PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 18, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That was quite an escape there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uh-huh. Yeah, it was. You know, I felt like
I was up throughout the match, and I just did a solid job of
winning that first set and had so many opportunities in the
second set to finish it off.
I was up a couple of breaks and just couldn't. She started
playing really good tennis towards the end of that second
set, and I just couldn't get my opportunities back, couldn't
get those chances that I had in the beginning of the second
And in the fourth game, it was just a dog fight. I felt like
I was pretty close to being down and out, because I wasn't
able to produce, you know, good points for a long period of
time. I was like a little kid that would make -- I was doing
like a beaded bracelet. I would put four beads together and
they would all fall down and then I'd start all over again.
I felt like I was starting from scratch all the time. I
would play a good game, I would get down again and then I
would miss three returns in a row. I was just giving her so
many opportunities out there.
I was just tough in the end, and it gets me through a lot of
matches. And the good thing is I give myself an opportunity
to play another match tomorrow.
Q. What did she do well?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She was just really solid, and, you know,
she played smart, I guess, but I felt like I was too worried
about what she was doing rather than being conscious of what
I had to do. That sometimes hurts me in a way, because I'm
better off just concentrating on the things that I have to
do in order to win the match.
The score should have been 2 and 3 or 4, and it was a
three-set match. It could have gone either way, so...
Q. Do you have any idea why you were thinking about what
she was doing? Because you've often said you've just got to
take care of your side of the net.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Maybe because I never played her
before. You know, but I did win the first set pretty
closely. I wasn't playing my best tennis, far from it, but I
still won the set comfortably. I just didn't take those
opportunities, and then once you don't take them you start
thinking a little bit, because your opponent's all of a
sudden back in the match and it just becomes a battle out
Q. Were you having a problem reading her second serve, or
were you just missing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Missing.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. (laughter.)
I'd go on -- I'd go on these streaks of returning well, I
thought, and then I'd just miss them some, and then, I don't
know. Just one of those days, I guess.
Q. Was there anything with the stadium with the shadows
this time of day? Seemed kind of uneven on court. I don't
know if that was a factor.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, we started the match with
it being sunny and hot, and in the middle of it you had the
shadows, and then we ended the match in complete shadow.
But it's not really -- it's not really an excuse, you know.
It was the same for my opponent. I was definitely not seeing
the ball well, as well as I usually do.
I wasn't moving up to the ball. I wasn't seeing the short
balls whatsoever at all. There were a lot of points that I
could have hit and come in and finished off at the net. I
was just hesitant and didn't get a good hit on them, and she
took the ball and made a few passing shots, but...
Live and learn.
Q. When you miss Most of the time, do you feel like you
know why you miss, and are you able to make adjustments?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It depends on the situation. If you go
through a streak of missing a few balls in a row, then you
get pretty angry and you just -- you start asking yourself
questions on why all of a sudden you're making errors.
But I usually -- there are a few things that I think about,
you know, when I start making those errors, and I just try
to concentrate on them. It's always tougher to come back
from making those errors and start playing consistent again.
You know, it's one of the things I'm working on.
And even though, you know, I didn't have a good day, at the
end of the day you come out with a win, and you just,
hopefully for the next match, you improve and get better.
Q. You played so well this year. Is this the most you've
struggled this year in a match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I had a couple three setters in Doha, but
the conditions there and here are completely different. You
have two completely different courts. We were playing on
Rebound Ace there the first few matches over there, Mach 50
winds where you basically it wasn't even tennis at times.
And then, you know, here you're in the desert. The ball
bounces a lot higher over here, the court's different,
playing different opponents. So you just kind of -- it just
depends on the matches. You know, I had a good opening
I realize I'm not going to be able to play, you know, great,
fantastic tennis. But I think most importantly it's just --
I've got to keep my concentration out there and keep my
focus for a longer period of time.
Q. Daniela says she's motivated because she feels like
she owns this place. You won here two years ago, and you
have a good record against her, but she does seem to play a
little bit her on center court. So just talk about that
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Considering two of the three titles she's
won were here, of course those would be her words. I've had
success here and over the year I've played great tennis and
had many good memories here.
She's playing well this year. You know, the last time I
played her was at the championships, which was indoors. This
is a different part of the year and a new match. We've
played each other numerous times and we know each other's
games well. But, you know, it all comes down to the person
that takes their chances and is more solid.
Q. A lot of people are talking about the appearance on TV
this evening of Monica Seles on Dancing With The Stars?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Is that tonight or yesterday night?
Q. I believe it's tonight.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's tonight, oh.
Q. So you come from the country that probably has the
best history of dance in the world. Have you ever gone to
any of the great dancing performances in Russia, done much
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not in public, no. (laughter.)
I keep it to the areas where not many people see what I'm
doing. Obviously Russia has a lot of, you know, dance and
the art, you know, and that type of culture behind them.
When I was younger my mother would always take me to the
local ballet, and she'd always -- she'd always be the one
looking for programs to see where the new musicals are and
the museums and all that.
But as far as Dancing With The Stars, I mean, I don't know
if I'm going to be -- where I'm going to be tonight and what
time it is, but hopefully --
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's at 9:00? God, you guys are on top of
Q. I mean, Lindsay's despondent that she won't be able to
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, she's playing tonight?
There's always TiVo. Good thing about technology.
Q. If you could go on the show and dance with anyone, can
you think of anyone you'd like to dance with?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, let's -- I don't even know if I'll do
that. I don't know. I mean, definitely not during my career.
After -- I mean, maybe, just have a good laugh at myself.
But I'm a pretty competitive person, so if I do get in the
competition, I'm just going to make sure I train a lot. I'm
sure they do a lot of training, as well. They must, because
I've seen some episodes, and they're pretty good for people
that don't really dance. I mean, they're pretty good and
Q. Ana Ivanovic yesterday spoke to us a lot about how she
reads Freud, and she went on for about 10 minutes.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: How she what?
Q. Read Freud, Sigmund Freud, the psychologist.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know who that is.
Q. The psychologist. Very famous?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, psychologist, sorry.
Q. And she went into the details about how she is
knowledgeable about the subject. I was wondering what you
read? Do you read Russian authors, like Dostoevsky, in spare
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I try not to read a lot of
psychology-related things. Actually, I just finished school
year and a half, so during the time I was in school I was
basically reading schoolwork. Other than that I never had
time to read, and so the last year and a half is the first
time that I've actually gotten an opportunity to read books.
You know, recently I've been reading a lot about Chernobyl,
because I'm going on a -- I'm involved in Chernobyl-affected
areas with the United Nations.
There are a lot of projects that are going on right now.
That's kind of been my main focus, and the last, about, six
or so months I've been doing a lot of research on that.
That's kind of been my homework. And then on the planes I
just read things that, like, just novels that I can read and
forget about the next day.
Q. You have given $100,000 to that project. Can you
little bit more elaborate on the United Nations and
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, the next activity I'm doing with them
is I'm going on a field trip right after Wimbledon for about
three days, and I'm going to be visiting the projects that,
the money that I donated and all the things that are being
developed and the hospitals and the computer centers and
there are many buildings and -- you know, many other areas
that are getting involved within the region as well.
I'm finally going to see how that has developed, because I
haven't actually been in that area. And I'm also announcing
a few projects that they're going to start developing, as
well. Very excited about it. I haven't been back to Belarus
since I was a very young girl, and I had to make sure that I
can go to my grandma's house and have some good home
cooking, as well.
Q. Sorry to talk about tennis again, but have you ever
felt more confident on the court than you do right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Umm, it goes day by day, because every
tournament is different, and obviously you treat the Grand
Slams as obviously the biggest ones, and these -- when I
came into Doha, I was kind of -- you know, it was a strange
feeling in a way, because after a Grand Slam, you know,
tournaments that are lower just, in a way, don't seem that
-- not that they don't seem that important, but -- I don't
It's hard to explain, because after playing with so much
emotion at a Grand Slam and beating top players, when I get
out there, it's like, this doesn't really mean much right
now. Maybe if I was in that position last year I would have
thought of it differently. But I think these tournaments I
treat as kind of the buildup towards the next Grand Slam.
You know, during these tournaments, even though I haven't
really done much of it, but I try to work on the things that
are going to get me better and that I've worked on in
practice, and hopefully take that to the courts, you know,
because I'd maybe rather lose here earlier than in a Grand
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