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February 16, 2013

Maria Sharapova


S. WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova
6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Maybe you could talk about the match.  I mean, you started really strong, but then Serena's serve seemed to really make it difficult.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it did.  I mean, in the first few games it was close.  I thought I had a few opportunities in her service games, Love‑15, Love‑30, 15‑30, and I didn't use that to my advantage.
You know, against someone like Serena who is a great server in those situations, if you don't use them, don't put pressure on your opponent, you know, they gain a little bit of confidence and, you know, go for a little bit bigger first serves, getting a few more free points.
Once she got the break, you know, she served it out quite well.  Yeah, obviously she's a very physical player, and you have to create‑‑ she generates a lot of power, whether it's a hard ball or not so much, she does a really good job of that.

Q.  Just a follow‑up, facing an opponent like that who you had lost to nine times in a row, does it become kind of like ‑‑when you get on the court, is it a little bit of a mental thing, as well, that, Okay, I have lost to her all these times, am I going to be able to beat her?  Or if you just gain that one victory could kind of put all those losses to rest?  How do you look at it when you have an opponent where you have such a one‑sided record?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I think wins and losses are all part of the past.  When I go against someone that I have beaten many times, I mean, I use the things that I did well and I think of that.  But when I'm going into the match, everything starts from scratch.
That's the way you have to look at every single match, no matter what your winning or losing record is.  There is a reason why the nets go up in the morning and we go out and we face these tough players.  You know, I'm certainly capable of beating a player like that, there's no doubt.  That's why I'm eager to always get better and make my game better in order to go and beat her.

Q.  After the first set, seems like you dropped.  Did you run out of your energy, or ‑‑your face didn't look well.  Did you feel ill or did you feel any pain?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, I felt really good.

Q.  You have had a long losing streak against Williams.  What are your thoughts on that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think I just answered a similar question that he just asked.  I think that was the same question.

Q.  What do you take back from this week?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Look, it's only been my second tournament this season.  You know, still very young and so many more tournaments ahead.  Next one for me is Indian Wells and Miami back to back.
It would be nice to get a couple of weeks, you know, of training and get ready for that.  But it was nice to be at this stage and put myself in that position to go further.  I didn't, unfortunately, but there's always next time.

Q.  Is Nicolas Kiefer going to be part of your team?  Can you tell us about if so and in what capacity?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, Vladimir got injured during the Australian Open, so he's probably out for a couple of months.  Until he returns, Nicolas was nice enough to join the team for a couple of weeks, but he's got his ‑‑he's got a job and a kid back home, so I think just for the next couple of weeks he'll be with us, and we will have somebody else hitting with us in Indian Wells.

Q.  Do you feel like anything in the game today, in today's match, was lacking or like your serve or rally or anything like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I thought I could have returned a lot better.  And the opportunities that I had of second‑serve opportunities, and, you know, on those games, especially in the beginning of Love‑15, Love‑30, you've got to use those chances.  I didn't, and that hurt me.

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