Maria Sharapova beats Samantha Stosur in Tokyo
Maria Sharapova crushed Samantha Stosur 6-0 6-1 at the Pan Pacific Open and claimed her place in the last 16.
“This is the first time I’ve really had to make adjustments in my game,” said Sharapova, referring to her injury layoff. “After coming back from a long period, you have to adjust to the speed, reaction time, stuff that usually comes natural to you.”
“The more rounds you play, the tougher it gets,” Sharapova said. “You’ve got to take it one match at a time and not think too far down the road.”
Sharapova, who was forced to stay 10 month out of tennis because of a shoulder injury, insisted she would be a major force again even if since her return to tennis she didn’t win any title.
“Grand slams are still the focus,” Sharapova said. “I know if I do well and perform at a certain level which I know I can then those goals will be met.
“Being at the top of the rankings is amazing but it’s not always always up, up, up,” she said, adding that she sympathised with the pressure compatriot Dinara Safina was under as the current number one.
“It’s definitely not easy. You’re not expected to lose matches. If you win a match it’s not news. When you lose everyone is at your press conference.
“You’re going to have let-downs. But if you know you’ve made it there once you can always do it again.”
Sharapova was philosophical when asked how close she was to the form that swept her to her first grand slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2004.
“It’s tough to say,” she said. “I was 17, young and healthy. Age does amazing things to you. Hitting balls a million times over does wonders to the body as well.”