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May 9, 2014

Maria Sharapova


2‑6, 7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Congratulations on the win.

Q.  It was a tough match.  Just wondering, which are those big events in your life that provided you with that mental toughness to go through those matches?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, experience certainly helps, and being in a lot of different positions in my career and having to either come back or stay focused when I'm ahead.
You know, I think it's a combination of experience and kind of what you teach yourself and the motivation that you find inside of yourself to not letdown when you're feeling things aren't going the exact way that you wanted them to.

Q.  You play with Li Na a couple times on clay.  Why do you think you have this mental edge against her on those few occasions?  You were down in the points and she was leading; she seemed to almost have this match, but you fought back and won.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I will say the match was very close.  I think it really could have gone her way today.  You know, it was just a matter of a few points in the second set.  And in the third, although I was up a break throughout the third set, you know, she's not going to let go.
I didn't win the match until the last point was played.  I don't think it's about an edge.  I think today I was down, I didn't play a great first set, and I found a way to get myself in a position to be in the third.
Then certainly something changed a little bit and did something different to get myself going and give myself a bit more energy than I had in the first set.

Q.  You said you didn't play so well in the first set.  Do you think the way you came back, particularly in the third set and your form in recent weeks and your form in Stuttgart, that you're approaching your best form?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think these weeks are extremely important.  As the leadup to the French Open, they always are.  You want to improve as you get the next challenges.
It's never easy coming from an indoor event to outdoor.  Here and Rome are the last two before the French Open, and you hope to build from every match you play.
I'm very happy that I get another chance in the next match.

Q.  On a wider aspect, are you in favor of on‑court coaching?  Do you think for you particularly that it works?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I wasn't really for it in the beginning, and I still‑‑ I wouldn't mind if it didn't exist.
But if there is a system there‑‑ kind of like a challenge system.  There were a few players that were against it.  But if there is a call and the system is in place, even if they don't like the system, they're going to use it to their benefit.
That's how I see it.  It's the minute or however long the changeover is to get a boost going.  If you feel like you're having a little bit of a letdown or to maintain your focus, the coach always sees from a little bit of a different perspective on the sides than what you maybe see playing, so...

Q.  You may play against Caroline Garcia.  Can you tell a little bit on her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, she's been playing really well in the last few weeks winning her first title, I believe.  She's been a player that's been up and coming for a really long time.  It's great to see her really step up and showcase her game.  I think she's always had a very big, powerful game.
Yeah, she's been playing really well.  See how the match goes today, but that'll be a good matchup.

Q.  Max a trying to organize a few exhibition matches between you and Li Na in China after the Singapore Championships.  What are your thoughts about this idea?  Do you think it's a good thing for the Chinese fans to experience, to see two great players playing tennis in front of them?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, there has been over the last two years or so a lot of interest in myself playing against Li Na in some exhibition matches in China.  We've been finally able to work it out in both of our schedules.
I think we have one date confirmed.  Doing a little bit of a tour with her, which will be fun.  I'll be able to get to see some cities which I never have and I think for the Chinese audience and their fans to see how popular she is there, and to be able to experience live tennis for the first time.
I think we're trying to go to cities that haven't had a big tennis event.  It's been fun.  I'm really looking forward to it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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