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March 10, 2014

Maria Sharapova


C. GIORGI/M. Sharapova
6‑3, 4‑6, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Hard to find rhythm in that match.  A lot of breaks.  Was it an instance of you just didn't have it there?  Was it something she was doing to cause you problems?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think it was a combination.  I did not play a good match at all, and, you know, I started very poorly.  Never played against her, but she's someone that doesn't give you much rhythm.  She's quite aggressive, but some shots she hits incredible for a long period of time.  Sometimes they go off a bit.
But, you know, if I'm speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.

Q.  What do you think the cause of that was?  Bad day or something bothering you otherwise, I guess.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, nothing else bothering me.  I guess just a bad day.

Q.  What was the discussion near the end there with the umpire?  What was that about?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Just because I heard the call from her box rather than from the line judge first, which wasn't right at the beginning.  Then I asked her why that happened and she thought I challenged the ball, which I have no problem admitting if I challenged a call.
Then she went with it and I had no challenges left.  It's not a big deal, but, I mean, I have no problem admitting if I challenged a call.  I'm not sure why she wouldn't believe me if I wasn't challenging it actually.  But I guess I was giving, you know, the hand gesture just because I had the out call from the sidelines rather than from the line judge.

Q.  What did she say to you, the umpire?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  She says that the crowd has nothing to do with the match.  And, yes, he did call the ball out before the line judge did, but that's just external interference and that has nothing to do.  Just have to keep playing, which is fine.
And then she thought by doing that I was challenging the call, so...

Q.  In Melbourne you said that officials didn't really know what was going on in terms of the heat.  Do you think there should be a kind of rule if there is not one already about a friend's box calling lines, calling...
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I'm sure it's the heat of the moment, but I don't think he had any right to call out the ball before the line judge did.  The ball was still out.  There is no argument there.  It's just the fact that it wasn't originally called by the line judge.

Q.  But do you think the player, him or herself, should have any kind of accountability if a friend's box member does something like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think it's the umpire's responsibility, because she admitted that she heard it before the line judge called it.  But, I mean, her explanation is just external interference.  That has nothing to do with the match, so...

Q.  A few months in, how can you assess your partnership with Sven so far?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† I mean, result‑wise it's obviously not where I want to go.¬† I think when you make a change, a few different changes in your team, you're always‑‑ you know, I've never been the person that comes out and wins the first tournament as a partnership.
I mean, it took me a little while from when I started working with Thomas.  I didn't get the results I wanted from the very beginning either with Michael.  I think it's always a work in progress in terms of the work you do and getting to know each other.  It's only been quite a short time, as well.

Q.¬† You're now somewhere in mid‑career.¬† What do you use to motivate yourself goal‑wise?¬† Do you target a specific tournament like I think you targeted Roland Garros, or do you have something else?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Each match really motivates me.  Losses motivate me a lot, because as a competitor you don't want to lose these types of matches, and, you know, you always want to change the result.
So it's individual matches that really fire you up, and I hope that these last few losses will do that for me.

Q.  What do you make of Camila as a player? She's bursting out quickly here.  You said it's very up and down at times.  How do you assess her and her whole presence out there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I mean, I think if she played at this level for a consistent period of time I don't think she'd be a qualifier here.  I think that's pretty obvious for everyone in this room.
But that's the thing with tennis, is that ‑‑and I have said it so many times‑‑ you've got to bring this type of tennis when you're playing on center court or when you're playing on Court 18.¬† And especially when you're just moving up and when you're just getting that confidence and you're playing well in Grand Slams, you've got to back it up.
It's a big challenge.  It really is.  Consistency is a big factor.  But if she keeps it up, I mean, if she can play like that on a consistent basis, I mean, she will be a good player.

Q.  You have seen players come off of long injury breaks, and it takes them time to almost catch up with the fitness and the match play.  Where do you think you are physically right now in terms of being 100%?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:¬† I mean, I think the physical part of it is something that is hurting me a little bit when we're going into these three‑set matches.¬† That's not a secret for anyone.
And when you skip those months there's nothing that gets back that match play than just going out and doing it.  You can train for so many hours on end, and it just doesn't replicate what you're doing out there in the tournament.
Of course this doesn't help when you only play a couple of matches at a tournament.  You want to continue and get that, which will ultimately help you, you know, in the year.

Q.  Are you talking physical presence and rhythm or talking about fatigue?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It's a little bit of everything, rhythm and, you know, also the focus, keeping that focus for three hours.
You know, you're not going to maybe keep it for the whole three hours.¬† You're going to have dips.¬† But, you know, if you can get it back as fast as you can ‑‑ and I've always been someone that has been able to do that‑‑ but when you lose that feeling for a long period of time, it's something you have to work on, and it just doesn't come automatically for anyone.

Q.  Is it easy to be patient when it's not coming automatically?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, it's not.  I'm not a patient person at all.

Q.  In your gut, do you think you can win another slam or two?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  In my gut?  I probably wouldn't be doing this, yeah, if I didn't feel that in my gut (smiling).

Q.  What's the next week like for you?  Hang around here?  A lot of players stick around here; nice place to be.  Or do you go straight to Florida?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I will probably head to Florida.  I like Florida.  I have a home there, so it will be good to train there, get used to the humidity, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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