Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova commented on entering the second round of the tournament in St. Petersburg.
– Matches with Kasatkina are always difficult. Were you ready?
– There is no other choice. I had physical matches, so to speak, so I was ready for it. The court here is rather slow and suits its game. I won the first set of 6/0, but many games were long and the pace was decent.
– How did you adapt after Australia?
– Well, there is still a completely different tournament. Firstly, we play in Indore. Yes, and the other court is not the same as in the heat. But at the same time I have a lot of experience, so nothing new.
– What are your impressions of Petersburg?
– I am very pleased that I came to this city for the first time. I would have arrived earlier, it was just not possible. I was glad to such support. When I play at home, they remember me well. I wanted to win because I won it a long time ago in my homeland. So I’m happy with everything.
– Usually tops are played no earlier than Wednesday. Why monday?
– Well, why wait? What is the difference, the game will be on Monday or Wednesday – I already acclimatized and spent a few days? I am not sown – the sooner the better.
– How do you like the cultural program in St. Petersburg?
– Usually in tournaments all my concentration is only on tennis and preparation for matches, but here I am for the first time, so it was necessary to draw up a cultural program. I could not stand four hours on the opera, but I really liked it. Then there was a good kitchen, we had dinner. Then there was the Hermitage, it was great there.
– How did you train before the public?
– This is, by the way, a very good idea. The best training. I used to work before the public. When you work at home, this happens only with the team, and in tournaments the public helps to prepare for the matches. The same conditions as in the match.
– Do not freeze in the city?
– On a walk, I was not yet. Only machine-museum-training. I do not spend much time on the street, so I’m not cold. But I have a hat and gloves, I’m ready for anything.
– Was it nice to play in front of the filled tribunes?
– Of course, I want to see the audience and full stadiums. Probably there were so many people due to the fact that I rarely play at home. Hope this does not depend on the day.
– How is your health?
– Leverage so-so. I have been working for many months, but it is clearly not a hundred percent ready. We still have a lot of work to do.
– Are you going to write another book?
-I hope there will be an opportunity. But I understand that it takes many more years for me to have new ideas. It takes a lot of matches to play. Yes, and live again. I spent three years on the book, I worked hard. Glad you liked it. Do I have a copy in Russian? Well, of course.
-What do you expect from the match with Kasatkina?
– I know that the public is waiting for us to fight. We hope that we will play at a high level. I think and hope that they will support me and Dasha. She achieved a lot last year, she came out in the top ten. Shows his high level and seeks to this.
– Are you satisfied with last year?
– It is hard to say that I am pleased. I missed a lot, even counted at the end of the year: I played only 11 tournaments. This not normal. This year, I hope that health will help me. And with tennis goes better.
– Want to expand the tour in Russia? Contribute more cities.
– I had a conversation with the manager about this. I really wanted to play in Sochi – I spent my childhood there – I wanted to come back and play in front of my family, maybe even with Elena Vesnina. Hope this dream will become a reality.