Maria Sharapova Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
March 29, 2012
M. SHARAPOVA/C. Wozniacki
4 6, 6 2, 6 4
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. Long, tough. I'm really pleased that after losing that first one, being up and playing really well and then backing off and her stepping up, you know, I think I could have easily after losing a few straight games, just concentration went down I could have easily just went down in the second set.
But I really, you know, I stepped it up again. I went out there and started being aggressive. I didn't let I didn't stop, you know, after I put myself in a good position.
But, yeah, I'm extremely pleased that I pulled it out today.
Q. It appears that your mobility has improved. Do you feel that yourself, or is it just a perception that some of us have?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Movement out on the court?
Q. Movement, yeah.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's definitely something that I have worked on and always tried to build. That's a part of my game that I always felt like could be better over my career.
You know, when I, many years ago, played on the clay courts and would play one tough, long match, I'd have trouble recovering for the next one.
It was just always something that I've wanted to improve. With every year, I really feel stronger. Um, maybe the older you get, you know, the better you get at it.
Q. Did you feel like you were going for as much on your first serve as you usually do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, you know, against someone like Caroline you're not going to get too many free points. She always retrieves so many balls back. She makes you hit a lot.
I think it's more important to be aggressive in the rally, you know, and off of the return and look for the spots and maybe get an opportunity to go for the second shot instead of, you know, trying to hit, um, you know, bombs against someone that is a good returner that's gonna make you hit a lot of balls.
Q. You have been in the final three times and lost every one of them. It's a strange statistic. Does that give you some extra incentive needed to get rid of that statistic?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it takes something to get to the final. So of course it's always disappointing to lose in the finals, but it's um, it's part of the career.
I'm happy that I gave myself another chance to go out there and try to change that. Um, it would just be meaningful to me because I have come to this tournament for so many years, ever since I was a young girl. I have always just dreamt of playing on this court let alone being in the finals of it.
It would just be really meaningful to me.
Q. You mean you used to come as a spectator when you were younger?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I did. It was pretty much the only tournament I would come as a spectator, because I, you know, drove up from Bradenton four hours with my family and watch Marcelo Rios and Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Monica Seles. Yeah, we came every year.
Q. Going back to when?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You mean how old I was?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, maybe 13 or 12, 11. I'm not sure exactly.
Q. So the game plan of the day was just to be on the attack?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The game plan? Well, I mean, she's someone that, like I said, she likes longer rallies, she prefers I mean, of course everyone prefers to have shorter points, but she's someone that makes you hit a lot of balls.
She can be out there for hours. She's extremely consistent. That's what got her to No. 1 in the world for so long.
That's not my game. I mean, I'm very when I play well, I'm an aggressive player. I go for my shots. I don't hesitate. You know, in the first set I stopped doing that a little bit. It gave her confidence to come back and win that first set.
Q. You're such an competitor. You seem so eager to compete. Are there ever times when you just don't have it in you and want to go out there and fight, get knocked down and get up, keep fighting, do what you gotta do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Sure, of course. It's sport. There are many days sometimes you feel great in the warmup and everything, you feel physically good, and you just go out in the match and, you know, you feel a bit lost, low. You know, you're not you know, you don't have that jump about it, you know, that spring in your step that maybe you always do.
But that's you know, that's part of the sport. I mean, it comes with it. And it's actually days like that when it's almost a bit more meaningful when you're able to pull through and win those, and, you know, maybe not playing your best tennis, not being as motivated, to give yourself a chance to come back the next day or the day after and change that around.
Q. Next up, Bartoli or Radwanska, can you talk about the strategy possibly for them?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't faced Bartoli in a while. You know, she's been playing really good. She's also an aggressive player. Stays down, goes for her shots, stays really low and hits the ball pretty flat. Quite different to, you know, my opponent today.
Radwanska is someone who is extremely solid, very again, gets many balls back, anticipates really well.
But, yeah. I mean, either one, I mean, it's the final, so I think it's more about really performing on your end than really worrying about what's on the other side of the court.
Q. That service game, it was starting to slip away a little bit.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It wasn't slipping away. She stepped up. She played two really good games.
You know, she went for her shots, you know, went for went for a lot more than she did in the whole match, and it paid off.
You know, you can't really worry about what she's doing. You have to keep doing what you did in order to get to that position.
Q. I was watching your Wimbledon final, the first one when you won, on Tennis Channel the other day. Do you ever watch that as sort of a bit of inspiration? I have forgotten how well you played in that match. Have you looked at the tapes at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't seen that one in a while, but I don't remember the last time where I sat down and watched a whole match of mine. (Smiling.)
I know that's really disappointing, and I'm sure my coach thinks so, as well. You know, he'd love to see me in the video room watching and observing. I have patience for 10, 15 minutes, but then I'm outta there.
I don't know. Of course it's good to see those moments and to see, you know, the way you played, but I'm not so much of a person that likes to look back. I'll have all of that to appreciate when I'm retired.
You know, I still have many more years in my career that I want to look forward to and not necessarily look back to.
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