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Pro Tennis Player
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
June 28, 2007: "He hasn't got any competition. In the days of McEnroe, there was Bjorn Borg. I had Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Now, on grass, we have Federer, and do you see anyone who can beat him? Because I don't."
—three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, telling The Sunday Telegraph (UK) that he doesn't see anyone who can dethrone Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
June 28, 2007: "I think that there is way too much emphasis on the way we look in sport in general. With the guys nobody bothers, except to say that Ronaldo has got a little bit heavy or something. But with the women, there is too much. Everyone has a different shape. People should focus only on the game."
—Daniela Hantuchova, a slender tennis beauty from Slovakia, in The Independent (UK).
June 11, 2007: "Life has been hard with me in the past, but, as I've often said, I have no regrets about anything. The only thing I'd love to change is to have my mum with me [she died when Henin was 12]. But, in another way, losing her gave me a lot of personality, a lot of character. I know that today I have to push the limits back again - tennis is a great school for life, I think."
- French Open champion Justine Henin, who also was estranged from her siblings and father for seven years until their recent reconciliation and separated from her husband six months ago.
June 11, 2007: "Rafael played an excellent match and deserved to win." The door's still open. though. The later it comes, the sweeter it will become. I know I can do it now, that's for sure. If anybody can beat Rafa, then it's me"
- Roger Federer, optimistic despite losing for the third straight year to Rafael Nadal at the French Open, the last two times in four-set finals.
May 31, 2007: "I'm not going to beat him every time now. You've got to be able to dominate him on the baseline. Will he allow me to do it again?"
- Roger Federer, with a candid assessment of his clay-court rivalry with Rafael Nadal after beating him for the first time (after five losses) in the Hamburg final to end Nadal's 81-match winning streak on clay.
May 13, 2007: "It has been more than fun, but the rackets are being hung up. To retire before the age of 24, it is very young - but it was so beautiful. I would have been able to continue for a few months and to take part in the four most lucrative tournaments [three Grand Slams and the Masters]. Money is important, but not the most important thing in my life. Health and private happiness are so much more important."
- Kim Clijsters, Belgium's injury-plagued tennis star, announcing her retirement.
April 17, 2007: "I think it's
very hard to be an American and understand what it feels
like to be a Russian who plays tennis wearing layers
of clothes in the snow. Kids in America, let's
face it, we have the most unbelievable life in this
country, and that's why it's still the greatest
country for opportunity. But once you get to fourth-,
fifth-, sixth-generation Americans, I think we can say
we're all a little softer."
- Tennis legend Billy Jean
King, on why American tennis is in crisis, in The
April 3, 2007: "I don't necessarily like coaches coming on the court. That's the beauty of the game,
to figure it out by yourself. You're down 6-0, down two match points, and you're able to come back. And I was able to do it on my own, not by calling my coach."
- Serena Williams, didn't
want or need on-court coaching - which the WTA Tour
is currently experimenting with - during her thrilling
0-6, 7-5, 6-3 comeback victory over world No. 1 Justine
Henin in the Sony Ericsson Open final.
March 15, 2007: "It is very disappointing
that something like this has to happen before you realize
that the system is not going to work. Everybody knows
I was against it in the first place, and I doubt its
going to happen next year. All I hope is it doesnt
damage the integrity of the game."
- World's No. 1, Roger
Federer, asked to comment on the round-robin fiasco
at The Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas when James Blake
was eliminated, improperly reinstated (according to
the rules) by ATP CEO Etienne de Villiers, and then
eliminated again after protests from the media, fans
and voices as powerful as former world No. 1s Marat
Safin and Lleyton Hewitt.
March 1, 2007: "I think it was definitely hard for them to change because of the culture and the psyche behind it, but I'm relieved that they finally got there. But remember, it's not about the money, it's about the message it sends to women and girls around the world. Every time we can change a benchmark like this, it helps people ask in their daily life, 'Are we insisting on equality for our sons and daughters?' So that makes it a very important moment in history."
- Billie Jean King,a pioneer for equal rights in sports, on Wimbledon's long-overdue decision to award equal prize money for men and women at this year's championships.
February 15, 2007: "It's just
I knew I had to win one set, and I won the first set
and there was no motivation anymore. I just don't like
the approach; you're approaching a match differently.
It's different tennis; it's a different mentality. You
win a set and what are you playing for, there's nothing
to it anymore. There's no competitive edge."
- Belgian veteran Xavier
Malisse, rightly critical of The ATP's experimental
Hybrid Round-Robin format being tested at the Delray
Beach International Tennis Championships, after he lost
to Rainer Schuettler 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 because, having done
the calculations before the match, he knew that winning
it was not necessary to reach the quarterfinals.
January 29, 2007: "All these Grand Slams since 2003, that's what, for me, is really scary, how many I've won. I was thinking about it this morning actually when I woke up. Like if somebody would have told me I'd win 10 Grand Slams from mid '03 till today, I never would have thought there was any chance of doing something like that. I would have signed up for just one, you know."
- Roger Federer, humbly
assessing his brilliant career after winning the Australian
Open without losing a set.
January 22, 2007: "I have it in
me. I believe in my game and more than anything I believe
in me. It doesn't matter what people say or people
write. At the end of the day, I'm my biggest fan.
Maybe my Dad. But other than that you have to always
be your biggest fan. I'm just working on staying
- Serena Williams seven-time
Grand Slam champion but unseeded at the Australian Open,
after she routed 11th-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-2
to reach the quarterfinals.
January 14, 2007: "You can think
he's too good, but it's a bit of a cop-out
to say it. Roger deserves admiration, but imagine if
this were the era of Connors and Nastase - they'd
be in his face, playing mental games. I'd like
to see someone try and put a ball through his chest,
not in a disrespectful way but just to send the message
I have the resolve to take you out."
- Former world No. 1 Jim
Courier critical of James Blake often applauding
Roger Federer's winners, in Sports Illustrated.
January 1, 2007: "Today we are
considered the world's strongest tennis power.
We are killing tennis in America."
- Russian Davis Cup and Fed
Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev on his countrys
winning two Davis Cup and two Fed Cup titles in the
past six years and boasting four women players ranked
in the top 8, talking to eurosport.com..
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