Quotable Quotes... Sharapova's Journey

Maria Sharapova talks match point, the journey, clay, speaking French and much more...

Published June 09, 2012 12:00

Quotable Quotes... Sharapova's Journey
Maria Sharapova

PARIS, France - It was an historic fortnight for Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros, and afterwards she talked about everything in press. Here's a taste...

On how she felt after match point...
"It's surreal. It's the most unique moment I've experienced in my career. I never thought I would have that. I thought when I won Wimbledon at 17, that would be the most treasured moment of my career. But when I fell down on my knees today I realized this was extremely special, and even more so."

On the journey from the beginning until now...
"It's a long journey. It started from a very young age. It's not over yet, you know. I'm not sitting here and saying I'm done, because I'm far from it. I have a lot more in me to achieve. I believe in my game. I think that's one of the reasons why I'm sitting here, is because I always believed I could be better, a better player, whether it was on clay, grass, cement, anything - I always strive to be better. And one percent here, a few there, that's what I've always wanted to achieve. No matter how tough it was, no matter how many people didn't believe in me and didn't think I could get to this point, I didn't care and I didn't listen. I always listened to my own voice, and it always told me for some reason I'm meant to be better. I'm meant to succeed again. And I did.

"I proved that no matter how many punches I took, I've always gotten back up. I never made excuses, not to myself, not to other people. I always relied on my own talent and on the help of my team. And at the end of the day that's really what gets me through. I have a tremendous amount of belief and pride in what I do. I love my work. I've always said this. I love playing tennis.

"I had so many outs in my career. I could have said I don't need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams. But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small. But you can achieve great things when you don't listen to all of those things."

On her improved skills on clay...
"I've improved physically. I've moved a lot better. From my first tournament in Germany, I just felt more comfortable. Not just this year, but starting maybe last year, maybe the year before. I started believing I could play longer rallies and could recover better. I mentioned it before and it's something I've stuck to.

"I've had really difficult matches in previous years at Roland Garros, but I feel like maybe the match I ended up losing to Justine - when I took her to the third set and had many opportunities in that third set, and she was the best clay court player at the time - during that match I retrieved many balls back and made her play, and I felt like I was really in the game. I didn't feel like she was that much better than me at that time, despite all her success on clay and me not having much. It wasn't a moment where I thought, 'Oh wow, I can do this,' but maybe that was a moment where I felt like I would have a chance one day."

On speaking French in the trophy ceremony...
"It's fun. Actually when I first hurt my shoulder and knew I would probably not be playing for about two or three months, for some reason the first thing I did was find a French school close to my house and do private lessons every single day for three months. After that I had to start travelling to Phoenix to see a shoulder specialist there, going Monday to Friday, so I stopped, which was unfortunate. But it was really the first thing on my mind to learn a language. I chose French. I didn't achieve much in the language department, but you know..."

After being complimented on her French...
"Oh, please. Please. Let's only give compliments where compliments are due. That's not an area where you can compliment me on."

On the piece of paper she was looking for before the trophy speech...
"I was figuring out a few words in French - I didn't have anything prepared. I'm not one that writes a speech before the victory. Trust me. Not me."

On what's next...
"I'm actually debating with my coach whether I should have three or four days off. I'm going for four, he's going for three, which is very typical. But I also called my mom and we talked for a little bit. She said I have the four days off, and I said maybe only three, and she said okay, whatever it is, enjoy it for three or four days, then it's back to work. Then I called my dad and he's on the bike, and he's like, 'Great job, I'll call you back later.' Wonderful, wonderful family support! Anyway, I will be enjoying the next three or four days, then I'm back on the grass where I love to be. I can't wait to start getting ready for Wimbledon."

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