Quotes of the Week
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2013 )
April 11, 2013: "People think I am unemotional because my voice is flat and a bit boring. It is unfortunate but it is just the way it is. Iíve tried to change it but it doesnít seem to make a difference. The truth is, I have lots of emotions inside. I cried after the semi-final at Wimbledon  because I was proud to reach the final and I knew how much it meant to the country. I cried after the [losing] final [to Federer], too, for different reasons. I felt I had let people down. I think people warmed to that. They could see how much it hurt."
— Andy Murray, admitting to the Scottish media he lacks charisma but not emotions.
April 11, 2013: "I find that to be so sexist. Men donít have it, but the women are allowed to say, ĎDaddy, sheís breaking my serveí? Are you kidding me? This is the biggest womenís sport in the world. Weíve had decades of mental toughness. It was always, ĎGive me the ball, Iím going to figure a way to walk off winning this. I refuse to lose.í Thatís the whole, beautiful point of it. Hereís a sport with a chance to show young girls what a strong and independent woman can do, yet you get thisó basically saying, ĎI canít figure this out by myself, Iím just a woman.í That galls me."
— TV tennis analyst, Mary Carillo, with an astute analysis why the one of the worst rules in sports is the WTA Tourís allowing on-court coaching, in Inside Tennis.
April 11, 2013: "Iíd be lying if I said I werenít surprised [at my recent results]. Itís been an unbelievable ride. If I didnít have these health problems, I donít know how my career would have been. But, at the same time, you canít change the past. I do love this sport and I love to compete. I feel Iím blessed Iíve played against so many great players. Itís spectacular."
— Tommy Haas, who upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Sony Open and ranks No. 14 at age 35 after being plagued by injuries throughout his career, on ESPN.com.
March 25, 2013: "A lot of things happened the last seven months, [so] to be back here and to have this very heavy trophy with me is amazing. Beating three Top 10 players and winning a title like this is just something unbelievable for me. Iím very, very happy and very emotional. When you have one comeback like Iím having, you remember all the low things, the lower moments that you had during the seven months. Hopefully I passed and can just remember all the people that really helped me a lot during all this time."
— Rafael Nadal, after he won a record-breaking 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and celebrated his third triumph in Indian Wells, as well as his 600th career win and 53rd career title.
March 25, 2013: "I donít need to tell you that a mix of inputs like that, however knowledgeable and well meaning, is a recipe for disaster. I donít blame the individual coaches for accepting a very attractive employment option, but as our results demonstrate, the TA player development strategy is fatally flawed in my view. After all, systems do not produce champions, people do. As a consequence, and Iím not alone in saying this, weíve pretty much lost a generation of players who have not transitioned to the Tour."
— Former Australian Open director Paul McNamee, denouncing Tennis Australiaís player development program that marginalizes rather than embraces private coaches, in an ďOpen LetterĒ to Australian coaches.
March 25, 2013: "Iím not disrupting my brand enough. I need to do it more. Nike always tries to improve. They never say, ĎIím No. 1 and Iím happy.í They always say, ĎHow can we get better?í Beyond a company, beyond entrepreneurship, you can really take that attitude in your life, like, I want to be a great mother, or a great student, or a great doctor. What can I do to be better?"
— Serena Williams, who has been one of Nikeís most visible athletes for nearly a decade, with advice to ďconsider yourself an underdog,Ē in Fast Company magazine.
March 6, 2013: "Weíve been in the media spotlight so long separately. Itís nothing new. Weíve gotten so used to it, we donít really pay attention anymore Ė unless itís a rumor like the one the other day that weíve broken up. Oh really? Thanks for letting me know."
— Caroline Wozniack, the former No.1 tennis player from Denmark, when asked what itís like to date another sports star, golfer Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland.
March 6, 2013: "My God, I just cannot believe I won this match. I saved I donít know how many match points, I think eight. It was such a great fight and such a great match."
— Alizé Cornet, who escaped nine match points before outlasting Lourdes Domínguez Lino 3-6, 7-6 (10), 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico.
February 19, 2013: "I still think Iím dreaming. Itís an honor playing against him. I enjoyed being with him at the locker room, eating with him. Heís a great guy, I would like to ask him if heís from this planet."
— Horacio Zeballos, an unheralded Argentine ranked No. 73 in the world, after upsetting Rafael Nadal 6-7 (2) 7-6 (6) 6-4 in the Spanish superstarís first tournament in more than seven months, to win the VTR Open in ViŮa del Mar, Chile.
February 19, 2013: "I do understand that when someone gives you a [expletive] load of money, you take that money. Someone like Larry Ellison wants to invest into his event and make it the biggest possible, and he gets stopped by the ATP. If youíre a start-up, what would make you want to navigate through that and to go through that firing line? How can you step into tennis with any confidence? Itís the stupidest thing Iíve ever heard of."
— Andy Roddick, on the ATP Board of Directorsí failure to approve an $800,000 increase in prize money offered by the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells this year, in The Desert Sun.
February 19, 2013: "Yes, I was nervous. Even though you only have 20 seconds [to serve], in that time I was thinking a lot of things like how my parents would react or how I would react or (how) the girl that I was playing would react, or the media. Or would I start crying, or have a feeling of relief?"
— Esther Vergeer, who won the last 470 wheelchair tennis matches of her incomparable career, telling FoxSports about the time she almost lost when her opponent had a match point in the gold-medal match at the 2008 Paralympic Games.
January 31, 2013: "To be in the same list with all those champions, itís a privilege. Right now itís hard to believe that. I think of myself as a nine-year-old girl whoís playing against the wall, picturing those big moments. Right now Iím still living those moments. Itís like a dream."
— Two-time Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka, on joining an elite group Ė along with Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova Ė as multiple-Slam winners on tour.
January 31, 2013: "I try to enjoy what I do, and every moment of the life that I have is a blessing. What else can you do but to be happy and try to bring that joy to the other people around Ė especially in the tournaments. Everybody has bad days. Iím not always funny or laughing."
— Novak Djokovic, who won his third straight Australian Open title, turned philosophical when asked if his good humor was a conscious effort.
January 31, 2013: "[Andy Murrayís] coming into his own ... so now youíre talking about four guys. Theyíve separated themselves from the field. If it was one person, I would say, OK, he came at a good time or he squeezed in a window. But they raised each other. When I see those top three guys [Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal], I see what history will say is the golden age of tennis. Youíre talking about arguably the three best guys. Djokovic will still need some distance to cover, but best of all-time, if youíre having that discussion in the same generation, itís remarkable."
— Andre Agassi on what he considers the ďgolden ageĒ of menís tennis.
January 21, 2013: "I just had flashback of 2012. It was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but still it was still as exciting. I tried to enjoy the moment and couldnít ask for more. What a match point ... unbelievable."
— Novak Djokovic, who needed just over 5 hours, 2 minutes to overcome the brilliant play of Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a thrill-filled fourth-round Australian Open match, on the same court where he needed 5 hours, 53 minutes to beat Rafael Nadal in last yearís spectacular final.
January 21, 2013: "When you look at the history of tennis, especially Wimbledon, you see these women wear these long gowns. I donít know how they could have possibly played in that. Someone always has to be first. I think that obviously she made a way for not only tennis players but just women in general in sport. Like you donít have to wear a dress to your ankles to be a female athlete playing sports. I think being a trailblazer is honorable."
— Serena Williams, paying tribute to ďGorgeous GussieĒ Moran, who shocked staid Wimbledon by wearing a tennis skirt above her knees and lace-trimmed underwear in 1949, and passed away on January 16 at age 89.
January 21, 2013: "When you play these sort of players like Roger [Federer] or Novak [Djokovic], you lose belief before you get into the match. I got in there; I started to think after they mentioned all these Grand Slams [titles] leading up, Wimbledon champion six times, six times U.S. Open champion. Then I was, ĎOh, crap, itís Roger.í I try to block out whoís on the other side of the net but couldnít quite do it after that announcement."
— Australian teenager, Bernard Tomic, ranked No. 43 in the world, admitting his confidence was shaken a bit by the royal introduction reverberating out of the public address system before his 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 loss to the legendary Roger Federer at the Australian Open.
January 2, 2013: "Iíve lived and died with Andy for the last two years of his tennis and to finally see him win a major at the U.S. Open was incredible... Everybody was like, ĎYeah, Murrayís great but he canít win the big one.í Itís a frustrating thing... His story was so remarkable this year, and Iím excited for him. I am one of the few guys who know what it is like when you are on that shit list. They talk about Ďthese are great players but...í Itís always a Ďbut.í So when you are on that list and you see one of those guys get off the list, you get really excited."
— NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst, Charles Barkley, who never won an NBA title during his 16-year career, on why he picked Andy Murray for Sports Illustratedís ďSportsman of the Year.Ē
January 2, 2013: "They canít believe that things will ever get better. You have to make children, even children who have gone through something as horrible as this, believe that things will get better. It starts with giving them love."
— Former world No. 2 tennis player, Andrea Jaeger, who has been heavily involved in charity work since retiring from pro tennis in 1987, telling Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News about the schoolchildren who survived the tragic massacre that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14.
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