for a couple of years now so we try to create pieces that are unexpected to the eye and they are maybe not the best seller, you know a polo shirt in tennis will always be a best seller because you go to a traditional club and everyone is playing in a polo and a skirt. But we want to push the boundaries and do something interesting and exciting and that’s always been my goal in life in general!
8. She is thankful for the legacy of Billie Jean King (our hero of the moment!)…
I feel really proud to be in the position I am in today and to help the generation ahead of me. I had Billie Jean King who helped so much when I was a junior, she saw the generation coming up and she knew they would be the ones facing today’s world and she created this opportunity for us. I am so pleased to be part of the 40th Anniversary celebration of the WTA (which Billie Jean King was instrumental in setting up!).
9. Her pre match beauty ritual consists of….
It’s so simple, it’s a pony tail and sun screen. I always practice outside so sunscreen is so important, if I had to get rid of everything from my beauty bag and only have one product left it would be sunscreen!
10. Maria won’t be doing a ‘Victoria Beckham’ anytime soon.
I have been really fortunate to be part of different collaborations (Maria is the face of Tag Heur) but at the end of the day I only just started Sugarpova last year, I want to build this into a world-wide brand. There are still so many countries I want to see it in. It’s import to keep my feet on the ground before exploring other areas.
It’s safe to say Maria is our girl crush of the moment. We will be your towel girls at Wimbledon next week Maria, for sure! Take a look at the gallery above to see Maria’s on court and off court style.
Jun 23rd, 2013, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How often do you get to see the footage of when you won here for your first major title, and what thoughts and emotions do you experience when you see that video?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I haven't actually seen it in a while. Sometimes I do get the chance to watch it if I feel like I need to. Sometimes my fans make videos, you know, of my wins at all the four Grand Slams. They put collages together. That's really when I get those memories back.
But I don't intentionally look up those videos too much. I don't think I have enough time for that really.
Q. When you say you need to, what are some of those occasions?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Look, when I was injured a bit I watched a lot of those videos. That really inspired me to get back, yeah.
Q. What were the sensations on grass at practice?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I had a really good last couple of weeks. I came straight to London after Paris, took a couple days off, and started practicing.
It's been really nice. I really enjoy the city. I have a couple of friends that are living here now, so been able to spend a bit of time here.
It's also nice. Been in busy cities the last few weeks, so it's nice to be in a quiet area listening to the birds singing instead of the taxis honking. That's a really nice change.
And just practice. The reason I don't play a warmup event is because of so many tournaments back‑to‑back. It's always just nice to get back to working, to playing, working on a few things here and there. Sometimes when you get in a groove of playing so many matches you lose that work ethic a bit.
Q. Does it feel like it's been 10 years since you first played here?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it feels like it's been a while, definitely.
Q. How has your opinion of this place changed?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's just as special. It's been special ever since I was a junior. You know, I love everything about it, including the weather. I love the rain, so maybe that's why I don't mind breaks. I expect to be going off the court a few times. Comes with the territory of being here. Unless you're playing on stadium court, of course.
Yeah, I think this is the stage as a professional tennis player where you want to compete at, so...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Nice hair, Maria. Beautiful hair today.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Can we talk about what you did the other day (smiling)?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You didn't like the video?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I loved it (laughter).
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Who was better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: By the way, I don't do any of those things anymore. None of those. I don't stick my ass out anymore, okay? I don't do this with my hair anymore. You haven't watched me play recently.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I watch you play.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Then you need a new me.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, no, trust me.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You're actually starting to look a bit like Roddick when you're imitating.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Really?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yes. That's how he serves.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Who did impersonation better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I don't know.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, look at her. Make a choice.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: This is not multiple choice, okay?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Enjoy. Sorry, guys.
Q. What do you think of playing Mladenovic in the first round?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she's a great player. I've seen her play a bit. I think she has a good game for grass. She seems to be doing very well this year. The first matches are always extremely difficult, so I expect an extremely difficult match.
Q. You seem to have a good relationship with Novak, as we've just seen. Do you tend to get on better with the men's tour than the women's tour because you're not competing with them?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've just known Novak for a really long time, for many years, and we've shot many Head commercials together. I've just spent a lot more time with him than any other player, yeah.
Q. What sort of a mimic is he? How would you describe him?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: He exaggerates a bit. Just slightly (laughter). Minor details.
Q. Have you ever done an impression of him?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I'm not good at those things. I never said I was an actress. I'm not good, yeah.
Q. Have you read Serena Williams' interview with Rolling Stone Magazine?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have.
Q. What did you make of the comments?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she's achieved on the court. You can never take anything away from that.
I was definitely sad to hear what she had to say about the whole case.
As for myself, or whether it was about somebody else, nothing personal, you know. We've talked to Serena many times, and I know everyone tries to create rivalries between us here and there.
At the end of the day, we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court. I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that's just getting attention and controversy.
If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about.
Q. What do you make of the apology she issued afterwards?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't seen the apology.
Q. What about Venus Williams' legacy? She's not here. What are your thoughts about what she's meant to Wimbledon and to the tour in general?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I mean, despite her being injured and despite her not being here, I think she's left certainly so much history in this tournament. She's accomplished a lot, you know. It's tough to see someone that's been on the tour for so many years that's been at such a high level to see struggling a bit with injuries.
But overall she's always a tough competitor, and I've always had extremely difficult matches against her.
Q. You made a big impression as a teenager back in 2004. Are there any teenagers that you see making an impact? Laura Robson and a few others, as well.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think it's part of a process. It's part of a cycle about, you know, generations coming up, doing well, and teenagers becoming experienced players, and knowledgeable.
I think there's no reason why someone like Robson cannot be top 10, top 5, No.1 in the world. But yet it's not an overnight process. It takes a lot of tournaments, a lot of days and practices. You have to be in the right hands at the right time in certain situations to make that step onto that next stage.
You know, I think we talk about it every single year here. You get a lot of questions about, Why is our generation‑‑ or why are girls and boys from our country not doing extremely well right now?
Well, it's because it doesn't all happen in one night. Just because you have money and you have the best people and the best training in the world, doesn't create or make talent in one or two days or a month or a year. It takes a really long time.
There's no doubt that all these girls have a tremendous amount of, I mean, talent and futures ahead of themselves.
Q. (Question regarding the LTA.)
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think there are a lot of Federations that have a lot of money. I'm sure the LTA is one of them.
Q. What are the key ingredients a teenager needs?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's a lot. As a player, there's so many different directions that you can go in. The best is to figure out what's really the best for you and not think about anyone else.
Sometimes you have a lot of opinions around you, especially from a very young age. But if you have a plan, you have to stick to the plan. You have to believe in it. You have to grind.
At the end of the day, if you're talented and you don't have work ethic or you're not placed in the right hands, it's really easy to not make it. You know, at the end of the day, that's just of the bottom line.
Q. Back to the comments about the Serena article. I don't think you've ever really had a moment where you had to issue an apology for something ‑ that I can remember anyway. What is it about you that's been able to keep you somewhat out of trouble, I guess?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: This is nothing to do about me. I mean, it's not about being in trouble or not. I obviously have many opinions about different things in life.
But what I do on the court and what I talk about in my press conference is strictly about my career. I'm sure people want to know more, but yet I try to keep my personal life private.
I try to keep‑‑ nobody really cares about what I have to say, my opinions. If I speak to my friends, that's one thing. But I don't go out and try to create things that shouldn't be really talked about.
Jun 23rd, 2013, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
WTA website, Maria Sharapova
On whether she ever watches footage from when she won the title in 2004...
"I haven't seen it in a while. Sometimes I get the chance to watch it if I feel I need to. Sometimes my fans make videos of my wins at all of the four Grand Slams. They put collages together. That's really when I get those memories back. But I don't intentionally look those videos up too much.
"But when I was injured I watched a lot of those videos. That really inspired me to get back."
On her time in between Paris and London...
"I had a really good last couple of weeks. I came straight to London after Paris, took a couple days off and started practicing. I really enjoy the city. I have a couple of friends living here now, so I've been able to spend a bit of time here. I've been in busy cities the last few weeks so it's nice to be in a quiet area listening to the birds singing instead of taxis honking. That's a nice change.
"And I've just been practicing. The reason I don't play a warm-up event is because of so many tournaments back to back. It's always nice to get back to working on a few things here and there. Sometimes when you get in a groove of playing so many matches you lose that work ethic a little bit."
"Despite her being injured and despite her not being here, she's certainly had so much history in this tournament. She's accomplished a lot. It's tough to see someone who has been on the tour for so many years, that's been at such a high level, struggling a bit with injuries. But overall she's always a tough competitor, and I've always had extremely difficult matches against her whenever we've played."
Glad she appreciates the Sharafamily youtube vault
Jun 24th, 2013, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3
Maria Sharapova gives her Wimbledon press conference following her 7-6(5) 6-3 first round defeat of Kristina Mladenovic.
Q. Before this first round you said you were expecting a tough match. I think you got definitely a tough start for the tournament.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I did. Yeah, I had a really tough first round. I expected it. I knew she would come out playing extremely well.
I think she has a good game for the grass courts. She has, as you saw, a very good serve, good first serve. You know, the first set we didn't break each other. Women's tennis, kind of rare, so...
It was nice to get that breaker and definitely start the second set off being up 4 1, still having chances to maybe finish it off a bit easier than it should have been in the second.
I'm really happy with the way I came out and played my first match. The first ones are always pretty tough, especially on the grass.
Q. Would you prefer tough first round matches when you see the draw, see a big hitter? Is that something you like? Would you like something a little more regular?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think I just have to handle whatever's across the net, whoever's playing me on that side of the draw, just who's next. It's not like I choose and pick. It's whoever's there.
Some opponents, you know, maybe have a better game for grass, so sometimes maybe you prefer playing them in different tournaments.
To be honest, whoever is across the net, you're trying to win the match, it's a tennis match. That's pretty much how I see it.
Q. After your comments on Saturday, Serena was here yesterday. She said she apologized to you. What happened?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, you know, honestly, I've said everything that I wanted to say about the issue. You know, Wimbledon started. This is my work. This is my job. I'd really appreciate it if we move on.
Q. Just to clarify, she said she apologized. Did you receive an apology from her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, as I just said, I'd really like to move on.
Q. Is part of it because you don't want it to be a distraction?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It's because Wimbledon just started. This is one of the most incredible tournaments. This is where all of us work. This is our job. Our job is to go out on the court and work and try to win matches and nothing else.
That's the most important thing to me in my life right now.
Q. Is your feeling more of sorrow or anger about what occurred?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Nothing really.
Q. This week there's a commemoration of 40 years of the WTA. We have some of the best players ever playing right now. When you think of the sport, who do you consider the greatest woman player ever and why?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's an extremely tough question because I wasn't part of the generation which consisted of incredible players. I can only speak of the generation that I was part of.
I never played Steffi Graf. I never played Chris Evert. Never played Navratilova. So those are considered incredible champions.
So I think on many different levels, they all deserve a tremendous amount of respect. And I don't think one should be called greater than the other. There's no real reason for that.
Q. If you could play one player who you haven't played?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Probably Steffi.
Q. How do you think you'd play with her great forehand, her speed?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she'd chop me up (smiling).
Q. You were old enough to see her play and remember seeing her play. Do you remember her being dominant and thinking when you watched her that she was so dominant, she could beat anyone?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I don't think I ever thought about dominance. Quite honestly, I never watched so much of tennis. I don't know many statistics. I just never followed it all the time. Just when the Grand Slams were on television, I would watch. Other than that, I never really ... I don't know anyone's record or how they did against each other or who had a dominant year and who didn't.
I enjoyed watching her play because of her game, her composure, the way she carried herself. Yeah, there's just so many positives about her.
Q. You said she would chop you up. How do you think it would work out if it were Graf against Serena Williams?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Such different styles. I think till this day, I'm sure maybe Steffi plays here and there, but I think she still has a pretty incredible slice, especially on grass, which is a big weapon to have.
I don't know. I think it would be a really interesting matchup.
Q. You were saying before Wimbledon starts, this is your job, all of that. You're used to compartmentalizing. Is this time difficult doing it or you're so used to doing it it's routine?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not at all. I'm actually so much better. I mean, of course I treat this as my job because it is my job, because this is what I work for. When I go out on the court, this is where all the work goes in. Why would I be thinking about anything else?
I've always treated my life like that and my career, and hopefully I will.
Q. Do you generally have a good relationship with the other players in the tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: During the tournament? Actually, it doesn't matter.
Uhm, I'm not really friendly or close to many players. I have not a lot of friends away from the courts, but in all different parts of the world, you know, and actually in England, that's why it's been nice to be here for the last couple of weeks. Hasn't really felt like, you know, I've been away from home too much.
But I wouldn't say I'm really close to a lot of players.
Q. Is the one on one competition where there's always going to be a winner and loser, is that a tough part of the job, or is that just something that you come to enjoy, the competitive nature of your profession?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do enjoy it. That's one of the reasons I play if it's not 'the' reason. I enjoy competing out there for a win, whether it's a first round or the final. If you're a tennis player and you grew up playing tennis as a young girl or boy, you're dreaming to be on big stages like Wimbledon, like we are here.
There's no reason why you shouldn't just focus all on that and enjoy the competition, because that's what you work for.
Q. It's not clear yet who your next opponent will be, but can you break down the prospects against each of them separately?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I haven't played Oudin in a really long time, I think since the US Open, since my loss to her. It would be great to play her again.
And I don't think I've ever faced the other girl that she's playing against. But I think she's someone that's coming up and has a big game. Also probably really good on grass. So, yeah.
Q. When you say you're not really close to a lot of players, is that something strategic that you're doing? Do you think it's different on the men's tour than the women's tour?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not at all. I think just because you're in the same sport doesn't mean that you have to be friends with everyone just because you're categorized, you're a tennis player, so you're going to get along with tennis players.
I think every person has different interests. I have friends that have completely different jobs and interests, and I've met them in very different parts of my life.
I think everyone just thinks because we're tennis players we should be the greatest of friends. But ultimately tennis is just a very small part of what we do. There's so many other things that we're interested in, that we do.
Q. Some athletes don't want to be friends with other athletes because they don't want to give away secrets or form a bond.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think there are really any secrets out there, yeah.
Q. What was your take on Kim Clijsters when she was active and would be so engaging to other players and people, so friendly? She even said once her goal was to make friends on the tour.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have always admired Kim. She's not just a great player but an incredible person. She had a tremendous amount of class on and off the court. That's why I think everyone to this day respects her a lot.
Q. Through your activities on the tour and with the United Nations, you've traveled all over the world, met international political figures. What are your thoughts today about Nelson Mandela who is in critical condition?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: For someone with such a big name, who has touched so many people in this world, I think it's extremely sad to see him in that position. I think it should be a celebration of what he accomplished in his life than a sadness, even though many people around the world are sad about it.
Q. What does his legacy mean to you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, from what I see in the news that I watch and the papers that I read, he's extremely influential to so many people on a very positive level.
Never had a chance in my life to meet him. But the people that have met him have said incredibly nice things about him.
Q. You said that you like being in England. What is it that you particularly like about England as opposed to other places you've been?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I've been on the road for a while. Coming into Wimbledon and London, I feel like I've been in many big cities, but coming to this part of London, it quiets things down. It's nice waking up to the birds chirping rather than the taxis or things I've heard in the last six or seven weeks.
It's been a really nice balance. I really enjoy coming here, being able to be in a home and cook, don't have to go out or eat anywhere. It's just a home environment rather than being in hotels and going to restaurants.
It's a bit more domestic, I guess.
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