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May 8, 2015

Maria Sharapova


S. KUZNETSOVA/M. Sharapova
6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Sorry to start it off, but your reflections on the match and Svetlana's form.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, she's come back from behind in so many of the previous matches that she's played here.  I really felt like she stepped up today.  She had much more pop on her ball than I did.
I felt my shots were a little bit too flat and right in her striking zone.  She was able to push me back, and when we got into a rally she was the one that found the right ball to be the more aggressive player.  She really put me on the defense, and she did that throughout the whole match.
Got the early break and I ‑‑ I only had one break point.  So I think I could have really returned better today, especially I think she won more than 60% off of her second serves, which is not a stat that usually goes in my favor.  I like to take advantage of second serves, and I just didn't do that too well today.

Q.  Sveta hasn't beaten you for seven years before today.  Did her form catch you by surprise at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don't think it caught me by surprise.  I'm the one that's playing in a semifinal of a tournament.  You have to be ready for it.  She was just the better player.

Q.  Is it different to play her on clay because of her topspin?  Is it maybe the reason why it was a bit more difficult for you today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think this was our first time actually playing on clay, even though we've played many times.  I also think the court and the bounce with the altitude, her spin was getting really high, which is actually ‑‑ I enjoy playing against that because I am a tall girl, so it's a little bit easier for me than if I was shorter.
But I just didn't do too much good enough today on those shots.

Q.  Can you be satisfied with your week after the injuries and the little preparation you had, making the semifinals?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I think about ten days ago I think I started from somewhere around zero.  I've come to a good stage; not the best one.
It's been a while.  I was just thinking it's been a while since I played five matches in six days.  I think it was back in January.  So it's great to be back in that position, but it takes a lot more to continue that.  I have to build on that.  I have to build being able to step up every day, because it doesn't get easier.  It gets tougher.

Q.  What are your feelings about your performance in the tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, I'm happy to get obviously to this stage.  Having lost a few matches beforehand, I did a good job of setting a good base for myself coming through some really tough matches in the last couple of rounds.
Obviously we have another tournament ahead of us next week which will also be an important part of the preparation.  I think every match I can get for any player at this stage before a Grand Slam is important.  It will be for me as well.

Q.  Regarding the previous injury, no setback this week?  You feel 100% going to Rome?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I feel really good.

Q.  I would like to ask you how you are out of tennis?  How is your day?  How are you feeling out of tennis?  How are you these days?  And if you're going to watch the quarterfinal between Rafa and Grigor?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I'm feeling pretty good, thanks.  (Smiling.)
Yeah, I'll catch a little bit of it probably on TV.

Q.  How did you feel in the second set?  You started to make a little bit more errors.  How nervous were you feeling and how do you think that impacted the match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  You, I don't think that really had much to do with it.  As I said in my first answer, she just had more rotation.  She pulled me back really well today.  I just never got a chance to be the one that was hitting the shot to pull her out wide and moving forward.
I was always on my back foot, and that was just not the position I wanted to be in today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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