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October 4, 2012

Maria Sharapova


6‑0, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English.

Q.  You have played three matches in three days.  You have yet to lose a set.  Is everything going to plan?  Are you happy with your performance here so far?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I had a long first round, even though it was two sets, but, you know, today and yesterday was definitely a little bit quicker.  I was happy with the way I came out.
You know, I played really well in the beginning and got a little tense in the second set, but I felt like I really needed that challenge.  It's nice to be in the quarterfinal stage of this tournament.

Q.  Do you feel tired at all, having played three matches in three days?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No.  Well, actually I had a day in between the first and the second, but, I mean, I have played so many events where you had to play back to back.  I mean, the Olympics was six days in a row, so that was quite an experience.
You know, it's just really‑‑ you know, I'm experienced enough to know how I recover and what I have to do in order to get ready.  That's something maybe that bothered me six, seven years ago.  It would be tough for me to recover.  But I do a much better job of it now.

Q.  In the last few years you suffered several injuries.  This year you seem pretty well.  Do you have some new plan for your recovery?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I did.  I had a tough injury, and it kept me away from the sport for almost a year.
But apart from the shoulder, knock on wood, you know, overall my body has been really healthy.  I was able to recover from that.  You know, and that doesn't mean that I don't have to do anything in order to prevent it from happening again.  You know, every day I have to do, you know, little exercises to keep my shoulder strong.
You know, the older you get‑‑ I know I'm only 25, but when you're playing tennis from a young age, it's so important to warm up your body and to recover.  The little stretches that you do, they sometimes don't seem so meaningful at that particular time, but they're so important.
Yeah, it's just about maintenance.  You know, when your body is healthy, it helps you so much when you're on the court.

Q.  Can you talk about the fun side of combined events?  Do you actually watch some men's matches, or do you have lunch together in players' restaurant, or do you socialize a little bit in the players' lounge?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I'm not the social type in the players' lounge.  It hasn't really been my repertoire.  I do my job and I come here, and I honestly sometimes don't know who's playing and who's not.
You know, the tournament for me is when I come here and I have an opponent that I have to face and I get ready for and I play that match.  I mean, once this press conference is over and I'll eat something, I'll be back in my hotel and not knowing what's going on later today.  You know, I'll probably maybe see the result of who my next opponent is.
But as far as focusing what's going on around and who's talking with who, I don't know, it's just none of my business.

Q.  Just like this one, you had three very easy wins to push you into Round 4 of this year's tournament.  What's the key to your well‑rounded performance?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Very good English.  I think that's the best English spoken by a Chinese on my trip here.
Yeah, you can say it's been two sets and it's been easy, but in any particular situation and any match you go into‑‑ you know, look at the match today.  I was up a set and I was up a break and played a couple loose points, and then all of a sudden your opponent, you know, starts feeling better, gets a little bit of confidence and makes the match difficult.
So there's no such thing as a really easy match.  You know, there can be so many swings from the hour, three hours that you can be on the court, so it's really about maintaining that focus and concentration from the start to the end.
Even if you have a few moments where you feel like you have a little bit of a letdown, I try to recover from it as fast as I can.

Q.  In the past few days you have answered a few questions about Sugarpova.  My question is:  Among all the business opportunities you had, why you choose candy to start your own business?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Because I eat way too much of it, and, well, I love food and I love candy.  And the reason it was gummies is because when I came from Russia to the United States and I first tried a Gummy Bear worm, nobody has ever seen that in Russia.  It really fascinated me and I loved it.
I mean, when the name came out, I thought it was just so fun and young.  Then I put two together.  Then I did a lot of research on brands that make this type of candy.
When I would ask my friends, like, what's their favorite gummy, they would tell me a particular shape that they liked.  They would never tell me a brand.
Then it just clicked in my head that that is something I want to change, you know, that in the future when people ask what their favorite gummies are, they say Sugarpova.  They don't say it's worms or something like that.
That kind of clicked.  It's kind of where it all started.

Q.  Have you ever been to Russian District in Beijing?  If you have been there, what's your opinion about it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I haven't been.  No, I haven't been there.  I visited the Great Wall a few years ago, but, you know, the unfortunate life of a tennis player, sometimes you don't get to visit as much as you hope.
We do get to go to some really nice cities, but there really isn't a lot of time to visit‑‑ you know, I have traveled to so many great cities this year, and, I mean, I can't even ‑‑I don't even remember seeing something spectacular and new and being a tourist.
Maybe once or twice I think in Rome.  Then in Paris I went to see Moulin Rouge because I had the evening off.  That's really as good as it gets for a tennis player, because you get to the tournament, you're trying to prepare for it, and then you finish and then you're on to the next one or you've been on the road for so long you just want to sleep in your own bed.
I think I'll have so much time to travel when I'm done with the sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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