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( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )

Ana Ivanovic

November, 2004 - February, 2005

February 18, 2005:"Public opinion was in my head, that I would never win another major. I didn't think I could. My coach convinced me I could do it again. That's why this is my most special win. Beating Sampras was a mistake. I had nothing to lose. Nobody really cared. Even if I would lose in three sets, people would say, 'Great tournament, you played great-but he's Pete Sampras.' No pressure. Then the pressure came."

-- Marat Safin, 2005 Australian Open champion, 25, confiding about his doubts ever since winning the 2000 U.S. Open by annihilating Pete Sampras.

February 13, 2005:: "It also feels good, because people say you can't act and can't design [clothing] and win Slams. So that's also special, because I just finished a TV show and just did a fashion show on the 15th of December, which was crazy. I couldn't even practice the last six days before I did it, because I was working so hard."
-- Serena Williams, who rebutted her critics by winning the 2005 Australian Open despite having her pre-tournament training reduced to less than three weeks because of a torn abdominal muscle and her other careers.

February 1, 2005:: "I just get so nervous, get so uptight because it's last match. You understand the situation. It's the last match, you have to give your best, and I don't want to lose it because then it's like nobody cares about the finalist basically. To be finalist the third time and not winning a Grand Slam, it will be like really disappointment huge one. So for me, that win was just a kind of a relief."

-- Marat Safin, who had lost his two previous Australian Open finals,
explaining the great pressure he felt against Lleyton Hewitt in the 2005 final

February 1, 2005:: "I just hate to lose. When I am on the court, it is like my life depends on it."
-- Serena Williams, on her fierce competitiveness, after winning the Australian Open for her seventh Grand Slam title

January 23, 2005:: "After the breakthrough in women's doubles, we will look to improve in women's singles. Then the men's game, until we have orderly, full-scale reform. This is similar to the theory put forward by our former leader, Deng Xiaoping, to allow some of the people to get rich first, as this leads to the whole country eventually becoming rich."

-- Zhang Xianing, the Chinese Tennis Association vice-director, on China's tennis development strategy, following Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian's shocking doubles gold medal coup at the Athens Olympics, in The Times (UK).

January 16, 2005:: "Within a few years the name 'Maria Sharapova' will be a brand as universally recognized as Calvin Klein, BMW and Rolex."

-- Max Eisenbud, IMG manager of the comely, 17-year-old Wimbledon champion

January 2, 2005:: "We thought this was a way to bring tennis back to the people. We're not the NBA or the NFL with this huge marketing machine behind us. It's not like there's a home crowd you know will come to all the games. In tennis a lot of [the promotion] is up to the individual players."

-- Andy Roddick, world No. 2, who with fellow Davis Cuppers Mardy Fish, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, rented a bus, drove around Middle America and played exhibitions and held clinics at public tennis complexes for a week in December, talking to Sports Illustrated.
December 13, 2004:: "It goes back to the days when I was a kid and we called out our own lines. I was taught if there's a doubt, don't call it in, if there's not a doubt call it out."

-- John McEnroe, 45 and competing on the Delta Tour of Champions, with an implausible rationale when asked about his ethos on questioning calls during his tumultuous career.
December 1, 2004: "You know what I just can't stand any more? People who come up to me in the street and say 'Congratulations on Justine's win.' I can't bear it. They know we don't talk, but they still feel they have to say it. I don't feel part of this anymore, but I still can't help watching her big matches on TV."

-- Jose Henin, so hurt by a family feud that left him and his two sons estranged from his daughter, Justine Henin-Hardenne, that he has turned to heavy drinking, talking to The Mail on Sunday.

November 15, 2004: "Our media is probably the worst in the world. Unfortunately, that's part of our culture. When you speak to tennis journalists, you notice how little they understand. I started asking technical and tactical questions, and it was embarrassing. I was embarrassed for them. They knew nothing, they knew nothing about the game. I've never been influenced by their opinions anyway, but now we are talking tennis and they didn't know anything."
--British star Tim Henman, commenting to the Swiss press during the Basel tournament.
November 1, 2004: "He's so hot. I've got a new man, and I'm head over heels in love. I adore him."
-- Actress-heiress Paris Hilton, on Australian tennis hunk Mark Philippoussis, who had been dating Aussie pop star Delta Goodrem for the past 10 months.


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