exploring the world of tennis . . .     
The Quest for Quotes
Page 1

"Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted." (Groucho Marx)
Did I really say that? . . .
Oh, very witty! . . .
With friends like that! . . .
Wise words . . .
It's only a game . . .
Light bulb moments . . .
Modesty forbids! . . .
Losing with grace . . .
Excuses, excuses, excuses! . . .
Misogynist mutterings . . .
Yeah right! . . .
Just plain weird! . . .
Gush, gush, gush . . .
A dab of melodrama . . .
Inspirational quotations . . .
Did I really say that? . . .

"This [defeat] has taught me a lesson, but I'm not sure what it is." (John McEnroe)

"That shot knocked the stuffing out of his sails!" (Fru McMillan)

"Noah always beats Curren. He has a sort of Houdini against him." (John Lloyd)

"There is Peter Graf, Steffi's father, with his head on his chin." (Dan Maskell)

"He slips . . . but manages to regroup himself." (Dan Maskell)

"She puts her head down and bangs it straight across the line." (Ann Jones)

"Even when he has to move back, he moves back so that he's moving forwards!" (Mark Cox)

"He's now letting Chang play his own game - and he does that better than anyone." (Christine Janes)

"Chris Lloyd came out of the dressing room like a pistol." (Virginia Wade)

"Strangely enough, Kathy Jordan is getting to the net first, which she always does." (Fred Perry)

"Ann's got to take her nerve by the horns." (Virgina Wade)

"Lloyd did what he achieved with that shot." (Jack Bannister)

"Diane - keeping her head beautifully on her shoulders." (Ann Jones)

"Zivojinovic seems to be able to pull the big bullet out of the top drawer." (BBC commentator Mike Ingham)

"If she gets the jitters now, then she isn't the great champion that she is." (Max Robertson)

"McEnroe has got to sit down and work out where he stands." (Fred Perry)

"He's got his hands on his knees and holds his head in despair." (Peter Jones)

"The Gullikson twins here. An interesting pair, both from Wisconsin." (Dan Maskell)

"And here's Zivojinovic, six foot six inches tall and fourteen pounds ten ounces." (Dan Maskell)

"Martina, she's got several layers of steel out there like a cat with nine lives." (Virginia Wade)

"Chip Hooper is such a big man that it is sometimes difficult to see where he is on the court." (Mark Cox)

"That shot he's got to obliterate from his mind a little bit." (Mark Cox)

"Those two volleys really could be the story of this match summed up at the end of it." (Barry Davies)

"These ball boys are marvellous. You don't even notice them. There's a left handed one over there. I noticed him earlier." (Max Robertson)

"It's quite clear that Virginia Wade is thriving on the pressure now that the pressure on her to do well is off." (Harry Carpenter)

"Lendl has remained throughout as calm as the proverbial iceberg." (Dan Maskell)

"Strawberries, cream and champers flowed like hot cakes." (Radio 2)

"She comes from a tennis playing family. Her father's a dentist." (BBC 2)

"He certainly looks older than he did last year." (Mark Cox)

"He was a great tennis player, rather like a chess player, always trying to thread the ball through the eye of a needle." (Talk Radio Commentator)

"He's serving now to increase his scoreline." (Bill Threlfall)

"The pace of this match is really accelerating, by which I mean it's getting faster all the time." (David Coleman)

"She [Monica Seles] has so much control of the racket with those double-handed wrists." (Virginia Wade)

"And when Chrissie is playing well I always feel that she is playing well." (Ann Jones)

"When Martina is tense it helps her relax." (Dan Maskell)

"We haven't had any more rain since it stopped raining." (Harry Carpenter)

"Billie Jean King, with the look on her face that says she can't believe it, because she never believes it, and yet, somehow, I think she does." (Max Robertson)

"It was all right until the sun came out and then everything started getting warmer." (Jo Durie)

"I'm not sure exactly what his points are, but without even knowing what his points are, I'd say he has some good points." (John McEnroe on Wayne Ferreira's rebellion against the ATP)

"Sure, I've been on the Tube...I caught it to Eastbourne once." (Serena Williams)

"It's cool, overcast and cloudy here - but in a few moments two great players will take the long walk down the tunnel and emerge into the Melbourne sunshine." (John Alexander)

"There's no doubt there are issues with clay. Our issues have issues that are issues right now. That's not a secret." (Andy Roddick)

"Baa." (Andy Roddick on being asked: 'Name a female farmyard animal which sounds like a letter of the alphabet' during his appearance on the Weakest Link quiz show)

"That's one of the best sets I've seen him play, although I should preface that by saying I haven't seen him play before." (John McEnroe)

"I'm not worried about the weekend, I'm worried about Saturday." (Pete Sampras)

"Let's hope his nerves will run through his veins." (John McEnroe, commentating for the BBC)

"She [Serena Williams] played some great shots, but so did I, and that was the only difference." (Jennifer Capriati)

"Tim Henman's injured shoulder has raised its ugly head again." (Jonathan Overend, Radio Five Live commentator)

"I'd rather be No. 2 in Chile and No. 1 in the world." (Nicolas Massu)

"There are hundreds of players like her in America." (Tracy Austin, after beating 13-year-old Steffi Graf in 1982)

"Unbelievable, yet, what else could it be?" (Jim Courier)

"You'd have to think that if he'd been around today, Rod Laver would have been Rod Laver." (Jim Courier)

"They said 'Well job, good done'." (Tszvetana Pironkova on being asked about the players' reaction to her defeat of Venus Williams in the 2006 Australian Open)

"I've always said I'm a good horse but I'm still an underdog." (Martina Hingis)

"Lleyton Hewitt... his two greatest strengths are his legs, his speed, his agility and his competitiveness." (Pat Cash)

"Tim Henman, I guess, is sitting in the locker room, pacing up and down." (John Inverdale)

"She [Dokic] left the court with a face as long as thunder." (John Inverdale)

"Here we see Andre Sa, who, never having won a competitive match, has reached the Wimbledon quarter-final." (John McEnroe)

"Andre Sa is playing close to his potential - maybe even above it." (Boris Becker)

"It's been predictable, in the sense of 'expect the unexpected'." (John McEnroe)

"He has great pressure on his shoulders internally." (BBC Radio 5 Live)

"Tennis is a funny game; unbelievable highs and the lows are just as low." (John McEnroe)

"First thing is, it's inevitable. The second thing is, it's going to happen anyway." (Gerald Williams on the dangers of building up Andy Murray)

"Obviously, like Wembley is synonymous with tennis, snooker is synonymous with Sheffield." (Richard Caborn, British Minister for Sport)

"Federer is just the third person ever to achieve this impossible feat." (BBC Radio 5 Live)

"Henman and Coria have met three times in the past and they've won one apiece." (Annabel Croft)

"It would have been better if I had won, but reaching the final was perfect". (Andy Murray)

"A win's a win, unless it is not a win, and then it's not a win." (Venus Williams)

"It's disappointing to have lost – that’s the bee's knees of it..." (Tim Henman, 2004)

"Henman should leave here with his head hung high." (Jonathan Overend, Radio 5 Live, 2004)

"For ten years Schalken has been in the world's top fifty or better." (BBC Commentator, 2004)

"It was a good shot, but he didn't execute it very well." (Annabel Croft, BBC, 2004)

"He [Andy Roddick] doesn't make mistakes, only when he has to." (Andrew Castle, 2004)

"Becker had to play every day of the second week - eight days in a row." (BBC Commentator during the 2007 Wimbledon Championships)

"I think it feels higher, and sometimes I think it feels lower." (Serena Williams commenting on the new, blue Plexicushion courts at the 2008 Australian Open)

"My shoulder's not where I want it to be, but I'm doing a good job of monitoring it." (Maria Sharapova)

"Laura Robson ... solid between the ears." (Virginia Wade, Wimbledon 2008)

"I brought two hundred (headbands) with me, and I've already given away about a hundred. I have no idea how many I have left." (Pat Cash, Wimbledon, 1988)

"Half come to see him win. Half come to see him lose. Half come to see what happens." (Ion Tiriac, talking about John McEnroe)

"Let's hope he can force him into those unforced errors." (Tim Henman, commentating at Wimbledon 2008)

"Del Potro's hands are in his head." (Greg Rusedski, commentating on US Open final 2009)

If you enjoyed reading these quotes, click here to enjoy the quirky dialogue in SIDESPIN.

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Oh, very witty! . . .

"The key to the match might have been his serving. Maybe I should have concentrated harder on watching them go by me, I don't know." (Andy Roddick)

"If I didn't play tennis I probably would have to see a psychiatrist." (Arthur Ashe)

"Tennis is a fine balance between determination and tiredness." (Virginia Wade)

"The serve was invented so that the net could play." (Bill Cosby)

"I started when I was 4, but I didn't play seriously until I was 8." (Kathy Rinaldi)

"I don't go out there to love my enemy. I go out there to squash him." (Jimmy Connors)

"Equality? They ought to play the women's final on opening day. Everybody knows who's going to be in it." (Jimmy Connors)

"I wonder if she knows what's going on yet. That's great. She's winning. Wait'll she learns how to choke." (Billie Jean King about Tracy Austin)

"I didn't aspire to be a good sport - 'champion' was good enough for me." (Fred Perry)

"I am the best tennis player who cannot play tennis." (Ion Tiriac)

"My goal one day is to be in the same sentence as Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall." (Pete Sampras)

"I don't make friends with the girls I'm playing against. It would be too painful to beat them." (Virginia Wade)

"Winners aren't popular, losers often are." (Virginia Wade)

"In America you're conditioned to regard everything as a contest. You have to make the Ten Best Dressed List, win this, win that. It drives me nuts sometimes. Who cares, for Christ's sake?" (Arthur Ashe)

"I was always rather nasty. I was willing to be friends with the Devil, just to cross the bridge." (Ilie Nastase)

"Sometimes I feel like tap-dancing, screeching, unscrewing light bulbs, pulling curtains, combing hair, doing knee bends, handstands and turning somersaults out there." (Ilie Nastase)

"If you put two monkeys on to play you'd still pack the centre court." (Neil Fraser, commenting on Wimbledon's popularity)

"One day when a linesman starts to laugh I swear I will hit the guy over the head with my racket. I think it will be the end of my career, but I will be happy." (Ilie Nastase)

"At the end I couldn't hear what the Queen was saying to me. But it was just great to see her lips moving." (Virginia Wade)

"The cheerleaders . . . wait . . . there are none." (Andy Roddick, on what keeps him playing tennis)

"I call tennis the McDonald's of sport - you go in, they make a quick buck out of you, and you're out." (Pat Cash)

"The trouble with me is that every match I play against five opponents: umpire, crowd, ball boys, court, and myself." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"After I won a match at a tournament I tried to repeat everything I did the day I won. Before my next match, I ate the same food, I went to the same restaurant etc. Sometimes it got very boring." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"I still break racquets, but now I do it in a positive way." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"Actually, I tossed it nicely - landed nicely, like airplane. No warning, beautiful. That's the art of throwing racquets." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"Is that the longest fifth set ever? It was? So, no, I've never played one longer than that!" (Andy Roddick)

"It'll certainly give the pigeons something to do." (Pat Cash, on being inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame and unveiling a bust of himself)

"The wind was blowing, the dogs were barking, something got in my eye." (Andy Roddick, explaining a defeat to Greg Rusedski)

"My neck is getting sore here." (Andy Roddick, facing ace after ace from Goran Ivanisevic)

"When I won Wimbledon, I said to God: just let me win this one tournament and I won't play another match. Maybe God's telling me to go home, but I don't want to go home. We are negotiating at the moment." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"If I can't serve on grass, I can maybe help cut the grass, paint the lines and serve some strawberries." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"I don't want to live and die with every point that's being played out there now. I'm going to let my coach live and die with every point." (Andy Roddick)

"If I wore a sleeveless shirt, people would try to feed me after the match." (Andy Roddick)

"I was happy to get to No. 4 because Brad, that was what he had on me - 'Yeah, yeah, I was 4 in the world, you're only 5.' So he's lost that line this week." (Andy Roddick about Brad Gilbert)

"I can go on the women's tour with this second serve." (Goran Ivanisevic, reflecting on his shoulder problems)

"The day I stop feeling the pressure and I'm just enjoying myself and taking it easy is when I'm 35, asking for a wild card and playing mixed doubles with Arnaud Clement." (Amelie Mauresmo)

"The best doubles pair in the world is John McEnroe and anyone else." (Peter Fleming)

"Lady, can you speak up a little bit? Indianapolis is a little far from Europe - I can't hear you." (Marat Safin)

"It's just like you expected - Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe and Becker." (Patrick McEnroe, on reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open)

"I cannot give you the answer. He says yes, but, you know, he has like seven Fridays in a week." (Marat Safin on being asked if Yevgeny Kafelnikov will retire)

"Whoever said 'It's not whether you win or lose that counts' probably lost." (Martina Navratilova)

"Not yet. It's my first day on the job. Give me some time." (Marat Safin, on not breaking a racket during his first match of 2002)

"If Pete's child is a girl, my son will like her; if he's a boy, my son will defeat him." (Andre Agassi)

"She is woman . . . I am man." (Marat Safin, on being asked the difference between him and Anna Kournikova)

"Close? Of course it was close. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Thanks very much." (Andy Roddick, when Gerry Armstrong refused to overrule a call)

"You usually feel like you're playing uphill against them." (Mark Knowles on playing against Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge)

"Be lucky, guess the corner, close your eyes and hope there is a God. You have to be a little religious to break his serve." (Magnus Larsson, on the key to breaking the Pete Sampras serve)

"I can't believe he is dumping me, his buddy for seven years, for a kid he's never seen before." (Paul Haarhuis complaining about his doubles partner Jacco Eltingh flying home from the US Open for the birth of his son)

"I played a great first point." (Tim Henman after losing 6-0 6-3 to Pete Sampras)

"Pressure is a privilege - it only comes to those who earn it." (Billie Jean King)

"I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub." (Andy Roddick on losing the 2004 Wimbledon final to Roger Federer)

"Every generation has its own Goran. So I was the Goran of this generation." (Goran Ivanisevic)

"I'm gonna have to start winning some of the matches to call it a rivalry!" (Andy Roddick on being asked whether he and Roger Federer had a rivalry that would last for years)

"Please don't make me cry again!" (Roger Federer to BBC presenter Sue Barker after winning his second Wimbledon title)

"I am going to miss everything, the guys, serving aces on 15-40, 30-40, talking to the umpire sometimes good, sometimes bad, watching the Teletubbies." (Goran Ivanisevic on playing his final match at Wimbledon)

"He can't cook." (Michael Chang, on being asked to list Pete Sampras's weaknesses)

"How to shake hands." (Bettina Bunge, on what she had learned from a series of rapid defeats to Martina Navratilova)

"Everyone thinks my name is Jerry Laitis and they call me Mr Laitis. What can you do when you have a name that sounds like a disease?" (Vitas Gerulaitis)

"They've lost my page. Somebody ripped it out. But I'm the main sponsor for the tour! I'm the guy who paid the most fines, so they should give me respect. There should be a page saying 'This is the guy who paid the most fines.' I don't exist now. I'm a ghost, so I can do whatever I want." (Goran Ivanisevic, on being left out of the 2004 ATP Player Guide)

"I want to thank myself for having such a good week here." (Maggie Maleeva during a trophy presentation in Tokyo, 2004)

"I don't know if he's in a class by himself, but it sure don't take long to call roll." (Gil Reyes, talking about Andre Agassi)

"He told me how much he enjoyed playing me, and that he hoped it happens a lot more in the future. And that makes one of us." (Andre Agassi, on being asked what Roger Federer had said to him at the net after beating him in the Australian Open 2005)

"And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row." (Vitas Gerulaitis, on finally beating Jimmy Connors)

"Yeah, I hope so. Otherwise, I'd feel lonely." (Marat Safin, on being asked if he had multiple personalities like Goran Ivanisevic)

"Tim Henman has the all-time Betty Crocker draw. We're talking Easy Bake Oven." (Brad Gilbert)

"The trouble is you can't play many matches when you lose them." (Jelena Dokic)

"One was rushing, the other was rushing even more. So the third one came and said, 'Guys, relax. It's a lovely court. Relax. Just calm down.' Third one had to come. I had to call him. He's the emergency one. Emergency 911 call." (Goran Ivanisevic on his multiple personalities on court)

"I went in on his forehand and he passed me; I went in on his backhand and he passed me; I stayed back and he passed me even though I was at the baseline." (Andy Roddick after losing to Roger Federer in the 2005 Wimbledon final)

"Maybe I'll just punch him or something." (Andy Roddick after losing to Roger Federer in the 2005 Wimbledon final)

"I often surprise myself. You can't plan some shots that go in, not unless you're on marijuana, and the only grass I'm partial to is Wimbledon's." (Rod Laver)

"The unstoppable juggernaut of women's tennis has just been run over by a Lori." (The Sun, on Steffi Graf's first round loss to Lori McNeil at Wimbledon in 1994)

"Tennis is a young man's game. Until you're 25, you can play singles. From 25 to 35, you should play doubles. I won't tell you exactly how old I am, but when I played, there were 28 men on the court - just on my side of the net." (George Burns)

"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed." (Martina Navratilova)

"Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you're too damned old to do anything about it." (Jimmy Connors)

"I'm sick of making bloody history." (Pat Rafter after losing the thrilling 2001 Wimbledon final to Goran Ivanisevic)

"I've been hearing about this. It's either the changing of the guard or I'm supposed to be passing him something. Is it a torch? Is it a flag? Maybe it's a baton. There's this mystery thing that I'm supposed to be passing to Andy, and he's welcome to it. Please pass it on to him." (Tim Henman after losing to fellow Briton Andy Murray in Basle, 2005)

"No, actually I wanted to play five. I definitely wanted to try to lose that fourth set and test the waters in the fifth." (Andy Roddick)

"As good as anybody not named Roger." (Andy Roddick, on his chances of winning the 2005 US Open)

"It's called Retail Therapy." (Maria Sharapova, on going shopping after an Australian Open defeat to Serena Williams)

"Now I like it again." (Roger Federer, on being asked what he thought about his rivalry with Rafael Nadal after beating the Spaniard in the 2006 Wimbledon final for the first time in five meetings)

"Whatever I said last year, just copy it. I'm sure it still fits." (Andy Roddick after losing in the first round at the 2006 French Open)

"I used to, like, hit for a half hour and then go eat Cheetos the rest of the day, come out and drill forehands. Now I'm really trying to make it happen, being professional, really going for it, and I miss my Cheetos." (Andy Roddick)

"If this match were being played on water, Roddick would be drowning while Federer would be walking on it." (BBC commentator, Chris Bailey)

"I think the medical term for the injury is 'the bottom of my ass hurts.'" (Andy Roddick)

"I love Wimbledon. But why don't they stage it in the summer?" (Vijay Amritraj during the rain-drenched 2007 Championships)

"She's like a wasp at a barbecue. She won't go away." (Chris Bradnam commenting on Ana Ivanovic's persistence during her Wimbledon 2007 semi-final against Venus Williams)

"People keep asking me: how is this possible? Who knows? Maybe it's the radiation left after the Nato bombings." (Janko Tipsarevic, explaining the success of Serbian players at Wimbledon 2007)

Gael Monfils
"If you want to talk, it's okay with me. I sit and relax."
"If you want to talk, it's okay with me. I sit and relax." (Gael Monfils taking a seat while Nicolas Almagro debated with umpire and match referee, Australian Open 2009)

"My serve has killed a small dog ... I'm joking, I'm joking! The dog was huge!" (Andy Roddick)

"Because I guess I made some mistakes." (Venus Williams on why her unforced error count was so high)

"I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you." (Serena Williams to courtside interviewer who wanted to know the content of the notes she reads at changeovers)

"I played really well. So I'd like to thank myself." (Dmitry Tursunov at a presentation ceremony in Perth)

"I don't think anyone ever feared him in the locker room." (Todd Martin, on being asked if he thought the ageing Pete Sampras had finally lost the fear factor in the locker room)

"It's hard to find a horse." (Martina Hingis, on the disadvantages of playing indoor tournaments)

"Last year I lost to his brother, this year I lose to him, next year maybe I can win against his sister." (Goran Ivanisevic, after losing to Patrick McEnroe at the 1993 Lipton Championships)

"I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can't play like him." (Andy Murray at the presentation ceremony after losing to Federer in the 2010 Australian Open final)

"About 11 Grand Slams." (Pete Sampras, on being asked to pinpoint the difference between himself and Pat Rafter)

"The last one." (Ivan Lendl, on being asked what he considered to be the most important point in a match)

"It's always going to say, 'There's no Americans left in the tournament.' And then some guy way in the back will say, 'What about the Bryans?' We like that guy." (Mike Bryan)

Journalist: "You won the first set, then what happened after that?"
Flavia Pennetta: "She won the second and the third."

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