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January 6, 2015

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/Y. Shvedova
6‑0, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Very clinical.  Feel as good as it looked?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it certainly felt good to start, you know, after not playing a match for a couple of months.  Despite all the training, it's such a different feeling to go out on the court and play in front of, you know, a crowd in an actual match atmosphere.
So, yeah, you always want to apply kind of the things you work on little by little into match atmosphere.  I think I did that quite well.  I wanted to start off sharp and try to do the right things.
We haven't played in a really long time, but she's already had a few matches in this tournament, whereas this is my first one.  I just wanted to start off really well, and I think I did a good job of that.

Q.  When you're so far ahead, 6‑0, is it harder to hold your concentration than if it was 4‑All, 5‑All?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, you can't get too far ahead of yourself because the match is only won after the first set, but it's won after you win the last point, whether it's the second set or the third.
She lost the first set in her previous match 6‑0 and ended up winning the match in a tough three‑set battle, so you never know.  In this situation there were moments where I saved a few important breakpoints, which was crucial.  Yeah, that gave me good confidence towards the end of that second set.

Q.  Did you expect a challenge or did you just feel you were really on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  To be honest, she's capable of playing really tough tennis.  She's a big server, big strokes.  Even though we haven't played in a while, she does like to play the top players.  She swings quite freely.  She has had good results against some good players in her career.  Despite maybe her ranking dropping a bit and having to play qualifying here, I think she's a solid opponent.
Also, it's always a little dangerous coming into a match against an opponent that has had already, what, four matches behind here back, whereas you're coming off just training.
So it's a bit of a different story.

Q.  Do you keep an eye on the performances of the sort of top 20 players at this time of year?  Can you judge anything by the results you see?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think during the off‑season it's kind of ‑‑ actually, I had no idea what was going on.  For ten months, ten and a half months out of the year you come to a tournament and everything is about that tournament, and you already know that they're getting ready for the next and it's always about the next big thing.
In the off‑season, I really just kind of got away from it all.  I didn't check anything.  It was nice not to have to check any scores or who you're playing against.  It's just a bit of a break.
When you do come to a tournament, of course you're very well aware of what's going on, especially in the tournament.  I haven't followed anything too you much outside of the tournament itself.
But it's a little bit of a different feeling than when you're just home and training.

Q.  Must be feeling pretty good about your game overall after that performance first up.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, well, it's only the first match of the season.  Only gets tougher from here.  I have a bit of a different opponent if Suarez Navarro wins the next one.  A little bit of a different game.  Gets a lot of balls back.  Maybe a bit more of a physical match.
But, yeah, we'll see how that goes.  Hopefully I continue to improve and take it a step further this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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