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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 10:04 AM   #1231
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Quote:
Q. Would you rather be considered pretty or tough?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I'd rather be considered pretty tough (smiling).
She can be so frickin' witty
BTW - What video?
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 11:49 AM   #1232
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

^ I remember reading something about it, or seeing some picture of her giggling during the interview, but God help me I can't remember what it was about
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 12:12 AM   #1233
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crux Squall View Post
These are the kinds of matches I need to build my strength and where I need to feel my shoulder is holding up and I can hit a serve over 1000 miles an hour. That's really important for me right now.
I think Masha may be slightly overestimating how fast her serve could be.
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 02:37 AM   #1234
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

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Originally Posted by MashaFan01 View Post
She can be so frickin' witty
BTW - What video?

They showed it during the post match interview on court. They were asking kids and adults if they thought Maria was "pretty" or "tough". I'm not sure who made the video and it wasn't spontaneous because people questioned already had signs and stuff made up with their answers. It was sort of cute, though and the crowd cheered afterwards.
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:51 AM   #1235
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobruiz View Post
They showed it during the post match interview on court. They were asking kids and adults if they thought Maria was "pretty" or "tough". I'm not sure who made the video and it wasn't spontaneous because people questioned already had signs and stuff made up with their answers. It was sort of cute, though and the crowd cheered afterwards.
Thanks - I've seen the event now on Maria Videos thread... vol.3
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 04:45 PM   #1236
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

M. SHARAPOVA/K. Flipkens
3‑6, 6‑4, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 11:00 a.m. a little too early for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA
: Yeah, I started off ‑‑ probably looked like it was too early. I usually like playing first match on, but I didn't start off the way I wanted to.
Nothing was working. Yeah, just the way it went in the beginning.

Q. Was her game throwing you off at all? You obviously played her before so you knew what you were getting into. Lack of pace? Was that part of it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Well, she's a different type of opponent. There is not too many girls that hit a slice backhand 90% of the time in the rallies. You expect that because, you know, she's been around for a long time.
I played her already this year, so I know what to expect from her game. It shouldn't be that much of a surprise. Today I didn't do too much from my end and I made a lot of mistakes from the first ball, which I think obviously gives your opponent that confidence and the time that they can do whatever they want with their game.

Q. So what do you do? Go back to basics? Tell yourself to go back to basics? What was Sven telling you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, just think of a few things. It's always nice to get his perspective, you know, from the sidelines. Because in the middle of it, you know, you just feel like everything's going wrong and you sometimes just need to settle down and focus on one or two things.
You know, I think I made like four return errors in one game, so that gives her so much confidence, as well as on my serve.
So, you know, it was finding that combination of getting something out there to give her something to play with.

Q. In general, how much do you think people should read into the sort of on‑court coaching visits and how results after them‑ someone gets a visit and they win three straight games ‑ might give all the credit to the coach or something?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I think it works differently for different players (smiling).
You know, I have seen matches on TV where the coach comes out and they end up losing four games in a row, or it can work to your benefit.
I don't know. When the coach comes down, there are only a few little things they are going to tell you. Ultimately when you find yourself late in the third set you're always going to play by instinct and your belief out there, and not so much what anyone else has told you.
But it is certainly nice to be able to calm your player down a bit if they are having a tough time.

Q. Did the heat and humidity bother you at all? I saw you eating a banana.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
No, I enjoy playing in the heat. I have practiced many years in the heat, and I expect it here. I think everyone does. And the humidity.
It's nothing really new.

Q. When you reflect on your record here, how do you assess it? Five finals obviously is a terrific achievement. Does that overshadow any frustration about not winning the final here?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, of course you want to be able to hold the winner's trophy, but, you know, you also know the matches that you got through to get in the position to get to the final stage.
I had my opportunities. It's not like I didn't have my opportunities in those finals. I just didn't take them.
That's why you come back and hope for another chance.

Q. Do you feel there is a little unfinished business here? You come back with that in your mind, or is that not part of the equation?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Well, of course it would be meaningful for me to win this tournament after being so close. Definitely.

Q. Do you feel fortunate you're able to get your match in before this weather?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I am (smiling). It's nice to see all the players coming back in the locker room, and I'm like, I'll see you later (smiling).

Q. Percentage‑wise coming back from injury, where do you feel like you are right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I don't like to measure, to see where I am. You know, I'm putting myself out there to go out and play, and no matter what percentage I'm at, I still have to go and find a way to win.
You know, I haven't been very consistent in the beginning of this year. I have had some tough three‑set matches that I have lost. You try to turn that around. I feel like every little step, whether it's from inside or outside, you've got to put yourself out there and put yourself in positions to keep going.
That's why everyone is here.

Q. Thinking back to the match in Australia, 3 hours, 108 degree heat, what really motivates you? It could be said you don't need to put yourself through that. What is it that's motivating you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
In the sport?

Q. Yeah, generally to play tennis at this level and the work that goes into it.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I don't know. It's a nice feeling to know you're really good at something.
I don't know. It's a good self‑esteem booster, because I'm not good at any other sports. I'm worthless at many other things, but I go out on the court and I feel like I'm really good at this.
I've accomplished a lot, and why wouldn't I continue? Why wouldn't I want to get better and improve? It's something that I've done for a very long time and something that I feel, you know, there's still so many opportunities for me and things to achieve.
Yeah, motivation‑wise that's never really an issue. It's more about, you know, obviously the shoulder has been a big part of my career and something that I've had to get through.
But finding that motivation despite all that is, you know, not easy, easy, but you certainly have to work at it at times. I'm very privileged to do what I do, and I love it.

Q. What do you do with the rest of your day when you're done so early and you're in Miami? A lot of options.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
There are. Well, there are a lot of options for other people, but I think for us they're pretty slim (smiling).
Yeah, there's not much, actually. Once you get back you get a little bit of a break. I like to have like my afternoon tea around 5:00. It's like a Russian tradition, see my dog, spend some time with him, then get treatment, dinner, and then the day is over.
It's pretty quick.

Q. I have heard you say that before, not being good in any other sports. Do you think you're not a natural athlete?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Well, if I'm not good at other sports but I'm good at tennis, then I can't say I'm not a good athlete. That would be pretty bad considering what I have done on a tennis court since tennis is an athletic sport (smiling).
But I'm certainly not shy to admit that I'm not good at any other sports.

Q. Do you think if you gave it the same sort of dedication you gave to tennis you might have gotten better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Maybe. Yeah. I never gave it a try, so...

Q. Do you find all the like modeling and extracurricular stuff, the other stuff that's nontennis, is that not fulfilling enough? Is tennis really what fulfills you more than the pretty magazine shoots and that kind of stuff? Would you able to be fulfilled just doing that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I don't think so. I don't think I would be, because your career is determined by other people's choices. You know, when you're a model or an actress you can be great at what you do, but if someone doesn't put you on a cover of a magazine or doesn't go watch your movies, no matter how good you are you're going to have a tough time, you know, raising your career and making money out of it and keep getting jobs.
So that's why I love this sport, is because my wins and losses are in my hands and I get to control that and get to control your destiny a bit.

Q. You're playing Ivanovic or Kvitova. What do you expect from your next match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
A tough match. I mean, either one I have had a very tough match against both of those opponents. I'm happy to be back in the quarters of this tournament, and I know that it's not going to get any easier from that.
So I expect a very tough match.

Q. On the subject of other sports, do you follow the basketball tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
March Madness?

Q. That's the one.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
No. At least I know what it's called, right? I have lived in America for so many years.

Q. Are you just not a basketball fan?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I am a basketball fan. Not so much maybe college, but I do follow the NBA all the time.

Q. Did you watch Grigor's match last night? Kind of a heartwarming moment last night. Did you happen to see that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
No.

Q. The ball girl, he helped her to the side after she was feeling faint.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
No, I didn't see that.

Q. A lot of people were thinking that was fantastic.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Is it on YouTube? Probably, right?

Q. Kvitova and you have had long matches, including Wimbledon, and a long Australian Open semifinal after that. What do you make of a rivalry with her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
We haven't played for a long time, but we have always had interesting, tough matches against each other. I think we know what to expect from one another. She's always tricky because she is a lefty. You don't play so many out there. I already had one in this tournament, so maybe that was good practice for it.
She has a different game than someone like Safarova. She has a powerful game and goes for her shots, and when she's on it's tricky to play against her.

Q. Your fashion sense, what went into the yellow and the grays you're wearing in this tournament? Was that kind of springtime, Miami?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I have always worn a lot of color for this tournament. I like neutrals, but I like to add color, as well. Yellow at the time just seemed like a better option.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 07:35 PM   #1237
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

As usual, great interview, and I just love Maria's take on life and tennis and especially what it brings to her
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 08:06 PM   #1238
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

This woman is so bright and honest human being
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #1239
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Quote:
M. SHARAPOVA/P. Kvitova
7‑5, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That turned into a pretty solid win for you. How do you think it sort of shifted midway through the first?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I didn't have a good first few games, so I was happy that I was steady, that, you know, I kept trying to do the right thing, kept trying to be aggressive.
And I think that paid off as the match went on, because I made a few too many unforced errors in the beginning.

Q. People talk about her as being a player when she plays her absolute best she can hit pretty much anybody on tour off the court.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Of course.

Q. Would you agree with that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Definitely. She's a Grand Slam champion. You can never underestimate someone that goes on the court that has that experience, that's had such a big win in her career. She's capable of playing really great tennis, and I think everyone knows that.

Q. What's your prematch routine like? Do you eat the same food? Listen to the same music?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I usually stick to a similar routine at all tournaments. Food is always different based on where you are, but it's always pretty simple.
I like to spend some time by myself to read, to listen to music, and have a good 15 or 20 minutes right before the match of warming up and getting myself going.

Q. Is there a musical taste that you stick to during that time?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
It's all over the map. It really depends how I feel. Sometimes I don't listen to music at all. Sometimes I need something to‑‑ if I'm feeling a bit down or low on energy, I need something a bit faster.
But nothing in particular.

Q. When did you find out that you got the momentum back again to win the second set? You just started and flew. What happened?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Well, I started getting more chances as we played more games in the first set. I had a break point I think maybe in the fourth or fifth game, not exactly sure when. You know, she hit a great serve. There wasn't much I could do there.
Little by little I started seeing more opportunities and started getting myself back in the points and playing my game, playing well, going inside the baseline.
You never are sure until you finish the match and you win the last point, but I really felt like I started doing the right things.

Q. You have Serena next. Obviously you have played quite a few times. What are your thoughts on chapter 15 and 16 of that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yeah, I mean, you know, it's no secret that she's been a big challenge of mine, an opponent that obviously I would love to beat. There are certainly, you know, ways that I need to step up in certain situations that I haven't been able to do in the past against her.
But it's great that I have come to that stage and have the opportunity to play her again.

Q. Sort of a trial and error type thing, have you done something that has worked in the past?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I feel in the last few times I have played I have had my chances and opportunity and something that maybe I didn't quite create, you know, say, a couple years ago.
Yeah, it's about taking those. Someone, an opponent that plays with so much confidence and so much power, you really need to take those few opportunities that you have.

Q. Do you get the sense that she plays you differently than she plays other opponents?
MARIA SHARAPOVA
: She always ‑‑she plays well all the time.

Q. Question about the pretty/tough thing and Strong is Beautiful campaign. What do you think the balance is with WTA players between promoting them as athletes and promoting them in a way, marketing them in a way that they know can sell too, the kind of glamour side of tennis? How does that balance seem to you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I think as players we want to be known for our strength on the court, because at the beginning of our careers that's what we started off as. We didn't start off with modeling agencies. We started off grinding on walls or in tough circumstances and tough situations where we had to grind out and become, you know, top professional players.
We didn't start in a promotional advertisement modeling world. That was never our job. There are a lot of people that can take care of those things. Our focus has always been the game and the opportunities that we are able to create with the game that we produce and the results that we produce.
It's fun. I have been very fortunate in my career to have the opportunities that I have.
But in terms of promoting us not just by being strong but beautiful, it's not what's on the outside. I think what we possess as athletes about being professional, about what we do on the court, and then all the other activities that we have, it's not just about being a tennis player. There are so many other things that we have to be strong in, as well.

Q. When you see a young player like Genie Bouchard getting a lot of attention not only for tennis but also on the looks side, does someone like that ever seek you out for advice about how to navigate that whole world of sort of extra publicity?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
I think it certainly adds another dimension of pressure. I think it's changed very much to when I was a teenager.
Now you have social media, which is a very powerful thing. I think a lot of teenagers are very influenced by it because they are surrounded by it. They have no escape sort of from it.
Once you get in, it's tough to really get out.
You're always around, you know, opinions. No matter who you are, how great you are, there are always going to be those that don't have nice things to say. And probably as a younger player, someone that's just coming up, that's always challenging to take in the beginning of your career.
You know, now when you see that shift of teenagers doing extremely well, pushing at Grand Slams at an earlier age, it gives them‑‑ you know, the hype I think is a lot bigger than maybe many years ago because you don't see that so often.
And that adds another level of pressure. You know, all of a sudden you're photographed by Vogue or, you know, you're talked about. It can become difficult, yeah.

Q. Does it feel like 10 years since that's happened to you? Ten years ago you won Wimbledon. Does it feel like that long?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:
Yes and no. I mean, I look back at that moment and I'm really proud of what I achieved, but I'm so happy with the directions and the decisions that not only I made, but people around me made.
I was surrounded by really smart people that taught me how to say no and, you know, taught me how to be grounded in those situations.
I learned a lot through that process, because it's so easy to do well and think you're on top of the world because, you know, you get kicked in the bottom really fast once you believe that you're on top of everything
.

Q. What were some of those good decisions early on that I guess set you up to succeed later?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I had a lot of opportunities. I had a lot of sponsorship opportunities I could have taken but I said no to because of the time consumption or photoshoots I could have been a part of, amazing events I could have gone to.
Just a lot of different ‑‑parties. I mean, the list goes on and on.

Q. Knowing what you know now, would you have any advice for yourself ten years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It doesn't really matter because that time has passed. So, you know, I don't want to sit here and be giving myself advice as a 17 year old (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Well said Maria
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 02:42 PM   #1240
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Brilliant interview. Classy Maria. So eloquent.
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 10:32 AM   #1241
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

the undisputed darling of the press
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 10:56 AM   #1242
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

I always enjoy reading her press conferences. Just Wow.
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 11:26 AM   #1243
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Maria is very articulate, very smart and insightful.. She has that distinct way of expressing herself in such a way that you will know her deeply. I've always loved her graciousness when commenting on her opponents, win or lose.
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Old Mar 28th, 2014, 02:59 PM   #1244
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Maria Sharapova

MIAMI, FLORIDA

S. WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova 6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a good start, obviously. How do you think things turned there in the first?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I started off really well, and I was up in a lot of the games and didn't win them today.

You know, the first set started off really well and I had more break points. She served her way out of trouble on those in the first set, and then the second set was up 2‑0, 40‑15, which was a game I should have taken, pretty important game.

Yeah, I was in it and then I was not (smiling).

Q. Was the wind a factor for you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's been windy every day here, so actually when it's not windy, I think that's when it's a surprise for everyone.

Q. Would you say the biggest difference between you two is her serve? Is that just the thing that really is the most difficult?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I thought in key moments she served really well today, big serves. I got a few of them, but, you know, not good enough to get myself back in the point.

Yeah, that was a big difference today, for sure.

Q. You're very deliberate between serves. When you take your time that way, are you thinking about anything or are you just kind of washing your mind clean? What's going on?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it just depends. I think it's a routine that I established for myself. No matter how I was doing in the match, whether I was winning or losing or if I felt like I needed to focus or regain my focus, that was my time for yourself, because you're always in movement, you're always doing things whether you're getting ready for the next point or you're in the point.

So I always take that time just for myself. I don't know what it is, like 20 seconds or so.

Q. She was pretty methodical today. Did you find yourself waiting for her at times to get the point started?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not really.

Q. They seemed normal to you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.

Q. You obviously haven't beaten her in a while. Does that make you feel at all like you have nothing to lose, or is that possible to have that feeling when you're someone who has won as much as you have?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, of course. I mean, despite my results against her, I still look forward to playing against her because you learn so much from that type of level which she produces.

You finish the match, and you know where you need to improve and the things that you need to work on, because someone like her who is so powerful and explosive and, you know, is in there every point, that teaches you to make sure that you're in there every point and you're doing your thing, you know, consistently, not just for a short period of time.

Q. Do you put more or less pressure on yourself because of the past results?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: There is no reason for me to have any pressure because of my results against her.

She's an incredible champion. That's the reason she's at the top. She's accomplished a lot, not just ‑‑I mean, her tennis speaks for itself, and I have nothing to lose out there against her.

Q. After a match like this, how close or how far away do you feel like you are against her?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't like to measure things. I think I didn't have a great week in Indian Wells. I think I played poorly, to say the least.

I didn't start off well here, and as the tournament progressed, I know I started regaining my form and coming back for matches, playing three‑set matches, winning them, which I haven't done a lot this year, which was very important for myself and my shoulder to see that I was able to find that strength and to serve well deep in the third set.

So those are the things I look towards, because it's a long year and many tournaments ahead, and that's the type of things that I want to keep looking for.


Q. Do you feel like sometimes Serena just kind of relaxes out there, and then maybe you get a nice good lead, and then she's able to turn it on, like flip that switch, take it up several levels more so than other opponents you've ever played?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's why she's No. 1 in the world. That's why she's won so many Grand Slams as she has because she's able to ‑‑we're out there for, you know, it can be an hour, can be three hours, and there is no proof that you're going to hold your concentration or your focus for a long period of time. There are always going to be drops.

But she's the player that is most capable of coming back from that or regaining focus and regaining that concentration as someone that's ultimately going to do better.

Q. What would you most likely be able to do to turn this around? Is there any area you just need to be better at to be winning these matches?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I always think that no matter how good you are, you can be better in every area.

I don't like to be overconfident about any parts of my game or my career or who I am as a person. I always strive to be better in all different fields.

Q. If you had to pick a percentage of how you played compared to your best or how she played compared to her best, what would you say was your performance today on court?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: A sentence?

Q. Percentage.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, percentage. I ‑‑I'm not sure. This is not a math quiz. I don't know. I have never been good at math (smiling).

I don't like to look at percentages or graphs or things like that. I'm sorry.

Q. Coming up on clay, it's been your best surface the last few years, do you feel like it's your best surface now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know about best. I always find it as a challenge, because I always have found it as a challenge. Although I have improved tremendously, I always want to keep improving on it, because I still feel like I can be a better mover and I can get from defense to offense, because offense is where I play my best.

I think that's the reason I have had that success is because I have improved that, but I still feel like I can get, you know, better at that.

But I love the upcoming season and what's ahead, and it will be great for me to get back to Europe and to play that long swing of tournaments.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 08:34 PM   #1245
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Li has withdrawn from Stuggart. Maria is now the 4th seed and can get a bye 1st round, unless Serena asked for a WC.


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