home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 3, 2018

Maria Sharapova

Wimbledon, London, England

V. DIATCHENKO/M. Sharapova

6-7, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us where you felt it went wrong for you today? You had several opportunities.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I definitely had several chances in the match. Although not playing my best tennis, I opened up a few doors and was a couple points away from winning this match. Kept, you know, doing that in the third, as well. But just, you know, sometimes you put yourself in a better or winning position, and you don't finish through. That was the case today.

Q. How are you feeling physically and tennis-wise coming into this tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good. I would have loved to have played Birmingham. I felt I made that mistake of playing far too many tournaments in consecutive weeks. The clay season was a lot of matches, much more than I've played in a really long time.

Yeah, it would have been great to play an event, but I had to make a decision for my body and for my longevity rather than to go and play a few matches.

Q. We've seen over the past two days three top-10 players on the women's side lose in the first round. What does that say about the caliber of a first-round opponent right now and the depth of the women's tour?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I can only speak about the opponent I played against today. I mean, she played all or nothing. She's already gotten three matches at this tournament. Not at Wimbledon, at another venue.

She swung away. She played extremely aggressive. I was playing a little bit too defensively for what I should have been doing. Yeah, she was there to win it, and she did.

Q. Looking forward, the US Open will introduce the shot clock. What are your thoughts about that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I guess we'll think about it when we get there. Whatever is implemented, we will all work with.

Q. You haven't made it past the quarterfinals in a slam since returning from the ban. What do you think is missing from your game to making semis and finals at the majors?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I wasn't making every slam semis and finals before that, as well. If I was, maybe I'm wrong, but I think everyone in this room has known that I haven't.

Tennis is a process. I've certainly made a lot of progress despite this result today. I've made a lot of progress in the last few months. I find myself in a much better position than at this time last year.

Q. You were serving for the match. Did you feel some extra pressure? You should be used to this situation. Were you more nervous than normal? Do you think you didn't serve as well as you would have liked?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think it's normal to feel -- I mean, that's part of the game, is to feel moments of tension, to feel there's something on the line. That's just human. No matter how many times you've done it, no matter what court you're playing on, Centre Court, backcourt, just the moment, the crowd, Wimbledon, another tournament, you always want to do your best.

Yeah, of course you feel it. But I love that feeling. That's one of the reasons I play. I definitely, you know, maybe wasn't smart enough, didn't play the right way in the crucial moments.

Q. I remember Navratilova and other players getting a little older, they said they were feeling more the pressure than when they were young. Growing gives you extra pressure because you really want it more. When you're young, who cares.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's always a different type of pressure. I think when you're young, it's a pressure of the unknown. You don't know. It's the pressure of the inexperience, how you're going to deliver under circumstances that are presented at you that are very new and challenging. When you're older, you have those experiences, which is sometimes very helpful. You have been in that position, and sometimes you pulled through and did extremely well, and others you haven't.

All those are still memories in your mind, but I think that's what makes tennis great, you have to create new ones.

Q. You mentioned you're in a much better place now than a year ago. What gives you the most encouragement as you move forward from a loss like today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think the fight, the motivation. Obviously the health. That's crucial, to be able to keep putting the work in. In a matter of a couple points, maybe the situation could have been different. I would have been here saying, I didn't play my best tennis, I'm giving myself another chance. But it's not.

I have to take away the things that didn't work well for me and get back and work through those, look for my next opportunities.

Q. As you assess your game, do you think things come harder to you now or easier in some ways than when you were younger? How about physically for you right now, is it easier or harder than years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I always find I think the transition from clay to grass has been a little bit tougher for me as I've gotten older. That's just a matter of training, getting through the soreness in the first week or so. I don't think it's different for me than it is from anyone else. It's just a quick turnaround, as well.

Yeah, but there's some things that are easier, some things that are tougher. There's no perfect formula.

Q. When you were in the third set, you actually got nervous?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it depends on the opportunity. There's certainly moments where you feel what's in front of you. You always want to deliver in those moments.

But, I mean, I've never really shied away from that. I hope that I don't continue to. I hope that I keep putting myself on the line for those moments.

Q. Halep was in here and she thinks the first round at Wimbledon is the trickiest one for the top seeds compared to the other three.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I think it might be because of the quick turnaround, maybe not coming in with a lot of matches. Look, you could say I think everyone's in a different position and maybe the results are all different today. Some players have won a few matches and didn't come through today, some haven't played matches and have gone through. You could study that all day long, go through numbers. At the end of the day it just matters who wins the last point.

Q. You're happy with the forehand, the backhand, your serve?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm happy with the way that I show up. I think just based on, like, repetition and my attitude, I think that plateaued in maybe at the end, beginning of this year. That was due to a lot of injuries and a lot of starts and a lot of stops.

I think, I mean, I've said before, if I show up and I keep putting myself on the line on days where I'm not performing well, I'm able to change that around. At the French Open I was down 3-0. I gave myself a chance to go through. I played a great match against Karolina.

You could work through all those formulas. But at the end of the day, if I wake up and I want to go out and I want to put the work in, I think that speaks for itself. Doesn't need to speak to anyone else. Just needs to speak for me, which is the most important thing.

Q. How great is your competitive desire now compared with other times in your career?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, at this moment, not great (smiling). Yeah, I think it's always tough to kind of assess that motivation after a first-round loss. There's no doubt that when I will -- I don't shy away from mistakes and errors, looking back at film, learning from what went wrong. It's not always pleasant moments, but sometimes those are the ones you need to get better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297