Maria lost to Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4 6-7 0-5 ret.
Q. Can you talk about your injury, when you started feeling it, how it was affecting you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’ve had a history of a tendon in my left forearm flaring up. It happened today in the second set.
Q. Obviously just felt you couldn’t get through the final game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I probably couldn’t have gotten through the whole final set, but I did my best.
Q. Did you feel it before the match or…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it usually just comes on like very unexpectedly.
Q. Is it very painful, the injury and the end of this tournament in this way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Certainly it’s not easy, not the way – I mean, if I finish a match – it’s very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle of the match. That certainly means that it’s painful, yeah.
Q. Obviously injuries are frustrating. For you there’s been quite a few. How have you been dealing with that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, with the shoulder, I mean, it’s something that I’ve had for a long time. I thought the last five months I handled well because I knew I was doing the right thing. I was struggling in the Australian, St. Petersburg. I was finishing a match, and I was just not looking at my match, feeling happy winning or playing well. I was just thinking what I was going to do later after, in a few weeks, for my shoulder.
I think I handled it with a really good perspective. But this is certainly not easy. I got myself to a good enough place to be part of this event, not be out of the draw. But it was obviously not the way that I wanted to perform here.
Q. What keeps your head up through these setbacks, one after another the last couple years? What do you tell yourself to push on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy having a team that pushes me and gets the best out of me. I really love the sport, so…
Q. Was it a tough decision to have your shoulder surgery or did you have to think about it a lot?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, the way that I felt in St. Petersburg, it wasn’t fun. Then just withdrawing and do like a Q&A in front of hundreds of families and kids, they probably paid a lot of money for them in order to come and watch me play. For me to withdraw, I just said, I don’t want to put anyone in that position. I’m here to play. I don’t want to be in this pain. Next time I come here, I want to feel great. I want to do what I’m meant to be doing at the level I believe I can.
Q. You’ve been through so many difficult moments, some great moments, great success, some bad moments. I almost never saw you so devastated the way you look, almost crying. I’m really impressed. I’d like to sympathize. And at the same time I wonder what is in your head right now? What would you like to say, or you would just like to leave and not see us any more?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t want to leave. Everyone has a job in this place. You guys have a job. Of course, I withdrew in the middle of the match. I rarely do that. I haven’t given a press conference in a long time at a Grand Slam. I want to show up.
Yeah, I mean, it’s, what, 30, 40 minutes after the match. I just saw a doctor, did a scan. Those things are not fun. I haven’t seen my team yet. This is part of the job.
Q. You obviously have decisions that are ahead of you, but could you look back at your career, say what you think the best one or two decisions that you have made?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Tough to reflect on that right now. I think that I’m proud of some of the decisions that I’ve made. I’m still proud that I’m here. This is not the easy way. I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things because I’ve set up the opportunities for myself.
This is far from easy. I’ve never taken the easy route. I’ve always worked, committed, focused. Like I said, these moments are hard, but I love what I do. I still have a lot of passion for it.
Q. What’s at the core of your love for this sport?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I think it teaches you so many lessons. Certainly all of these are part of it. I continue to learn from it. I don’t know if there are some things so challenging and so rewarding at the same time within one week or two weeks, the emotions that you feel, that I’ll maybe ever get in my life.
Q. Do you know when you’re going to get some results or good intel from the scans? How do you make your next plan?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know yet. It’s kind of a tricky injury. I’ve had this before. I haven’t really gotten a really good clarification from anyone that I’ve seen on what really causes it.
Q. What are the moments you see in your future that you are fighting for at this point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, after withdrawing from a match, it’s moments of finishing one and just being healthy. Yeah, I mean, of course, the sport is very result-oriented. Either win or lose. There’s not a lot that’s seen that goes on behind the scenes, which I’m very used to and I’m very much okay with.
But this has been a long process.
Q. Is tennis still your major ambition, way of living, or maybe you think about having a family or husband or whatever? If you have to dream about something, what would you dream?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I’ve dreamed of having a family since I was very young because I’m very close to my mom and to my parents. I would love to have that connection in the future with hopefully my child.
I don’t see myself having a child and then coming back. It’s never really been a vision that I’ve had for myself. Therefore, I think that’s still in the future for me.
Q. When you first won here, will that always be so very special and the highlight of your career?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: One of them certainly. It was very special. I think it becomes even more memorable as the years go on.
Q. If your body holds up, what is your schedule for the American hard court swing?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I think it’s Cincinnati, Canada, then the US Open.
Q. No San Jose?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know what week that is. I think that’s three weeks in a row. Wishful thinking probably (smiling). Would love to, to come out of that and be healthy. Dreams.