By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome – Maria Sharapova survived a stern test on Campo Centrale as she faced Christina McHale to open up play in Rome and eventually came up trumps with a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
The match was closer than the score line intended but Sharapova was pleased with her early challenge and has adjusted well from the high altitude, blue clay courts of Madrid to Rome.
“It was really about adjusting and I made too many unforced errors in the first part. I tried to hit too many winners, so I was fortunate to get back into the second set. I look forward to improving for the next match too.”
Sharapova relishes playing on the courts of Rome and joked about the 40 steps with a huff and a puff that she needed to climb to access the press room, but revealed that her favourite court is Pietrangeli as it has all of the statues around the edge as she feels it is ‘true to the city.’
During the press conference, Sharapova was asked some revealing questions about her life outside of tennis and her personality and offered thoughts on what she thought were positive and negative traits about herself:
“Well, I am extremely stubborn and in a way it’s good because I am very involved in things and I suppose that I am always in control – but sometimes this is a weakness as I think I should really back off.”
On a positive note, Sharapova managed to find some positive traits and feels that her humbleness is important as ‘a lot of small things’ in her life make her feel passionate:
“I have always been good at finding the positive side of this [her career] and this is what has made me the player I am and the person that I am today. I don’t take no for an answer and I keep going and fighting for what I believe is right.”
Maria Sharapova has no problem ordering food here in Italy as she can speak a few words of Italian thanks to her fiancé who always tells her how to say words and pronounce them properly. She reeled off a list of words such as dove fai, cosa fai and cosa mangiamo (in a very convincing accent may I add – not that I would know, but it sounded good!)
As soon as her fiancé was mentioned, Sharapova was asked about her wedding and if it will be a lavish or intimate affair and with a big smile on her face, she said:
“I think it will be an intimate wedding but we know so many people. Anyway I haven’t sent out the invitations yet…”
We shall all be waiting for our invite Maria!