Montreal 3rd Round Interview

Q. What is your mindset after this difficult match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was a tough match. I thought my opponent played a really good match. I couldn’t find my rhythm from the beginning of the match. Always had my back against the wall throughout the whole match. Always came back from behind.
Even though I felt like I started, you know, feeling a little bit better, it wasn’t enough in the end.

Q. Are you able to pinpoint what seems to be the problem with your serve right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What’s the problem?

Q. It seemed you couldn’t get any rhythm with it, and many breaks allowed today. Seemed to be the same yesterday.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of rhythm, a little bit with the conditions, you know, not having the right mindset, maybe going for a little too much yesterday, not having a really good high percentage of first serves, which obviously you think a lot more about the second serve, which is a lot more difficult.
I was struggling with just not that today, but a lot of unforced errors from the baseline as well. Couldn’t commit on the return. So I think it was a little bit of everything.

Q. The unforced errors, was that a case of trying to go for big shots?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, she covered the court. It’s quite wide and quite deep. I think that favored her quite well today as she was able to step so far behind the baseline and retrieve a lot of the balls from a few meters behind the baseline.
I just wasn’t able to use that to my advantage.

Q. Would it have been better if there hadn’t been that second rain delay? Did that throw you off at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’ve never been a player to think about ‘what if’ because that did not happen. I have to face what’s in front of me.

Q. Difficult conditions, two rain delays. Considering you don’t have as many matches under your belt as you probably would like at this stage of the season, do you think it affected you more than it affected her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Because of what?

Q. Do you think the two rain delays affected you more than her because you don’t have as many matches?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I mean, I think I’ve been on the tour for way too long. I know what to expect and to know that anything can be thrown at you, whether it’s another delay, weather, or something else. That’s part of the game. That’s never bothered me.
If it’s a 30‑minute break, you move on to the next day. Just have to change your mentality to that.

Q. Do you think of this whole hard court season as a process, that you want to keep getting better and better towards the US Open and peak at that right moment? Do the players consider that overall?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely. If I came out from this match and I said a played a great match, or I did everything, you know, the best that I could possibly do and lose it, that would be more disappointing.
But I really feel I have a lot more work to do. There’s quite a bit of time until then. Yeah, so that would be the goal, not just for myself.

Q. Are we going to see you again in Montréal?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I’d love to. I unfortunately have had very short visits here. I’d love to give myself another opportunity to come back (smiling).

Q. The crowd seemed to be rallying to your cause. At the end a huge standing ovation. Almost got the sense it was as much a thank you for coming as appreciative of the efforts of your opponent. Did you feel the love of the fans today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it’s really nice to see such great attendance from the beginning of the tournament. It’s quite meaningful because, obviously, a lot of tickets are sold for the semis and finals. When you see people come out at the beginning of tournaments, that’s really when you feel they’re really passionate, true tennis fans.
As a professional player, that’s very meaningful.

Q. You said you have areas to work on between now and the US Open. What areas do you see yourself working on to improve for the next tournament and ultimately the US Open?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it’s always, you know, at this level of the sport a few things here and there. You know, it’s never just 20% of something. It’s 1% or 2% of many things that can ultimately change the result, like maybe it could have today, and given me another opportunity to continue.
Because it didn’t, you have a chance to go out on the practice court and work from there.