In moments of introspection, in yet another foreign city, Maria Sharapova might imagine a life when she can walk the streets and not be recognised.
But in her lexicon, the word "anonymity" does not exist and probably never has.
How can it exist when she is 6ft, blonde, rich, talented and famous? How can it exist now that she has returned to England for the first time as the Wimbledon champion?
Inevitably, there are reports - unsubstantiated - that she is the target for at least one stalker but, by and large, she enjoys the attention; it means that she is winning tennis tournaments.
Sharapova, aged 18, is the second-best player in the world and, with the women's game in a state of transition, is sure to take top spot some time this year, possibly even at Wimbledon early next month. Little wonder that Team Sharapova has become the most popular bandwagon in tennis.
"Being recognised wherever I go is something that I have had to get used to," Sharapova says. "It is part of my life now. I cannot change it. But I realise that if I was not winning people would not recognise me and would not be writing about me. When you are not being written about you know you are in trouble.
"A lot of things have changed in the last year since winning Wimbledon but I am still the same person. It all started for me on the grass courts [in 2003] and I am very happy to be back in Birmingham. I was proud to have won it [the DFS Classic last year].
"It is a very quiet place and it is one of those tournaments where things are not very hectic. I can relax and concentrate more on my tennis rather than being in the public eye when I get to Wimbledon.
"I think it is a really great warm-up for Wimbledon. I have always enjoyed playing here and so I thought, 'why not come back?'.
"Of course, what happened to me last year was amazing. I was playing really great tennis here and went on to win Wimbledon so being here does bring back great memories and hopefully I can enjoy similar success again. I cannot believe it has been a whole year already."
Well, they do say that time flies when you are having fun but her particular brand of fun is something that the rest of us can only dream about. Even when things go wrong, as they did when she lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the quarter-finals of the French Open last week, she was able to cushion the blow by blitzing her credit card in the designer stores of Paris.
"Defeat in the quarter-final gave me a free day in Paris and I made the most of it," Sharapova says. "There are a few people I know there so we went shopping in the boutiques and designer stores.
"Then I went to the Louvre museum. I went round it four years ago and was so impressed I wanted to go again. Paris is amazing so, while I was not happy to lose, the defeat did have its compensation." And so, too, does being a super-fit athlete. Sharapova, a Russian with an American accent, is able to play the full quota of tournaments and rarely misses the opportunity to grace a particular city with her presence. She is more interested in grand slam titles than ranking positions but knows that the two go hand in hand.
"It's been a year since I won Wimbledon and I do not feel burnt out yet," she says. "That is 365 days and plenty of time to get burnt out. But I am still fresh as a daisy.
"I have never really taken pressure too seriously. It is always part of the sport. As I am the defending champion here and at Wimbledon I will have that extra pressure.
"But pressure drives me on. I enjoy it and people expect the best from me. I want to do my best even though it is not possible all the time. With success comes a lot of things. I am still working hard and trying to improve every day.
"I have to commit to a few off-court appearances as well.
But it has been a fun time for me and I have enjoyed every second of it. I have got an opportunity to meet many amazing people in different industries. It has been really fun.
"If I did not enjoy it, I would not play. My family is the most important thing to me. It is not about tennis or money but people around you and their health and happiness.
"I am still doing my studies over the internet. It takes up a lot of time. I have five more credits to get until I finish high school. Right now I am only doing mathematics and I have a deadline to finish it. But education is one of the most important things for me."
Sharapova is not likely to start until Wednesday, when, in the second round, she will meet the winner of the match between Tatiana Perebiynis, of Ukraine, and Anne Kremer, of Luxembourg.
"I am really happy to be back playing again on grass," Sharapova says. "It is an amazing surface. It puts a smile on my face. The ball jumps weird and I am laughing. Itmakes me want to work harder and give that extra effort. It is really special for me. I think that I have a better chance than anyone on grass as it suits my game really well."
And so she has proved. Defeating Serena Williams in straight sets in the Wimbledon final last year seemed a shock at the time but, once the tennis community absorbed the result, it seemed wholly appropriate; the start of a new era, perhaps.
"Obviously, I would love to win other grand slams," Sharapova says. "But if I could win Wimbledon ten times and not win any of the other grand slams, I would be very happy. It is the best tournament in the world and I just feel really comfortable there. It is really hard to explain why I feel the way I do about it. Perhaps it is the tradition and the history."
And the grass.