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March 15, 2013

Maria Sharapova


M. SHARAPOVA/M. Kirilenko
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  High quality match.  Played pretty well for the most part, don't you think?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  I think I made the first set a bit more difficult than it should have been.  You know, I felt like it could have been up 4‑0.
And she's someone who has had a few comebacks in this tournament and really good results.  I think this is her best tournament yet.
So, yeah, I stepped it up in the second set, you know.  First set was a little shady; second set was much better.

Q.  You want to talk about playing Caroline?  Played her Miami last year.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It's been a while.

Q.  You had a tough one against her a couple years ago, but things have changed a lot since then.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I mean, she's always a tough opponent.  You know, she's a grinder.  She makes you work really hard on the court and gets a lot of balls back, you know, and has a lot of different variety.
You know, I certainly don't want to give her that time or those opportunities, because she's a really good player.

Q.  How much does it help having played through this tournament against a lot of other grinders?  I mean, you haven't had a lot of players giving you cheap points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  Yeah, I have had to work for, you know, for all the points here, that's for sure.
I also feel like, you know, in a way, in a couple of those matches I made my life a little more difficult than I should have been.  I was forcing a few of my errors.
Today I was happy that, you know, I did a few things much better than I had to.  I really had to step it up today.

Q.  One of the things that Caroline had today was a lot of high balls, moon ball shots that were pushing...
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I saw some of those points.  That was quite interesting.

Q.  What were your thoughts when that was going on?  It was like two‑minute‑long points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it was interesting shot selection.  I don't know.  You're not there, so when you're watching TV it seemed a little odd from the TV, but I'm sure there was a reason why during the point that was done.
But they looked like they were really high and they all kept going in.  I was like, that's a really good effort.  I don't think I can do that.

Q.  When you've played against those kind of shots before, how do you make adjustments to try to deal with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Usually when your opponent has time to hit higher balls or a little bit of spin, that means it's your‑‑ I think you're giving them a bit more time to do that.
I mean, I hope that against Caroline ‑‑ she's dangerous when she has the opportunities to open up court and she wants you running side to side.

Q.  Have you ever hit a moon ball and charged to the net like she was doing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I didn't see that one.

Q.  Yeah, she did a couple of those.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No.  Well, I mean, first of all, I don't charge to the net many times.

Q.  No, you don't.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  So let's start with that.  And then charge to the net with a high ball.  Oh, chances are pretty low.

Q.  Do you remember any match from the juniors when someone was consistently moon balling you all match long?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I played a lot.  There are a lot of in the juniors, yeah.  There are a lot of them.
But, yeah, I don't see any of them now, you know.  So, I mean, it's going to be a long day if you're doing that for a long period of time, you know.
I mean, it's not a good mentality to have, when you're a junior especially.  You're kind of waiting for your opponents to make mistakes.  You're not the one that's forcing the play and making it.
I feel like.  But what am I?  I'm not a coach or anything.

Q.  Have you ever hit a moon ball?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I'm sure I have, yeah.  I mean, a moon ball, yeah, but I haven't charged to the net after a moon ball.  (Laughter.)
Q.Is it important for you to be No. 2?

Q.  You'll be NO. 2 as of Monday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Okay.  Great.  Yeah, it's nice.  It's better than 3, right?

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