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January 18, 2010

Maria Sharapova


M. KIRILENKO/M. Sharapova
7-6, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria.

Q. From your viewpoint, what went wrong?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just didn't win the match. You know, bottom line.
Uhm, you know, certainly had my chances and just didn't execute. You know, I felt like I was -- when she was up and then I'd get back there, back in the game, I just didn't take advantage of that and let her, you know, let her control the situation again.

Q. What are the challenges of playing someone you know so well and is a friend?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I mean, when we go on the court we don't really think about that. We just go out and we try to play our game, you know. No matter how well you know someone or not, it's a new day and a new match, and you just try to go out there and perform.

Q. Is this one of the matches early in the season you were looking for consistency and it just wasn't there today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I mean, there is no gray area. It was just up and down in many areas, and just finished at the down level (smiling).

Q. Was it a lack of match practice? You needed a few more matches perhaps to sharpen up?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I don't really know what 'match practice' has to do with being up 4-2, 15-40 and not making a second serve return, so...

Q. Your serve let you down again at crucial times. How much of a frustration has that become for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Actually, I thought I served pretty big. I don't think that was the reason I lost the match today. Uhm, I served big when I had to. I served big second serves.
You know, if I'm gonna serve at that pace and do it for three hours and make those types of mistakes, then I'm okay with it. You know, I'm okay with making mistakes when I'm going after it, trying to control the situation instead of being passive.

Q. So you're happy with where your serve's at?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's still a lot to improve. You know, there's a lot of consistency that I'll have to add to it.
But as far as, you know, how I hit it and, uhm, the level, where it was compared to where it was last year, it's great. I felt really good about it coming here.

Q. Did you ever feel really good at any time during the match off the ground?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, she's not really the type of player that makes you feel that good, but there are many of those types of players. She changes the pace a lot. Uhm, you know, she just has a little bit of a different type of game. Today she was just able to execute many things really well.

Q. In Grand Slams, you've always given the impression of knowing exactly where the ball is going. Have you lost a little bit of the belief that where you hit it is where it's going to land?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I wouldn't say it's 'belief.' I think 'belief' is either something you have or you don't have. Whether it's just a little bit of, uhm, you know, maybe confidence, uhm, obviously it's the first tournament of the year and, you know, I just came up against somebody that just played really good tennis. That's just the way it goes.

Q. How would you describe your sense of confidence right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, well, I'm leaving on Monday of the first week, so that explains a lot.

Q. What is your level of confidence like with your own body and your fitness? Does that play on your mind at all?

Q. Your fitness, the shoulder.

Q. During matches does it play any part? Is it holding you back at all?

Q. Where is your level of disappointment, or do you just chalk it up, It's first round of a Grand Slam, that can happen first round of a slam?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I could be disappointed or I could just take it as it is and just go back on the court and just keep working.
I choose option two (smiling).

Q. Why didn't you play any tournaments before?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I never do. It's worked before.

Q. So do you go on and start thinking about Paris now?

Q. About Paris.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not yet. Are you saying I'm going to go on a clay court right now (smiling)? Wishful thinking.
No, not yet. We have a few more events before Paris, so...

Q. What do you say to yourself now in order to recover, let's say, psychologically from a defeat which is painful, I guess?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, that it's a bad day and you have to get on with your life. You know, there are many worse situations in life. There are people that don't even know what a tennis match is in the world.
You know, just a bad day. A bad day's not going to stop me from doing what I love. I'm still gonna go back on the court and work hard and perform. I'll be back here on a Saturday of the second week, so you'll watch.

End of FastScripts

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