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January 18, 2007

Maria Sharapova



Q. Anything special you did between your first match and today to prepare yourself to get yourself up again after being pretty exhausted from the last match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Rest a lot, stay inside, drink. Just try to recover. There's not too much you can do except try and rest as much as you can.

Q. How much was this the game you needed? Quick time, an hour, not expending too much.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was good. I was glad I got to a good start. I wanted to make sure, you know, I finished it in two this time. I thought that I played a little bit better today.
I still think that I can play a lot better. I'm nowhere near my top level. But I think I can definitely get better as I play more matches here.

Q. Has the harder one earlier in the week taken the edge off?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, you know, it was hard to take much away from the first match just 'cause I didn't think it had a lot to do tennis-wise. Today I felt like I could work on a few things and really see how I was playing. I'll take a few things from this match and just try to improve for my next one.

Q. Now that you've had some time to recover, any ideas on how they should organize the situation, the heat rule?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think when it gets to a certain point where it's extreme heat, players probably should stop. I think that's why the roof's there. It's not only for the rain, but it's also for the conditions.

Q. You'd like to see them stop the match and then close the roof and continue?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I mean, even if it's a 20-minute delay, I think that can save a lot of people from having to go to the doctor.

Q. You feel pretty fortunate in some ways not to have had a health problem after that first match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, I'm definitely recovered from it. I feel good physically. Yeah, I mean, it's of course unfortunate because heat, it's probably one of the most dangerous things, you know, an athlete can get. So, yeah, I'm happy that I was able to get through it and win that match and win today.

Q. Are you well enough recovered that if there was a hot day, as is going to be the next few days, you're in another three-setter, physically you'd be okay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It can't get hotter than it was the other day. Somehow I managed that one. Hopefully can manage another one if it gets to that point. Hopefully, you know, I'll be lucky if it does get to that point, the roof will be closed before my match even starts.

Q. The state of Russian tennis is obviously fairly healthy at the moment. Do you think there's any real reason why there's been so many improving recently?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's not one definite reason. I mean, I think the start of it was in '04 when our country won the first major. But I don't know. A lot of hard work, I guess, and determination, all of us wanting to be the best. Yeah, I mean, there's not one secret potion to how we're doing so well.

Q. Has nothing to do with training?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: If you look at all the girls, basically all of them are developing their games in different parts of the world. Some are in Russia, some in Spain, some in the States. It's not like they're bundled up and go in Siberia and hide away from everyone and train. Everyone does their own thing in their own different ways and it works.

Q. What do you make of Jankovic and her game? Are you surprised to see her accelerating into the top level here?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I actually grew up with her playing at Bollettieri's. I've known her quite well since we were very young. But, no, even when we were juniors, we always competed against each other in junior tournaments. She was one of the top players, top juniors. No, I think a lot of people expected her to be a top player. I think she's becoming more consistent as she's been playing more matches. Looks like a more experienced player. I haven't played her recently. She's obviously been playing great, confident tennis. Yeah, but it's not a surprise, no.

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