September 4, 2005
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, M. SHARAPOVA/S. MIRZA 6-2, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that an enjoyable experience today?
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah. I mean, there were a lot of games, which I could have taken. But I had fun out there. Had a great Open. First US Open, I don't think I can ask for more. Very happy.
Q. When you play, you tend to be very aggressive, try risky shots. Do you think your experience here will convince you to temper that a little?
SANIA MIRZA: I don't think anything can convince me to temper that. That's the sad part. But, I mean, I guess people just have to accept it, you know. That's how I play. I'm going to have maybe 50 unforced errors one day, but I'm going to also have 50 winners that day. That's what I compensated for. I think people just have to accept me the way I play and not -- maybe I can add variation to my game, but I'm going to win matches only when I hit those winners. If I win matches by moonballing, then I'm not going to satisfy myself the way I played that day. I enjoy hitting the ball as hard as I can. I enjoy taking risks. And I believe that you always have to take risks. You know, I enjoyed every minute out there today.
Q. When you play a person as strong as Sharapova, does that make you rethink that a little?
SANIA MIRZA: No, I mean, today if I would have pushed the ball, I probably would have lost Love and Love. So I had to go for my shots, and I did. I got a few. I got a few in. I got a few out. That just gives me experience. Probably next time, you know, I'm probably going to have a lot more matches hopefully against her, and it's just a lesson.
Q. What is it you'll do differently next time against Sharapova? Anything surprise you about the way she played?
SANIA MIRZA: Let's think about it. I have time to think about it. I'll come up with a game plan, you know. She obviously played some really good shots out there. She gets a lot more balls, a lot tougher balls, which obviously a lot of players when I hit they're winners, but she gets to them. We'll see.
Q. You played on Arthur Ashe, the fourth round. Is this the highlight of your career so far?
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah, definitely. I mean, fourth round in a Grand Slam, first US Open, first year on the tour. I think I'm very pleased by the way the year has gone for me til now.
Q. The last time you played against Serena Williams in Australia, you said you were fighting some nerves. Did you have that problem here? How could you compare the two experiences?
SANIA MIRZA: No, today I don't think I was nervous, not even a little bit actually. I was expecting it. I knew it was going to be packed and I was expecting there was going to be a lot of crowd for me and her. So I was prepared for it mentally. I don't think I was -- you know, I wasn't intimidated.
Q. The fact that there was a large crowd and they seemed to be cheering for you, how does that make you feel?
SANIA MIRZA: Good. It's nice to know that people really like you and they're really, you know, for you, wherever you go. It just motivates you even more.
Q. Your second serve was a problem today. You've been working on that. Any regrets on this match?
SANIA MIRZA: No. I mean, you know, I don't want to regret -- I have no regrets. My serve, we've been trying to work on it, but we couldn't because I had the stomach injury, so really didn't get time in the past at least month to work on it. I think except my serve, I think I played a good match. I hit the ball well. I was feeling it well. You know, I'm just happy that I made it to the fourth round.
Q. You've had the fastest climb up the ranks of any WTA player in the past 12 months. What do you think the watershed point was?
SANIA MIRZA: I don't know. It just happened. You know, I can't really pinpoint one thing that happened. Just Australia and then I won the tournament in Hyderabad, just gave me more confidence every time I stepped on court. Even today's match gives me more confidence, even though the score line suggests it's 2-1. I think it was much closer than that. There was lots of deuces and advantages which I had. There were a lot of breakpoints I had. 4-2, 40-Love in the first set -- I mean, Love-40, I think if I would have broken her, it was a different story if it was 4-3 or 5-2. You know, it just gives me more confidence every time I'm going to step out now.
Q. Do you find at certain points, you pushed back with the groundstrokes. Is that something you can do yourself?
SANIA MIRZA: I always believed that. You know, I always say that I can match the best when it comes to the groundstrokes. It's just probably a few other things like the physical fitness or the serve that I kind of have to work on to, you know, match them. You know, it didn't surprise me. Yeah, like I say, it's going to give me confidence the next time I'm going to step on court.
Q. Surface-wise, would this be your favorite or do you think you prefer grass?
SANIA MIRZA: Hard court. I mean, you know, we have just one season on grass. That's just before Wimbledon. I like grass. It's a fast surface. I like fast surfaces. I mean, I definitely prefer hard to any other surface.
Q. Where do you go from here?
SANIA MIRZA: Bali. I play Bali and then Calcutta.
Q. Any words for your audience who was cheering for you today?
SANIA MIRZA: I'm sorry to keep you up so late. It's like 2:30 in the morning there. Thanks for all the support. I just hope that I can probably do better next time.
Q. Are you really sorry or would you like to have kept thumb up for another couple of hours?
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah, hopefully them and me. I guess that's just the way it is.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.