Beijing 3rd Round Interview

Q. In the first set you were essentially dominant. It looked like it would be an easy match for you. Halfway through the second set, Suarez Navarro came back. What do you think changed and brought you to that tiebreaker?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, I started off the match really well, which was quite important, which was something I didn’t do well when I lost to her in Montréal. She was the more aggressive player. I think from the beginning I led her to make a few more mistakes than she wanted to. I was aggressive on the return.
Towards the middle of the second set I became more passive than I was throughout the beginning up to that point. It’s something that I think gave her the chance to move in a little bit more, to approach and come in, start hitting the ball a bit more deeper. That made it a little trickier.
It was a combination of her starting to play really well and my level dropping a little bit. But overall I thought I did a good job of coming back in that tiebreaker.

Q. You have good results on indoor courts. Today with a closed roof, do you think it’s an advantage for you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it’s an outdoor tournament, but it’s nice to have the ability to play under the roof if the conditions are not good outside.
Obviously lucky to get the match in. Otherwise, you know, if it’s an outdoor tournament, I prefer to play outdoors because that’s what you get ready for. It happens that you are on the schedule to play on a main court that has a roof, it’s raining outside, you get a chance to play a match, I’m happy for that, as well.

Q. You mentioned your loss to her in Montréal. Did that affect your mindset going into this game? Anything you were looking to avoid that happened in Montréal?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think she’s very good when she has time to create angles. She plays with a lot of heavy spin. When you give her the opportunity and time to do that, she can create really high balls that are very deep, can push you back. That’s something that I didn’t adjust well to in the beginning in Montréal.
I think that was really the difference today.

Q. There are a lot of fans shouting, I love you. How does it affect your performance?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, it’s nice to have that support. I haven’t played in China the last couple of years, so it’s nice to be back and feel their support and see their signs, see all the flags.
Yeah, you miss that. They’re quite vocal, as well. They’re quite supportive. They have been for many years. It’s nice to play in front of them.