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July 2, 2012

Maria Sharapova


S. LISICKI/M. Sharapova
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How frustrating was it and how crucial was the first set?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, certainly had chances; I didn't take them.  But I think I a lot of the credit goes to my opponent.  She played extremely well today and did many things better than I did on this given day.  You just have to hand it to her.

Q.  Was her serving very well?  Was that the key point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I mean, that's a big part of her game.  I mean, here it helps her extremely, extremely well.

Q.  Were you surprised because you were coming in feeling very good and she just played well, or was it because you played a long French Open and you weren't quite feeling yourself the last couple of weeks?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I feel extremely well.  Why shouldn't I?
No, like I said, she did many things much better than I did today.  Of course, could have done things differently, absolutely, but not on this particular day.

Q.  You mentioned the level of her game today.  In general, what are your thoughts on the place she might take among the top players, yourself included?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  She's always had that potential.  Obviously she did really well here last year getting to the semifinals.  I haven't really followed her results too much in the last year.
You know, I mean, if she plays at this level, of course she belongs at the top.  If she serves as well as she did today and is as aggressive as she was, there's no doubt she has a lot of potential.
You know, it goes for saying that it's not just about one tournament; you have to do it for as many tournaments as you play or as much as you can obviously.

Q.  Beyond the serve, what do you consider the best parts of her game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, she stays really low.  She's a strong girl.  She hits the ball really hard.  If you don't get a good first ball on her, I mean, she likes to be the aggressive one and likes to start the point with a really heavy shot.

Q.  Was there a turning point in this game when you started to realize it was going to get tough today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  There's not one moment in the match where you think like that.  I mean, I was down 2‑5, got back on serve, and I had opportunities for it to be 5‑All.  Played a few sloppy points and she raised her level.
That just wasn't a good combination for me.  And, yeah, I mean, that was the first set.  She came after the rain delay really firing.

Q.  Could you step back for a moment and talk about the European swing, Stuttgart, Rome, Paris, then the loss here.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I'm really proud of what I've achieved.  Obviously, as tough as it is to sit here being an athlete after a loss ‑ it's only been 30, 40 minutes, you know ‑  you always try to take away as many positives as you can.
Obviously, you can only use it as motivation.  It will be nice to rest for a little bit and be in a home atmosphere.  I've missed it for over two months.
But, yeah, once I relax a little bit, I'm sure to use this as great motivation and keep going after the many goals that I have.

Q.  Is the Roland Garros‑Wimbledon back to back as tough a challenge in women's tennis as anything?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It is, but it's certainly no excuse.  Everyone has to go about it as best as they can, yeah.

Q.  You talk about the motivation you would take out of here.  How would the possible loss of the top ranking that you have worked your way into play into that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I'm not sure.  I don't know.  It's all kind of irrelevant at this point.  Obviously what I achieved a few weeks ago doesn't just go away in a few minutes.  I'll have that for the rest of my career.
But the tennis world always keeps going.  You have to raise your level at that point, even when your opponent plays really great tennis.  Just today wasn't my day.
But as far as that motivation, of course you want to stay at the top as long as you can.  Obviously everyone guns for that spot, as it is the top spot.

Q.  What were the main differences in her game from when you played in Melbourne?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don't really like to compare previous encounters because they're always different.  That was a three‑set match on hard court.  This is grass; it's completely different; it's not comparable.

Q.  Is it tougher to win Wimbledon today than it was when you last won it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don't know.  I don't know how to answer that.  I mean, nothing is easy, certainly not a Wimbledon title.
So I don't know if it's easier or tougher now than it was years ago but I don't think it's ever easier.

Q.  Do you think there's more players perhaps that might be able to catch a hot day?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, anyone can.  I think anyone has a chance.  The girl I played today obviously performed well here, so it's not a big surprise she can go out and play a great grass court match.

Q.  Was today one of those days where you said it doesn't matter how hard you fight, change strategy, if the quality doesn't come, she's going to get you anyway?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Maybe I can think about it like now, but not really during the match.  You always try to find ways to get into it, even if you feel your level is just not there.  Maybe you're just a little slow, you try to pump yourself up.
Maybe if I look back now, I think yeah.  But not in the moment of the match.

Q.  Last week with Nadal's loss there was plenty of discussion on the depth on the men's tour where on any day any top 100 player could beat one of the best.  What are your thoughts on the lessons about the depth on the women's tour?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, I don't think it's a lesson really for the players.  I think it's a lesson more for the storylines.  We never really underestimate any opponents, and that's the reason why‑‑ if people are going to be considered favorites in matchups and tournaments, obviously everyone's job here is to have those storylines.
At the end of the day, the reason we start at the first round is you have to go through all those opponents to get to the final stage of a tournament, whether it's a Grand Slam or the middle of nowhere.  That's the reason we go out and play.
It could be the No.1 seed against someone that's, you know, come out of the woods.  It doesn't matter, you still have to go and play and win.
On any given day, of course there can be an upset.  That's the sport.  That's why we watch.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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