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August 19, 2009

Maria Sharapova


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty sketchy?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I'm actually having a competition with myself to see how many errors and double faults I can make and still win the match in two sets. It's pretty interesting.

Q. Didn't you give her four in one game when she was at ad? I think she won all the points on double faults. Is that a first?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Probably not.

Q. You're starting to sound like Dinara. Have you heard her when she comes in after losing? She's very hard on herself.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Really? Well, I think you've heard me speak numerous times. I'm a perfectionist.

Q. What do you take out of the match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A win, basically. I thought, for some reason, the more I was out there today the worse I was playing. I'm not sure if it was her game or something else, but I certainly need to step it up.

Q. You were saying the longer you were out there the worse you were playing. How important is it then that you set the tone early in the first set?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I did that. It was 4-0. I just kind of lost control of a few things from there, and I just can't really let that happen, you know, so you've got to stay on top of the opponent. That was something that I didn't do in both of the sets.

Q. Could you just talk about your serve a little bit? Obviously it was a problem today. Since you've come back from injury, just how has your serve been, and is this unusual for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, you saw it today. I mean, yeah, the fact that I served that way and still won the match in two sets is certainly going to give me a lot of confidence when my arm is where it needs to be and, you know, when my serve gets to where it has to be.
So yeah. I mean, it's great to get a win playing and serving like that.

Q. Has it been something you've been fighting since you've come back? Or how has your serve been, excluding today, how has your serve been really?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, there are a few things in my game from each tournament that I've just been trying to improve and work on. I think there's only so much you can do. You know, when you're coming back from surgery, you don't want to overdo it in repetition as much as -- I'm certainly going to do everything I can that's in my power to go out and, you know, to stay on the court as long as I can, but I also have to be really smart. I mean, I have a really long career ahead of me.

Q. During your rehabilitation, the long road you had to come back, did you ever think even for a moment that, you know, maybe I don't want to return? Was that ever a question, whether to come back to the court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I was so focused on getting my arm better that I didn't really have time. I was spending, you know, a lot of time speaking to doctors and speaking to, you know, my coach and my team about all the things that I can do to get back as fast as I can that I really didn't have -- I mean, I certainly had, you know, days that were tougher than others where I thought I'd be back sooner than I ended up coming back, but that's the process of an injury, and that's a process of coming back after surgery.

Q. Because you were gone so long, do you think it was natural people were speculating whether you'd retire or whether you had the desire to get back, given all the other things you've got going on in your life?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm very used to speculation. There is a lot of that in my career, and it comes with the territory of being a professional athlete.
The only thing that matters is what goes on on the court and how you perform and how you go out there. Everybody's words and opinions, you know, that might matter to the world because they watch TV and they read newspapers, but to me it's just another day at the office.

Q. A lot of the top seeds have been eliminated very early in this tournament. Your thoughts on what that means for you and the rest of this tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It means absolutely nothing to me, because I always look forward to my next opponent, whoever that may be, top seed or not.
You always look to your next challenge, and just go out there and play against, you know -- you certainly don't wish that the top players lose or go down. That's just the way the draw is and the tournament goes.

Q. How would you describe the rivalries in women's tennis right now? What's your opinion?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Like individual rivalries?

Q. Just is it at the high point of women's tennis, or are we at a little bit of a low point? Do you find them interesting, compelling?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Certainly not at a low point. Not only do you have Safina, both of the Williams girls in the top 5, and you have Kim and me coming back into the game, you know, challenging the top players. You also have a lot of younger names that are, you know, showing up that are already in the top 10 in the world.
I think as far as certain rivalries, I don't think we have a rivalry such as Nadal/Federer. That's something really special that the men's game has, but we definitely have a much more open field.

Q. What's it like for you competing at a tournament as an unseeded player?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The only thing that's different is I don't have a bye in the first round. That's pretty much it. So I start earlier in the week.

Q. This tournament is considering something different in 2011 when the men's draw and the women's draw will be the same week. They're thinking about having half the men in Toronto and half the women in Toronto, half the men in Montreal and half the women in Montreal with the finalists flying to the other city.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think that's a bit ridiculous.

Q. Really?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: In the same week flying to other cities?

Q. Well, the finalists from Toronto would have to go to Montreal. The women's finalists from Montreal would have to come to Toronto.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Who told you about that one?

Q. Oh, Tennis Canada is talking about it, a way to generate interest, give Toronto and Montreal a feel for what a mixed tournament is like.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not sure I can comment on that one. I haven't heard about that one yet. I think I'll need to get more info before I can comment.
I thought of both the men and women coming together, but I didn't hear us flying from Toronto to Montreal to play a same tournament. I haven't heard that one before.

Q. Stacey Allaster yesterday was talking about the issues of grunting and noise during matches. As a player who makes a little bit of noise when you hit as opposed to some players who don't make any noise, other players obviously make a lot, how would you feel if you were approached to tone down the noise, or if the tour wanted to eliminate it entirely?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't been approached, so when I do, I'll have an answer for it.

End of FastScripts

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