Victoria, Maria & Marion Meet Press In Stanford

The Top 3 seeds at the Bank of the West Classic met the media at Monday's All-Access Hour.

Published July 27, 2011 12:00

Victoria, Maria & Marion Meet Press In Stanford
Victoria Azarenka

STANFORD, CA, USA - Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Marion Bartoli were among the players who met the press at the Bank of the West Classic's All-Access Hour on Monday. Here's a taste of what they said...

Maria Sharapova
On reaching the Wimbledon final, where she fell to Kvitova...
"Petra played a lot better than I did that day. She had a great day. She was hitting the ball better than I was. It didn't give me a lot of room for error."

On what she's most proud of in her career...
"That I've made the most out of what I've been given in life. I took the chance and played tennis, not knowing what was going to happen with it. I have worked extremely hard to be at this point. Talent only gets you to a certain point - you also have to work hard to be really good at something."

On playing tennis for a living...
"Although you have your difficult moments, it's a pretty good gig. We're all pretty fortunate to do this at the end of the day. Of course it's tough growing up when your friends are catching the 10 o'clock movie and you have to see the one at 7 o'clock because you have practice in the morning. It can be frustrating from time to time. But it's also worth it when you're holding up the trophies."

On Serena's comeback...
"She has done it before. She knows what it's like to be out and then come back. She knows how to pace her body with the right amount of matches and tournaments. When you know you're good at something, when you enjoy doing it, when your body can still handle the physical aspect of the sport and when you think you can achieve more, of course you want to keep doing it."

Victoria Azarenka
On reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, where she lost to Kvitova...
"There were some things I could have done better in that match. I had a chance to break back in the third set, but she played great. I can't say I did many things wrong, but you can always try to do better next time. It was a good learning experience. I can look back at Wimbledon two ways: I wanted to win the tournament and I can never be satisfied until I'm winning the tournament; but also I played a good tournament, it was my first Grand Slam semifinal."

On being competitive and motivated...
"Kvitova really deserved that title, but it definitely motivates me. You want to be better and a step ahead of all those girls. If you work hard you can get it - if you sit on your butt on the chair you won't, no matter how much you want it."

On what she did after Wimbledon...
"I had some time off. I went home to shoot a video with the Tennis Channel, who came to Belarus for the first time. It was interesting for me to show people from the US around Belarus. I also spent some time with my family and then went to Monaco for a bit. Then I came to the US. I really enjoyed being home in Belarus - even though I'm travelling a lot, I never have that feeling it's a different place, I'm always welcome, my family is close and it's always special for me."

On being defending champion in Stanford...
"I don't come here like I'm defending something, I come here for another tournament. I had a great time here last year and in the previous years too. And this year we have a great draw - it's a good challenge and I'm ready for it."

Marion Bartoli
On what she has done since Wimbledon...
"I rested and visited my brother. He had his first baby on the 16th of July, so I'm an auntie now! It was pretty exciting. It was relaxing to have some time off but getting back to competition is another story - I've been practicing hard to make sure I haven't lost my level. The transition to hardcourts is better than the other transitions because this is my favorite surface, but I haven't played matches in three or four weeks so it can be tough. I expect the first few matches here to be tough but if I can get through them I can improve throughout the summer."

On Serena's comeback...
"I saw her in Eastbourne and she was looking very much in shape. I felt even though she only had two tournaments, she was starting to play really well at Wimbledon. If she can play throughout the summer she'll be a huge contender to win the US Open - she has won so many times there. She's just like Venus, she can step it up from one match to the next. It's great for the game to have her back, as well as Venus, and soon Kim too. They are three big champions and I hope I can play well too and play them, so I can see where my game is."

On her constant level of improvement...
"Even though I'm 20-something now, I'm still improving. For me to be in the final four at the French Open, in my home Grand Slam, it's a huge example of how you can improve at any age. It's about how hard you work, how motivated you are and how eager your team is to help you improve. I've been working very hard with my dad and I've been having my best year. Some players like where they are and don't want to improve; some always want to get better. I was always able to be a shotmaker, but my problem was consistency, speed and stamina. If you watch me from three or four years ago, I was playing the same level for maybe one set, but now I can do that for three hours. I had some crazy long matches at French Open and Wimbledon and was able to back it up the next day too, and do it again. So it's not only about your shots, it's about repeating them. I want to keep improving - I don't know where it will take me."

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