WTA Championships Final Interview

Q. You played pretty well overall but just couldn’t get a sniff on her serve seemed like. She had a big serving day once again.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, she did serve consistently well. I don’t think I even had a break point today. Yeah, I mean, partly because maybe I wasn’t doing enough on the returns and she was serving well. Even a few moments whether it was 30‑All or 15‑All, I didn’t really get a good return.
Yeah, it was one or two breaks, so 6‑4, 6‑3.

Q. Do you expect with the amount of times you played her now that when she needs to she’s going to serve well in the clutch or come up with a big groundstroke at 30‑All or at deuce?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That’s one of the reasons she’s such a great champion and has had a tremendous amount of success in her career. There is a reason for that.
It’s obviously tougher to play when you’re behind, even if it’s just a break. But, yeah, I mean, got to keep moving forward. (Smiling.)

Q. You don’t have to keep moving at this moment. Now you get some time off to reflect and rest. What do you look back on the 2012 season most having now wrapped it up?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’m proud of it. I’m proud of my consistency, I’m proud that I’m moving in the right direction in terms of improving my game and where I see it.
You know, I’ve accomplished a lot of things this year that I really wanted and wanted to get back in my career. Yeah, lots of great memories. Some difficult ones, but a lot of really positive thoughts moving into next year.

Q. When you talk about moving in the right direction, does that count for this match? Your last two matches against her were not as close as this in the Olympics final and Madrid.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, maybe you could say it was just one or two breaks in the first, second set, but, I mean, I probably had more ‑‑ I broke her a few more times in the other matches or maybe had more looks to break.
Today she had another great serving day against me.

Q. Can you read her serve? Is her toss that hard to read, or do you feel like you have to kind of guess on her first serve?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Maybe she can serve some for you. I don’t know.

Q. You’re the one that’s returning though.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Maybe you can win a raffle.

Q. $1 million. But seriously, can he see where her toss is going, or are you saying, She might go T this time, she might go out wide, but I’m just going to have to guess.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I think her toss is pretty consistent, definitely.

Q. So it’s hard to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, if I didn’t have a break point, there is your answer. (Laughing.)

Q. After a couple of years when you look back and when you remember this tournament, what’s the biggest thing you will remember about this tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I’ve it said throughout the whole tournament. I feel like this has been the best Championships that I’ve been a part of. I only got to play a couple of matches last year, but this year the energy from the first round on…
Maybe wasn’t completely sold out in the first round, but as the week went on, I mean, just the excitement from the people from the second they call your name onto the court and you’re walking out, it’s pretty incredible as an athlete to have that sort of positive energy without even hitting a ball.
The appreciation you have from people’s understanding and respect of what you do I think is really unique. I think we were really all unsure of how was it going to go in Istanbul because we never really had such a big tennis event. Only a smaller tennis tournament here.
But I think we’re all really happy. We’re here another year, so.

Q. With the finals going to another place in 2014, there is a lot of discussion about what the priorities should be for the WTA. With how good the crowd is here, do you think finding somewhere where they can get sell‑out stadiums and this much enthusiasm for women’s tennis should be a priority?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think obviously as players we want that excitement from the crowd. I mean, like I said, there is no better feeling than having that energy from people that want to watch you play. It’s a little bit different when the stadium is a bit more empty, there is no doubt.
But it’s not just the tickets that make an event happen. It’s also the involvement of the government, the sponsors, so there is a lot involved. Where will it be, we’re not sure yet. I personally would love to see it in Brazil.

Q. Just on that point, do you like the idea of moving the Championships every two or three years to places that don’t have big‑time tennis events?

Q. You were mentioning Brazil and Rio, which I guess isn’t a candidate. Would you like to see it put someplace like Paris or London, putting L.A. aside?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just as a staple, let it be there?

Q. Well rather than just saying, Okay, we’ll have all these cities bid for it.

Q. And maybe we should move it to a part of Asia that hasn’t had a lot of exposure to tennis or…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I like the idea, because I think it’s almost like a competition of who really wants it more. I think that’s also really important, because we don’t just want to give it to somebody just to give it to someone.
I think it’s a very unique event and opportunity for the people, the city, for the government. I think it’s worked so far for us, that concept of bidding, and I hope that it moves on going forward.

Q. So when is the next time you plan on hitting a ball?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not sure right now. I don’t know. Tomorrow actually. I’m going to Prague. Oh, no. Oopsies. How did I sign up for that one?

Q. They announced finalist cities for the next years and one is in Russia. What would that mean to you to have it in Kazan?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, that was an interesting one. I was actually pleasantly surprised to hear that. I mean, I just heard it a few days ago as well. I don’t know. I mean, it will depend, like I said, on who wants it more.
It would mean a lot if it was there, absolutely. To have such a big event in that region is pretty unique.