Beijing Final Interview

Q. Can you make comments on your performance today? Compared with your performance with Li Na yesterday, it seems that Li Na has similar mistakes as you did today. Is that correct?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, Victoria played a really good match. You know, she just did many things much better than I did.
I felt like when I had the chance, I was just making errors in situations where I had opportunities to get back in the set or in the match. Little windows, but as small as they were, I thought that I just didn’t take them.
Even in the second set on a couple of her games, it was Love‑30, I would, you know, miss second‑serve errors, which against somebody who is No. 1 in the world you can’t really do.
So, yeah, I just really need to cut back on those errors that I made today.

Q. Some spectators believe that you have more unforced errors than the previous matches. What might be the reasons for that? The second question is how are you going to make comments on your overall performance in China Open this year?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I definitely made more errors than the previous round, but I think it also had to do with, you know, with the way she played. I think she played really smart.
Her ball was very deep today. I just didn’t have a lot of time to, you know, really play the way I wanted to.
But overall, I mean, I came here not playing at a high level in Tokyo, and, you know, with every match I played better. Obviously it’s unfortunate to lose in the final, but I felt for the results I have had here in the past, I felt this was definitely a step in the right direction.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. One thing I noticed tonight was that she had these wrist bands that were the exact same color, same bright, you know, neon color as a tennis ball. Did that cross your mind at all, and if so, did it bother you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not at all.

Q. So looking ahead, how are you going to prepare for the Championships?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it will be in a couple of weeks. Yeah, it’s the last one of the year. Obviously a great achievement to get in that spot. It’s always kind of the goal in the beginning of the year. You really want to make it and be one of the girls to make it to the last 8.
So I’m excited to have that opportunity. I have been part of that tournament for many years. You know, I was a bit injured last year there, so, I mean, like I said, everything that I have played after Tokyo this year I feel is a bonus for me since I was injured in that part of the year.
I’m really looking forward to it. Everyone that’s in that draw has had a tremendous year and is a really good player. It will be tough, but, you know, I have a couple of weeks to get ready and practice. Yeah.

Q. You looked really tired today. Your physical condition actually looks like you’re not as good as yesterday. Is it because of the tough game with Li Na yesterday?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I didn’t feel it. I just thought I was making a lot of mistakes, really.

Q. I’m just wondering, I know it’s kind of a fact of this kind of lifestyle, but obviously there is some political unrest going on between Turkey and Syria. Do you ever think of those things when you go to places like that, or do you just put it out of your mind and say, Hopefully everything is going to be okay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, of course you hope everything is going to be okay. But I think the tour will do a good job of monitoring whether we go there and if it’s safe for us.
That was one of the things that, you know, we discussed a lot about Japan and going there after what happened. You know, some people were not sure if they wanted, you know, with the health hazards‑wise, and in a particular situation like this, I’m sure we’re not just going there without any information and without any knowledge of what’s happening.
We have a lot of security and safety there. Maybe it will just be a little bit more extreme than normal, but it’s okay. I’m not worried about it.

Q. In the beginning of this season you lost in Melbourne, the final. Did you try to make a difference in preparation before today’s game and why it didn’t work?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That was eight months ago, so I don’t really think about the preparations. I’m more focused on the new game. You know, obviously I lost more times to her this year than I have beaten her, so I really certainly wanted to try to change that around, but it just didn’t happen today.

Q. If you can list one particular moment as your best memory in China Open this year, what will it be?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: My best memory? Well, I mean, like I said, I haven’t done well in this tournament for so many years. You know, I came here a couple days before and prepared, and then I really wanted to play good tennis.
Today was not the best showing of that, but overall, I had really good five matches. You know, I have a lot to look forward to going forward.

Q. We know that Sugarpova will be in Australia next year, so when can we buy Sugarpova in China?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know. The sooner the markets buy it, the better. Maybe you can help me out with that. (Smiling.)
Yeah, the next launch is going to be in Australia. We had a pretty good meeting here, and hopefully it will be coming here soon.

Q. After the competition, will you stay more in Beijing? If you will, where will you go, Great Wall or other place of interest?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I would love to, but, you know, when you’re on the road for so long and you’re playing tournaments, you really miss home. We don’t get to spend so much time at home during the year, so I will be flying home tomorrow.
But if I had the choice, I would definitely visit the Great Wall again, because I went six years ago, and it was a lot of climbing up, not too much down. I took the slide down. The slide was fun, really fun. Maybe someone can help me get up, and then I’ll take the slide down next time.

Q. Going back to the match tonight, you mentioned you had a lot of errors. What is it about Azarenka’s return and her serve that makes it difficult for you to finish those rallies?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, she plays really well inside the baseline, and she likes to be the aggressive player. We play kind of similar. I mean, there are no secrets between each other. She likes to step in early and take the first ball and control it and not be on the defense. She did a really good job of that today.

Q. When would you launch Sugarpova in the Middle East? Maybe in Dubai.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Step by step, baby steps. You have no idea how much it takes to actually produce all the different labels for each market. It’s a lot of work, and I’m learning a lot more about that than I probably should.
But it’s a lot of work. I hope soon, sooner than later. I mean, to get it launched in the United States, I mean, the customs, like three days before it got to Henri Bendel’s, it was stuck in customs and it might have not gotten out, and that would have been a disaster. I would have had to put like fake candy in the bags.
But I hope soon. I mean, I think next year will be a really big step in us going into different markets.