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January 16, 2006

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria, please.

Q. Did you have any time to feel any pain today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, no. I actually felt pretty good. I'm really happy about it because that's one of the first times I played a match without feeling anything. You know, I don't expect it to be that like for the whole tournament. So I'm very happy I got through that one without any pain.

Q. Ideal start?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it is. I started off really well. Usually when you don't get a lot of practice, practice matches at tournaments, coming into one of the most important tournaments of the year is -- you're not under the best condition. But I felt really good. I felt like we had a lot of good rallies and I could get a rhythm out there. So it's a good thing.

Q. Are you expecting less of yourself this tournament because of the circumstances?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, you know, I'm just very happy to be here and I'm very happy to be, I mean -- every match that I can win, I'm just very excited 'cause a few hours before the flight I wasn't even going to go. Just to be here, just to feel healthy at the moment and to play good tennis, yeah.

Q. On the day when you've watched a number of the top seeds actually lose, do you get more nervous before you go out on court?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. Well, I know the first matches are always tricky. You don't know. You might be playing well in practice but when you go out on the court, it's a totally different situation, and you have to be, you know, just have to be mentally and physically ready, especially these courts. I mean, it's actually faster this year because of the balls. But still every ball comes back and you just have to be on top of your game in order to finish the match.

Q. What do you do for your shoulder and pec? When the match is over, do you take preventive measures?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, my physio, you know, checks to make sure everything is in place, see how my muscles are after the match, yeah, just do treatment and try to keep it good.

Q. Does it hurt?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not now. I hope you ask me that in 13 days and I'll say "Not now" too.

End of FastScripts….

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