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August 31, 2011

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/A. Yakimova
6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it tough to be the second night match on and now you're going to be up late no matter what?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think this was the first time for me at the Open actually being the second one on. Not sure. I think maybe in Miami I was at the Sony Ericsson Open and I played second one night. I think as far as New York, this is probably the latest time I started.
It was good that I finished quickly enough, yeah.

Q. What is the difference between being on the court at 12:00 a.m. versus noon?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, you have to get up a lot earlier. You don't have an afternoon nap.

Q. It seems like it would kind of throw off your body clock. You are creatures of habit.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, but I think we're also quite used to adjusting. A big part of our sport is adjusting to whatever comes our way, whether it's the time of a match or opponents or conditions on the court.
It's just something that -- it's one of the toughest things in our sport: sometimes you never know exactly what you're going to get.

Q. Can you talk about your improved form from the first-round match to tonight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I played a pretty tricky opponent tonight who didn't play the typical kind of tennis. Sliced a lot, a lot of high balls. Maybe the first couple of games I was a little bit impatient.
Then I got really steady. I was aggressive. Still felt like I could have moved in a little bit more, but overall I played solid and much better than the first one.

Q. 14 of 16 from the net. You were very successful.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I guess. Not sure.

Q. I'm assuming you were as surprised as everybody hearing about the news about Venus today. If she doesn't play much tennis, what has Venus done for the game and what were your first memories of Venus playing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I don't think either one of us really knows how serious it is. Hopefully it is not. I hope that it's not obviously the end of her career. I still feel like, although she's a bit older, she's still one of the fittest players on tour and one of the most dangerous when she's playing well.
It's obviously tough in sport. I always mention how important health is. Yeah, it's just the way it goes sometimes.

Q. There are Code of Conducts for players. Should there be a Code of Conduct for the fans?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: In terms of what?

Q. I understand at Stanford you had two women during one of your matches that were talking so loudly it actually became a distraction to you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not sure if that was my match.

Q. Have you had that happen? It happened here yesterday on Ashe.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Was it a night match?

Q. No. It was first match on.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Drinking early.
I mean, I think at midnight they have an excuse. I mean, they're watching women's tennis at midnight (laughter).
I don't know. I think obviously it's important that they follow the rules. You know, this is not like a baseball game or, you know, a soccer game where you just talk and yell and scream and don't even watch half the game. It's quite different.
So I'm sure that -- I always say that a big part of the stadium probably has never seen a tennis match in their life. They go out there, and for them it's like party, entertainment.

Q. Are you saying you wouldn't watch women's tennis at midnight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I said it on the court. I mean at 10:30 I'm under the covers; at 11:00 I'm out. I don't think I'd watch anything at midnight.

Q. Do you remember ever getting distracted by anything in the stands? Didn't you get distracted in the Cincinnati final by some people close to the court?

Q. I'm talking about the Jankovic match.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why do I keep thinking Stanford? In Cincinnati? Uhm, no. I don't know. It's too late to think about that.

Q. But no distraction in your career? I know you're super focused, but has there ever been anything going on around you that took you out of the court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think the only crazy experience I had was when I played my first Fed Cup in Israel. That was pretty intense. Never really faced a crowd like that. Throwing peanuts on the court in the middle of the points, yeah.

Q. You only lost like two or three games.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I was pretty fired up. I won the Australian Open, I came in, and there was a really big storm. I was actually a little nervous because I hadn't played like in three, four days. There were no indoor courts around.
Actually the teams were driving like hours to hit on a wooden court. I was like, I don't think I can do this. I'm just going to go out and play with no practice. I was so determined.
It was in my first Fed Cup experience; I played some of my best tennis actually. I was quite tired. I mean, it was a long flight from Melbourne over there. I was so focused on getting that win for Russia, so...

Q. Did you get hit by any of the peanuts or anything they threw?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. But I think a couple of times their coach had to get on the microphone and slow the crowd down because I think there were going to be a few warnings or a point penalty or something, I don't know, if they didn't.

Q. There's a lot of improvement from the first round to the second round. Do you feel like you're at a level right now play-wise that you could win this championship, that you could go all the way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think I improved my intensity a lot. I was moving a lot better, just hitting a lot freer. Like I said, I was a little bit impatient in the beginning.
But overall I did, you know, many things much better than the previous round. I really had to. I didn't play my best tennis, but I gave myself a chance to play another match and improve. I did a good job with that.

Q. Is it easier to get impatient when you're playing such a late match and you're probably in your head thinking, I just want to get out of here?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Sometimes. But when you're in the moment, when you start the match, I'm not thinking what time it is or I want to get off the court as soon as I can. I mean, we have a day off in between. I know some of the guys have even two.
When you're out there, it's just about doing whatever you can to win the match.

Q. When you're at a Grand Slam and you do have that extra day, when do you start thinking about and preparing for your next opponent?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A little bit in practice the next day where you're maybe working on a few things that either you want to work on from the previous match or looking to do in the next one.
The practices on the days off are not super long. You know, those are just kind -- all the work I think is mainly done before the tournament starts. So during the tournament, I think it's just maintaining a good balance of rest but also making sure that the body's still going and getting ready for the next match.
But, I mean, talk a little bit during the practice. I usually speak to my coach maybe on the way out to the courts before the match or something like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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