Australian Open 3rd Round Interview

Q. Looked a lot more comfortable for you tonight. What did you do differently tonight? Staying really positive out there.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think I rebounded really well. I had a good hit yesterday. Just kind of thought a little bit about what I wanted to try to achieve tonight no matter who I played. Of course, I focused a little bit on myself more than anything else. Just tried to be a bit more aggressive, concentrate. I thought I did a good job of focusing well. Yeah, she can be a tough, tough player to play against if you give her the time to change down the line like she likes to do, step down and hit flat, low. So she has that capability, and if you give her the time, she’ll do it.

Q. You get Peng Shuai next. Thoughts on that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: We’ve always had good matches. She’s had great success in the last few slams. You know, she’s a bit of an untraditional player with two hands on both sides. That’s a little tricky. But, yeah, I enjoy playing against her. I mean, she hits the ball quite flat as well, and deep. Just really have to be ready for those shots to always come back. Yeah, I look forward to a good matchup.

Q. Did you ever try two hands on both sides?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I did actually, yeah. I did lefty, two hands on both sides. Like at the circus, I do everything.

Q. Why did you try it and why did you stop?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I had a pretty good right-handed forehand as well. I did a little bit of both. Monica Seles was my idol, as well, so…

Q. Compared to the first time you played Peng Shuai, do you think she’s evolved to be a better player in other ways?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I honestly don’t quite remember when our first time was. Maybe you know that. You don’t?

Q. Sorry.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Didn’t do your homework (laughter). No, I think she’s always a tough player to play against because she’s really solid. She’s quite powerful. I know she’s gone through a few injuries in her career. Having that start/stop type of career is never easy, because sometimes you don’t feel like you can actually get a routine and a groove. I think she’s someone that actually gets better by playing matches, when she gets a good feeling of her strokes, because so much depends on her groundstrokes and the fluidity of how she hits.

Q. There’s been a lot of conversation with Eugenie Bouchard getting asked to twirl in her on-court interview. Sort of different ways male and female players are treated. Do you have any thoughts on that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I really have no interest in that, honestly. I’m sure you guys have covered every part of it. You know, I stay away from that.