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May 27, 2015

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/V. Diatchenko
6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How do you feel health-wise?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I'm getting better.

Q. Good. Your dropshots were excellent today, and the last month, you know, while seeing you playing. Has Sven Groeneveld been a hand in that? How come you really have a great dropshot now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's just an element that I started working on a little bit, and added progressively. I think clay is a really good opportunity to do it, as you have a little bit more time. And a lot of players, you know, stay a little bit further back to give themselves time to get back in the court. It's something I have worked on and brought a little bit more to my match, as well.

Q. Facing Stosur so early in a tournament, it can be more than tricky. How do you see this match against her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Well, we faced in the fourth round here last year. I mean, I don't know if there is much of a difference really. She had a good win last week, I believe. She's always a tough opponent. She enjoys playing on clay, benefits a lot from this surface. Yeah, it will be a tough match. But, you know, I have a pretty good record against her. I enjoy our matches. I hope I can continue that.

Q. It was a much warmer day today than it has been the last few in Paris, so I was curious to see what your thoughts were on the conditions on Chatrier. Noticeably faster today compared to your first-round match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think 11:00 a.m. matches are always a little bit heavier than the ones during the day, even though it was a little warmer. I think conditions have been fairly slow maybe compared to the last few years. Didn't feel much different than the previous round, really.

Q. After two matches, what do you think is the part of your game which you would still like to improve?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, for me right now it's really about recovery and just being healthy for the next round. I played a lot of tennis and, you know, fortunately in the previous two tournaments, you know, this is not a stage where you're trying to fix things or work on things. It's really about maintenance and recovery and getting ready for the next match.

Q. What are your thoughts regarding the new Olympic rules, Fed Cup rules, requiring Fed Cup participation?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Are there new ones that I'm not aware of?

Q. Not new ones.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm scared to hear those.

Q. They haven't changed. The most recent one...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You mean the amount of times you have to play?

Q. Yes.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think it's so much the amount of times we have to compete at Fed Cup. I think it's more the timing of the events that are just really unfortunate. I have been very vocal about it. I don't think anyone's that's making the Fed Cup schedule is thinking about the players that go far in Grand Slams. They don't understand or appreciate how much mental and physical strength it takes to get to that, to schedule a Fed Cup match right after a Grand Slam. It's just pointless, in my opinion. I had an amazing time playing this year, and I want to play in the future, but the schedule just does not give me any chance to do so. As much as I want to be part of it, it's just -- it's really a hassle. You just try to put things in the schedule, and it's almost like a Band-Aid in a way. I wish it wasn't so. I think it would be much more successful if it actually had a legitimate schedule and maybe not every single year.

Q. Rafa was in here yesterday and was talking about how sometimes -- well, he has had a complaint about an umpire and has made that known to the ATP and the ATP has acted accordingly. Is there ever an instance where there are certain umpires you see when you walk out on court and you think, Gosh, really, you? Or have you ever issued a complaint?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Never issued a complaint. I have been fairly good with the umpires that I have had in my career. I haven't had any problems with anyone. So, sorry. I know it's not the answer maybe you wanted to hear.

Q. That's fine. But also you said you enjoyed the matchup with Sam.

Q. She can be a very difficult player for a lot of players because nobody really hits the ball like she does. What is it about that matchup that you think kind of has worked out for you, or is there something about her ball that you like?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, she has a very heavy ball, and I think on clay specifically it just really penetrates through the court. I think the spin that she's able to create from, you know, especially her forehand and her serve, you know, she has one of the best kick serves in the game. She's really able to put that power into it and kick. Yeah, there are a lot of -- you know, she slices a lot. There are a lot of untraditional things that she does, but I enjoy that challenge, I guess, and I try to prepare for it as well as I can.

Q. Considering the situation you're at these days, have you thought to create some balsamic Sugarpova?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have not, no.

Q. When you began today it was fairly empty, the stadium. Do you find that a problem at all? Is it difficult to get energy to feed off from the crowd?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's always a bit expected when you're first on. You know, I enjoy coming on first on, because you know the schedule, you know when you're playing, especially in a Grand Slam. Sometimes you're following the three out of five of a men's match, and that's always difficult. So I enjoy those matches. I like coming out knowing when I'm playing. You know, if it's going to be more empty in the beginning than the end, then that's okay with me.

Q. If you have a day and a half off, how do you spend your time? Do you watch your big competitors at all on television or you leave that up to Sven?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I enjoy watching whatever is on TV, whatever they show. That's kind of a little tricky here in France because -- we won't go into that. But not many options, really. But I do. I love watching when you're in a tournament environment, it's really just about the event and, you know, it's about the recovery. So you spend a lot of time at home and doing treatment. I'm not afraid to watch, you know, my future opponents or I like to watch the men's matches, as well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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