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January 25, 2005

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria, please.

Q. Match point there, how much did you have left in the tank?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just enough to win that match point, that's it.

Q. Do you get a sense of who was feeling the heat more, yourself or your opponent?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was hard to think about anything else except yourself. I was just trying to tell myself mentally just to get through it. I kept thinking back in my off-season, you know, how hard it was when I was training physically, and I thought I couldn't go any more, but I knew that I had some more even though my body thought I didn't. I remember those moments, and I just kept fighting, just trying to take as much time as I can and fight.

Q. At what point did you first start to feel sick or feel exhausted?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, from the beginning of the match, it was quite hot. I was a bit lazy at the beginning of the match. I didn't run for as many balls. I wasn't getting balls back that I could have got back. You know, I was making too many errors. But the third set -- end of second set is when I think both of us started feeling the heat and feeling tired and wanted the points to go a lot quicker.

Q. Will your post-match routine to recuperate change from what you normally do after this match?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I'll definitely be drinking a lot of water and going to the bathroom every five minutes. But other than that, no.

Q. Where does it rank heat-wise as far as matches you've played?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it is -- I've played in hot weather, but I've never played three sets in the hot weather, and I've never played the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in hot weather. So this is a first for me. But like I said, you've got to start somewhere, you've got to learn, and you've got to find a way to get through it.

Q. Is it helpful to have a 10-minute break before the third set?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Definitely. It's very helpful because I thought both of us were -- you know, that's when we were starting to get a little tired and we wanted the points to go shorter, so we were going for our shots. And I think the quality of the tennis started to pick up once we took the break. Well, I felt like it did. I felt like after I got the break, my body cooled down a little bit.

Q. Do you think they should have it at other tournaments where heat can be as high as here?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think they do.

Q. Regarding the surface, Lleyton said it's as slow as clay. In the heat, did you feel it's very slow, it's like clay?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't worry about the surface when it's 35 degrees outside. That's the last thing on my mind.

Q. Is it too slow, the surface?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, if it's slow for me, it's slow for my opponent. So doesn't matter.

End of FastScripts….

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