Indian Wells Semi-Final Interview

Q. High quality match. Played pretty well for the most part, don’t you think?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I think I made the first set a bit more difficult than it should have been. You know, I felt like it could have been up 4-0.
And she’s someone who has had a few comebacks in this tournament and really good results. I think this is her best tournament yet.
So, yeah, I stepped it up in the second set, you know. First set was a little shady; second set was much better.

Q. You want to talk about playing Caroline? Played her Miami last year.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It’s been a while.

Q. You had a tough one against her a couple years ago, but things have changed a lot since then.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, she’s always a tough opponent. You know, she’s a grinder. She makes you work really hard on the court and gets a lot of balls back, you know, and has a lot of different variety.
You know, I certainly don’t want to give her that time or those opportunities, because she’s a really good player.

Q. How much does it help having played through this tournament against a lot of other grinders? I mean, you haven’t had a lot of players giving you cheap points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Yeah, I have had to work for, you know, for all the points here, that’s for sure.
I also feel like, you know, in a way, in a couple of those matches I made my life a little more difficult than I should have been. I was forcing a few of my errors.
Today I was happy that, you know, I did a few things much better than I had to. I really had to step it up today.

Q. One of the things that Caroline had today was a lot of high balls, moon ball shots that were pushing…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I saw some of those points. That was quite interesting.

Q. What were your thoughts when that was going on? It was like two minute long points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was interesting shot selection. I don’t know. You’re not there, so when you’re watching TV it seemed a little odd from the TV, but I’m sure there was a reason why during the point that was done.
But they looked like they were really high and they all kept going in. I was like, that’s a really good effort. I don’t think I can do that.

Q. When you’ve played against those kind of shots before, how do you make adjustments to try to deal with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Usually when your opponent has time to hit higher balls or a little bit of spin, that means it’s your I think you’re giving them a bit more time to do that.
I mean, I hope that against Caroline – she’s dangerous when she has the opportunities to open up court and she wants you running side to side.

Q. Have you ever hit a moon ball and charged to the net like she was doing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I didn’t see that one.

Q. Yeah, she did a couple of those.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. Well, I mean, first of all, I don’t charge to the net many times.

Q. No, you don’t.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: So let’s start with that. And then charge to the net with a high ball. Oh, chances are pretty low.

Q. Do you remember any match from the juniors when someone was consistently moon balling you all match long?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I played a lot. There are a lot of in the juniors, yeah. There are a lot of them.
But, yeah, I don’t see any of them now, you know. So, I mean, it’s going to be a long day if you’re doing that for a long period of time, you know.
I mean, it’s not a good mentality to have, when you’re a junior especially. You’re kind of waiting for your opponents to make mistakes. You’re not the one that’s forcing the play and making it.
I feel like. But what am I? I’m not a coach or anything.

Q. Have you ever hit a moon ball?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’m sure I have, yeah. I mean, a moon ball, yeah, but I haven’t charged to the net after a moon ball. (Laughter.)

Q.Is it important for you to be No. 2?

Q. You’ll be No. 2 as of Monday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Okay. Great. Yeah, it’s nice. It’s better than 3, right?