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March 12, 2012

Maria Sharapova


6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Want to talk about the second set?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I was playing well.  You know, started slow in the match and got myself going.  I thought I played extremely well the first four or five games of that set.  Almost too good, in a way, where I felt like I was going for a lot and making a lot of shots.  Then felt like I almost started going for a little bit too much.
Yeah, instead of being patient, maybe, you know, putting a few more balls back, I just hit a few errors that I shouldn't have made.  Yeah, then all of a sudden your opponent gains confidence because they have nothing to lose.  Kind of in a bad situation.
Yeah, I got it together in the end.

Q.  Is that hard to check yourself?  You say you were hitting it really well...

Q.  When you are hitting that well you want to keep going but...
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I think it was just a matter of maybe a few shots I went for a little too much and maybe I could have done the same thing just not as close to the line as I did.

Q.  Can you talk about Chelsea Lately.  Everybody was talking about it.  It was a huge hit.  I thought the best part of it was about the sample size.  Are you guys friends?  Have you met her before?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I have never met her before, but we've e‑mailed each other a few times just one day to be on the show.  I was actually scheduled a couple times and it never worked out.  Never met her before that.

Q.  Personally and professionally everything seems to be going well for you.  There is an ease about you.  Can you talk about that?  Anything you want to share with us that we don't know?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, as maybe good as it seems from are the outside, I think maybe everyone's life has its ups and downs.  You know, being a professional athlete and traveling around the world, you're never gonna have great days.  You always have tough ones where, whether you lose, you have a tough match or, you know, or the communication, you don't see your family for a long time.  So those things are really tough.
But, yeah, I mean, obviously I have been playing a lot better than the years previously, so that makes me extremely happy.  I feel very young and fresh.  That puts a smile on my face.

Q.  I know your dad has taken a back seat, but he's on the court with you sometimes.  When you're here, does he call you after matches and check in with you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  I just got a text from him.  He's in Russia, so he stayed up.  I don't know if he‑‑ he probably watched on his computer, yeah.

Q.  What does he say?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Right now he said‑‑

Q.  Watch your footwork?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  He said, Well done now.  That's because he can't text much.  He doesn't know how to.
But I'm sure when I hear from him he gives me‑‑ he gives me his insights.  We talk all the time.  Maybe not every day, but usually every other day.  He was in California when I was practicing before here, so...

Q.  Would your mother have any insights at all about your tennis game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Um, no, nothing tennis‑wise.  She will question, Why do you use so many racquets?
But anything tennis specific, no.

Q.  Do you like that she doesn't really know so much about tennis?  Is that a nice buffer?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  She knows tennis, knows everything going on and everything about it, but she's not really the type of person to get involved and like stay around the players' area and hang around with the other kids and parents and all the hoopla around it.
It's not really her thing.  She prefers to be at home with her family or with me.

Q.  Speaking of hoopla, I believe you just went to maybe a Vanity Fair party.  You have been living in Los Angeles.  How would you compare the hoopla and pizazz in the entertainment world versus our little world of tennis with our own hangers‑on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It's a different world.  It's a really different world.  It's strange, because, you know, on that specific day I was practicing a few hours out of the day and doing fitness.  The party was quite late.  I had to‑‑ I think my arrival time was around 10:30 or something like that.
Had a full day of practice, and then when you get there and then you see everybody just glammed up in their long gowns and everyone looking so pretty, you're like, Wow, I did not look like this a few hours ago when I was on the court.  (Laughing.)
But, yeah, it's an extremely different world.  But I don't think it's like that all the time.  I think the people that ultimately make it to an event like that ultimately have to put in so much work into whatever they do, whether it's getting that movie role or...
You know, I mean, many athletes were there, as well.  I think it's just a big celebration, especially after the Oscars.

Q.  There is a great player who came from Siberia to Florida without much money and worked her tail off and then won Wimbledon as a teen.  Who would you like to play Maria Sharapova in the movies?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Um, very good question.  When I was younger, I would say Gwyneth Paltrow.  I kind of admired the way she's gone about her life and movies and always enjoyed watching her.
But I don't know.  That would be interesting.  I think I'd want to do a book before anything with a movie.

Q.  How much chatter is there about this virus sweeping the area in the locker room?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  A little bit, definitely.  There has been a few e‑mails going around and just being extra careful.
But it's pretty tough, I mean, considering you can't really escape it too much.  I mean, you guys know it's not like I spend too much time at the courts anyways, so I think it just gives me an excuse to leave even sooner.  (Laughing.)

Q.  Are you taking precautions of any kind?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  I mean, if Amy tells me I have a few extrainterviews, I'll be like, Nah, you know that virus.  Might not make it.  (Laughing.)

Q.  Have you ever seen so many players go down from a single virus?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it's not good.  I have had it before a few years ago and it's not pretty.  It's a great diet, but other than that it's horrible, especially for an athlete.

Q.  When you write your book, which I'm sure will be darn good, what's going to be the most interesting chapter for us to read?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don't know, but I can't wait to write it.  I'm so excited about it.

Q.  Will it be Agassi‑like or Spadea‑like?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I haven't read Spadea's.  I don't think I will ‑ no offense, Vince ‑ but I have read a little bit of Andre's book.  I loved how it was written.
I personally love to write, so it's something that I've always said since a few years ago.  I can't wait to have the time to really put the effort into really writing something about my life.
I think there is just a lot of things that maybe my fans and people that have not exactly known about the way I grew up and the way I came to be a player and so‑and‑so.
And like my journal entries that I wrote when I was a young kid, I just still have those and I really want them to be one day a part of that.
Yeah, it's something that when I have time I will sit down and just really write.

Q.  Would you write beyond autobiography?  Have you ever considered beyond the playing days of maybe writing other things?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I just said I'd like to write about different things, and like a very easy way that's very fun for readers and my fans.  I think that's one of the‑‑ I sometimes write a blog on my website, and I even like the little‑‑ I have a bit of a photo blog on my Facebook.  Even like the little captions I write with it, I just have fun it.
I like to kind of tease the fans.  I don't know, it's easy kind of reading.  Easy.  You know, not novelish, but not that you're gonna be, you know, thinking too much about it.

Q.  The matchup with Vinci?  She seems to be playing pretty good ball.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  She is, and a very different type of opponent, someone with a really good slice and mixes up the pace really well, comes in a lot, which you don't see too much.
It will be tricky.  I have never played against her and haven't faced anyone with similar styles of game.  So, yeah, I'll have to be really ready for that one.

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