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August 30, 2018

Maria Sharapova

New York, NY, USA


6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tricky first set, then in the second got tight in the end, had to fight back there. Talk about the set, toward the end, how you were able to get the win in straights.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I really like the way I finished the match. I obviously started it really poorly. Even though I did find myself up a break, I was making way too many double-faults and way too many errors. Yeah, just not feeling much of the game.

But finished really strong. I think that's what matters. Actually gives me great confidence that if I was able to play that way to come through, I have a chance in the next one.

Q. In terms of finishing strong, was there a switch that clicked, different mindset going into the final three games?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I might have looked at the clock and just thought this was getting too late.

Q. Ostapenko next. Played her really tough in Rome and beat her.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was a tough one.

Q. What are your memories of that match? What do you make of her game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was a real battle. It could have gone either way. It was a really long, physical match. It was our first ever meeting. It was a chance to see and feel each other's game. I was really impressed by her game.

She's young and fearless, comes out swinging. She's a Grand Slam champion, so that speaks for itself. She's got that experience in Grand Slams already. I think she likes the matchup of playing against me. Both quite aggressive players.

But I do, as well.

Q. People use those words to describe you. Do you see any of yourself in her when you're across the net?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Tennis is a very selfish game. A lot of it is, as much as you want to focus on certain things and the way your opponent's playing, there's not a lot of that from my end. I really do focus on improving on my own strengths and improving the weaknesses, figuring it out as the match goes on.

She's definitely, from an aggression point of view, taking the ball early, yeah. She's a character as well, so...

Q. You played on Ashe and the new Armstrong. Could you give us a sense of how the new Armstrong compares to Ashe?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Armstrong felt a little bit louder. As I said in my first press conference, I think the pathway is a little bit lower and it's open to the people walking. I think that just probably creates a little bit more noise, but nothing that is disturbing or different, different than any other tournaments we play at.

Q. What about court speed? Similar to Ashe?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The courts have been a little bit slower, I felt like. Maybe Armstrong is even a little slower than Ashe. I'm the worst person to ask those questions.

Q. You spoke about looking at the time, finishing late here, after midnight. How does that aspect of this tournament change things for you, whether it's recuperation, changing your time clock?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Right. I mean, to be honest, in my everyday life I go to bed very early. I'm an early riser. It's quite the opposite of the routine I've had in the last few days.

It's nothing that is new in terms of knowing what you're going to get at the US Open, as well as the warmup tournaments. You're looking at even in now it's San Jose, but in Stanford, you're playing late, have to come out the next day. Here you have a little bit of recovery time, a day in between, so...

Q. How are you feeling physically? A bit of tape on the forearm.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm just getting by, yeah.

Q. The same?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Great (laughter). It's only week one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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