Maria Sharapova French Open Interview June 2nd
D. CIBULKOVA/M. Sharapova 6?0, 6?2
Q. You looked very tired, but you fight until the last ball. Can you explain what you feel, how you feel now.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, it took me a while, obviously, to start going for my shots and create, you know, good opportunities to come to the net and finish the point off, you know, closer to the court.
Yeah, it just ??you know, I guess you could only ask your body to do so much. You know, everything fell a little short today. The pace wasn’t there on my strokes, and, you know, I was five steps slower today.
I think everything kind of combines. The fact that, you know, she just played really solid and made me hit a lot of balls, and I came up short today.
Q. The game today, it looked as if the score didn’t reflect the game. It didn’t look as if it should be such a difference in the score within the game. What happened? It’s as if you lost most of the crucial points.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, definitely. I don’t know, second game of the match, 15?40,I missed two returns in a row. I mean,that’s just, you know, stupid. You give your opponent so much confidence.
And many games after that it was 30?All. Yeah, obviously when you lose a few of those in a row, your opponent all of a sudden gains momentum and gains confidence, and then it’s pretty difficult to get those opportunities back again.
So you’ve got to take advantage of them when you have the opportunities.
Q. You said you can only ask your body to do so much. Is that because of playing four long matches before this?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t know. I’ll ask you that question. What do you think?
Q. Did not having had much match work over the past year have an effect, do you think?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think for the previous matches, yes. I think, you know, if I didn’t ?? if I was smart and finished the match off when it had to be finished off or, you know, didn’t have letdowns, absolutely.
But I don’t think it had anything to do with today.
Q. Your shoulder, how did it feel today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It’s fine. It’s good.
Q. The French public supported you very much, especially at the end. You are happy with that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely. Yeah, I was very appreciative of the way they were rooting for me,asking for me to fight and, you know, to keep working and find a way to turn things around, you know.
Yeah, definitely. I’ve had a really great last few weeks here,and I can only tell them that I’ll be back next year.
Q. Was there anything she did that was particularly troublesome to your game today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I just think she did ?? she was just a solid ?? she made me hit a lot of balls. She was very solid. She did the right things, I mean, in order to win.
She won. I guess that’s what ?? I guess that’s what only matters in the end.
Q. Two things: Overall, pretty good run here. Could you comment on the big picture of your big comeback this spring and here? And realistically, when do you think you’ll reach your peak? Do you think you’ll be able to turn it around by Wimbledon, or more realistically US Open?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think this is a very good starting point for me, definitely. I always say you’re only as good as your last tournament. Reflecting back on everything that I’ve been through in the last year, I think I can sit here and say I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved, not only in this tournament, but in that whole time.
I just gotta keep working and keep my head up. The only thing I can do is just work on the things that you feel you need to improve and keep getting better. That’s ?? it’s only going to help you.
Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you place your physical?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I don’t really like scales, so I don’t know. I don’t know where it is. I don’t like numbers, either.
Q. How will you prepare Wimbledon?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: How?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just go on a practice court and hits millionsof balls and work on the things I need to improve.
Yeah, I’ll definitely take a couple days off and then get on the grass.
Q. The other day you said that maybe the people are supporting you now because you’re not anymore No. 1 or you’re sort of underdog. But don’t you think that all these changes at the top of women’s tennis have somehow disorientated the people and they would like to see you back as the queen of the tennis as you were supposed to become?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I mean, the one thing I’ve always said about ranking is, yes, I think numbers never lie. They always reflect on your performance and what you’ve achieved.
But taking that aside,I think ?? I think no matter if you’re ranked No. 1 or No. 100, it takes just as much work to get there. It takes a lot of hard work. There’s no one in this draw that lacks that work. I have a tremendous amount of respect for everyone.
At the end of the day, I mean, I’ve been No.1, and I’ve done really crappy while I’ve been there. But I’m ?? you know, I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and getting there again. I mean, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could do it again.
Q. Therewas another day which was a very bad day for you in Indian Wells when you played Lindsay Davenport. Today when you were down 6?Love, 5?love, you were almost…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Look what happened when I lost to Lindsay Davenport. I won two more Grand Slams,so…
Q. Yeah, that’s why. So we wish you the same thing.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thank you. Very nice of you.
Q. What happened then and what was the difference with today? There was completely different situation? Can you try to remember a little bit and tell me how?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That was years ago. Yeah, I don’t remember much of it because it didn’t last long. I played two different opponents, today and two different situations on two different surfaces, and it’s tough to reflect on that.
Q. You haven’t spent very much of your life behind 6?Love, 5?Love and match point. What were you thinking at that point? Was it as strange as it was tough? I mean, what was the thought?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, the only real difference is numbers. Like I said, I don’t really care about numbers. It’s either a W oran L, and I prefer W.
You know, if it’s 7?6in the third and you come out with a loss, I mean, what’s the difference, you know? You lose.
I mean, obviously you try to give 100% and you try to fight for everything. And I’ve always been a fighter and I will be. You know, you can only ask yourself to do so much. When you run short, you’ve gotta keep your head up and look forward to the next opportunity you get.
Interview from RG
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