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BNP PARIBAS OPEN


March 13, 2012


Maria Sharapova


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

M. SHARAPOVA/R. Vinci
6‑2, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Could have been dicey, but you seemed to control the match pretty well.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† Yeah, she can be tricky because of that slice and very untraditional type of game.¬† So if you're not really careful and consistent, I think she can‑‑ that's how she wins her matches is with really good hands.¬† Sometimes she goes to the net more than maybe she did today.
But, yeah, overall I was pretty solid, and I think my pace didn't allow her to, you know, come forward as much as she would have liked.  So I took that away from her.
Yeah, played good overall.

Q.  During practice coming into the tournament, you obviously hit the ball well in Australia up until the final.  Then maybe not so well a little bit after that.  But what were you working on?  Do you feel you have a rhythm and feel and all that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  Leading up to the Australian Open, as I've mentioned, I didn't really have a proper offseason, so I felt like the stretch after Paris was gonna be a little bit like my offseason.
So, you know, I was healthy and I worked a lot on fitness actually first couple of weeks.  Yeah, didn't spend a lot of time on the court, but treated it as an offseason, because maybe after Miami that will be the only really little break until all the everything else starts, the nonstop madness.
So it was a good kind of base building type of work that I tried to do.

Q.  You had a situation in the previous match where everything was flowing so easily, and then suddenly you got a bit tight toward the end of the second set.  When you get into the next round, a match like today where it's going so easily, do you think back, Wow, got a little tight in the previous one; when I'm in this situation I've really got to knuckle down and focus or do what?  I don't know.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I think it's just about realizing, knowing that you did something good to get in that position and just continue that.  It's obviously easier said than done.
But it's really what you have to focus on, and as well as you can do that and continue that.  And sometimes opponents start playing really well towards the end, especially when they're down, just because they have absolutely nothing to lose at that point and start swinging away and everything goes in.
You know, they're almost laughing out there.  So it can get tricky, but if you just focus on like yesterday, yeah, it would be done.

Q.  Dancing With the Stars, how do you think Martina Navratilova will do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† I don't know if I'm a fan because I have almost practically never watched it, but I don't know.¬† I don't really know what it takes to win that competition. ¬†Like is it a lot of practice or is it personality or is it‑‑ I don't know.
I mean, I'm sure it's all the dancing and stuff, right?  (Smiling.)

Q.  You think?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I do think.  (Laughter.)
But isn't it like for people to vote or‑‑ yeah.¬† I don't know.¬† I'm not really big on that one.

Q.  Would you ever go on a show like that if you were asked to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† Um, if I was asked right now it's absolutely not, and I hope I'd have the same answer in‑‑ I don't know, if I was asked in 10 years, I do not think that that's in my future.
Even though I like to dance and all, there's something about dancing in prom costumes in front of national television that just not very appealing to me.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Did lack of fitness actually hurt you in Australia?  Because you played pretty well, great win over Kvitova.  Or were you thinking in the final the footwork wasn't there?  You weren't quick enough?  Did you feel yourself getting tired?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it's tough to look back to that because that's over and said and done.  I was actually really surprised that I got to that stage because I hadn't played for a while competitively.
So to go into a Grand Slam where you're just‑‑ there are so many ifs, you're not really sure.¬† So I'm not gonna complain about getting to that stage and losing that way, but I will try to learn from that and move forward and change things around definitely.
That's hopefully the goal.

Q.  When was the first time you met Kirilenko?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† A long time ago.¬† Junior days.¬† Probably under‑12s or 14s.¬† I think it was Baden‑Baden in the Czech Republic.

Q.  When you guys were playing against each other or were on a team or something?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† I don't think we played against each other that tournament.¬† I think we kinda just‑‑ I don't know what we were doing.¬† We were, I don't know, running around Baden‑Baden like freely, like little girls out of control.
I don't know what you do at that age.  But, yeah, we were enjoying ourselves.

Q.  So you guys becamefriends?  You might play her in the next round.  So you became friends pretty quickly?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† Yeah, we did.¬† When we were 12, yeah, we were‑‑ I don't know how it really came about, if somebody introduced us, but, yeah, we kind of hit it off.
We were the same age, and, yeah.  Are we the same age?

Q.  I think you're exactly the same age, 24.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Okay.

Q.  Are you planning to play more Fed Cup this year?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I'm not gonna play in April.  That's always a really tricky time for me.  I've never played at that time of the year, Fed Cup, just because I'm already in the States, and having to start so early in Europe and not coming home until after Wimbledon is a pretty long stretch.
But, yeah, that was‑‑ that's known, you know, from my side and from their side, as well.

Q.  After the Olympics, if Russia makes the final, would you play?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Definitely in consideration.  It just all depends on scheduling and health and where I am and how I feel.

Q.  You know, both Petrova and Kirilenko very well; you have had a lot of matches with them.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† Uh‑huh.

Q.  Can there be anything new in a match, or do you know each other so well it's basically going to be all execution?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  There are definitely no secrets going into the match.  But, again, we haven't played each other in a really long time.  We have practiced here and there but not competed for a few years now.
I believe Kirilenko, was maybe the Australian Open the last time I played against her, and Petrova even earlier than that.  It's been a long time, and I think both of them are playing really well.  Got to watch a little bit of both.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.  It's always a tough matchup, Maria or Nadia.  They have pretty big games.  Maria is more consistent and gets a lot of balls back, is a good mover.
Nadia has a big serve and very aggressive.  It will be important to be consistent either way.

Q.  Did you finish 1984?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Oh, yeah.

Q.  Thoughts?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Rough and depressing.

Q.  You didn't expect that, huh?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Every time I would say a word and look around and make sure nobody was following me.  I got over that.

Q.  But you liked it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I mean, it opens your eyes, but then, like, three days later, I'm like...  I don't know.  It's like, what was it about?  No.  (Smiling.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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