Tennis Quotes

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Tennis Player Quotes:

  Andre Agassi
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  Maria Sharapova
  Stan Smith
  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  Stan Wawrinka
  Mats Wilander
  Serena Williams
  Venus Williams
  Helen Wills

Pro Tennis Player
Quotes of the Week



Monfils jump
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2016 )

Gael Monfils makes an unbelievable shot in the first round at the 2016 US Open.


September 12, 2017: “I think it will be super cool. I think one day I'm going to be able to show my kids that I won the US Open. That's cool. How many people can say that? Not very many. And they already engraved my name on the locker. Like, hello, this is awesome. It's probably going to take a couple weeks, months [to sink in]. It's like so not real. I feel this is a dream. Am I just going to wake up and it didn't happen? Look at that thing [the trophy]. That's incredible. I just think it's very cool. It hasn't sunk in yet, but hopefully in a little while once I am able to lay down and relax and think about it, I'll realise that I really am the US Open champion.
Sloane Stephens, asked how she is likely to view her winning the US Open, her first Grand Slam title, years from now.
September 12, 2017: “I really never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way. Let's see when we finish. Of course, if I won two grand slams this year and he did not win, we'd be closer, but he has 19, I have 16. So three is a big difference. I'm very happy with all the things that are happening to me, winning this title again. I have this trophy with me. It's so important, winning on hard court again. That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible. With injuries, everything seems impossible. It's true that I am 31, I am not 25, but I still have the passion and the love for the game. I still want to compete and still feel the nerves every time that I go on court. While those things keep happening, I will be here.
Rafael Nadal, after winning his third US Open and 16th Grand Slam title, insisted he isn’t concerned about matching Roger Federer’s 19 career Grand Slam titles.
September 12, 2017: “I always dreamed of being on center court, playing the best in the world. Finally happened, so I was ready for it. It was reality. I was really excited for it. I was going to give my best stuff no matter what, and that’s what I did.
Frances Tiafoe, a talented 19-year-old American, following his impressive 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 first-round loss to Roger Federer.
September 12, 2017: “I think sport is, you know, a little microcosm of life, and it shows the human spirit, just being out there on the court, fighting against all odds. If you're down, you keep going. Great champions came back from injuries or circumstances they could never have planned for. It's very encouraging for people to watch. You know, those champions you mentioned helped, changed so many lives, motivated so many people by being their best. You never know whose life you'll touch just by being your best.
Venus Williams, asked about champions such as Monica Seles and Petra Kvitova who overcame adversity during their tennis careers.


August 12, 2017: “I think the secret is his family life. I think his wife and kids, and the whole family background is his support base. I think he couldn’t do now what he’s doing without them, and I think he’s the first one to embrace that and that’s maybe the struggle with some of the other players is they’re trying to please everybody. But Roger has found the perfect timing on when he’s a tennis player, when he’s a daddy, when he’s a husband, and when he’s the family man. I think that’s the real reason why he’s still so successful.
— Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, highlighted the key to Roger Federer’s longevity and resurgence in his post-Wimbledon final analysis for BBC.
August 12, 2017: “Shapovalov played bigger, bolder, better than Nadal. What a talent he is. What a fighter he is. Shapovalov is the most impressive teenager since Zverev.
— Tennis Channel analyst Mary Carillo, with high praise for 18-year-old Canadian wild card Denis Shapovalov, ranked No. 143, after he saved six of six break points in the deciding set to upset Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) at the Montreal Masters to become the youngest quarterfinalist in history at a Masters 1000 event. Shapovalov, a left-handed shotmaker, escaped four match points in the first round and then upset Juan Martin del Potro in the second round.
August 12, 2017: “We still have to win a lot of matches to deserve to be called the next big things in tennis. It’s nice to hear that, but I think it’s still a pretty long ways for both of us. They are really special. It’s very unusual you have four players like this in one generation. I think it’s getting a little better for the other players. They are starting to take a few tournaments. In the grand slams, you would have to beat two or three (of them) in a run. That’s why other players haven't won the big titles.
Dominic Thiem, saying on Yahoo that despite his victories over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic this year, he and other rising stars Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios have a long way to go before they emulate Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray.
July 19, 2017: “If you don’t think a crowd can be the difference between winning and losing, you haven’t watched enough tennis.
— ESPN Analyst John McEnroe, a 1980s champion, after Simona Halep, the No. 2 seed from Romania, lost her service game in the third set of her 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 loss to Englishwoman Johanna Konta in the Wimbledon quarterfinals before a highly partisan crowd.
July 19, 2017: “I was expecting the best Venus, because I saw her and she was playing very good," Muguruza said afterward. “I knew she was going to make me suffer and fight for it. When I had those set points against me, I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s normal. I’m playing Venus here.’ So I just kept fighting. I knew that if I was playing like I was playing during the two weeks, I was going to eventually have an opportunity. So I was calm. If I lose the first set, I still have two more. Let’s not make drama.
Garbine Muguruza, after she won the last nine games to beat five-time champion Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 in the Wimbledon ladies’ final for her second Grand Slam title
July 19, 2017: “I had a lot of issues. There have definitely been a lot of ups and downs. I just try to hold my head up high, no matter what is happening in life. In sport especially, you have injuries. You have illnesses. You’re not going to be always playing 100 per cent. If I decide to walk out on the court, I try to just compete that day. That’s what I try to do. This year has been amazing in terms of my play, playing deep into the big events actually. Of course, I’m excited about being in another final again. I’ll try to take it a step further.
Venus Williams, referencing the divorce of her parents in 2002, the murder of her half-sister in 2003, the debilitating Sjögren’s Syndrome that struck her down in 2011, and her recent involvement in a fatal car accident as well as her glorious triumphs on the court.
July 19, 2017: “That was really the first moment I had to myself out there. And I guess that’s when it sunk in that, man, I was able to win Wimbledon again, and I broke a record, and my family is there to share it with me. I was hoping the boys were going to be there, too, not just the girls. And so I just felt so happy, and I guess I also realized how much I had put into it to be there. It was all those things together.
Roger Federer, explaining why his crying on Centre Court caught him by surprise after defeating Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final for his record-extending 19th Grand Slam title.
June 18, 2017: “I was around watching [Martina] Hingis come up and [Steffi] Graf come up and [Monica] Seles come up, and I just see something special in this young lady and the fact that she's so fearless. But what I like even more is her hunger, and you can see it on her face. She really wants this badly and is going to go to any length to win. I love that attitude, and it's the attitude with the power and the short angles—she has a game to back it up. I think she's very special.
Chris Evert, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion and now an ESPN analyst, saying 20-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, a 100-1 pre-tournament long shot who won the French Open, is “something special."
June 18, 2017: “For sure, he’s playing the best he’s ever played. But not only here. I think since the beginning of the year, you can see he’s playing more aggressive, staying more close from the line. But that’s clearly his best he’s ever played. That’s why he’s winning so much again..
Stan Wawrinka, with high praise for Rafael Nadal after the 31-year-old Spanish superstar trounced him 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the French Open final for Nadal's record 10th French title and 15th Grand Slam title.
June 18, 2017: “Tennis waited quite some time for a kid like this. Nadal dies for every point. I admire the extra excitement he brings to the game. He is the most passionate player. He's willing to leave his blood out there. I love that. In this game, we need someone like him to be the world No.1. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic sure have the talent, and Rafa has that too, but he brings a whole lot more emotions together with that.
Jimmy Connors, eight-time Grand Slam singles champion, on what he admires most about Rafael Nadal.
May 27, 2017: “Look, it was what he’s been doing all his life. I never wonder whether it’s difficult or not, you know, because you can’t alter things that happen in life. Sometimes, in moments like those, when Rafael began to say: ‘No, not with the injury…,’ I always answered back: ‘That’s just the way it is. Don’t ever start telling yourself that it’s difficult because if you tell yourself that it’s too difficult, we won’t end up doing it.’ Difficult is the way things are.
Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and longtime coach, recalling how Rafael was forced to skip the French Open, his favorite Grand Slam event last year in an injury-plagued campaign, and describing the struggles his nephew had motivating himself to come back.
May 27, 2017: “I think there have been some incidences that have forced his hand a bit. His girlfriend [WTA player Alja Tomljanovic]—I know her a little bit—is really level-headed, lovely young lady. Don’t underestimate the influence of Ajla Tomljanovic in helping Kyrgios mature. He’s still going to probably have some relapses in behavior, but I think they’re going to be less and less, and I think we are going to see some brilliance, whether this year or next year he’s going to get to a semi or a final [of a Grand Slam] and eventually win one, unless he just gets injured or he really can’t find a way to put maximum mental effort into his tennis. Things are so going in the right direction for him. It’s great for him; it’s great for the sport.
— ESPN analyst and former doubles superstar Pam Shriver, on the increased maturity of volatile Australian star Nick Kyrgios this year.
May 27, 2017: “Obviously, Andre is someone that I have tremendous respect for as a person and as a player. He has been through everything that I’m going through. On the court, he understands the game amazingly well. I am enjoying every conversation I have with him. But also he’s someone that nurtures the family values, philanthropy work. He’s a very humble man, is very educated. He’s a person that can contribute to my life on and off the court a lot. I’m very excited to see what is ahead of us.
Novak Djokovic, two weeks after splitting with his entire team, on why he picked Andre Agassi for a trial partnership as his coach through the French Open.
May 2, 2017: “You never know how someone will react to something like this. Becoming a mother might cause Serena to say ‘Game, set, match’ and call it a career. Or she could look at her time away as an opportunity, the same way Roger Federer approached his break last year, and view it as a chance to rejuvenate her body and mind after so many years on tour. That’s a challenge that sounds right up her alley to me.
— ESPN analyst Pam Shriver, who had her three children after she retired from tennis, on Serena Williams’ surprise announcement on April 18 that she was 20 weeks pregnant, which meant that she was 8-9 weeks pregnant when she won the 2017 Australian Open.
May 2, 2017: “These two are also the future of women's tennis. I think that they really have great talent, and they have great drive, and you can see that they have a lot of weapons. They’re learning quickly, and very exciting times for these two young ladies.
— Tennis Channel's Tracy Austin, talking about the battle of youth for the Volvo Car Open final before Russia’s Daria Kasatkina defeated Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-1 to capture her first WTA title.
May 2, 2017: “I guess I’m from the old generation. It’s almost devastating to see such an event disappearing. It is heartbreaking to me. Of course, I understand that the economy is central to all the decisions nowadays but sometimes dreamers can think there is more than that. I always played in the competition. It was an opportunity to meet other people, and go to different places where they don't have the opportunity to see this kind of tennis. So yes, we might have a different format and go to Dubai [for a neutral final]. It’s going to be economically very good, but I think we’re going to lose something that is essential which is about two countries meeting each other. There were 4,000 kids here [watching practice on Wednesday] who will never see such players again unless they go to the French Open. This Davis Cup can do that. It seems that I don’t read this much about the Davis Cup, I read a lot about privileged people acting like privileged people and it’s sad.
— French Davis Cup captain and 1983 French Open champion Yannick Noah, saddened that Novak Djokovic is the only member of the top ten to make himself available in the Davis Cup first round and quarterfinals, and dismayed that the ITF in August will likely approve a neutral final, which would maximize commercial opportunities for the ITF, while stripping out the vivid tribalism that animates these home-and-away ties, and makes them different from the rest of the ATP calendar.
May 2, 2017: “Roger is the best one-two striker on the planet, his opening shots in the point are at the next level. Rafa is the best competitor there is, he’s there and on it regardless of the score for each and every point. Novak returns better than anyone I’ve faced, his ability to get behind each ball is scary.
Nick Kyrgios, in a recent interview with journalist José Morgado, on the best attributes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, all of whom Kyrgios beat in his first matches against them.
April 6, 2017: “I think it wasn’t so much what I was doing then, it was more what I wasn’t doing. I think I’ve got better now with my habits. I think I’ve gotten a bit stronger now with my identity on court and what I bring to the court. With time I became stronger in just my game style and what I wanted to first bring to the court and then I got clearer on following through with game plans, just being a bit mentally stronger to be able to stay focused for a longer period of time. It’s not easy to stay focused and keep on one train of thought for an hour and a half, two, three, however long it takes. A big part of that was maturity on my behalf.
Johanna Konta, on how she been able to transform from journeywoman, ranked No. 144 in March 2015 to an elite star ranked No. 7, after defeating Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3, to win the Miami Open, the most notable success by a British female since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.
April 6, 2017: “Nick loves the matches with the greats on the big stages. Nick is an awesome talent. If he gets over the emotional volatility, he’ll be No. 1. And he’s making progress.
— Tennis Channel analyst Paul Annacone, who formerly coached superstar Pete Sampras, on rising star Nick Kyrgios, who upset Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic the first time he played each of them.
April 6, 2017: “I think it’s a bit of everything and at the end of the day it’s also confidence. I’ve been coming over the backhand more than I ever have in previous years, especially off the return against right-handed and left-handed players. It gives me the belief that because I’m coming over the backhand so much that I can pull it off at the most important moments. Before the backhand was more of a set-up shot, a variation play, but now I feel it can also hurt a lot on the offensive whereas before it was more keeping me in the point or on the passing shot where I was always pretty good.
Roger Federer, telling Sky Sports about his evolving backhand which has improved since Ivan Ljubicic joined his coaching team and helped him win the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and the Miami Open to dominate the first three months of 2017.
March 7, 2017: “Everybody wants to be beautiful. I think it’s how we’ve been trained, not because being beautiful is important but because society has placed a value on it. So it’s really the psychology and philosophy of it all, but I think there are moments when you look in the mirror and think “Whoa, what happened to me?” But honestly I’m more focused on what I’m accomplishing than what I look like. That’s always been how I felt. What am I accomplishing when I wake up in the morning? It’s about how do I get better, what am I achieving? That’s pretty much what I recommend—focus on what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. You can look amazing, but in the end it’s what we do.
Venus Williams, asked by Humanity magazine if she has ever had to “struggle with different things, like feeling not beautiful or feeling not valuable.
March 7, 2017: “I was trying not to think about, ‘I'm about to beat No. 6 in the world.’ I had to tell myself to stay calm and not get too caught up in the moment. I’ve won before against top players, but it was more of a one-match thing. I couldn’t keep it up because I just wasn’t as strong physically. Now I feel like I can hang with the top players.
CiCi Bellis, after she stunned No. 6-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 at the Dubai Tennis Championships. In her first main draw matches of 2017, the 17-year-old Californian defeated three top-50 players in three days.
March 7, 2017: “It is true that I have this image a bit. [But] it’s like [being] a student. If he has revised [prepared] well, he is serene on the day of the examination. We see the result, but we do not know his work [away from the spotlight]. I have a good entourage and my family allows me to remain always young. Plus, when you win, life is just simpler. The victory saves everything, to a certain degree of course. It’s easier to be positive and happy when you win. I worked a lot for that. Now I take advantage.
Roger Federer, when quizzed on the perception he does not have to match the extraordinary training load endured by the world’s other top players, in an exclusive interview given to L'Equipe.
February 2, 2017: “I was already prepared in the last couple of majors and I have to say ... I didn't miss them that much. Now they're back I realize, wow, how much they add. They made it look so easy, Federer's way of playing and Nadal's way of being, it's just so natural they're going to win. Now it’s like going to see the (Rolling) Stones every night. For me it's unbelievable.
— Seven-time major champion Mats Wilander, on the great importance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
February 2, 2017: “I just really feel fortunate to have been there for the highs and the lows and everything. I never lost hope of us being able to play each other in a final. This probably is the moment of our careers so far. For me, I can definitely say for me. I never lost hope of us being able to play each other in a final, although it was hard because we're usually on the same side of the draw. This is a story. This is something where I couldn’t write a better ending. This is a great opportunity for us to start our new beginning.
Serena Williams, 35, after playing her sister Venus, 36, for the first time in a Grand Slam final since the 2009 Wimbledon, and defeating Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open final for her 23rd major title, an Open Era record.
February 2, 2017: “I think why people love sport so much is because you see everything in a line. In that moment, there is no do-over. There’s no retake. There is no voice-over. It’s triumph and disaster witnessed in real time. This is why people live and die for sport, because you can’t fake it. You can’t. It’s either you do it or you don’t. People relate to the champion. They also relate to the person who didn’t win, because we all have those moments in our life.
Venus Williams, despite energy-sapping Sjögren’s syndrome and without a Grand Slam title since beating Serena at the 2008 Wimbledon final, fought valiantly against heavily favored Serena but succumbed 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open final.
January 3, 2017: “Athletically, bottom line is the way the game has changed because of technology and the speed of the game. In the old days, a tennis player if he knew the game of tennis, the strategies, the subtleties, the nuances of the game, he could beat an athlete. It’s a little like the NBA.... The athlete is beating the tennis player now. So the great, great guys like Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray they’re both. We’ve got to find the guy that’s both.
— Former superstar John McEnroe, telling WFAN host Marc Malusis in a radio interview Dec. 13 that he rates 20th-century elite players the best pure athletes tennis has produced and contends that advances in string and racquet technology combined with the homogenization of court speed makes athleticism an even bigger asset in today's tennis.
January 3, 2017: “The ATP wanted me to see a psychologist to help me out and I've been doing that. It's actually been good, just relaxing a little bit, spending more time with my family and my girlfriend as well. So the suspension, one way to look at it, is getting more time off with the people you love and I've been training as well, so it's set me up in good stead for 2017. Obviously, I wouldn't have wanted to get suspended but it gave me time to think about and analyze what I’ve got to get better at. It’s been a rollercoaster, we had a lot of highs, a lot of lows. But ultimately, my ranking jumped from about 30 to 13, so that’s a successful year. I’ve got a couple of guys in my team who hopefully can help me push for that top-10 spot next year. It was a fun year. I did a lot of fun things. I got Australia back in the world group of the Davis Cup, won a couple of titles, so it’s been a good year so hopefully I can back it up in 2017.
Nick Kyrgios, after winning the International Premier League Tennis League title with the Singapore Slammers on Dec. 11, told Fox Sports that he took some positives out of his ATP’s three-week suspension and is targeting the top 10 for 2017.
January 3, 2017: “When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work.
— Gender defender Serena Williams, in open letter for Porter Magazine’s December special issue, once again expressed her “frustration” about the prevalence of gender inequality in sports.
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