Maria Sharapova Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
March 26, 2012
M. SHARAPOVA/E. Makarova
6 4, 7 6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Do you feel fortunate in a way with getting through that match when it was pretty tough?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Yeah, you know, I felt like I was up a set and a break, and, you know, played a bit sloppy. Combination of her stepping up, and, you know, being much more aggressive.
And, yeah, I mean, she had opportunities; served for the second set. You know, I just hung in there and stayed consistent. You know, I played a much smarter tiebreaker, and I think, you know, that helped me extremely.
Q. How about the double faults? Are you worried at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.
Q. You've gotten through the first two rounds despite them. Will they catch up with you at some point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's definitely not easy to play with that. But I managed to win the match in two sets, so that's a plus. Definitely consistency will be really important in the next match and getting the percentage up, you know, and also returning a little bit better, little things here and there.
Q. Off the subject, but a few weeks ago you played a point with Rory McIlroy, right?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uh huh.
Q. Number one, could you assess his abilities? Number two, did you throw the point? number three, do you play golf?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, three, no, I don't. Never have. Mini golf. Apart from that, no. (Smiling.)
Yeah, it was just the whole exhibition was extremely fun, so I think it was just it was really entertaining to be able to, you know, get him out there and play a point. Actually never met him before that, so that was our official meeting.
But, no, it was fun. I mean, of course I had to let him have the point, you know.
Q. You hit long on purpose?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: We were playing out there for like an hour already and he just came out. You know, we'd played so many points I had to let the guy win a point in Madison Square Garden (smiling).
I know he's not gonna play golf in there, so...
Q. Can you talk about what it adds when the Williams sisters are in a tournament? People say women's tournaments lack rivalries, and you and Serena had such a great rivalry for such a long time. What does it bring when they're both in the field?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, we did. I was injured for a while and then she was out for a while, so, I mean, rivalries are one of the best things about sports, and creating them.
Yeah, I mean, it's always great for the game. They've obviously achieved so much in tennis around the world and contribute so much to the sport that it's always to have these two great athletes playing in your sport, it's always, not just for the fans, but for the game of tennis around the world, it's really good to see.
Q. Have you watched them both play? How do you think they're doing, considering both of their layoffs?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't, actually. I don't get The Tennis Channel in my hotel, so I haven't. Sometimes that's a good thing (smiling).
No, I haven't watched too much.
Q. How would you compare the Penn balls at this tournament to Wilson balls or balls at other tournaments? Which better suits your game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it all depends on the conditions in which you're playing with them, also. It just varies depending on if you're in dry conditions and humid conditions, if it's, you know, cold or warm outside.
I mean, I think all of them are fine. I mean, we're pretty capable of adjusting to whatever we have to play with. There was an issue with one ball a few years ago of it being too heavy, but that hasn't been obviously when the conditions are cold and wet and heavy the ball gets a lot heavier.
It's a little bit tougher to play, especially when you're the European season you get those droughts of cold weather on the clay and the ball seems extremely heavy, but here I don't think we've ever really faced that problem.
It's all good.
Q. So you think more of it's more conditions rather than balls?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, because everything is a factor. You have so many things. I mean, I think that's why it's also so unique in the sport, is you have a racquet, then you choose your strings, and you play with a certain ball. There are so many balls to choose from. The conditions always change, unlike other sports where pretty much you know what you're gonna get.
That's what makes it so interesting, is that you can kind of adapt. But sometimes you're not sure, yeah.
Q. Do you ever stick around and scout an opponent or on a day off go watch an opponent, a possible future opponent?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, that's what you pay your coach a lot of money for. (Smiling.)
Q. I want to ask another equipment question about stringing. Some players are very, very particular and like to change the strings based on weather and stuff like that. How particular are you about the stringing of the racquet? Do you have your own stringer? Do you use the ones on site?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm clueless about this stuff, really.
Q. Uh huh. You're not into the science?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I just I don't know. Like I feel the difference, but I don't know like if you give me a racquet to play with and it's completely different string, like I won't notice it until maybe the next day when you tell me something about it.
I mean, in a way it's good because it's maybe a little bit easier to adapt. But other times I'm sure it's really frustrating for my team because they always ask me questions, How is it? I give them like the three word answer, "I don't know."
Q. This is the first tournament kind of where everyone's back: The Williams sisters are back; Kim Clijsters came back; pretty much the entire WTA Tour is healthy. Can you discuss the depth of the WTA Tour right now, you know, again, presuming health of everyone? Do you think it's the deepest it's been in a while?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's obviously great to see everybody healthy and competing at a big event like this, because, I mean, for us, you know, with Indian Wells and this event, they're probably, you know, the biggest tournaments after the Grand Slams.
So when you have everybody playing here, that's a really good sign for tennis and fans. I mean, that's what you always want. Of course, injuries are part of the sport, and we always emphasize how important it is to stay healthy. Because really it's so important. Haven't said it enough.
But, yeah, to have everyone here is great.
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