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May 14, 2005

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria, please.

Q. How tired were you at the end?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, I don't think I was patient enough in the third set. You know, little bit of fatigue, little bit anxious to go too much on a shot that's not good enough to go on. But, you know, those are the things (inaudible). In the third set I thought she was just physically more ready to run more balls down and have more points. I went for too much at the wrong times.

Q. You played 100 times on her forehand, not many times on her backhand. Why do you think you did that? Why did you do that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: There was no specific reason. I didn't -- I don't think there's really -- I don't think her forehand is better than her backhand. I think her forehand has a little more spin and her backhand is more flat. I think in the first set she made a few more errors from the forehand side.

Q. Does it bother you to play against left-handers in a way?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I think just the first few games just you have to get used to the serve. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same.

Q. Is it very difficult to read her game?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, she's a very different player than most of the players on tour. You know, even if she's a lefty, usually lefties, you know, play a little bit different than she is. She has sort of an old-style sort of game and moves really well, so you have -- you know, that's one thing, you just have to be really, really patient.

Q. Did the specter of No. 1 enter your mind at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I won the first set so, you know, didn't really.

Q. How disappointed you are? Did you expect better from yourself, or you think that she played particularly well?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I think just the chances in the second set that I had, I was, you know -- if I broke her on that one game, you know, it would have been a different match because I'd have won a set and then we would have been back on serve that crucial game where, you know, she got the ball back from my overhead. But, you know, those are just things in tennis that happen, you know. Some points you lose; some points you get lucky. You know, just little things. I'm not disappointed. I think, you know, I've had a pretty good preparation. You know, I'd rather play well -- play better at a Grand Slam and just learn the things I need to work on and keep working on them the next week and hopefully, you know, be fresh and ready for Roland Garros.

Q. You know that you are going to be No. 1 in the world anyway if Davenport doesn't go to Strasbourg? Are you aware of that?

THE MODERATOR: That's not true. She had to get to the final for that to take place.

Q. She has to get to the final?

THE MODERATOR: Maria had to win today, so that's not true.

Q. Did you expect the crowd supporting more Patty Schnyder than you today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I wasn't too worried about the crowd. I didn't really pay attention. I thought it was pretty even.

Q. What can you learn from this defeat?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, well, like I said, I just have to be more patient. I physically have to, you know, be ready, be willing to hit an extra ball. And just, you know, that's just the thing that will come as I play more matches and I learn from my losses, that I have to just be more patient, especially in the third set when I try to, you know, go for a little too much. I know that's just my instincts and that's how I play, but a few times I think I have to be more patient than I am.

Q. Do you think you have to make more physical efforts because you were tired in the third set?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think I am improving. I mean, this is not an overnight process. I'm not going to change overnight and all of a sudden be able, you know -- be Superman and get everything and, you know, win everything. I think I'm a lot better than I was last year on clay court season, and that's an improvement. And little by little. I mean, I have so many years ahead of me to get better that I don't think, you know, at this point -- you know, if I'm getting better... I mean, last year, you know, I lost third, fourth round. This year I'm in the semifinal. So every year it gets a little better.

Q. In other words, you feel as you head towards Paris you're on course?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think so. I mean, you know, Paris will tell, of course. But I'm going to have a good week of good training. Of course I feel like I'm getting better and better as the matches went on this week. So hopefully, you know, I'll take that experience and these two last tournaments that I've played and take it into Paris.

Q. Would you say the same thing for the No. 1 ranking: There's no rush really whether it's now or a few months from now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I've said it before, there's no rush.

End of FastScripts….

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