Masha is out of the U.S. Open. Below is her post-match interview after losing to Flavia Pennetta, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. in the third round.
Q. How are you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good.
Q. Where was your A Game today? What happened? Seemed hitting you were in the back court, you were hitting double faults. Did you lose your concentration or your focus? What was going on with you?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, yeah, I made way too many unforced errors. I fought back to get myself back in the match in the third set. I think the first three, four games on every game I had a chance to win that game, whether it was a breakpoint or it was a game point on my serve, and I didn’t win those games. When you’re done 1 4 and you get yourself back in a position where can you win again and start making errors, it’s just too inconsistent to win the match against her.
Q. Did you feel like you could rely on your forehand in this match at any point? Did you ever feel comfortable with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I didn’t feel comfortable with most of my game today.
Q. Your first match you were forced to fight back; your second match which was quite routine. When you’re in the throes of a match like this, does your mind waft back to either of those two previous matches you played at this tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. Every match is new, every opponent is different, and it’s never goes the same way as the previous match or the match you played 10 matches ago. It’s about today and what you have to do now. Obviously, like I said, I came back. I had chances. There’s no doubt I had chances. But I guess today was the day I didn’t take them.
Q. You came up with big stuff in Cincinnati, but coming here did you ever feel like you really got into a groove in any of your matches, or was it just you lost something along the way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I mean, I lost the match along the way today.
Q. Yeah, but in the course of the three matches you’ve played.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: In terms of what?
Q. Do you feel like you didn’t have the rhythm that you had a couple weeks ago or…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was just one of those days. Unfortunately it was at the US Open.
Q. You obviously love the Open. You’ve worked really hard on your comeback pointing to this tournament. Can you just describe your disappointment, your feelings inside?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It’s disappointing. It’s disappointing to lose in the middle of nowhere. It’s disappointing to lose in New York. Losing isn’t fun for anyone because we work to win. We don’t work to try to lose. So when we’re faced with a position where, you know, we can win and we didn’t in the end, it’s tough. But it’s all right.
Q. You lost to Pennetta in Los Angeles last time you played. Any difference between this match and that one?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It’s tough to compare a match that was so long ago.
Q. This year you never lost when you were in the third set. Today do you think you were going to win when you came back from 1 4 to 4 All?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I never think I’m gonna lose the match, no matter if I’m 1 4 or 0 5. I don’t have that mentality that I’m gonna lose no matter how bad or how good I’m playing. You can’t have that mentality.
Q. After making the final at Wimbledon and losing the third round here, is that a big set back in terms of the bigger picture?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I’ve had a much better year this than last year. Obviously it’s disappointing and it’s not where I want to to be in this position, but, I mean, it’s the way it is, you know. It’s called tennis.
Q. The first two games of the third set went to nine and ten minutes each, and she won both of them. They were such long games and so hard fought. Was that a little dispiriting to lose both of those?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, on one hand you’re glad that they weren’t easy. Like I said, those are the games in the first three or four games I had either break points or game points, and I didn’t win those games. When you’re in the third set and you got a 75 miles an hour second serve and you get an error, I mean, not only are you giving your opponent a lot of confidence, but you’re also having extra unforced errors. So it was just one of those days where, you know, like I said, I had chances and didn’t go my way.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about whether or not you felt you played the match on your terms or sort of largely on hers?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I thought certainly not. I mean, I think she played really smart. That’s her game, and she makes you hit a lot of balls. Even when I had balls in the middle of the court, I just didn’t do much with them. I thought I could have done a lot more.
Q. What are your plans when you leave the National Tennis Center right now? Do you have anything planned for the evening? How are you gonna deal with this loss as you go forward now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t have anything planned. I didn’t write up an agenda last night.
Q. You were moving your arm around at one point. Were you in any pain?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.
Q. Do you feel like in a way you beat yourself today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What do you mean?
Q. Rather than you go out and you play a great match, you’re simply outplayed by an opponent today maybe?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I thought my opponent played really well, but I did make a lot of errors, a lot of unforced errors that cost me the match.
Q. Are those kind of losses harder to take than when you go out and play, you know, a great match but you just happen to run into somebody who plays a little bit better?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It just means that I have to improve that. I can’t make those errors. I have to make them in.
Q. When you get home and settle in, what will you do? I’ve lost this. What are you gonna do to regain and bring your A Game back? You certainly have a fabulous game.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’ll call you in a few days and let you know.
Q. Will you call me? I’ll give you my number.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Sure.
Q. How would you describe the challenge that you had serving today and what you need to do to maybe get more consistent with it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You know, just sometimes I come in on a day and I don’t quite have my rhythm, and, you know, run into those errors where, you know, not only do I feel like I have to, you know, get a high percentage of first serves, but my opponent gains, you know, tremendous amount of confidence on their return. So it’s kind of a lose/lose situation.
Q. Mentally when you do suffer a double fault at crunch time, how do you try and handle that mentally? Do you try and just block it out? Do you try and accept it? What goes through your mind?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, obviously, you know, think of what I mean, think of the things that you need to do in order to make the serve, whether you feel like you’re missing a lot of first serves or you have to hit a lot of second serves, but to hit more first serves in and things like that. But, yeah.
Q. You talk a lot about playing aggressive. Do you feel like today you were moving forward enough?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Um, I mean, I probably have to look at the match to see that, but I probably say I was playing too far back. I think that’s kind of where she wants you to be. It was kind of her game.I’m sure I didn’t. I think if I would, I mean, my ball would have a lot more on it, which would give her more trouble.
Q. Will you go back and watch this match, try to learn from it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, sure.
Q. Last year after the Open you got sick and the fall in Asia wasn’t that good. I know it’s tough, but looking forward, how motivated and pumped up are you to go to Asia and go to the Championships and keep moving on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not right now, but maybe a bit later. (Smiling).
Q. You know what I’m saying?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’m not really looking forward to a 14 hour flight in a couple of weeks. Yeah, the year is not over. We’ve still got I think I still have three tournaments to go or so. Yeah, once they come then it will be time to play again and raise my level. Until then, I just have to, you know, keep working in order for me to go out in the match and raise it.
(Transcript source: usopen.org)