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May 12, 2005

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Did you expect an easier match?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, Mary is always a tough opponent. You know, she won the French Open, so obviously she knows how to play on clay. I've always had tough battles with her. Last time was at Indian Wells, and it was also a really good match. You know, I think we both could have played a lot better. I think there was a few errors from my side - I felt too many in the beginning of the first set. But as the match went on, I think I was just getting better, I was just getting a groove out there, maybe because of the lights or something. But overall I didn't think it was the best match, but it was a little bit better than the first round.

Q. Who is calling you at this time?


Q. Normally, it's you who calls the mother.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I do. But there's something urgent so (laughing)...

Q. Is she worried about you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, no. I already told her I won, but she needed to tell me something else, something back home. So don't worry about it (laughing).

Q. Why she doesn't follow you more? She doesn't have time? She's doing other things? Where is she now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's in Florida. She doesn't like to travel around in the tennis world because it's, you know, there's a lot of -- I mean, it's difficult when you travel with your whole family, you know. I mean, obviously, she misses me and I miss her, but she enjoys being home and taking care of the house. We just bought a house, so she's, you know, she's taking care of all that. She has other things to do that, you know -- of course she wants to be with me and everything, but I don't want to take her life away from her and just let her travel with me every single day.

Q. After Wimbledon you said that your dream was to be No. 1. You're quite close to be No. 1. Which will be the next dream?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: What? Is it my next dream? Yeah, it is.

THE INTERPRETER: After being No. 1, because you're close to be No. 1.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I'll tell you when I get to No. 1. It will be a lot easier to tell you. I don't want to be jinxed right now (laughing).

Q. Also, this question has been asked to you 10,000 times but...

MARIA SHARAPOVA: So why do you ask it again?

Q. Because I don't know if there is something new today. Tomorrow if in Rome you have the time to see something...

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, that's okay. No, these questions I like (laughing). No, I haven't had the time yet to see anything, but it's pretty difficult. I went out to lunch yesterday and I had people following me around. So it's, you know -- unless they don't know where I'm going, it's pretty hard. I need a few bodyguards with me, and it will be a little bit easier. But I think after the tournament I'm gonna spend a few days. I want to see the Colosseum because last year I went to the Vatican, I saw the whole museum, and I couldn't go to the Colosseum. So I want to go there.

Q. Which means you are going to stay here in Rome when it's over, the tournament? For you, you are going to be here for a while anyway?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not for a while. Maybe a day or two. I want to visit. I'm going to go to Spain after this, I think, then I want to go to the French Open right away. I have a few things I want to see, like I said, and a few people that I want to meet in Rome, so...

Q. The way you play on clay, tonight you said you didn't play that well, but the match was a good quality. I mean, one of the best we have seen this week.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, probably the other matches weren't too good (laughing). No, I don't think -- I don't think it was the best match I've seen. I think last time we played a better match. But I don't know, I thought -- I mean, I think I'm playing, as the weeks go on, I think I'm playing better on clay. I'm moving better. But I'd still like to work on a few things, you know, to be in better shape for the French Open.

Q. You have another Russian to play. It's Bovina. Do you know her? Are you friends?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't really -- I don't really know her that well. I've played with her two years ago at Wimbledon, so I don't -- I haven't really seen her play that much. I mean, she's a tall girl so she has a pretty powerful game. That would be really obvious to know. But just I have to go out and just play my game. I can't really think about what she's going to do.

Q. Do you prefer to play in daytime or nighttime?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't mind either. The nighttime I just have to wait around the whole day in the hotel because I can't really go do anything, I don't want to be too tired. So that's the only disadvantage about nighttime. But other than that, I think nighttime matches, you know, are -- I guess they're very anticipated and more exciting.

Q. When you have been outside, you say you have been followed by people?


Q. They've been taking pictures or what?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, they're -- there are a lot of --

Q. Aggressive or not?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, some are pretty aggressive (laughing). If they were nice, I wouldn't say anything (laughing).

Q. What happened?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, nothing happened, but, you know, they're always following you. You never know, you know, what they're gonna do.

Q. They're finding you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, yeah, they found where I live, so, you know... But it's funny because I see the entrance to my hotel from the balcony and I can see who's -- I love spying on the paparazzi. Yesterday they gave up on me because I was in the hotel all day. I didn't go out to dinner.

Q. It's boring.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's a boring job for them. I feel bad.

Q. Boring for you, too.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, for me, it's okay. I enjoy the game (laughing).

End of FastScripts….

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