Q. Tough start; fairly easy finish. Talk about
your form and the conditions and her and you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: And what?
Q. And you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: And me? Yeah, slow start.
Just didn't get a good rhythm on her game from the beginning.
Yeah, I think maybe I was going for the lines a little bit more
than I had to, especially in the first few games when you haven't
really ‑‑don't know too much about your opponent or haven't played
But, yeah, I thought towards the end of the first and
beginning of the second set I really stepped it up, was being more
aggressive, and really gave myself a better margin than I did
throughout the first set.
Q. Looks like you're going to be playing four straight
kind of counterpunching baseliner types.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good preparation for the
Q. Exactly. No doubt.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just getting ready
Q. You know Errani's game, but she seems to be playing
well this year. She's pretty consistent, no?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think that's one of her
biggest keys is her consistency and her ability to make her
opponent play. She doesn't make many mistakes. You
really got to win the match out there.
Yeah, I mean, the return and the first ball will be really
important. And being aggressive, as well and not making as
many errors in the beginning as I did today, because obviously, you
know, she's another level. She's a top player, and you can't
give her those opportunities.
Q. I presume that you prefer playing someone like that
where you can dictate play to an opponent who might a little bit
erratic, or not?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It depends. The conditions here
are quite slow, so I think it actually suits someone that likes to
play a slower game and likes to hit high balls and slices and do
all that, you know, junk.
But overall, I mean, it doesn't really matter if ‑‑I mean,
early on in my career, yeah, I think it was much tougher to play
these types of players. I had a lot of difficulties against
them. That was very clear.
But now I think I'm a much more experienced player, and, you
know, I have a much better game plan and, you know, I'm much
fresher and, you know, I'm physically able to withstand whatever,
you know, whatever points that they might want to play.
Whether they're long or however long it goes, I'm ready for
Q. Kvitova said that the surface is actually playing
like clay, not just slow‑wise but because there are different
bounces all the time. She said she is not getting the same
bounces all the time. Do you feel that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel it's a very sandy court.
Like especially if you have a pair of new shoes, like you really
need to scruff them out.
You know, you definitely feel the texture of the court more
than any other hard court. I don't know about
Q. Takes slice and it takes topspin?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I agree with that. I don't know
about the bad bounces.
Q. She said different bounces.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Different bounces? I don't
know. I mean, they should be more or less the same, but the
feeling of when you're moving around, it's definitely ‑‑ it's a
little bit tougher on the body when the court is like
Q. How much more comfortable are you as a slow‑court
player maybe than you were earlier? Obviously some of your
biggest results lately have come on clay.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A lot more. I think that's
clear. I'm able, you know, to push myself no matter how long
the match is. You know, I feel like I'm much better from the
corners, but yet I still feel that it's something I can improve and
still work on a lot.
The footwork, the recovery, you know, going into the court
are all things that have to do with your feet and your legs, and
that's something that I always, you know, want to
Because I'm tall, it doesn't come very easy or naturally for
me, but I'm, you know, willing to try to make it better and as good
as it can be.
Q. Do you think it's about patience during
rallies? Is that something you learned over your
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Definitely. But in order to
have patience, you must have the stamina and stability and the
endurance that you know you can be patient. It's one thing to
be patient and then have a 30‑ball rally and then the next ball
you're not recovered, not ready for it, and it's pretty much
Q. What are you reading these days?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not much, just a bunch of
Q. That's it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uh‑huh.
Q. So just a businesswoman, no novels, no
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I finished Grace Coddington's book
recently, and that was a big one. I haven't picked up a new
one. Actually just haven't been to the bookstore.
That's why I'm not reading.
Q. Did you finish  Orwell's 1984?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, yeah, I did. That was a
while ago. I didn't take it out again, I'm not looking
forward to for a while. Until my kids have to read it, I
don't think I will be taking that one out.
Q. Found it disturbing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it's not a tournament
Q. How do you keep this from ever getting
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, that's a good
I mean, the sport itself, personally it's not old at
all. It's actually very motivational, because, I mean, the
work that you do is the time where you really have to motivate
yourself because it's only you and your team and a very close
surrounding. It can be cold, can be really hot, and you just
have to go out and improve.
So those are the types of moments that you really have to
motivate yourself. But when you're walking through a tunnel
and you're going on center court to play in front of thousands of
people, if you don't have motivation to do that and to be excited
and lucky, to be in front of them, you know, I don't know if that's
‑‑that's not good, you know. You probably shouldn't be doing
Q. After all this time, do you still learn something
about the game or yourself every time you play a
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, absolutely. You know,
every match brings you in different types of circumstances.
You know, during all the matches, you know, when you have to fight
and you have to pull it through, that's always when I look at
And sometimes, as tough as it is, I always think that this
is really why I play, because I love that competitiveness.
You know, I love those situations where you really have to dig it
out, whether you're down or you have the momentum or things
It's such a mind game, as well, this sport, that so many
things can happen. It's just you and whoever you're facing
Q. You're in another quarterfinal. You have been
remarkably consistent the last several months getting into the
latter stages of tournaments. Can you talk about that a
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think consistency is really
important. I have been doing a good job of that, and I want
to pull through even to the next level. I don't want to stop
here or the next one. I want to go all the way.
Q. How do you avoid those early match upsets and
coming up flat, things like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel like, you know, I have always
been a good starter in tournaments‑‑ actually since I started
And I think also when you don't play that many tournaments,
it's like you don't really have a choice. You really have to
come out for the ones that you're playing and start well and do
well, because you're not looking to play two warmup tournaments
before Indian Wells, you know, to get myself ready or match
I'd rather have a good training base and, you know, look at
a long summer schedule ahead and think that, you know, I'd rather
get my game and my body and be healthy and expect to play many
matches, you know. Here and in Miami, what, a total of 12 or
So, you know, that's not physically very easy. You
have to be ready for it.
Q. Was that a Sugarpova slogan you wrote on the camera
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I guess. Yeah, today was,
actually. But I don't know. They're always so last
minute. I got bored with the signatures, and actually I don't
even know why we ever do signatures. I mean, it's like the
signature is going to someone or, you know, they're going to copy
and paste it.
So, I don't know. I was just bored of signing my name
and started doing something different.
Q. Twitter handle on there or something?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not yet. I'm sure tennis fans
know my Twitter handle.
Q. Why do you sign it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have no idea.
Q. Do you remember someone actually telling you, Go
sign the camera?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It's probably when you play
on center court and win a match that's probably when it
started. I don't know. (Smiling.)
I think when they got that removable lens is when they
really started it. I don't know. It just seems, I mean,
so expected, you know. You know me. I don't like to do
things that are expected.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: (Smiling.)
Q. Stamp it. Start a trend, just stamp it with
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good one. Now I'm not going to
do it because that's your idea, not mine.