Maria Sharapova refused to give herself a pat on the back for a better showing at the Madrid Open and insists she has plenty of work to do ahead of the end of the clay-court season.
The Russian had lost four matches on the spin ahead of the Premier Mandatory event but got three wins under her belt before a quarter-final defeat to Kiki Bertens.
Though there were obvious improvements from previous weeks, but Sharapova is not focused on self-congratulatory praise and instead wants to target three key areas of work: her reactions, her return and her footwork.
I think there are definitely a few [positives] that I can take away from this, she said after the 6-4 2-6 3-6 loss.
But also I look at these types of matches, I see a lot of things I should be better at, I should improve at. I think its a combination of, yes, taking the positives, but also being a little tough on yourself and expecting a little bit more from yourself.
Thats the only way to improve. You cant keep giving yourself a pat on the back.
Of course, it was great to get those wins against those few players. But theres a reason I came up short today. You want to also evaluate that and go back to the drawing board and start over again.
Theres still a few weeks in the leadup to that [Roland Garros]. But, yeah, like today, I mean, I thought I just should have made those smaller adjustments with my feet, moving back.
She hits a deep, heavy ball. But seeing that shorter one, you know, a little bit faster. I was just a little slow on that. Just a little hesitant. Some of those opportunities.
Keep improving the return. A much better week on that for me this week. But I think theres a lot more work I can do on that.
Yeah, its a few percentages here and there. Its little margins.