Q. How were the conditions out there? Was it
windy or had it died down by the time you were
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think they were much better than I
expected, much better than I thought they would be. I was
expecting it to be. I played some really in tough conditions
here, few matches in my career over the many years I have been
So today was nowhere close to that, but it was cold, one of
the colder nights.
Q. Does the cold bother your shoulder more than warm
weather, or does it make a difference?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It felt good today. It takes a
little more warming up than normal conditions.
Q. With all due respect to her game, she's declined a
bit; we can see that in her form. It's not the same old
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, but she's a tough first round,
that's for sure.
You know, no matter where she is in the rankings she has
experience, has a Grand Slam, you know, behind her back. She
likes those center court matches. She lives in those
And her game is, you know, never an easy one. She
makes you hit so many balls. Such a great slice.
But, again, that's when she has time to do all that. I
try to take that away from her, you know, right from the
Q. Let's talk a little Sugarpova here. It's
pretty incredible what you have done mid‑career just getting into a
whole new business venture, learning a lot of new things.
Just talk about the experience. Is it the problem solving you
like, overcoming obstacles, crunching the numbers, dealing with
people? Just talk about the experience.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think learning, you know. One
of the things that I have really picked up over the many years I
have worked with different brands and people is that I never really
had a solid education in my career, but I have always liked to
listen and I have liked to learn.
That was my way of learning, is through being in so many
different types of meetings, whether they were creative ones,
whether they were with advertisement agencies, it was just ‑‑but at
the end of it all, I was just a small part of all those big
I knew that one day ‑‑ I certainly didn't really think that
it was going to be a couple of years ago ‑‑ I would start my own
Usually you would start something a lot quicker than two
years, but it took two years, and I don't regret any‑‑ you know,
launching it earlier than I did, because it took that much to get
it all together and make it into a quality product and something
that I really believed in.
Q. Have you looked into like women entrepreneurs or
anything like that, women who have really gone into the business
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I respect women that start something
with a creative idea. I mean, Dylan Lauren is a great example
of that. I have actually got to meet her and I have been to
many of her candy stores. She's a fun
You really have to be passionate for something to be
successful. I always saw her passion. I met her when I
was 19 or 20 years old at a Vogue event, and, yeah.
Q. There is a pretty big and talented, it looks like,
group of young American women coming up, kind of like when they
were Russia a few years ago there were a lot of young talented
Russians. Does it help when there are other girls in your
country that push you? Do you compete that way? Do you
think it makes a difference?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I do. I think that
definitely helps. It helps having, you know, compatriots but
also your competitors that not only set an example for you, but
that you're competitive with enough to raise your own level to want
to beat them, to want to be better.
It's also, especially at that age, you know, when you're 18,
19 years old, you're very competitive. You want to almost be
that first one to, you know, whether it's to win a slam or get far
in a slam, you know, get farther in the rankings than the rest,
prove yourself a little bit in a way.
But there is also a very thin line of achieving a great
result in one event and having so much, you know, hype around you
and excitement that you almost can't control your emotions, you
I mean, you saw a great example of Melanie Oudin who had an
incredible US Open, beat me, beat so many other great players, and
now she's struggling to get back that form for a few years
So consistency for younger players is one of the biggest
keys to becoming a successful player.
Q. Back to your business, why did you choose
candy? You could have chosen any product you
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I wanted to do something that was
different, that was very unexpected. You know, I have been
part of, you know, clothes collaboration and done things with
accessories from Japanese brands to Cole Haan to working on my own
collection and Nike. I even had a perfume back many years
So I wanted this to be something unique. And when the
name came about right away, I knew that it was going to be candy,
Q. So the name came before the candy?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The name came before the
Q. Who came up with the idea of the name?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, Jeff Rubin, who is actually our
consultant in the whole business, he had a meeting with Max about a
completely different idea.
He owns sugar stores in the U.S. and around the world, and
we were trying to trying to figure out a way to work
together. Actually, Jeff was the one that just kind of said
the name in the meeting, and Max, you know, right away called me as
he‑‑ when he closed the door out of that meeting, he's like, You
have to own this.
I started laughing. I thought it was ‑‑I mean, it it
makes me laugh to this day when people say the name. You
know, I just want to giggle.
Q. Do you have a sweet tooth?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do. It's very
Q. Can you see Sugarpova expanding into things like
chocolates, ice cream, something like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not at this point. I see it
expanding more into different businesses, whether it's fashion or
cosmetics down the line.
But I want to get ‑‑I mean, even though it's been, you know,
beyond my expectations, there are still so many things and so many
markets that we need to get, you know. Where now we have 12
SKUs, and we're adding three more in a few weeks. There are
so many things to be done.
Right now we are trying to get around the world, and that
takes‑‑ to get into one country takes at least three to four months
before their own food and drug organization, you know, approves
everything and ingredients. Certain countries you have to
change certain ingredients for it to be sold there, the labels in
different countries have to be changed. So many things you
don't even think about.
Q. What does your dentist think about
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't been to the dentist in a
while and I'm afraid to go.
Q. What about the American boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard,
who is an avid tennis player? Thinking maybe
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'll have to send him a few
Q. You spent a lot of time in Florida. You spent time
in LA. Which of the two big tournaments here this time of
year feels more like the home tournament for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Miami has a really special place in
my heart because it's where I landed for the first time in the
United States as a little girl, and I went to the tournament every
single year with my parents when I was training in
You know, we would drive up, and I have so many pictures
every year where I would take in front of of the fountain with my
mom and my dad. So that feels very close to home to
But this is‑‑ you know, this is also where so many friends
from Southern California are able to drive up and watch me play;
whereas, they're not able to do that anywhere else.
Q. I saw a picture the other day with Eugenie
Bouchard, the young Canadian. A few years ago you see these
players that were like little girls taking a photo with you, and
now they're like on the tour.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I know. It's scary, and I'm
Q. You have such a, I don't know, a great presence
when you just walk out on the court. Just talk about walking
out onto all these great arenas, just the first steps you take, the
interaction or the rush you get. Which of the courts do you
love the most to walk out on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think the most unique to walk out
onto is the US Open night matches. It's just the most unique
feeling. I think there is a buzz. You feel the buzz and
the energy of the people, and there is nothing like a NewYork
Q. Coming through that corridor, too?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's more just the first few steps
that you take, you know, out there. You just see the flash
bulbs, and that was the ‑‑ I think that was part of the reason why
I just felt so great in that dress I wore and the dress that I won,
because when we were talking about it so much, I was always saying
how special it is, you know, the second that you walk out on the
court and people right away want to know what you're wearing.
And then you take off your jacket and so it's that moment.
Yeah, I definitely think it's that.
Q. You were so dominant tonight. At what point
did you realize this is going to be a quick match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You never know that until the match
is over. We broke each other back and forth in the beginning
of the first set, and then, you know, she had a few opportunities
in the beginning.
But, you know, once I started being a little bit more
aggressive I felt like I had an edge on her.
This is a long tournament. As a seeded player, you
have six matches. If you do well here you have another
tournament ahead of you. The philosophy is you want to get
your job done, and if it takes three hours, that's what it
Q. As far as the court aspect is concerned and walking
out, US Open more so than Wimbledon when you're walking out and
everybody just rises in unison? Is it more the fact that you
wore that dress on that night in NewYork?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, at Wimbledon there is no
announcement of the players. It's the feeling that, you know,
it's more of the respect factor from the crowd.
In New York it's the energy that you feel. You know,
the greatest part about Wimbledon is there is no
introductions. There's, you know, no description of what you
have achieved. It's just, bam, you're out there. You're
out on the court, warming up, finish your warmup and you're ready,