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June 29, 2012

Maria Sharapova


6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How difficult did you find the wind today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it was certainly different than the previous two matches.  But, you know, going into the warmup, you know it's going to be out there.  You feel it.  It's pretty much the same for your opponent.
I think it's just about being patient and, you know, maybe a little bit smarter.  But, yeah, overall it was all right.  Considering the conditions, I'm pretty happy with the way I played.

Q.  Did you ever recall a serve before where the ball bounced before it got to the net?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Oh, yeah, I'm sure I have.  A lot in practice.

Q.  Did you see any of the men's match last night?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Just the end, the last few games.

Q.  What is your reaction?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  The reaction?  It was either that or the soccer.  I think that's better for me, at least.
Well, I mean, when the guy's firing missiles left and right, going for broke, I think it's one of those days.
Obviously, you know, I'm sure Rafa feels it was unfortunate he was the one across the net.  Yeah, it's tennis.  We can never underestimate who we're going up against.
We always say how you can be ranked 1 or 100, and they still have to put the net up for you to play the match.  That's why we're here.

Q.  Do you think it's harder as a player to take a loss like that when it's not expected?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, losses are tough in any circumstance.  Obviously when you're in a fifth set it's probably extremely difficult because it was back and forth, back and forth.
I mean, you can be in the final of a Grand Slam or second round, and at the end of the day there's only one winner.  That's what makes the game so special, is because you have so many players.  The feeling of winning is extra special because you're the only one, you know, and everyone is going home.
As sad as that sounds, it's really the reality of it.  But yet that's what we aim to do.  We aim to win.  We aim to be that one.

Q.  I'm sorry to have to ask this question.  I'm sure you get peppered with these questions all the time, but it's relevant because the opponent you play on Monday, Lisicki she moaned about her second‑round opponent, Jovanovski, based on the amount of noise she made across the net.  The noise was toned down.  In a similar situation, would you talk to the umpire?  Would you even react to it?  Have you been in that situation before?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, I haven't been in that situation, and if I am, I'll tell you about it after.

Q.  Are you progressing through the tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, you have to improve with every match.  That's my goal, within these two weeks, is to get better as you face more challenging opponents.
The last two matches have been tough.  I feel like they were really good grass court players.  The ball stayed extremely low, so quite dangerous.
In today's conditions, I think it evens out the level a little bit.  Yeah, of course, I'm happy to be in the fourth round, but there's always room for improvement.

Q.  I wanted to ask about your opponent today.  It was the first time she played on No.1 Court.  Were there elements of her game that surprised you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, do you think she played like that because she was on Court1?  I think she just always plays like that.
I faced her many times in the juniors.  She used to be a nightmare for me because she used to slice and dropshot on clay.  I was like, Where did they learn how to play tennis like that?  Uses both hands, switches racquets.
We used to have real battles in the juniors, and we haven't played since then.  I knew her game really well.  I don't think she had time to do all of that today on grass.  If I'm hitting a hard‑paced shot, I don't think she really has time to create, which is something that she really likes to do.  That's her game, is to hit a lot of dropshots and slices and get people kind of crazy.

Q.  Are you eager to wipe out your reputation as a clay court specialist?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Since when did that start (smiling)?

Q.  Two weeks ago.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, I don't know.  That's not for me to say.

Q.  How has the transition been to grass, and how are you thinking now that you've mastered really all surfaces?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I wouldn't say I've mastered all the surfaces.  You can never feel satisfied with whatever you have achieved or not.  You always have to look for something else or else you're never going to have any motivation.  I always feel like I can be better in anything that I play.  That's what gets me going.
But, yeah, as far as the transition, I enjoy it.  The points are obviously not so long.  But I feel like you learn so much on the clay:  the point construction, the movement, the rallies.  You see it so much better.
You come here and it's really about the first two shots.  If you're on the defense, pretty tough to win the points.  I mean, over the years it's certainly slowed down, but it's still in the same sort of line.

Q.  (No microphone.)
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I mean, I feel like over the years so many things have changed.  Even I look back to when I won here in '04, I mean, the speed of this court was quite different.  I think it was much faster than it is now.  Look back five years before that and it was like another story.
So, I mean, racquets, technologies, we always change balls, so many new things always go on, everyone always tries to look for the better and the bigger.  I think the game just kind of changed a little bit as the years go on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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