Q. Obviously that looked like that win felt pretty
good. As the second set is going your way and obviously after
the match, it was clear that this win meant a lot to
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, of course. Of course
victories mean a lot to you. That's what you play for and
practice for. And especially when you find yourself in a
losing position a few times during this year you want to try to
figure out how to change those things around.
Again, you're giving yourself opportunities to go out there
and try to do that. I did today, so obviously it means a lot
Q. Yesterday you were saying you needed to be
aggressively consistent. Seemed like you pretty much
executed, what 90%, 95% of the time what you wanted to
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think so. Yeah, certainly
didn't make as many mistakes as I did in some of the previous
times, but also returned a little bit better. Although I
still feel like I could have returned better than I did
But overall I'm happy with the way I came in and didn't let
anything bother me, even losing to her the last couple times just
trying to figure it out.
Q. Just talk a little bit about fitness overall.
Clearly you look more fresh than she did today; wasn't moving that
well. I guess fitness really matters in those kind of
tournaments when it's condensed, six days, and being in shape
enough to play day after day means something.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Everybody is hurting at this
time. Some show it more than others.
Q. Do you think it'll be a PG13 final?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: (Laughter.) That's a good
question. (Smiling.) Look at you. You've been
thinking about that one, right? I see, I see. You get a
bag of candy for that. (Laughter.)
I'm not sure. Let's see how it turns out.
Obviously tennis will do the talking hopefully. Look, it's
also a match that I'm looking forward to. I haven't beaten
her in a long time. She's certainly the one to beat this
year, especially the second part of the year with the way she's
Again, to be in the final of this event, I mean, I'm
extremely proud. No reason why I can't go out there and give
it my all.
Q. The tour pretty much stops for two months after
this tournament before Australia. This is the tournament you
look back to as having been your most recent match for a
while. How important that was in terms of ending on the right
note against Azarenka after all the matches you played this
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It is, but I'm going to be on
vacation in four days, and not one part of my mind will be thinking
about the matches that I played with her or anyone else during this
year. I can guarantee you that.
Q. What will be on your mind then?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know what's going to be on my
mind, but I'm going to have a Strawberry Daquiri in one hand and a
magazine in the other and my eyes are going to be looking at the
ocean. I'm going to be very satisfied.
Q. You seem to do a good job of convincing yourself,
even after taking a series of defeats like you did to Victoria that
you can actually go out and do it ‑ which you managed to do
today. So against Serena you said you haven't beaten her in a
long time. You still believe if you execute you can win the
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely. I've done it
before. I know against her it's been a really long time, but
there are many players that I've faced against, especially coming
up where there were things that just weren't working at that
time. Whether I wasn't strong enough yet ‑‑ Justine was a
really good, example. I always had difficulties against her
and never quite recovered well in the rallies. You know, she
was moving me around with all the different
But, I mean, obviously against Serena there is a lot more
power involved. You know, her serve, she served extremely
well against me in the last few matches that we
But, yeah, obviously you got to hold your own court as well,
Q. Do you think about choosing less tournaments next
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What?
Q. Do you think about playing less tournaments next
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Less than I do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't really play that many so I
don't want to really worry about that. I think people want me
to play more and I shake my head, so...
Q. Is there a greater sense of satisfaction as the
years go by that you are still capable of playing the level of
tennis that you're playing and being in a final of this merit
MARIA SHARAPOVA: So much. I mean, I have to
think about it every day because I‑‑ well, first I was doing the
interview on the court and the journalist said, you know, It was
eight years ago that you won. Eight? Yeah.
You won Wimbledon and came to the Championships and faced Serena in
the finals, and here you are eight years later in the Championships
with the career Grand Slam and you've been No. 1 in the world a few
I was like, Wow. You stop and think about those
things. You know, it's incredible. I wish I could have
those moments more often, those moments where you sit down and
reflect on what you've achieved. There is no better feeling
than coming back from what I had to go through and not knowing if I
was able to hit a serve again and to be in that position of being
in the finals and being the world No. 1. I'm very, very
Q. Putting aside tomorrow's match, after this entire
year up to today, is it fair to say that you are better now than
you were in 2008?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I never compare and I don't like
to. I think every year and every situation is
different. We grow and we learn, whether it's tennis or other
things in life. I never like to compare myself to where I was
tennis‑wise or life‑wise.
Everything is a learning curve and you go through it.
There is not one situation in life that's the same.