WTA Finals Round Robin Interview

Q. Bunch of success in your last few matches against her, and today at times it wasn’t all that close. What went differently today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, just I didn’t feel as sharp as I did in the previous matches against her. She served really well. Not fast, but found her spots really well. Found the corners.
I think she had a lot of quick points in her service games. Yeah, I think it was a little bit of everything.
But I just don’t feel that I reacted as well in her bigger shots. She’s someone that likes to play aggressive and hit the ball, and very deep as well. She countered my shots extremely well and I was just never ready for the next ball.
That made it quite difficult for me.

Q. Did you feel sharper in your first match than you did tonight?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Tough to say. Very different types of opponents. So I never really like to compare. Obviously different day and different match.

Q. Can you talk about whether things were on your mind during the match. Obviously race for No. 1 is a conversation point and advancing to the semifinals. Any of that weighing in your head in those matches?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Since we don’t play the round robin format very often, my mindset is very similar to any other match: go out and try to win it.
I know I lost the previous match, and I wanted to go out and do the best that I could today; just didn’t happen.

Q. There isn’t much of an indoor season anymore. You’ve been playing long enough on tour to know there was a fuller European leadup to the year‑end finals. Do you wish there was still more a part of year that was more dedicated to playing indoors?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I do enjoy playing indoors. I’ve had good success playing indoors. I was actually speaking about it the other day. It’s very rare that we’re in cold climates anymore playing. At least in my schedule.
It’s always pretty warm where we’re going, and it’s outdoors most of the time. Except Paris this year. Oh, and Stuttgart. So this is only the third event I’m playing indoors.
Overall, I feel that I’ve had good success. I enjoy playing in it. Yeah, not so good this year so far.

Q. Did you miss the cold or like chasing summer around the globe?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I take whatever I have. I’m a warmer person. I was born in Siberia, so maybe that’s why I always wanted to go into a warmer climate.

Q. She hadn’t beaten you since 2011. Did she play aggressive? Was she better? Did it change a little bit?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I don’t think we’ve played so many times since 2011, but I do feel that it was a combination. I really feel that, as I said, she served really well. She found her spots.
I don’t feel that I gave her enough returns that where she had to think a little bit on the second ball. I think she had a lot of easy second‑ball opportunities.
I always found myself on the defense. When I we got in the rally, I just didn’t feel that I was sharp enough.

Q. So is it slow out there? In the middle? Fast?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I find it quite slow, yeah. The court, you mean?

Q. Yeah.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I think it’s‑‑ didn’t look really fast, no.

Q. It’s been a long and fruitful season for you. Are you tired at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course I had a long match, over three hours a day ago, but I don’t feel tired. I’m happy to be here; I’m happy to be part of this event.
It’s easy to sit here and say, Yeah, I’m tired. I lost two matches. But that’s not the way I feel or the way that I choose to speak. I still have a match ahead of me, and I will do my best to finish it on a good note.
That’s the only thing I can ask of myself.