Q. Hi Maria. Congratulations.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thanks.
Q. I'm thinking that ninth game in the second set was
the key to the match. Just talk about how it seems to define
you as a tennis player, about going for winners on set point down,
match point down.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was at 4 5. Sorry, my math
at this point.
Q. Three winners, too, on one of the set
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, to begin with, I don't
feel like I should have been in that position. It's great
that I got myself out of it, but, you know, I don't think that I
should have been there.
I was up a break. I had my chances. I was up 30
Love on my serve, and those are the type of games that against
these types of opponents you need to buckle down and
Of course it's great that I was able to come back, but I
felt like I made things much more difficult than they should have
Q. What is it about you that you go for the lines no
matter what the score is?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I want to play aggressive.
That's my game. I mean, I want to take my chances.
I don't want to be waiting for my opponent to make
And, you know, situations like today I felt like I had to
start doing that because I didn't feel like I had much pace.
I wasn't hitting the ball, and, you know, not stepping in
when I would hit a good ball. I just wasn't taking that to my
So in those points I guess I just buckled down and made
those good shots.
Q. How tough is it to play her? She's such a
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She is.
Q. What goes through your mind at those
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's extremely difficult. She
makes you work. That's why she's so extremely consistent.
That is why she's at the top. That's why she's been
And she doesn't have the height, doesn't have the power, but
her ability to get so many balls back, to stay consistent, and to
do it over and over and over again. You know, to have the
court coverage that she does and the variety, obviously she's able
to do those things very well when she has time.
My success in the beginning of the match today and at some
points was when I didn't give her that opportunity.
But most of the time I did, and that's why she kept coming
back and kept playing really well.
Q. How does it feel when you get through a match like
that, especially with your game because you're so aggressive, take
a lot of chances?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I feel very lucky that I'm
through. She had her chances to win that second set.
Who knows what would have happened.
Yeah, I'm lucky to get to the next one and have a chance to
be in the semis again.
Q. The other night you paid respect to Marcelo Rios,
and your former coach, Michael Joyce, told me you practiced with
him when you were younger. If that happened, can you share
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I didn't practice with him, but I
took a picture with him. He practiced up at the Bollettieri
Academy, and I was quite young at the time. I don't think he
would want to hit with me. (Smiling.) He was too good
But, yeah, it was nice to have a picture with him. I
still have it.
Q. What was the difference today in the match than
your final at the French? She obviously got a lot
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, you know, it's a
different situation, different match. I mean, tough to
compare, but, I mean, I would say that when I was up I didn't use
that to my advantage. I put a few points together pretty
well, and then, you know, either my concentration or my focus
wasn't there. You know, tough to do that against a player
Q. You often say a win is a win, but were you at all
disappointed in your performance today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I think sometimes matches like
this, you know, as tough as they are it's maybe not as well as
you're playing, but when you get through them, it's nice to get
through a match when you don't feel like you're playing your best
because you feel like you have a lot to improve, you have a chance
to really improve in the next one because you have no choice.
It's a semifinal.
Yeah, would I have loved to play better? Of course.
But some days you can't go out on the court and everything
goes in and you feel great and, you know, you're playing the way
you imagined to play. It just doesn't happen.
You know, it's okay. The great thing is that I pulled
through. I worked hard. I was steady, and I gave myself
a chance to get here.
Q. Pretty well throughout the tournament and today I
think it's fair to say your serve let you down a little bit.
Was it because of the weather conditions or was there any
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think in the beginning just
my timing wasn't there. First of all, my first serve percentage was
very low from the start. I think that put so much, you know,
pressure on you because you're trying to find your first serve
that, you know, you're constantly going up to the line and hitting
second serves. As a returner, you know, you're waiting for
But, yeah, I have been serving pretty well this tournament,
and just today was not good. But also on the return, I mean,
you know, when you're returning 85 , 90 mile an hour serves and
you're missing them left and right, you can't do that. So it
was really a combination of a few things today.
Q. Are there any other great athletes that remind you
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That remind me of me? I mean, I
personally always admired Monica Seles, but I don't know. I
think every individual is different. They're unique in their own
different ways. They have their own special qualities and
strengths and weaknesses and we all do but I don't
think anyone is really the same.
Q. The clay is coming. How would you describe
your relationship with clay at this point in your
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it felt like today I was
getting a good example of what's about to come. I think I put
myself in a good position to play a few longer rallies, to play a
really long, two set match.
But, yeah, I'm really excited. I mean, it's been a
pretty busy last few weeks. It will be nice to have a little
bit of a break after here and then, you know, work again on the
clay, get those clay court shoes ready.
It's crazy that it's already here.
Q. Do you look forward to going back to Roland Garros?
Such a different thing when you're the defending
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, of course. Yeah, it was
such an incredible moment, and to be able to step out on the court
where you were able to experience that moment of winning, it will
Q. It was such a high hurdle for you. Do you
think you'll enjoy the actual tournament more than you have in the
past? How do you think it will be different?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not sure. I'm not sure.
My job is to go out there and to try to win it again. I
don't want to I mean, of course it's a little bit
different when you've won it.
I don't to treat it as that. I still want to go out
there and be the best competitor I can be and try and win the whole
Q. I'd like to know how often you practice yoga and
how you think it helps you in your tennis?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I used to practice yoga when I was
much younger, but now I don't have the time for it.
Q. You don't practice anymore?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I have so many other things
that I do for my tennis. Yoga is just really on the bottom of the
list right now.
Q. How difficult is it to pull off the Indian Wells
Miami double? Last year you got to the finals in both, and
obviously you could do it here. Talk about the physical and
the mental toughness of it.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's tough. I think it's one of
the toughest back to backs of the year.
It's the amount of matches. It's also the late matches
that you're playing. You know, the recovery. Also
coming from different coasts.
I mean, it's not like just a hop, you know. It's a
five hour flight. Conditions are completely
It's not easy. You do have a couple of days in between
the matches, but it is one of the toughest back to backs for
Q. How badly do you want to cross Miami off your list?
Seems like it's one that escaped you over the
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I would love to. With all
the tournaments I have played, this one I have been so successful
at but yet I haven't won it. It would certainly mean a lot to
me to go all the way.
Q. You mentioned earlier that she's not as powerful as
many players. Was your timing on the ball challenged by the
pace off her shots? Was it harder to get into a rhythm
because of the pace of her balls?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think it's more - I don't
think it's the pace. I think it's the spin that she creates.
I don't think her ball is very powerful, but I think her spin
is very dangerous when she has a lot of time.
Her forehand and her backhand are quite different. I
mean, her backhand is pretty flat and her forehand is, I would say,
a pretty loopy shot, but it has a lot of give on it. When she
has time, she creates really good angles. She can step in and
she likes to hits the high one to the backhand. She has a lot
of variety on that shot.
And the backhand is pretty solid but it's pretty