I’ve seen awkward exchanges before, and I’ve seen awkward exchanges with Maria before. But this exchange from the Sony Open was a long, slow-moving train wreck that didn’t get any better from start to finish. It occurred during the press conference after Maria’s disappointing meltdown loss to Serena Williams in the final.
<Hint: Don’t let the “laughter” notations fool you. There wasn’t very much that was funny in this question.>
Q. To start the third set, your coach was giving you a very motivational speech for like three and a half minutes.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Three and a half minutes?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think that’s a little long, but that’s okay. (Laughter.)
Q. It was kind of long.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Did you count it on your watch? Did you have a timer?
Q. Of course.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You timed it? That’s very professional.
Q. What’s the part that really you couldn’t handle?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t understand the question at all. I’m sorry.
Q. He was giving you a specific direction what you have to do in terms of, you know, trying to beat Serena in the third set, what you can do.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: So what’s the question? Is that a question?
Q. Yeah, it is.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Which part of it is a question? He was telling me, but that’s not a question.
Q. What were the things that you can…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That I did?
Q. What was he asking you to do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: But you heard it, no? Did you hear it?
Q. I’m asking you.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why are you asking me if you saw it? Why are you asking me if you heard it yourself? I mean, I can’t remember exactly what he said. I mean, there’s a tape. Maybe I can get you a copy. (Laughter.) I’m sure we’ll find it.
(click the arrow to play audio of the entire press conference)