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Quotable Quotes... Sharapova In Stuttgart

Having made a long-awaited return to Germany this week, Maria Sharapova met the press.

Published April 23, 2012 12:00

Quotable Quotes... Sharapova In Stuttgart
Maria Sharapova

STUTTGART, Germany - She's not only making her first appearance in Stuttgart, she's making her first appearance in Germany since 2005. She's Maria Sharapova, and she met the Stuttgart press on Monday afternoon...

On playing in Germany for the first time in almost seven years...
"I haven't been here in so many years - I think Berlin was the last time, in '05 or '04. And Stuttgart never quite worked out in my schedule - before the French Open I'd always play only a couple of events, but now there's an extra week in the schedule, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to come here."

On what she likes about Germany...
"Many things. Like the speed of the cars. I love just driving here. I actually drove from Munich to here, and the driver asked if he could drive at "normal speed"! It was a lot of fun. They have great food here too. But this is my first time in Stuttgart and I haven't seen much yet, so I'm still getting used to it."

On clay...
"I've improved a lot on clay. Not just physically - I've been moving better and then recovering better too - but I'm also enjoying it a bit more than before. I've learned so much about the game on clay, creating points and realizing points are never over until they're really over. Here it's like a cat and mouse game. You can hit two great shots and the ball can still come back. But on grass it's so much quicker, and it's all about the first shot and whoever can take control.

"Now the clay season isn't too long every year - usually just three or four events. You can always make it longer, but with scheduling it's tough to add more."

On her goals in the clay court season...
"My goals are the big ones - definitely Roland Garros, but all these events leading up to it too. And also to improve in these weeks and get better."

On comparing the Top 4 in the women's to the Top 4 in the men's...
"It's definitely not the same. In the men's, the Big Four are much more ahead of everyone else. But in the women's it's much tougher than a few years ago. You used to have almost a few practice matches to start, but now you get tough opponents from the first round, and every player has opportunities to get to that stage. They may not be seeded, but they've had big wins."

On the photo she posted of herself with a short hair wig last week...
"I was at a photo shoot and we were trying different hairstyles - some were very long and one was very short. I had absolutely no intention of making people believe I cut my hair! I got more e-mails about that than when I've won Grand Slams. It really surprised me, and I think I learned a lesson!"

On her cousin, Daria Sharapova, who is a rising junior player...
"She trained in a different part of Florida, so I haven't seen her too much, though she's now training in Sarasota. The transition from juniors to the pros is one of the toughest transitions for anybody, and that's really when you learn about developing your game and playing at a new level. I've seen so many juniors with so much talent, but then you get to a position where some things change, in your life or in the competition. I hope she makes the transition."

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