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Maria Sharapova
7 6 2
Dinara Safina
6 7 6

Most likely candidate to win Wimbledon?

US Open Interview
Posted by: Editor

36 unforced errors, 9 double faults. Do you think you kind of gave the match to her?

Uhm, even with those, you know, unforced errors, I still had my chances and I was 1 for 8 on breakpoints. You know, against someone that's playing really well, you know, playing with a lot of confidence, it's really important to take those chances that you have, the very few that come your way. I felt like I played a couple of good points and then, you know, make an easy error, hit a return long or miss a first serve, give her many looks at second serve returns. You know, didn't feel like I put much pressure on her, you know.

What is she doing especially well?

She's retrieving a lot of balls. You know, she served really well today. She used the wind really effectively, you know, especially when she was playing against the wind. You know, she was able to use many things to her advantage. I wasn't able to capitalize.

When was the last time you can remember double faulting three times in a row?

Uhm, I don't know, probably last year.

Were you surprised that she played so fast and so stable?

No, not at all. I mean, I can't be surprised by how well my opponent plays. Obviously, she's at the top of her game, playing her best tennis of her career. Never go into a match underestimating her ability.

How far do you see her going in the tournament?

I think she's playing quite well. This is a great opportunity for her.

You held your serve pretty easily at 3 2. The next two, three games you lost your range. Did the wind pick up?

Which set?

The second set.

Uhm, yeah. But you could say that about so many different areas in the game today. Like I said, I played two good points and then made two return errors. It wasn't like she was hitting 120 serves out there. You know, in those situations, I didn't really give her a chance to play. I felt like I was just giving it out there.

What are your thoughts on the state of your game now, your return from the shoulder problems, what you foresee down the road?

Uhm, I think it just needs to be more stable and not so up and down, especially against an opponent like her. Uhm, you know, I need to string a few more things together than I did. It's all really capitalizing on what you have. You work hard for something, and then you let it slip away. I think I've just got to capitalize on that. Obviously, a bit unfortunate in the Grand Slams. I had my fair share of chances and didn't take them throughout this whole year in the big events. Uhm, you know, that's just the way it's gone. But keep moving forward, keep working hard.

What kind of feelings do you have in your body after a match like this where you kind of can blame yourself for losing it?

In the body?

What kind of feelings do you have?

Obviously, losing a match, 30 minutes later, you're not the happiest person in the world. But at the end of the day, I'm sure you've heard it many times, but it's a tennis match. You've just got to look back at the match and what you should have done differently, what you need to work on.

For you was it a case of lack of execution or a case of lack of aggression? What do you think was the reason you lost?

I mean, I certainly could have been more aggressive. I did quite well when I was moving forward and being aggressive. But I don't think I did that enough. And that really allowed her to stand, you know, far back behind the baseline and keep retrieving balls. And that's just what she does best. When she had the opportunity to step in, she took it and went for her shots. Then I was on the defense.

It appeared you were trying to execute more aggressive game plans. There were times that the serve let you down, the forehand, too. Want to talk a little bit about that.

Was that a question (laughter)?

Do you feel it was just a lack of aggression or was it sometimes just on execution?

It was a combination. Like I said, I mean, there's no doubt she played really well, the best she's played against me. You know, she served extremely well. But I still had many opportunities in the match. Being 1 for 8 in breakpoints, that's pretty bad, to say the least, especially when you have second serve opportunities, easy unforced errors. It's maybe a little bit of a lack of concentration.

How is she a different player from when you played her in the past?

She's much steadier. She's improved a lot. Like I said, she served a lot better today. She capitalized. She was really smart on big points.

You're going to play the Asian season. What is the goal?

Uhm, yeah, right now just to take a few days off and get back on the court and get ready for them.

Who is now your favorite player for the victory of the tournament?

I don't really have favorites. You know, when you lose, the tournament is pretty much over. You go back to improve yourself. You're not really worried about the rest of it.

Do you think Francesca Schiavone has any chances against Venus?

She's a Grand Slam champion. She certainly has the experience. Looks like she's playing really well. So, yeah, absolutely. I think everyone has a chance.

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