Maria Sharapova 24-01-16

Maria Sharapova def Belinda Bencic 7-5 7-5

Maria Sharapova answers a question during her pre-tournament press conference, 16 January 2016.

Q. What gives you more satisfaction? A crisp, clean win or a battle like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A crisp win, as in...

Q. As in, you know, straightforward win, very few games, or a real tough kicker like that.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think you take everything that you can get. I mean, I felt like there was a few ups and downs in the beginning after not taking some of my chances.

I think it was really easy for me just to go away and let her run with the first set, and I'm glad I didn't. I'm glad I was still there and kept motivating myself to try to open up some more doors and finally breakthrough. I was definitely hesitant on some of those points.

But overall, yeah, felt like a quality match. Yeah.

Q. Some great serves at the right time. Do you think it made the difference today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I thought I served quite well; I found my spots; hit the line many times today. That was important.



Q. I know you served quite well, also some unforced errors. What exactly was going on for you on court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Can you rephrase that question, please?

Q. Some great serving and also some unforced errors.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Were there any winners? (Laughter.)

Q. There was quite a few. Just saying like...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: If you could paint the whole picture for me first, and then...

Q. Just seems like there was a mixed bag.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.

Q. How do you fix that for the next match, I guess?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I felt like I had to be aggressive. I'm an aggressive player. But there is a difference between making the wrong errors and making the right errors.

I feel like, yeah, I made errors. I went sometimes for a little bit too much. But I think the difference is sometimes you're making errors, but you feel like you're doing the right thing.

Ultimately when the time comes, you have to believe that those errors are just, you know, a few centimeters wide or long that they're going to start going in.

Q. The other day I think 16 aces; 21 aces today, which is a career high for you. Have you been working on the serve? How happy are you with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Have I been working... I feel like that's something I have been working on a lot since I had shoulder surgery. I have gone through many different motions to try to find my groove again and something that would hold up over many matches.

That was something that was really difficult to find a rhythm and a balance between keeping the shoulder, not going back so much, because I'm quite loose, to a motion that kind of gave me the chance to play many matches and feel like I was still not able not to be tired after three, four tough matches.

So, yeah, I think I have made a little bit of a change last year in the stance, but I think everyone always tries to improve things here and there. It's not that big of a deal. We always look to add those few percentages.

Q. What did you think of her game? We saw a lot of young players coming through the years. Do you think this one could be the real deal?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think she's already proven that. She's beaten a lot of top players; she's won titles already. She's not coming up; she's already there, pretty much.

Yeah, she has a good game. You know, a lot of people compared her to Martina Hingis, actually, but I thought from being on the other side that her game was quite different. Maybe the same technical aspects, but the way that she plays is quite different.

She does take the ball early. She has a few patterns that she likes, which was nice to finally play against her to kind of recognize those.

But, yeah, overall, I mean, I don't need to tell you that. I think her results in the past have spoken for themselves.

Q. Likely Serena Williams up next. How do you put away, out of your mind, those recent losses and her record against you? Do you just completely forget about it or look back and think, How do I do better? How do you approach it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely. It's not like I think about what I can do worse. You're always trying to -- always trying to improve. I got myself into the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam. There is no reason I shouldn't be looking to improve and to getting my game in a better position than any other previous round. It's only going to be tougher, especially against Serena.

Q. The other opponent out there, she got the lucky loser spot for you in Brisbane, and here she's in the fourth round. Do you know much about her? Fellow Russian.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I haven't seen her play too much. I saw a little bit. Did she play Errani the first round?

Q. Yes.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I saw a few points of that on the television.

But other than that, haven't seen her game, but it looks like I should be watching. For a lot of the other Russian girls, they have had a good, solid week here.

Q. Have you ever had a match end on a challenge like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think so. I mean, the challenge system has been going on for quite some time, but if I have, I remember once maybe in Cincinnati against Jankovic something happened with match point, maybe a challenge. But I think this one obviously in a Grand Slam environment is a little bit different.

Q. You have been serving very well. 21 aces I think today. Is this something you're doing different on the serve or just a matter of executing better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just felt like I just answered that question. Were you here a few minutes ago? Did you just come in?

Q. Yeah.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's okay. I mean, there will be a transcript, hopefully. I don't know.

Yeah, I served quite well today. Got myself out of trouble with the serve and on a few of those break points, and had a good serving performance in the last match, as well. Yeah.

Q. When Hawk-Eye came in, do you remember a discussion that there shouldn't be a challenge on match point? Do you remember that discussion?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't, actually, no.

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