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Pro Tennis Player
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
Belgian tennis player Olivier Rochus
December 20, 2007: "When a kid is coming up and asking for an autograph and almost shaking - like I was when I asked Steffi Graf for her autograph - it is an honor and a responsibility."
— World No 1 Justine Henin, talking to Inside Sport (UK)
December 8, 2007: "Tennis is the best sport to fix, because one guy controls the action. Lower-seeded guys might make as little as five grand, and you tell them you'll give them
$20,000 to throw a match."
— Michael Franzese, a one-time mobster hired by the ATP to give warning lecture to players, telling Tennis Week why gambling scandals are becoming more common in pro tennis
November 25, 2007: "It's not at all fun on tour. Most of the girls want you to lose. It's like this: You're out here for yourself. And girls are catty. They care about what they're doing, not what you're doing. How many will call you up, see how you're doing after a tough loss? Zero. I mean, it's not a life. I probably wouldn't get my kids into it. Everybody loses except one person, so pretty much every week you're going to lose, and that doesn't make the traveling much fun, either. It isn't that glamorous unless you're in the top 10 or 20. It's a little bit lonely. I mean, you're traveling around with a bunch of girls. What's the fun in that?"
— Ashley Harkleroad, a beautiful 22-year-old American, talking about life on the women's pro tennis tour.
October 23 , 2007: "I did all I could do in the ‘90s, and I really thought the 14 [Grand Slam titles] would be tough to beat. Little did I know Roger would come along and dominate the way he has − and that could last a while longer. If there's a player and a person that I'd like to see break this, it would be Roger. He's a great guy. Lets his racket do the talking. One of those humble champions I like."
— Pete Sampras paying tribute to Roger Federer, in the Associated Press.
September 25 , 2007: "He has handled everything in his playing career and private life with a lot of class. So many people are intrigued by scandal, but I believe a person with the personality and image like Tim's is much more special."
— Roger Federer with high praise for Englishman Tim Henman who ended his stellar career -- highlighted by reaching the Wimbledon semis four times and a No. 4 singles ranking -- with singles and doubles Davis Cup victories against Croatia.
September 11 , 2007: "All of a sudden, I got quite nervous, feeling the pressure, and that obviously was a mistake. Roger is the most mentally strong player in the world, and I was mentally weak. Looking at the situation, it was a first Grand Slam final for me, 23,000 people, a lot of excitement, and I just couldn't calm down."
—Novak Djokovic,a popular, 20-year-old Serb, on why he played his worst when it mattered most in the U.S. Open final.
September 11 , 2007: "Pound for pound she is the best athlete I've ever seen. She's incredible and she continues to get better."
— Tennis legend Billie Jean King with high praise for Justine Henin after the 5'5¾”, 126-pound Belgian won the U.S. Open for her seventh Grand Slam crown..
September 2 , 2007: "Everybody hated Ali at the start; they called him cocky and arrogant and whatever else you want to call him. He believed he was the best. I don't have a problem with someone sounding cocky and arrogant. If you want to say 'I'm the best and I'm going to beat this guy, and you do, then that's fine.' It's a different story if you don't."
— Andy Murray,a rising 20-year-old tennis star from Scotland, talking to SI.com.
August 10, 2007: "People here are so rich, but I think they are not educated. They surprise me. They know Pakistan, but they don't know Uzbekistan. I hope, one day, they will know where I'm from."
—Akgul Amanmuradova, 23-year-old world-class tennis player from Uzbekistan and a graduate of Tashkent State University, in the (San Diego) Union-Tribune.
July 24, 2007: "I think there are amazing women throughout the world that have done great things after having a baby. My mom went back to work after she had all of us. Both my sisters work.. I want to be able to try to do it all, and that's obviously being a good mother and a good wife and having some kind of career again hopefully."
—Lindsay Davenport , a former world No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion who gave birth to a son, Jagger, on June 10, and six weeks later competed in World TeamTennis, in the Orange County Register.
July 10, 2007: "Records are not meant to be just challenged. They are there to be broken. To win five times in a row at Wimbledon is tough to beat. Pete Sampras was close: he got four in a row, then it was Roger who beat him to deny the fifth. Now I hope and believe he can win six, seven, or even eight times in a row, so long as he keeps the motivation."
—Bjorn Borg, on Roger Federer's tying his record of five straight Wimbledon titles.
July 10, 2007: "I love my life. It's beautiful. I've been so, so blessed. God has been so good to me. I couldn't ask for anything more."
—Venus Williams, after winning her fourth Wimbledon and sixth Grand Slam title, when asked by Hall of Fame journalist and broadcaster Bud Collins what it's like to be Venus Williams.
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