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March 26, 2006

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What could you say about the match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I didn't really feel great out there today. You know, I started off well and things were going my way and all of a sudden, you know, just made a lot of unforced errors, especially with the wind. All my balls were floating out.
Couldn't quite get the feel out there or the rhythm, so, you know, moving was difficult for some reason. Maybe because I played -- went to sleep a little bit late so was a little bit lousy on the court.
But she hit some great shots. She hit the ball very deep and hard and she played like she had nothing to lose. You know, it's kind of dangerous when you play those opponents that don't have anything to lose and go for their shots.
I fought for it. I did a good job of fighting at the end. When the day's not great, when you feel like you're not playing your best tennis, I still know that I can fight it out, and that's how I win most -- a lot of my matches.
Q. What time did you get back and were able to go to sleep?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Probably like at 12.
Q. What time did you have to get up and get back here to get ready?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I got up at 8 or something like that.
Q. So how do you prepare for such a quick turnaround?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, you don't really prepare, you just have to go with the flow. You know, you have to make sure you eat well, late and early. You don't really have an appetite, but you somehow have to create one.
You know, that's really important, the food intake and a good night's rest. Sometimes it's difficult coming off a night match to sleep well, but that's, you know, very important to be ready for the next match.
Q. What would you say about the HawkEye, the challenge?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What can I say about it, it's interesting. I think it's, in a way, great. I also think that a lot of balls, you know, are a little bit -- you know, they're out and you know they're out but they're close. I think the fans just want to see for entertainment. They start booing and they want to hear the entertainment, they want to see it on the screen. Sometimes it gets a little too much because you know the ball was out or you know the ball was in, you're not going to challenge it but they kind of try to force you into it.
But that's the fans and that's the entertainment part of it. But, you know, we had to expect that.
Q. The numbers show that the player challenges have not been particularly successful, especially the women's side. Any thoughts on that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You know, we have the challenges and if we feel like we need to use them, then why not? You know, if we have the opportunity. Yesterday, I used two of them and they were later in the set where, you know, I still have two and I haven't used them, you know, just to see.
But, you know, I don't -- if you have the opportunity and you feel like you want to use it, you know, we're not doing something illegal.
Q. You just wanted to test it out? You didn't think the balls you questioned --
MARIA SHARAPOVA: One of them I wanted to know and one of them I wasn't sure and I asked the umpire if it was far long. She couldn't give me a definite answer. I said why not, it was in the second set, I think. It turned out to be a pretty big out, but she didn't really -- you know, that's the thing, I want to still find out if I can ask her "did she see it very long?" If she did, there's no point in asking. But if it was really close and she doesn't really know, then I would challenge it.
Q. Do you like it or not like it so far?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I like it. I think it makes the match a lot more closer, more intriguing and more fun.
Q. Will it be hard playing a friend?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's always hard playing a friend, you know. We've played a few times in the past. Last time was not a good experience for me. I was injured in Beijing and she was playing great tennis.
So, you know, she's a great athlete. She can definitely play the game. And, you know, like I said, it's always tough playing a friend, but that's tennis. You know, you're gonna play your buddies once in a while.
Q. She got up pretty big early in that second set. She was up 5-2. You were down 40-Love, I think it was.
Q. Mentally, how did you get yourself back to be able to win that third point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I just tried to get another ball back, make her force the error. She's up 40-Love, serving for it so, you know, she wants to close it out. It's in her hands, you know. I just try to get another ball back and, I mean, on 40-30 I hit a lefty shot that kind of floated up in the air. I mean, it was a pretty good shot. She missed a swinging volley. I think she kind of lost her confidence from then on.
Q. Haven't won many of those left-handed shots, have you?
Q. No.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I have -- it has saved me a lot in my career.
Q. Yeah?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, definitely.
Q. I haven't seen you win many of those.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, I've...
I remember I've won a lot. Some balls where I feel I can't reach with the two-handed backhand, that's when I do it. Obviously, I don't have that much power from that side, but that's the only chance I've got. So I remember I hit some great, great ones at Wimbledon last year and the year before, but no.

End of FastScripts...

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