Q. First of all, congratulations for your
victory. This is first time for you to enter final of China
Open. Can you share with us, how did you make adjustment in
second set? Because first set you did not take lead but after
which you start to take the lead and eventually win.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I came into this tournament not
playing extremely well in Tokyo, and I had a couple of days of
practice here. I really wanted to do well and get to the
final stage of this tournament because I haven't been, like you
said, to the finals here. I have played a few times, and I
skipped last year.
So I was hoping that from the first round on I'd really step
it up and get better. I feel with the tournament I have been
playing and moving better.
Yeah, as far as today, it was a really high‑quality first
set and a few ups and downs, and obviously she had the lead in the
You know, I came back and then I broke her in that last game
of the second [sic] set. You know, there are a few key
moments to that set, and it was important for me to take that
momentum going into the second.
Q. First of all, congratulations for entering the
final. So who do you expect to be your final
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. That's why
they're playing the match out there to see who my opponent will
Q. My question is not related to the tournament.
We all believe that you are a pretty girl no matter on the court or
off the court. You are representative of fashion. You
carry this bag to the court and to this press conference. Can
you tell me what might be the secret inside your bag?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Inside my bag?
My credential, my two phones, and a water. That's
it. I don't even know why I'm carrying it with me.
That's it. (Laughter.)
Q. Can you tell me what kind of strategy does your
coach give to you? When Thomas started to coach you, I think
your performance is very much good. What kind of help does
Thomas bring to you? Did Thomas give you specific guidance
about playing against Li Na because he knows her game really
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thomas is a very experienced coach
before he started working with Li Na. I have played Li Na
many times before, so I think it's just about kind of knowing what
has worked against her in the past and trying to use
I have beaten her the last couple of times. Before
that I had a few losses. It's not so much important to focus
on what your opponent is doing; more so trying to be confident in
your game and enforcing that during the match.
Li Na has so much experience. She's a Grand Slam
champion. You know going into the match that this is going to
be a difficult match. She can come back. She certainly
is capable of playing high‑level tennis.
So it's important to try to keep that level as long as you
can during the match.
Q. Two years ago you have very much suffered from
injury. Did you recover to what you were
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I don't like to compare from
where I was to where I am now. It's always different stages
in your life and in your career. You grow as a person, as a
I actually have never looked back and said I wonder how I am
compared to those moments, because you're always playing new
tournaments, you're playing different opponents, and it's a new
You know, I'm not the one to compare things, not just in
tennis but in other aspects of my life, so I try not to worry about
that. I just try to keep improving. As long as I have
that attitude, you know, it's better than trying to look
THE MODERATOR: English questions, please.
Q. Did you make any subtle changes to your serve
following those runs of double faults early on in the first
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I think, you know, in those
first few games I thought my percentage of first serve was
low. Against someone like Li Na who likes to step in and take
the ball early, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to have
to hit too many second serves.
I think, you know, my goal after that was just to get my
first‑serve percentage much higher than it was in the first three
or four games.
Q. Four of your eleven previous meetings were on hard
courts, and your won all four of them and never lost one set.
You did it again today. So do you think you have a thing to
work it out every time facing Li Na on hard court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You know, every match is
different. When I go into a match against anyone, not just Li
Na, I don't look at the ‑‑I mean, you take things from the
matches. Maybe if you have a good record against them, you
obviously are smart enough to know what has helped you win those
But to go into a match feeling so confident that you have a
good record or good statistic against a player is, I mean, I think
it wouldn't be too smart, because every situation is new, every
match is different, it's a new day, and there is a reason why we
have to go out and play again.
You know, I just try to maybe focus on the things that have
helped me in the past and that's pretty much it.
Q. You have drawn a lot of big crowds to your matches
all throughout the tournament, and they've mainly been cheering for
you. Today the crowd was decidedly against you and for Li
Na. Do you think you felt that in the first set? Do you
think you were feeling jitters early and that's why you weren't
performing quite as well as you were later in the match where you
got more used to it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have been part of many matches
where I have played against someone that's playing in a home
crowd. Of course you feel the energy change a little bit, but
as far as it affecting me and letting it bother me, not so
I think maybe my first time in that type of atmosphere,
let's say, I needed to take it in and really learn from it.
But I have been part of so many of those situations that it's so
understandable going into a match that you know she's playing in
her home country. She's going to have the
But I really thought that they were more for her than
against me, which is ‑‑ I thought all in all, they were pretty
respectful of both of us.
Q. It seems you can always turn tough matches
around. We all remember what happened in Rome and same
today. My question is where does a player get that mental
toughness? You are you born with it or it's trainable or you
get it from your growing‑up experience?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it's a combination. I
think a lot of it is when you're young. I think your
upbringing and maybe the people that are around you help you.
I have been in the sport for so many years, since I was young, and
I moved to a new country when I was seven years old. So there
are a lot of things I had to kind of battle through and be on my
own and kind of mature by myself.
In that time, I mean, I learned a lot about being
competitive and not just in the sport but in life, as
well. But I feel like I have been like that in other
aspects of things, whether it's, you know, trying to eat faster
than others or if there is a competition, win a board game. I
have always had a really competitive spirit.
As far as tennis, it's just where I really‑‑ I feel like the
court is where I belong and where I really want to, you know,
compete and fight no matter what the score is or situation
is. Whether I'm down, and it can be match point, I still
always believe I can turn it around.