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August 14, 2010

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/A. Pavlyuchenkova
6-4, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did the power failure upset your rhythm on your serve? You had just broken to go 2-1 in second and lost your next three service games. Kind of curious what happened there.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think, um, it kind of changed many things. You know, not that I did much different on the serve. I think I just, you know, maybe stepped back a little bit and let her play -- I mean, I wasn't doing the things that I was doing to get up in the match. I really stopped doing that.
I made her hit some -- by giving her the opportunity to step in and hit some shots, she did what she does best what, get her in the semis. So I think I really gave her the chance to come back into the match.

Q. Speaking of the light failure, has that ever happened to you before?

Q. What are your impressions of her game? It was the first time you played her. Talk a little bit about her game. What do you think she does really well?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, mean, I think she plays really good tennis. You know, she has a big first serve, and you know, she has pretty big groundstrokes, likes to change direction a lot.
But overall, I think you can see how, you know she's been doing really well and that she's beaten good players.

Q. Did she play the way you expected her to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I didn't really know what to expect, to be honest, because I've never played against her. Just watching is never really the same as getting a feel from the other side of the net, the way the ball is coming off her racquet or the intensity or where she stands on the court, things like that. So just kind of pick up on that.

Q. What did Michael tell you at the beginning the third set just before you came out on court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: He just told me to step in a little bit more and be aggressive. I was giving her a lot of time. And because she was standing so far back, I even gave her more time. I really didn't utilize my own strengths.

Q. What do you think about playing Kim tomorrow?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm excited. It's been a while since we played, and both of us have been through different things in our lives. She's been back for a year now and I've been back for a year and a half, and we still haven't played against each other. I'm excited to play her again.

Q. About her game, you're 3-4 in head to head meetings with her. You've won the last three after losing the first four. What is it about her game that you've figured out that has enabled you to be successful the last three times you played her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I think when I first played her I was quite young. At that point, it was a learning experience. You know, it was wonderful to be able to play against someone like her. You learn a lot of things from someone that has a lot of experience and knows what to do in different situations and the way she plays.
I think I learned from those experiences and from her game. You know, when you play someone a few times, you look for things you want to change, especially when you lose four times in a row.
But like I said, it's different because we haven't played in a while, so it's tough to look back at those. I mean, she's a great player. She gets a lot of balls back. Great mover around the court. A lot waste pace on her shots. It's always challenging when we play against each other.

Q. I believe Pam mentioned on TV that if the results keep coming for you throughout the US Open Series that you'll have a pretty good shot at getting a top 8 seeding at the US Open. Is that something that you're aware of, and does that motivate you?

Q. Right.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no. Motivation is just to keep winning and keep winning match. The more you win, the better ranking you're gonna get and the better seed you're gonna be the better you're gonna get.
So it's not really about where I'm gonna be seeded in the tournament a couple weeks from now.

Q. Do you think that you'll have a slight disadvantage tomorrow just from the late start and the fact you had to go three sets? Is there anything you can do to try to give it your best shot tomorrow?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I mean, I've dealt with it the past. It's not the first time. I mean, I've had times when I played at night and I came out and won the final; sometimes I lost it.
I'm not sure. We'll see.

Q. When you're serving, do you hear the photographers clicking sometimes, and does it disturb?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. No, I don't hear them.

Q. Kim said the important thing for her tomorrow is above all to be playing good tennis at this time of the year. After losing the final at Stanford, do you have a real extra motivation to go out and win a final?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely, because the final is always the last one of the tournament. There are no matches after that in this event, even though you may have to go to the next one and play again.
All your motivation is on that particular match because it is the last one, so I certainly want to give it all I have, all the energy and the power and everything.
Yeah, absolutely.

Q. You had 62% on first serves. Started somewhat low but then really increased, especially towards the third set. Are you pretty happy with that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, she stands so far back on the returns that it's, you know, tough to get really easy points. But I think the first ball was more important than anything else today.

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