Q. You arrived here I think earlier than a lot of
the other players and you looked quite comfortable out there on
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uh‑huh.
Q. How is the court playing? What's your sense
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I arrived earlier because
I think I was one of the few that was traveling quite far. So
it felt good. I think the same as last year. Maybe a
little bit slower, but I don't know. I had a short memory
last year. Didn't go too well.
Yeah, I was happy about the way I started. Certainly
the first few games went quite long. When you give her a lot
of time, she uses it quite well. That's what has brought her
success this year. I really tried to be more aggressive as
the match went on.
Q. We've talked about your slow hard court or slow
court play a lot this year, but it seems like you've adjusted
well. You don't mind dealing with her high balls, you seemed
to be getting on top of pretty much everything she was giving
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I tried. She's a player that
likes time and likes to hit the high balls and use the dropshots
and the angles. Again, that is when you have
I think if I'm playing my game well that she doesn't have
that time to create all those things she likes to and maybe goes
for a little bit more than she would want to maybe on the serve or
in the groundstrokes.
That's pretty much my goal.
Q. Did you have any time after the US Open to work on
your game practice‑wise and try some new things, or do you pretty
much day, Okay we're still in the season; can't try anything
radical; I'm just going to get to the end and maybe work on some
things after the Championships?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: To be fair, I had a little bit of
trouble getting going after the US Open. Just making my way
to Asia and knowing that I have to play so soon after the Open,
just after such a long summer I think that was why I was just not
really there in Tokyo.
Really changed it around when I went to Beijing. I
knew I needed to do step up. It was an event I wanted to do
But, no, overall of course you always want to work on things
that you feel need to improve, because there is never really time,
if you think about it. Our off‑season isn't that long,
Q. I believe you hit 22 winners with your forehand
today. Is that about as good as you've felt on any one stroke
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I wasn't counting them, but I
guess it's a good number to have. (Smiling.)
Yeah, I mean, like I said, I don't think I did that in the
first maybe four, five games. As the match went on, I
certainly felt like I needed to in order‑‑ I mean, you don't want
points going way too long against her.
If that occurs, then, okay, you've got to be a little bit
more patient. I did want to be the more aggressive one
Q. What would you like to say about the
atmosphere? Seems like you have a great fan base here in
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do. I mean, I felt the energy
last year. It was so nice to see the success of the
tournament, especially for a first year. You never quite know
what to expect and how the fans will react and how much attendance
and how many people will come and support you.
I mean, last year was one of the most successful
Championships the tour has had. I was looking forward to
experiencing that feeling and the atmosphere and the crowd again
Q. You obviously broke through first at Wimbledon
winning there on a pretty fast surface ;more recently in your
career big results have come for you on slower courts, especially
on clay. Do you think you've sort of evolved into a different
sort of player over the years where this is now a better
environment for you maybe than the reverse, younger?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I hope not. (Laughter.) No,
because my favorite tournaments are on the faster court, and I
really want to do well there.
It's tough to say. I was in the finals of the Olympics
and semis of the US Open. Those are probably two of the
fastest courts we play on during the year. I mean, it's all
relatively speaking obviously. You want to adjust to wherever
you're playing, whether it's slow or fast.
Maybe do a few more drills if you're a little late late or
slow getting up to the ball when the court is slower.
Q. Did you follow the Lance Armstrong
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A little bit.
Q. Were you shocked? Big cultural icon like
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not a big cycling fan. I
don't think I've ever made a point to turn it on TV and watch
it. I've known his success and what he's achieved
obviously. He was a great athlete in what he accomplished and
went through being sick and coming back.
It's unfortunate, but I guess it happens.
Q. Sort of brings up the question as to whether or not
doping is stringent enough in all sports. Do you think the
controls are enough in tennis?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Are they enough?
Q. Are they enough, yeah.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Considering I landed from New York
and my first day back at home I got a wake‑up call at 6:00 a.m., I
think that's enough. (Laughing.)
Yep, knocking on my door. I was like, Thank you.
Q. But you're okay with the whereabouts rule in
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I am. I know it seems difficult
to have to give one hour every single day, but I usually have my
hour somewhere in the middle of the night because I'm not going to
be anywhere but in my bed.
If they come get m,e up they can wait and I can wait until I
have to go to the bathroom. It's the most awkward thing when
they knock on your door at 6:00 in the morning in you're walking
around in your robe and your dog is going, What is going on?
Who are these strangers? It's just a really bizarre
Q. Is there any chance in the future we might see the
Sugarpova candies in Turkey?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I would love to see the candy
here. I had an attempt of bringing two bags with me, but
between me and my team they were gone on the plane. Turkish
Airlines swallowed them up.
I would love to see the candy come here. It's going to
be actually available internationally in a couple weeks, so people
if want to order online at sugarpova.com it will be able to come to
Great news. I've been getting a lot of mail that
people are upset they can't get it around the world. So, you