Maria Sharapova's press conference after SF at Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 29.04.17
(after her 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 loss against Kristina Mladenovic)
QUESTION: Maria, tough loss. Are you angry with yourself and also the lost opportunities in the second set?
SHARAPOVA: I wouldn’t use the word angry. I would have love to use more of the opportunities when I was up a set and a break and I think I lost like 12 out of the next 14 points. So, I definitely had a bit of a let-down and I think that allowed her to get back in the match and gain confidence and start competing again and I just didn't keep putting that pressure on her and I think when you are able to give that to a player, that’s played very well this year, it can become dangerous.
QUESTION: How much do you think the lack of matches in the last months contributed to not taking your break opportunities?
SHARAPOVA: I think not converting those break points definitely cost me. I think that was one thing that if I can you know kind of look back at the match and want to take more advantage of it’s definitely those break points. I mean she is a great server, so she certainly put that pressure on me. I didn’t see too many looks on second serves and when I did I felt like I went for it and made a few too many errors. Yes, absolutely, those were the situations where sometimes you find yourself do you go for it, do you give her chance to get in the point, especially being a break point down. So, those are all the feelings I’m getting back after a match played.
QUESTION: It was obviously a long long match as well. Were you beginning to feel it a little bit in the third set?
SHARAPOVA: I actually felt physically really well today, even when I was down 5-2 I still hung in there. I had an opportunity to get back to 5 all, missed that point and then she came back with a couple of good points. So, a string of those good points and a few unforced errors from my end cost me the match.
QUESTION: How do you rate four straight matches in four straight days, your kind of match fitness and not just that but also tournament fitness which is just kind of playing all those matches? How do you feel right now?
SHARAPOVA: If at the start of the week I’d said that I’d be in this position playing three two-set matches and then going out of the tournament with a three-setter in the semi-finals I’d be pretty happy with that. The way that I played and the way that I kind of increased my intensity as the matches went on and the way that I competed I was really happy with that. You're never sure what level you are going to come onto the court with after a long break but I feel like it’s a great base with which I started here.
QUESTION: Given that you now will require a Wild Card at some point for Roland Garros, do you think you could help your case in the next few weeks with good performances in Rome and Madrid? Do you think that would help you?
SHARAPOVA: I think good performances in Rome and Madrid will help me on many levels and as I said I’m treating those tournaments just as equally important as the Grand Slams at this point just because I’ve been out of the game and I know, everyone always speaks about the Grand Slams, those are the big ones, those are the ones I've done well at in my career, especially the French Open, but when you haven’t played for so long, I’m treating Rome and I’m treating Madrid and I’m treating all the other events just as importantly because those are matches and match play is what I need.
QUESTION: How does your preparation from now during the next seven days until Madrid look like? Is there anything you really want to focus on or what are your plans?
SHARAPOVA: It seems like we have a week but the tournament starts on a Saturday and I’m planning on Thursday night, the tiebreak tennis as well. So, it’s a fairly quick turnaround. You know, this is the process for me. I’m moving in Europe in the next couple of months and this is what I want to go through. I want to go through the matches. I want to see how my body responds, how I feel. I want to feel that match play, I want to feel the tiredness of match play. It’s a different … you can’t train that and I love that feeling. And so, tomorrow I’ll get on a plane, I’ll go to Madrid, I’ll recover, I’ll start training again and being in that process. That’s what I asked for. That’s what I wanted and I’m doing it.