Wednesday June 23, 2010
Maria Sharapova's interview at Wimbledon 2010
Done on Saturday, 19 June 2010
Q. Are you still
serving big like you did at Birmingham, 121?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: 121? There are no speed guns at the practice courts at Aorangi. Feels good. Had a few good practices in the last few days. Just trying to stay warm now, you know.
Q. The queen is
going to be here on Thursday. There's an issue of whether
to curtsy. What would you do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I've never had the honor to curtsy before. I think I was probably too young for that and the rule kind of went away. So, uhm, it would be kind of fun. Yeah, I'd love to do it. I think it would be an honor for all of us, yeah.
Q. You won here
in 2004. You had two semifinal appearances. You got to
the fourth round. Then for two years you were beaten in
the second round. During that period, that journey,
you've had quite a lot of setbacks with injuries. Somehow
you seem to keep your intensity, your will to win. I
wonder how you manage to do that? The evidence seems to
show you've had all these problems; yet you maintain your
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I
think because as an athlete, everyone is going to have
setbacks. Some are going to have bigger setbacks than
others. Some are going to have injuries. Some are going
to get away from the game for a little bit.
There are many
things that go on. We travel for 10 or 11 months a year.
We constantly play tournaments. We've done it from a very
young age. Things are bound to happen. I mean, I was
unfortunate that I had to have a pretty severe operation
at a young age. At that point in your career it's not
exactly the best situation, the thing you want to do.
I certainly knew
that some have never come back from it. A majority of
people that came back from shoulder surgery never came
back to play tennis again. It always crosses your mind,
creates setback. As much as I love the sport, I never
gave up on coming back.
I always wanted that
feeling of competing and hitting -- first I was trying to
hit a tennis ball for more than a few minutes a day. Then
it was trying to get back to competition because that's
what I love.
I woke up every
morning trying to get back to that. When you're on the
court, you have to put many things in perspective and
realize that, uhm, it's not all rainbows and butterflies,
that you're going to have your days and moments where
it's gonna be not so fun.
But we hit a tennis ball for a living, so... Can't be that bad.
Q. So your
self-belief is as strong as it ever was?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it has to be. In women's tennis, it has to be. You have to be ready to go out and play against different opponents. You know, the game is really deep right now. You have to be ready from the first round. You have to have that intensity and belief in yourself, absolutely.
Q. Do you still
enjoy the game as much as ever?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Q. Does it always
feel special coming back to Wimbledon?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It
does. It certainly does. The week before when there's
just the players, the groundsmen getting the last bits
and pieces out there, knowing that something big is
around the corner, you really feel that atmosphere, the
intensity of something going on. Then you see the dark
clouds coming out, you're like, Yeah, that's coming next
But I always look forward to it. I love this tournament as much as I did many years ago.
Q. Seem like a
long time ago since you had your breakthrough win here?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It does because it was. Six years ago, yeah.
Q. Do you take
advantage in any way of being a member of the club?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't, not in the past six years. Maybe when I'm retired.
Q. Free tickets,
extra good sandwiches or something?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You get a badge that says you're a member (laughter). As far as the sandwiches, no, I haven't asked for that yet. But maybe I should. And, uhm, I don't know all the rules exactly. I might need a handbook for that (smiling).
Q. You play first
round Bondarenko who won Wimbledon same year as you but
in juniors. What do you know about her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's a really good player, plays really solid tennis, plays really great on grass. It's going to be a tough match. We've never played against each other. So it will be our first meeting. So I think the goal is to go out there and, you know, try to figure out her game as quickly as possible. Also be aware about the things that you do well, just be consistent, yeah.