(March 8, 2013) World No. 3 Maria Sharapova had no problems taking out Francesca Schiavone at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday 6-2, 6-1 while 2-time major champ Svetlana Kuznetsova have to overcome a first set bagel to top 18th seed Jelena Jankovic 0-6, 6-2, 7-5.
During Sharapova’s post-match news conference, the media asked more questions about her candy “Sugarpova,” than about the match.
Asked about her experience in this business venture:
“I think learning, you know. One of the things that I have really picked up over the many years I have worked with different brands and people is that I never really had a solid education in my career, but I have always liked to listen and I have liked to learn.
“That was my way of learning, is through being in so many different types of meetings, whether they were creative ones, whether they were with advertisement agencies, it was just ‑‑ but at the end of it all, I was just a small part of all those big brands.
“I knew that one day ‑‑ I certainly didn’t really think that it was going to be a couple of years ago ‑‑ I would start my own business.
“Usually you would start something a lot quicker than two years, but it took two years, and I don’t regret any ‑‑ you know, launching it earlier than I did, because it took that much to get it all together and make it into a quality product and something that I really believed in.
“I wanted to do something that was different, that was very unexpected. You know, I have been part of, you know, clothes collaboration and done things with accessories from Japanese brands to Cole Haan to working on my own collection and Nike. I even had a perfume back many years ago.
“So I wanted this to be something unique. And when the name came about right away, I knew that it was going to be candy, yeah.”
On possible expansion and extension of her candy line into other forms of sweets:
“Not at this point. I see it expanding more into different businesses, whether it’s fashion or cosmetics down the line.
“But I want to get ‑‑ I mean, even though it’s been, you know, beyond my expectations, there are still so many things and so many markets that we need to get, you know. Where now we have 12 SKUs, and we’re adding three more in a few weeks. There are so many things to be done.
“Right now we are trying to get around the world, and that takes ‑‑ to get into one country takes at least three to four months before their own food and drug organization, you know, approves everything and ingredients. Certain countries you have to change certain ingredients for it to be sold there, the labels in different countries have to be changed. So many things you don’t even think about.”
A big topic of conversation in Kuznetsova’s news conference was her on-court attire. Her match turned around by changing her outfits:
“Well, for me it’s very difficult to play in cold weather because even I tried to play in the long tight pants first set, I cannot. I think I can do it every time I go and try, and I know I cannot play in anything ‑‑ wearing anything, because it’s just not comfortable.
“I can practice in it without problem, but when I have matches I always start to lose and I have to take it off and then all the things changes. I don’t think I started to win because of my pants, but still, I was not moving. (Smiling.)
“I just had to change things.”
“You know, I thought it was ‑‑ they are very tight (the pants), so they were kind of pushing my stomach so I was not so much comfortable. It was not bothering me like so much, but after I took it off I was feeling a little bit looser. So it’s a little bit funny. Yeah, it’s just the pants, but I don’t blame them. I mean, it’s all because of me.”
On playing at Indian Wells and other tournaments during her career:
“You know, other day I was on the radio and they ask, What do you like and what do you not like in Indian Wells? When I was younger it was too boring for me, this place. Now I enjoy actually the tranquility of here. Just everything is fine.
“For me, whole my career is so much ups and downs and I am just used to it, so just going along with it. Just try to do my best this year wherever I can.”
” I believe I can play good anywhere, and I can play bad actually in the same way. (Laughter.)
“Not actually in the same way, but I still keep it there. Bad loses not maybe many people remember, but the wins, it always counts.”
“I mean, of course everybody comes to press, I love this. You know, you’re tired to listening, I love this. I mean, for sure you don’t love every week. This is pretty clear.
“There are smaller ones which are not well organized, and it’s very difficult to go play them. It’s not like I hate them. There is always some good things and some bad things.
“But there is events like small you’ve got to take a train, a flight, then a ride, and then this, and then the food is not great. These events really like I better not go play.
“But big events, I think they’re all quite good. I mean, there are some things you don’t like about it, yeah, or you like more or less, but big events always pretty well organized.”