Q. At the last press conference you said there would
be no surprises tonight. How surprised were you with at least
the first set and a half?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I was a really determined
player out there because I knew the tennis that she's capable of
producing and playing.
Despite what she's ranked or seeded, it doesn't matter when you go
out on the court. She's been there. She's experienced
enough to know no matter if you're playing the third round, the
quarters, or the final, you have to be ready.
I certainly was. Since the draw came out, I was really
looking forward to that matchup.
Q. Of the eight you've now played, only one has gone
to three sets. Is it a coincidence that it's fairly decisive
one way or the other?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's not something that you're
thinking about certainly during the match. I try to keep the
level that I had in the first set and carry that into the
second. I did a good job of maintaining that.
Lost a few closer points. Made a few more errors. She
started improving her game towards the end of the second set, so I
was really happy I was able to close it out the way I did.
Q. Has much changed about her game? Did you
have to do anything differently to prepare for tonight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, we've played each other so
many times. It's not like we're looking at each other's
videos because we haven't seen each other play. We've faced
each other. We've seen each other play on television. I
saw her play way before I even started.
That's why I said there's really no secrets. We know each
other's games very well. A lot of it is about executing from
our own sides. I thought I did a good job of what I had in my
head and what I wanted to accomplish out there today.
Q. That was a big celebration at the end
there. Were you thinking about another Williams sister in the
final at that moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I lost a
couple I was up 5 1, down Love 40, and it was
swinging back and forth for those couple of games. Then I was
up 30 Love, it got back to 30 All, and I served that game out
really well. I was just really pumped. Why shouldn't I
Q. It will be your 17th quarterfinal in a slam if
you make it that far.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's the fourth round, right?
Q. If you win on Sunday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I was like, Hey, am I in the
quarters? Great. Do I not know something you know
Q. Your 17 quarterfinal shows consistency. But
does it show you anything else?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's always the ultimate goal is to
get to the later stages of the Grand Slams. That's really
where you need to improve, and the matches always get more tougher
and more physical.
In a way, I am quite experienced about how to pace myself mentally
and physically throughout these two weeks, because it's a long
grind. Not one match is the same. Not one day is the
Of course, it's tough to be as fresh in the finals as you are in
the first round. But it's certainly a great achievement, and
I'm happy that I've been able to be so consistent. But I'm
not looking to stop in the quarterfinals.
Q. Have you been pressing yourself so far in this
tournament? Do you still feel like you have another level to
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's always things that you want
to improve on. I think the reason I started so well in this
tournament is because I knew that I had to. I knew I was
coming in without any match play. It's tough. I hadn't
played a match, you know, a professional match, a real match, in
over two months.
Coming into a Grand Slam, it's not always the best case
scenario. I've been experienced enough to manage that.
But I was coming into the first round knowing that I was healthy
and ready to go. I think I was just much more mentally
prepared, and I knew maybe I would make a few more mistakes than I
would if I had match play.
But I was just really determined from the start.
Q. Has that surprised you, how well you have
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Considering I didn't play any
matches, I'm happy with my form.
But, like I said, I'm always looking to improve. That's
always my goal.
Q. Can you talk about Flipkens, your next
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I believe the last time we
played against each other was many years ago at Roland
Garros. I think this is the best slam that she's done, right,
fourth round? So there's a reason she's at this level.
It's great to see her playing like that. She did extremely
well in the juniors.
She's obviously doing a good job of transitioning her game into
the pros. She's a tricky player, uses her slice really well,
and a good athlete as well; moves around the court quite
well. It's an opponent I really have to look out for.
Q. There was a lot of talk today about the Lance
Armstrong interview. Did you catch any of it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I saw a little bit of it, yeah.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on his admission today,
how he justified it as not cheating?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's just a really sad
story, sad for that sport itself. I'm happy that our sport is
as clean as it can be and that we're constantly tested. You
know, we give whereabouts of where we are every single day of the
year. Hopefully not on birthdays and Christmas Eve, that
would be pretty tough.
Although they did show up on my birthday and I was very
disappointed. They did a couple of years ago. I said,
Unless you bring flowers, I'm okay with it. But they came
empty handed (laughter).
So as long as we're getting tested, whatever it takes, urine,
blood, we're all here to make the sport as clean as it can be.
Q. Do you feel tennis is pretty clean at this
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do very much. For the amount
of times that we get tested throughout the year and as random as
they are, definitely.
Q. You are thinking about the next match, but you
beat Venus today. How do you think about the performance of
Serena Williams to win this title?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's on the other side of the draw
and other players are on the other side of the draw as well.
Until you get to that stage, and if you do, if you're facing each
other, that's the point when you're thinking about that particular
Q. Have you heard if Flipkens had some advice from
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've heard she's kind of taken her
under her wing. I think that's great.