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January 8, 2015

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/C. Suarez Navarro
6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Played very well.  Talk about the match overall.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I lost to her last year.  We went back and forth with our victories in 2014, so I'm always a little bit aware of girls that I lose to.
I certainly know that she's capable of playing really well; plays defense great and makes you hit a lot of balls.  Especially on a slower court like here, you just don't want to give her that much time.
I thought I did a good job of that.  Maybe made a little bit too many unforced errors in the beginning, but then got a good rhythm and finished strong.

Q.  How do you see the semifinal matchup?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I faced Svitolina last year in Beijing for the first time.  She's a young girl that's already in the top 30 with a tremendous amount of potential and someone that you'll be seeing in the top very soon.
She has a good game.  You know, all‑around player.  It'll be a tough matchup, but one that I look forward to actually.

Q.  Are you looking forward to having a tough match leading up to the Australian Open.  Today looked like you were pretty comfortable out there.  Didn't have to push yourself too hard.  Hoping for a tougher match as we get closer to Melbourne?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  If I wanted to I could make it tougher on myself.  I don't think that's really the goal.  You can go out there and make it as tough as you want really, but that's not really the mission.
When you step out on to the court you don't think about making it tougher for yourself.  I've had a lot of tough matches last year, a lot of three‑setters, probably more than any other year in my career, so I know how to play those.
I know how to get ready for Grand Slams.  I'm certainly not thinking about that I need that type of match.  My goal is to go out there and do the right things.
Whether that's two sets, great; if it's three, I have to find a way in the third.

Q.  Were you relieved with how quickly you got momentum after the game where you needed a lot of break points to convert?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I started off with a good break.  You know, gave it right back to her.  Obviously this game was quite important as I was up Love‑40 on her serve and it was back to deuce.  Of course those little moments are quite crucial in a match.
I thought I got a good rhythm after that.

Q.  I'm sure you spoke about the off‑season, but just talk a little bit about it.  Any major change or little things?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, not really any major things.  I think the greatest part of it was not getting on a plane for the month of December.  I traveled quite a bit in November.  Did a few around‑the‑worlds actually, so it was nice to just kind of settle down and enjoy the holidays with my family and just not really‑ of course commit to the off‑season and the training ‑ but to be able to come home and just be in a home environment, that was really nice.

Q.  I saw you had the ice towel on today.  It was very hot last year but not as hot this year.

Q.  What was your choice behind that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Just preparation, routine.  Nothing in particular.  It's still quite muggy and humid out there.  You sweat quite a bit.
Not so much for the heat but just for a bit of routine.  Obviously going to get a few days like that in Melbourne, so just to be ready for it.

Q.  Good to see Marcus Weber in your corner out there today.

Q.  Is he a keen supporter?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  We've actually done a few things together with Porsche.  We're both ambassadors for that brand.  He gave me a ride in the Spyder in Germany last year, which was quite fun, during the Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament.  Been able to catch up here and there.
Sometimes our schedules have collided, and him being in Australia quite a bit, it was nice to see him recover and do well after that crash just a little bit ago.
I think we have something together with Porsche in Melbourne as well, so good to see him around the world.  Obviously you follow fellow athletes in different sports.  The respect level is out there just because of the work and efforts they put in.

Q.  At this time of the year heading into the Grand Slam, do you keep an eye on the highly ranked girls?  Serena seems to have some sort of fatigue issue in Perth.  Do you look at the main players at different tournaments and scout yourself, or do you focus on what you're doing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I usually just focus on the event that I'm playing.  I read the news occasionally to see what's going on.  I don't follow the social media during tournaments too much because I don't have so much time.
Overall, yeah, I kind of know what's going on results‑wise, but I don't focus on it too much.  You're playing a tournament, and your focus must be on your next match and not on every other player out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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