Australian Open 3rd Round Interview

Q. Can we assume that you were fairly spent after the last match. Was it kind of a little bit tough to get through today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course everyone that played a long match in those conditions is going to feel physically and emotionally tired, and that’s the way it goes.
You just have to find a way to get through it. You know, that’s what I did. It was quite tough in the end. She had a set point and she had a chance to level the match out, which is something I probably wouldn’t want to do, is go into a third set.
I was I was happy I was able to finish it in two.

Q. Did you change your normal preparation routine after what happened on Thursday to today, or was it just business as usual in the way you prepared?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I think it was just a lot more recovery, not so much the preparation for today.

Q. Each time you were challenged in the second set you were up a break on her back. You must draw a lot of strength on that on a day when your serve wasn’t necessarily firing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think I can take a few positives from this match. One being the fact that I was able to win it not playing my best tennis. There are definitely things I’m going to have to improve and do better moving forward, because it only is going to get tougher.
But, yeah, I am happy that I took my chances, you know, even though it was pretty close in that second set.

Q. You went to practice after the match?

Q. So basically you wanted to hit more balls? Are you feeling just a little bit lack of match play?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I just didn’t have a great rhythm. It’s sometimes nice just to be able to come off the court and groove, just to get a good hit on the ball.
Conditions were a little bit tricky from one end, and, you know, balls were flying a bit. I just wanted to get a good rhythm again.

Q. Back to the match play, I think you have had three matches after Roland Garros last year and now six. Is that enough for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’m hoping that it is. You know, I still feel like in certain situations I am a bit rusty and I’m not closing it out when I have to or maybe going for a little much or overthinking it a bit.
That will come. I’m not worried about that. Those are the as long as I feel like I’m doing the right things and I’m playing the way I want to play, if I’m making those types of errors, they are going to go in eventually.

Q. Can you tell us what sort of recovery is different after playing in 40 degree heat? Also, how long did it take you to actually feel normal again?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just a lot more ice baths and a lot more like hand treatment and hot and cold baths. Just a lot of things. I was just really working my physio. He had a long evening.

Q. You raced to a great start in the first set. Would you say the second set, would you say it was a drop in intensity for you or did she play better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A little bit. I think it’s a combination of both. I think there are a few different times where I think I could have taken control of the match. You know, one of those is in the third game of that second set where, you know, I felt like I was doing the right things, playing solid, you know, moving forward.
And then once I lost that game I think my concentration dropped a little bit. Then I got it going again. So there was a few ups and downs, and that’s something that I definitely want to eliminate going forward.

Q. The Olympics is coming up real soon. I understand you’re going to have a gig as a commentator with NBC. Can you talk about that? Excited about that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Everyone seems to think I will be commentating on winter sports. I’m not a bobsledding expert (Laughter.) I will confirm I won’t be commentating.
I’m going to be showcasing the city of Sochi to a worldwide audience, and we will be doing a few segments. I’m going to be with a few different co hosts around the city, in the village, and then I’m going to be a doing a few segments in the studio with Bob Costas, as well.

Q. There have been those gay related laws that have come into play, and Billy Jean, Martina, Blake, god number of people have spoken about that. What are your thoughts about that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have discussed the issue a couple of times, and quite recently when I did an interview for The New York Times. I said everything I wanted to say there about it.

Q. How is the shoulder going? Do you feel more confident with every game that it’s A okay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I have definitely had quite a few tests. You know, the back to back matches in Brisbane, three setter there, and then playing the next day, coming here, long matches.
I think these are all really good tests. As I said, I think recovery for the rest of my career is going to be extremely important, making sure I do the right amount of work to the right amount of rest that I give it.
But it’s feeling good.

Q. Do you feel like you have been a little under the radar this week because you haven’t played your best? Is it possible for you to go through a first week sort of unobtrusively a little bit?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know if that’s for me to judge. I got through the rounds that I have had to play so far, and I will be looking to hopefully be doing that continuously.

Q. Talk about playing Cibulkova. She’s played you tough before. It’s a totally different matchup than Cornet or Knapp.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course. She’s a great retriever of the ball. It’s going to be a very physical match. She likes to make it physical. That’s when she plays her best.
Obviously I don’t want to go there with her (smiling).
But, no, she’s a tough opponent. That’s for sure. She plays a lot of top players extremely well and tough and has nothing to lose, so I’m expecting a tough one the next round.

Q. Azarenka went on quite a bit talking about how wonderful her grandmother is and Casey Dellacqua did the same thing yesterday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Who doesn’t like their grand mothers? I mean… I mean, they cook, they clean, they tell you you’re the best. What’s not to like?

Q. There are some great old pictures of you being held by your grandma. Just talk about them.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, not the grandfathers? Just the grandmothers?

Q. Just the grandmas.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I know they are a little lazy. No, I have great grandmothers. Both of them live in one in Belarus and one still is in Russia. My mom’s side mother, she comes to the United States quite a bit. Like once a year I try to force her to come, but my grandfather is usually not very happy about that.
They don’t usually come at the same time, but it’s really nice to see her. I think you have a lot of memories from your childhood growing up, and she’s the one that raised my mother and you see so many similarities.
I love spending time with both of them.

Q. Azarenka’s grandma came to LA. I think they went to Disneyland. How about sometime arranging a double date.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think my grandmother would refuse to go to Disneyland (smiling).

Q. You’re older and than Grigor and a multiple Grand Slam champion. He’s making his way up the rankings. Do you ever talk or joke about that rubbing off on him?MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know if that’s a joke. Is it? I don’t know. (Smiling). Which part of it is a joke, Doug?

Q. Well, do you ever discuss it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That’s better. No, not really. We have a lot of different topics we discuss. That’s not one of them.