QUESTION: That was a pretty good fight out there, wasn't it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was definitely not easy. You know, we were breaking each other's serves left and right out there. I mean, it was a miracle when someone held serve.
I was having trouble with the direction of the wind. It was going in one direction the whole match. When I was playing against the wind, I would, you know, hit the ball harder with more spin on my serve. Then when I would go to the other side, I'd do the same thing, and it felt like the ball was just, you know, going way out. It just put pressure on my second serve. Knowing she has pretty big serves, that's one of her biggest weapons, you know, that put more pressure on me.
I just tried to hang in there. You know, it's really tough being down two set points. But I gutted it out in the first point, then had an easy second point. You know, yeah, I mean, it definitely wasn't easy.
QUESTION: Might be the survival of the fittest. How are you feeling just at the moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel pretty good. My arm is feeling pretty good, yeah. I must say, I didn't expect it to be this good.
QUESTION: Why do you say you didn't expect it to be this good?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, because in my mind I have this (indiscernible) that I'm going to play the whole tournament in pain. So I just know in advance. That's what I thought before the tournament started: I'm going to play this tournament with pain. I'm just going to tough it out and do whatever I can, as long as it doesn't get to a point where I can't play.
QUESTION: What do you do, painkillers?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, nothing. Just treatment.
QUESTION: Very high number of unforced errors in that match.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There were.
QUESTION: What do you put that down to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I think a little bit of everything. I think the conditions, the wind a little bit, as well as the serve. I think when you have a low percentage of your serves going in, I don't know what it was in the end, but the first set I know wasn't high. That puts pressure on everything else.
I mean, I was trying to think of, you know, how to get my first serve in. That's all I was thinking about, when I should have just, you know, played my game. Yeah, combination of both.
QUESTION: Was the wind swirling?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.
QUESTION: Or was it inconsistent?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it was just going in one direction. I think that's why -- I mean, both of us had problems with our serve. We were breaking each other, making a lot of double-faults.
QUESTION: At this level, there's rarely what you would call a friendly match, but it seemed like things were a little testy out there. She certainly was unhappy a number of times. Seemed to be unhappy with maybe even Yuri. Does that concern you at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, yeah, I get unhappy when, you know, I make six double-faults in four service games. I mean, that's not normal. I shouldn't be doing that, yeah. On an important point, I get a bad call, yeah, it's normal, I get frustrated.
But, you know, what, you got to go out and you got to deal with it. That's the way it is. Like it or not, with the wind, I mean, there can be so many excuses out there. Can leave me a lot of excuses, but that's not going to do me any good if I keep making excuses.
QUESTION: How do you get along with the other Russian girls on tour at the moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm very good friends with Maria Kirilenko. I've known here since we were about 14 years old. She's a very good buddy of mine. Other girls, I'm, "Hello, how are you?" But that's about it. They're a lot older than me. I didn't know them growing up.
So, you know, it makes things a little bit different. You know, anyone, it's hard having great friends on tour when the next day you can go out and play them.
QUESTION: Is there any tension left over from, say, the Fed Cup two years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What happened?
QUESTION: When Anastasia Myskina...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, God, no. That's history.
QUESTION: The medical timeout, Petrova in the second set, did that concern you at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It gave me a break. I mean, you know, no, it didn't concern me at all. It was pretty quick.
QUESTION: Do you feel you could beat Justine or Lindsay the way you played today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'll have to step it up, that's for sure. But, yeah, I mean, I'm confident that I can. I'm moving a lot better. I feel like, you know, the biggest weapon of mine is just my toughest, and I know that over any girls, until the end, I'm just going to be a tough opponent. Even if I'm making a lot of unforced errors, I'm just going to try to do the best that I can and just to give it all I have out there.
I've won a lot of matches like that. So even if I'm not going to be playing my best tennis, I'm just going to give it all I have. I don't know if that's going to be enough, but I'll sure be trying.
QUESTION: In the first matches, you were saying you were getting better match by match. Do you feel you did that today, too?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I definitely wasn't serving as well as I would like to. But game-wise, I mean, she's a very tricky opponent. She stays way behind the baseline, gets a lot of balls back. I think the main thing was just to be patient. I think, you know, I did what I needed to be done today. I mean, it's hard because the other matches have all been pretty different, in different conditions.
But, you know, that's what makes this tournament even tougher, is every day you go out, played under the roof the other night, the conditions are totally different. Today you have wind and it's hot out.
QUESTION: Did you pay more attention to your support team in the stands today than what you normally do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, no. I just look over there, you know, for inspiration, for just motivation. You know, sometimes when I'm a little bit flat, they get me going.
QUESTION: You were telling Alicia you wouldn't necessarily watch Lindsay and Justine tonight. Do you have to step away from tennis? Is that a conscious effort on these days off that you have to get away from it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It's just not that I'm going to plan my day, my evening around some match that's on TV, you know. I was on court. I've been waiting for a match the whole day. I'm not going to wait to watch another match that's this evening.
QUESTION: Are you at a point now, when it gets this deep in the tournament, can you even go out without getting hassled for autographs or people wanting to take pictures, or do you have to stay inside?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not really worried about that. Here everyone's pretty mellowed out. I mean, I just have a few restaurants that I go to on a daily basis. You know, it's fine. I mean, it's not like I have all the time in the world to go out and do things during a Grand Slam. But after that, yeah, I mean, I'll be doing a few things.
I mean, even if I get asked for a few autographs or congratulations, you know, hopefully no "bad lucks." I'm fine with it. It's not a big deal for me. I appreciate it.
QUESTION: Some athletes get enough by playing a sport themselves and don't want to watch television or football or tennis. How do you feel about that? Do you like to watch it on television?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not the biggest fan, I must say, no. I don't know why. I mean, if there's other things on, I'd rather watch something else than tennis, unless it's like a very exciting match where you know the quality of the tennis is going to be great.
QUESTION: You're not a scout watching?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, no.
QUESTION: After playing a few matches, what if anything are you telling yourself you have to do to win the tournament? Anything you need to play better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I definitely need to improve my percentage of serving next match, that's for sure, you know, work on that. I don't know. Depends who I play.
QUESTION: What would you like to change of this world of tennis?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The weather of tennis?
QUESTION: What would you like to change of this world of tennis.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, the world of tennis.
QUESTION: If there is anything that is important for you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think there's a lot of things that could make the tennis world more exciting for the players, as well as the fans. I mean, first of all, I think everybody knows that the tennis season is way too long. I mean, it's about 10 and a half months of the year. If you tell it to anyone else, they think you're crazy. If they know nothing about tennis, people think you're absolutely crazy.
I think there needs to be consistency in the surfaces that we play on and the balls that we play with. Seems like, I mean, we're going from Rebound Ace to Tokyo, which is a synthetic grass, to hard court, to a faster surface, to playing with different heaviness of the balls. I mean, there's so many things. I think a lot of the times with the scheduling, I think fans don't know sometimes what tournaments are bigger than the others. I think there needs to be a better structure on the tour. But, again, that is not something that is going to happen very quickly.
I also think that this is a big business for everyone. The WTA Tour and the ATP and the ITF and everyone that's in this whole tennis world needs to come together because I think each and every one of them is trying to make a business in their own little shell. In order to make this game bigger and better, I definitely think they need to come together.
QUESTION: For you personally, off the tennis courts, you say it's not easy to have friends between competitors, you have one, or you're always with your father. Some other people may have more fun than you maybe doing other things.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's great. I respect that.
QUESTION: What would you like to change in that prospect? Would you love to have different kind of friendships, deeper friendships, have a chance to meet other people?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just different people around the world?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think that's one of the coolest things of traveling around the world, is meeting new people. I love meeting new people and I love working with different kinds of people.
I think just getting to know someone different, I mean, from a different country. I know probably this sounds weird or something, but I enjoy getting to know someone totally new in a different business, about their lives and things like that. That's what I love. I love meeting new people, yeah.
But, I mean, I'm not going to create friends all of a sudden just out of nowhere. I mean, I have friends that I've been friends with since I was younger, and they're still my friends. But I think as you all know, it's very hard for someone that achieved a high level to just get someone from the street and just become friends with them. You never know what they want to be friends with you for.
QUESTION: Do you pray before the match to win this?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Do I pray?
QUESTION: Do you pray, yes?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't pray.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what Yuri puts in those drinks that he sends over to you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's another form of Gatorade or Powerade, same thing.
QUESTION: That was a pretty good fight out there, wasn't it?
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