Do you have strong opinions on tennis issues?
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Pro Tennis Player
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2010 )
June - December, 2006
December 15, 2006: "The Laureus sports awards
named Roger athlete of the year. Dwayne Wade, obviously
is an excellent athlete and to have won a world championship
at such a young age is incredible, but to name anyone
better than Federer seems ridiculous to me. What he's
done in terms of the last three or four years, his record,
I don't know if it's ever going to be matched."
- James Blake, telling
Tennis Week what he thought of Sports Illustrated
magazine's naming Dwayne Wade as its Sportsman
of the Year rather than tennis superstar Roger Federer
who came within one match of winning the Grand Slam.
December 1, 2006: "Now is the time to realize
that that we're here, this is our generation, and we can
make a statement and we can fight different diseases and
we can fight poverty and we beat this. I would never forget
where I come from and I would always want to give back
and let people know that it's OK to grow up one way and
it's OK to be that way."
- Serena Williams, who
went on a five-day humanitarian trip in November to
Senegal where she staged tennis clinics and met President
Abdoulaye Wade. Earlier she was invited to Senegal by
the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and
Peace in New York, where she attended the first U.N.
Global Youth Leadership Summit.
November 15, 2006: "We are talking
about only minor events now. But what if the promoters,
broadcasters and players like it so much it becomes
a feature at Masters Series events or even Grand Slams?
Why should they risk losing headline acts such as Federer
and Nadal in the first week when there is a way to hand
them a lifeline? As it is, de Villiers is already on
the lookout for the sceptics. 'You live or die by what
your consumer does, not by what critics say or feel,'
he says. In other words: 'Get back in your box, and
we'll tell you whether the TV execs liked it at the
end of the season.'"
- Sydney Morning Herald
sports columnist Richard Hinds, critical of the
round-robin format being implemented at 2007 tournaments,
ATP CEO Etienne de Villiers, and the excessive power
November 1, 2006: "I know people
argue that the top women have easier matches in the
same week, their matches don't last as long, and therefore
they don't deserve to own as much. I would probably
have said the same thing when I was playing, but that
isn't the point. I went to see the movie, King Kong,
it was too long, [so] being long didn't make it better.
So I don't believe the argument about the matches being
longer is relevant."
- John McEnroe, three-time
Wimbledon champion, telling GQ magazine that he rejects
the All England Club's argument that women do not deserve
parity because they only play the best-of-three sets
while the men play best-of-five.
October 14, 2006: "When I watch
Roger freewheeling, so confident, it';s such a great
feeling, but if I was playing him now, I would still
try and take his time away, come to the net first and
second serve, attack his second serve, same as with
Andre. Nobody takes his time away. I'd just come
at him and keep coming."
- Pete Sampras, the
greatest serve-and-volleyer in tennis history, on how
he would play current No. 1 Roger Federer, in The Sunday
October 14, 2006: "He was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good,
but not in his league."
- Carlos Moya, 1998
French Open champion and an 11-year tour veteran, contends
that legendary Pete Sampras was much better than Roger
October 1, 2006: "I wasn't surprised
by this 3-0 win. When I talk, I do it."
- David Nalbandian,
after correctly predicting host Argentina would shut
out Australia 5-0 in the Davis Cup semifinals to enhance
his already impeccable clay-court record in Davis Cup
September 21, 2006: "The Agassi-Baghdatis [U.S. Open] match illustrated the one flaw in tennis' new instant-replay system. Baghdatis desperately wanted a replay deep into the fifth set, but he was out of 'challenges.' What's the point of innovative technology if you can't use it when it matters most? It's as dumb as the NFL's challenge system, and that's saying something."
- Award-winning San Francisco
Chronicle tennis writer Bruce Jenkins on
what's wrong with player challenges.
September 11, 2006: "I experienced it two years ago. I knew I wasn't done. I knew I had more in me. To win your second major is a cherry on the cake. But there are a lot more cherries that I'm going to put on that cake."
- Maria Sharapova,
after backing up her first major title, the 2004 Wimbledon
when she was 17, with her second at the U.S. Open with
a convincing 6-4, 6-4 victory over Justine Henin-Hardenne.
September 11, 2006: "The way Roger
moves, he's a ballet dancer out there. He floats
above the court. His style is the most beautiful I've
- John MacEnroe,1980s
champion and now a TV analyst, with high praise for
Roger Federer, in Time magazine.
September 1, 2006: "I feel like I've been
living a dream for 21 years, and tonight was just another
- Andre Agassi,
36, after his sensational 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5 victory
over 8th-seeded Marcos Baghdatis, 21, in a crowd-thrilling
3-hour, 48-minute marathon at the U.S. Open.
August 18, 2006: "I can't
imagine my mom running up and down the court like [Miami
Heat coach] Pat Riley. What's going to be so exciting
about it? If you have people that are going to speak
Russian, no one's going to be able to understand
- Serena Williams,
who is not in favor of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's
experiment with on-court coaching at events in Montreal
and New Haven, Conn.
August 6, 2006: "This is a show
of faith and respect. And with it a sense of responsibility.
I don't think I'll ever comprehend this. It's
like, 'Oy vey, the responsibility.' I'm
glad I'm still living. I'm not finished."
- Billy Jean King,
tennis pioneer and all-time great, after learning the
United States Tennis Association is adding her name
to the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona
Park, in The New York Times..
July 27, 2006: "The sad fact remains: serve and volley is dead. How many times during this fortnight will see players attempt those glorious dives across the court that used to be Becker's trademark? Will we see spellbinding athleticism in the manner of Edberg or Rafter? The guile and touch of a John McEnroe? I played serve and volley at every opportunity when I won the title 19 years ago and wouldn't have had it any other way. But now I am a dinosaur. My sort of tennis is extinct, and there is no doubt in my mind that the game is poorer for its passing."
- Pat Cash, 987 Wimbledon
champion, in The Sunday Times (UK).
July 9, 2006:
"He is the best champion we could have, both on and off the court."
- Jonas Bjorkman, before
he was crushed 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 by eventual champion Roger
Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals.
July 9, 2006:"I feel that things
are different now, that I'm doing things differently
on the court and off the court, also. I think I'm
much more relaxed, more open to people, not getting
frustrated as I did before, in all kinds of ways. So
yeah, I'm growing up."
Amelie Mauresmo, a 27-year-old
late-bloomer who broke through by winning the 2005 season-ending WTA Championship,
then captured the Australian Open, and now the Wimbledon title.
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