Q. Is your collarbone causing you too much trouble
at the moment, Maria?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I'm feeling healthy.
Q. When you're playing as well as you are, what do
you do to keep it up? Does it ever get nerve wracking that it
might stop at some point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it's really about keeping your
focus and, you know, no matter what the score is, no matter if
you're up. You know, I didn't start the match really
great. I was facing a different type of opponent today and I
was making a few more mistakes than I would have liked in the
But after, you know, I held at 2 1, you know, I really started
making her play a little bit more. Started really getting
under the ball and being aggressive and just had a little bit more
energy which really helped me and I carried that throughout the
It's always much easier said than done to keep that focus,
especially when you have a first set, you know. And maybe in
the end of the second your opponent can start going for it a little
bit more. She started serving and volleying the last game,
which she wasn't really doing too much.
All of a sudden, especially in women's tennis, things can change
really quickly. It's really about, you know, sticking to your
game plan, being consistent, but playing your game.
Q. Statistically you've probably never had as good a
start. Can you remember when you've had anything like this,
dropping as few games as you have?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think I can remember, not as
many games, no. I mean, the year that I won here I don't
think there was many games that I lost, but I don't think it was
five or six.
Q. The year you won here you beat a lot of good
players, three former No. 1's.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Toughest draw in my career.
Q. Dementieva in the fourth round. All respect
to Flipkens, but she's not Dementieva. Do you know where your
level is right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You have to face whoever's in the
next round. Whether it's Flipkens and it won't be Dementieva
now it's who's ahead of you, who's the next one. It doesn't
really matter. There's a reason why your opponent gets to
that stage of the tournament. I mean, she beats Zakopalova
like, what 2 and 1 or something.
She has a different type of game, one you don't see so much.
That's why she wins so many matches. She's doing it more
consistent. Maybe before she was making a few more
But, you know, she's a very solid player. It's such a
contrast to the match of my previous round where it was all about
power. So that's certainly not easy, you know, to come from
that and adjust to a match like this.
Q. Do you know much about her story, what she's done
in the last year, after blood clots and everything?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.
Q. She had blood clots last April, ranked 260; she's
done pretty well.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's for sure.
Definitely. To be playing tennis as well as she is after
that, that's a nice story.
Q. Do you think you're playing well enough to win
this or do you really have to wait till you play some of the fellow
high seeds to find that out?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Like I mentioned in my previous
answer, it's not about waiting to see where you are in the semis or
finals, it's about who's ahead of you.
And my next match is against Makarova. I have to do the
right things to beat her.
If I win that, it's moving on to the next one. That's how I
go about a tournament, a Grand Slam. Obviously I want to be
playing my best tennis towards the end of the second week.
Q. You've been playing very well, but particularly
this tournament we can see lots of return winners. How do you
feel about your return at the moment?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel like against Venus I returned
pretty well. But if you don't, I mean, the scoreline is not
going to be the way it was. I think that was really
important, you know, the return and the serve, the first
The court is playing a little bit faster this year, I feel
like. So those are two very extremely important, you know,
shots because they start the point off and, you know, hopefully get
you in a good position in the court and finish the point how you
want to finish it.
Q. So you are happy with your return?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think so. I could have
maybe returned a little bit better in the beginning of today's
match, but overall I did, yeah.
Q. When you spend so little time on the match court
in matches, do you then go onto the practice court or are you
satisfied with just the match? Some people feel they haven't
been extended and want to play more in the day.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have in the past certainly when I
felt like I've come off a match and I'm feeling like something
needs a little bit of extra work or I need a little bit more time
in the gym, do a little run.
But it depends. You also have to pace yourself because it's
a two week event. Over the course of those two weeks, it's
important that your body and your mind is as good as it can be
towards the end of the second week as it is in the beginning.
You're not going to be as fresh.
The work that you put in before the tournament is the most
important. What you do in the off season, you're not going to
put this work in during the tournaments.
I actually love coming to tournaments. You practice less and
just go and play matches. It's like the best case
Q. How much more time do you spend on recovery than
you did maybe four years ago or eight years ago?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I spend a lot more time doing like
little shoulder exercises that are a complete bore, that I wish I
didn't have to do, but I do. You know, I have to get
treatment every day on the shoulder and also the body.
Yeah, I mean, usually on the days off I spend a good 45 minutes to
an hour in the gym. But it's not like lifting heavy
weights. It's more preventive exercises for the whole
body. Then another hour on the massage table. I'm
usually doing emails and my trainer is working.
Q. Is there such a thing as getting like a special
feeling during a Grand Slam that you know you're going to play well
or is it really match to match, day to day?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It is. The lead up to the
tournament, you know, sometimes if you're playing really good in
practice I get a little bit worried. But I never do.
I'm horrible in practice most of the time.
I'm like, That's a great sign, because I come to the matches, you
know, and my expectations are quite low.
But I think it depends. Every Grand Slam that I've won or
done well at, I've always felt different actually. You know,
sometimes I feel like I'm not playing my best tennis in the
beginning, but I start playing better.
And then a couple that I've won, I felt like I was playing great
from the beginning and I was able to carry that through the whole
Q. 2008, what match did you know you might
win? Was it Justine when you beat her in the quarters?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think so. I was really ready
for Justine's match, especially after losing to her in Madrid.
Q. Do you have any certain habits to give your game
confidence before the game? For example, like when you wake
up today, what do you usually do? Like choose a certain color
of dress or do something that makes you feel good looking or
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, if it was good for business,
I'd wear a different dress for every match. But the dresses
are the same for every match. If you played well, you're
wearing it again, great; if you didn't, it's just bad luck.
You have to wear it again.
I mean, I have my routine. I wouldn't say it's very
superstitious. But I think over the years when you find a
routine that works for you, you stick with it, whether it's the
times and when you warm up, how long, how long you like to give
yourself before a match.
It's more those things that make you just feel comfortable because
you know it's worked for you before.
Q. Are you still practicing your Yoga every
MARIA SHARAPOVA: My Yoga? No, I haven't.
I've got so many other things to practice. Yoga just really
isn't on that list anymore.
Q. If you were to make a new Sugarpova flavor based
on your first four matches, what would it be called?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think you get a bag for that
Oh, I don't know.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I would call it
steamy, but just for different reasons. (Laughter.) You
know what I'm talking about, Max.
Russian questions now (laughter).