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


January 26, 2006

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: First question for Maria, please.

Q. You just didn't quite make it. Was it a little lack of match practice?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, uhm, a little bit of everything. Obviously, I didn't come in, you know, prepared the best way I could have been prepared for the tournament. But I definitely think, you know, I played some great tennis after not even expecting to be here, yeah.

Q. Must give you heart for the rest of the season that you've done so well with little match practice?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, and I'm really excited. I think my shoulder seems to be getting better. That's a big positive, you know. Like I said, without playing a lot of matches, you know, to be able to play the quality of tennis that, you know, that I played today, I think it's a big plus.

Q. The longer the match goes on, does the shoulder get sore at all or twinge at all when you serve? Is there any pain at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It used to, but it's been very good this tournament, yeah.

Q. Why do you think you're so popular in Asia? What are the reasons?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: In Asia, well, I'm blonde, and when people see someone that's blonde, they go crazy over there. That's one of the reasons.

Q. What is your goal for the Beijing Olympic Games and how do you achieve your goal?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: My goal, jeez, let's take it one step at a time. I just finished the semifinal of a Grand Slam. It's hard to think about the Olympics right now. Obviously, it would be a new experience for me, something that I'm really looking forward to, you know, to play for your country. I'm sure it's a totally different atmosphere. Of course, I think Beijing is going to make a great event.

Q. Obviously, this disappointment with the outcome today, can you talk about your sort of feelings on that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Talk about the disappointment? Yeah, it's disappointing. Look, guys, I think, I mean, I know you are reporters and I know this is your job, but, you know, take your note pads, take your pencils down, take your grunt-o-meters down, the fashion police, put everything away and just watch the match, you know, from just the fans' perspective. I seriously think that the quality of the match today was great. I don't -- of course I'm disappointed, but I did not expect myself to play this great at this tournament. You know, for me to be able to go out there and to play the quality of tennis that I did today, I think it was great. And I know that probably tomorrow I'm gonna be seeing headlines, you know, "Maria can't get past the semis, Maria can't finish it off in the third." But take all that away and just look at the tennis that we both played today. You know, I think that shows a lot. You know, I have a lot to look forward to in the future. You know, this match, it's disappointing right now, but this match gives me a lot of confidence towards the future. I know I can do it. I know what level I can play. I have a lot to look forward to.

Q. You mentioned the other day that you thought your toughness on the court would put you ahead of other girls. Did Justine match you for toughness on the court today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's always a tough opponent to play. I mean, she runs everything back. She gets every ball back. You have to be ready, you have to be tough. But, I mean, I'm not -- try not to concentrate on who's tougher than who, you know. It's just that feeling inside of you. You're either tough or you're not, yeah.

Q. Couple of times you employed the left-hand shot on your natural backhand side for a couple of winners. Is that something you practice or is it something that comes instinctively at the time?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do. I practice it once in a while. Not very often. But, yeah, just on instinct. If I feel like I can make a shot out of it, I do.

Q. You had a ball for 3-All that was on the sideline and HawkEye showed it was good, you would have actually won that game for 3-All. I'm sure that's no consolation.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: When was that?

Q. A ball for 3-All in the final set. Forehand, I think, down the line.


Q. Showed it was barely on the line. Was called out.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, did you see the shot at 2-All? Was that good, the one she hit?

Q. That was against you.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That was wide? That's great. I mean, what can I say? You know, that's the game. I thought that was a pretty important point in the match. But, I mean, I'm not gonna argue about that shot. I'm not gonna make excuse about, I mean, that.

Q. Would it change your ideas at all about HawkEye being used at the US Open or somewhere else?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I'm not against it. I think it's definitely something that will help the players and it will make our game more exciting, yeah. I mean, especially in those situations, especially in these kind of matches. I'm not blaming anyone. I'm not blaming the umpires. But, I mean, they're human, they make mistakes and so do we. But, yes, if there's a logical way of improving, you know, the choices they make, then, yeah, why not?

Q. Was there a point in the match or game in the match or area where you felt it slipping a little bit, or not at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Something in my game that was slipping?

Q. Exactly, yes.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, no, I didn't think there was one part of my game that was slipping, no.

Q. Did you notice at any stage, I think it was the 2-All game, someone yelled out halfway through the point, did you notice that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I had no idea, no.

Q. Can you tell us when your father holds up the four fingers like that, can you tell us what that means?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: The four -- I have to drink my fourth drink. I have, like, three out there, and I have to drink the fourth one.

Q. Just that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just some extra energy, you know, for the third set.

Q. Do you feel the lines are sometimes a bit blurred between what your dad is up to on the sidelines and supporting you, trying to perhaps send you some messages, or are you happy with the way that is?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I look towards my box for, you know, to get me going. I don't -- I can't, I mean -- you think it's easy to hear what -- there are so many people in the stadium talking, you think it's easy to hear what one person's saying? I mean, I play by instincts on the court. I don't care, you know, if someone tells me to marry them, I'm not going to marry them, you know. If someone tells me do something else, I'm going to do everything my way. I'm not going to listen to what other people are saying to me.

Q. You don't take any notice of the signals, signs, arm-waving?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I barely see anything.

Q. How long is it going to be with your shoulder? Are you going to have to take some time off before it gets a hundred percent?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, well, time off doesn't really do anything for it. I've tried that in the past. No, it doesn't. I just have to keep going and, you know, it's been a positive two weeks. I'm obviously -- I've had a day off in between. But it's been a lot better than it's been at the US Open or other events that I played. So, you know, with that, I think if I keep doing the same thing that I was doing here and getting it treated and, you know, checking before and after the match, seeing how it is after a tough match, you know, adjusting things that need to be adjusted, then I think I'm on the right track.

Q. How much was your serve, would you say, diminished during the tournament?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think the main thing, I didn't really have a lot of preparation going into the tournament. I wasn't able to serve as normal as I usually would, you know, speed-wise and amount-wise. Usually I practice my serve more. But I'm not -- coming off an injury that I had for six months, I'm not just going to go out there and bang every serve, you know. I have to be logical about that.

Q. Justine seemed to get frustrated with some of the yelling out at one point during the match. Do you know what that was about?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have no idea.

Q. Are you aware sometimes your father's gestures and calling out may upset some of the other players?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: You can ask them. I don't know.

End of FastScripts….

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