home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 25, 2011

Maria Sharapova


S. STOSUR/M. Sharapova
6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Maria, please.

Q. It had been probably about a month since your last match. Did it take you some time to get into the rhythm of the match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. There's no doubt that Sam started off the match really well and played really good, you know, throughout the match.
Um, yeah, it did take me a while to get going. I certainly had my chances in the second set, and, um, you know, was up a break and had a few more break points to go up 4-love and to change things around, but unfortunately, um, you know, I didn't convert that.
Yeah, it's obviously tough to come back after a month and, you know, compete at this level, but the good thing is that, you know, I gave myself a chance and I did everything I could to even be here, which was a question a couple of weeks ago.
So in a way, you know, I'm happy that -- the good thing is I still have a couple of matches to go and I have that time to improve. Yeah, this is just the beginning of it.

Q. You had had such a good record against Sam in the past with nine in a row. What do you think she did better tonight than in the past, or perversely what you didn't do so well?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, if I had to compare both of us today, I think she was much more explosive than I was, and, you know, she used her slice really well today and it stayed quite low in the court.
It was our first meeting, I believe, indoors if I'm not mistaken. She just played really solid and really well and moved extremely well around the court and made me hit another ball. And maybe I just went for a little too much and wasn't as consistent as I should have been. So those things.

Q. How did you feel your own movement was in the match? And the court I guess is kind of sticky to begin with.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's certainly not as good as it can be, but that's the way it is. I mean, I have certainly done everything I can to improve that and to get that back.
Obviously the first the goal is to try to play as pain-free as you can, and then you have to play a high level of tennis. So when you try to combine those things in a short period of time, obviously that's the biggest challenge.
But, you know, it is the way it is.

Q. Are you having to make adjustments because of the ankle and, you know, going for more or changing your strategy at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not really changing my strategy. I'm sure since it was my first match, even without really thinking about it, I'm sure in a way you protect a few things here and there, but it's normal. It's not like -- it's nothing really new. I think just the body has to get used to playing again.

Q. Do you think physically you're okay to play tomorrow's match against Li? What's your approach to that match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I came into this tournament, and, you know, like I have said, I have done everything I can to play at my best.
You know, today was certainly not my best, but tomorrow I have another chance. And again, I'm playing a tough opponent, and there's no question that I'll have to step it up and play better than I did today if I want to win.

Q. I think you mentioned already Sam played with probably a bit more tactical nous than she might have done in the past against you. Is that fair to say?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's just really quick around the court, and you think her shots had a lot more pop on them than mine did. I think she was really able to step in and be aggressive. That's when she plays her best.
And, you know, I also didn't see a break point until, um, I think it was the second set, which is, you know, quite rare. I think I was just -- I mean, she was serving quite well and mixing it up really well, but I think I was really late and not reacting as fast as I could.

Q. When did you actually make the call to play here? When did you give it the green light?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: About a week ago. Yeah.

Q. And what sort of court time and physical training time have you been able to put in in the last month?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The last month?

Q. Yeah, since the injury.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, just since -- I mean, I have been here probably a week and a half. That's when I really started training on court, yeah.

Q. How long are you staying in Istanbul, the longest your stay in Istanbul? This time or some other?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, this is the longest stay, for sure.

Q. How do you like Istanbul?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I haven't really had a chance to visit too much of it, because I have just, since I got here, I just really -- you know, with all the treatment and trying to get myself on the court, it's been pretty -- you know, treatment in the morning going on the court, treatment right after. Then doing a little bit of work and fitness and strength on it, and then like treatment in the evening.
So really it's been just focusing on trying to get myself back on the court, which is the most important thing. And after the tournament I will get a chance to visit and sightsee and do those things.

Q. How was the first day, Tuesday atmosphere here, compared to the other Championships you have appeared in?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Pretty incredible. Yeah, I mean, to see I think it was like about 10,000 people out there, so enthusiastic and you never quite know what to expect when you come to a new place and a new city at an event like this.
And I think that the attention that the tournament has got and the respect that the players have received has been really incredible. It's really nice to see.

Q. Can you talk about the condition of the court? Do you think it has something to did with your loss today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The condition? What do you mean?

Q. The court. Agnieszka said it's pretty slow. It's hard for her to, you know, keep the ball around, to hit the ball. I just want to know how you feel.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think if there is any court that Radwanska likes, that's slow. So I'm not sure what the complaint is about. (Laughter.)

Q. Stacey mentioned yesterday that she would quite like to possibly see the women's year-ender and the men's year-ender taking place at the same time. Have you got any thoughts or preferences on that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It would definitely be nice to see, but I think right now our schedules are pretty far off. They have another couple of weeks until they play the Champs, so, yeah, unless they make some drastic schedule changes, I don't see that happening, you know, very soon, as we've already got a pretty set schedule knowing we'll be here the next two years on these dates.
But that would be nice. I think that would be a lot more fun for the fans to see the men and women together, yeah.

Q. Just in general, you have been working with Thomas Hogstedt for almost a year now. How is your collaboration? Is it kind of both of you working together? Are you the boss? Is he the boss? How does it work?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, obviously when you hire someone, if you want to be the boss, then you don't hire someone.
But, yeah, it was a big change for me. I worked with a coach for many years, and, you know, before the season started I made a few changes with a new coach and my racquet, and I think those things really helped me and benefited throughout the year.
Obviously it's a different change, but I've really enjoyed it. He's brought a lot of positive energy into my practices and to my matches and really believes in my work and my game. It's nice to see.

Q. Were you surprised Sam could turn it around? Because Sam is supposed to have some kind of a mental hurdle against you. After 3-Love down she managed to get back. And how crucial was that fourth game where you had some chances?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, absolutely it was a very crucial game. It's a different ball game when it's 3-1 or 4-0 serving. But, you know, like I said, that was really the chance, a good chance that I had in the match to change things around, and I just didn't quite follow through with that.
But, yeah, I guess tomorrow is a new day and I feel I can change things around.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297