( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
Quotes are great fun. They amuse, shock, inform, enrage,
enlighten and inspire. The most compelling quotes provoke
thought and debate and can even incite us to take action.
My favorite is, "Be not ashamed to say what you are
not ashamed to think." Tennis players heed Montague's
advice more than athletes in other sports. Tennis pros
speak out freely because as free agents they don't worry
about antagonizing teammates, coaches, or owners. They
vent emotions and voice opinions on the court and in
press conferences afterward, when the heat of battle
has barely cooled.
In individual sports, such as tennis, we follow our
heroes more closely and root for them more passionately.
When Serena, Andre, Jennifer, Martina, Anna, Marat and
others bare their souls, they make an emotional connection
with their legions of fans that adds immensely to the
entertainment they create in competition.
Quotes from Tennis Pros
You Can Quote Me on That
captures the power and range of tennis quotes past and
present in thirty-five chapters that contain almost
1,700 quotes - far surpassing any previous tennis quotes
For a good chuckle, go directly to "Did They Really
Say That?" You'll find Agassi quip, "Sex doesn't interfere
with your tennis. It's staying out all night trying
to find it that affects your tennis." And Ilie Nastase,
when asked why he didn't report the loss of his credit
card, replied: "Whoever stole it is spending less than
In "True Confessions," Steffi Graf confides:
"I never wished to live this life. I just wanted to
play tennis, not become a public person. That is why
I can be quite bitchy toward people." You'll be shocked
by admissions, such as stoical superstar Bjorn Borg's:
"I was never that cold inside. It was always an act-an
act I came to perfect-but an act just the same."
Zingers abound in our fiercely competitive international
sport. Check out "Nothing Personal." There Anna Kournikova
rants, "I'm not Venus Williams. I'm not Serena Williams.
I'm feminine. I'm not masculine like they are." And
master-blaster John McEnroe skewers archrival Jimmy
Connors: "He's a bit anal, he thinks the whole world
is against him and that everyone is screwing him on
some level. He's always been like that and he always
will be." Rest assured, Johnny Mac takes plenty of deliciously
wicked hits, too.
Those seeking advice and inspiration will find it
in "Stuff of Champions." I'm especially moved by whiz-kid-turned-burnout-case-turned-champion
Jennifer Capriati: "There is always a light at the end
of the tunnel . you are in control of everything. Just
believe in yourself. You make or break yourself."
What You'll Find Inside
Chapters on styles and strategies, doubles, race and
gender issues, rackets and Open Tennis offer provocative
viewpoints that may make you reconsider your own. For
example, legendary Australian coach Harry Hopman controversially
contended: "There are no hard and fast rules for learning
to play tennis or for developing your game, and there
is no one style which could be laid down as the 'correct'
way to play."
Who was tennis' first non-stop serve-and-volley champion--Jack
Kramer, Joe Hunt, Maurice McLoughlin, or even "The Wizard,"
Norman Brookes, early in the twentieth century? Hint:
It was an American star in the late 1880s and early
1890s. You Can Quote Me
on That can
settle that and other arguments, too.
Some quotes are less known but eloquent or powerful.
I bet you don't know who said this about Wimbledon:
"This is hallowed ground, the field of dreams for tennis
players. It's great. It's legendary." Or who uttered
this about the men's ranking system: "You can be dead
and still be No. 1." Or who predicted, "Women's tennis
won't draw flies." Bet you'll be surprised to find out
who said that.
You Can Quote Me on That
taps into universal themes, such as love,
God, country and the meaning of life, or at least life
on the tour. The context for most quotes is given, and
their sources and years are cited when they could be
The Book for Tennis Fans
This book is for the casual fan, the tennis fanatic,
the quotes lover, the raconteur, the journalist, the
historian, and the merely curious. It contains (almost)
everything you ever wanted to know about who said what
about who and what in the fascinating, ever-changing
world of tennis.
I hope you enjoy You Can
Quote Me on That. I've told you some
of my favorite quotes. Feel free to e-mail me
and tell me yours.