They Said It — And You Read It

Pro Tennis Player Quotes of the Month

March 14, 2024: “All of us players—and I think I’ve been guilty of it myself—we need to be a little bit careful of the way we speak to and treat officials. I understand in the heat of battle and stuff, sometimes things happen. But for the last four or five years, there has been a number of instances where lines have probably been crossed, and maybe not enough has been done about it. We all probably need to have a bit of a look at ourselves and go, ‘Is this really the way that we want to be dealing with officials, with bad line calls and things like that?’ Rugby is a great example for how to deal with officials. Everything is dealt with respectfully. We probably could do a better job with it in tennis as well.”
— Andy Murray, telling The Times (UK) that tennis' ruling bodies should crack down on bad behavior toward officials in the wake of world No. 5 Andrey Rublev's disqualification from the Dubai semi-finals for arranging and screaming angrily at a line judge. 
March 14, 2024:  “This is a miracle. I’m a 20-year-old guy, 100 in the world, and beating Novak. So, crazy. Crazy.”
— Luca Nardi, a lucky loser ranked No. 123, in a Tennis Channel interview after the surprised Italian upset his boyhood idol and top-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
March 14, 2024: “I was able to stay aggressive on returns even though she has a really good serve. Played some better service games in the third set and just was able to put a lot of pressure on her throughout. I think that’s what made the difference. It’s never easy coming out and playing an opponent like that, so experienced and just so talented, obviously. She made it really tough on me today, but I was able to play some good tennis in the big moments.”
— Emma Navarro, who second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the Indian Wells fourth round for the biggest win of the 22-year-old American’s career.
March 14, 2024: “It’s been part of my life for so long. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
— Coco Gauff, after being asked by Tennis Channel on March 13 about the news that the House of Representatives passed a bill that could lead to a ban of the popular video app TikTok in the U.S. if the Chinese-based owner refuses to sell. Gauff said she spends six hours a day on TikTok, which has more than 170 million American users.
March 14, 2024: “Let ATP know this, Andy. Every year they put [give] us less support. There should be more tournaments in South America not just because of how the fans support the tournaments, [but also] how many players we have and we had on the top. We deserve more than this from ATP.”
— Former world No. 8 Diego Schwartzman, of Argentina, agrees with Andy Murray, who contended on the X platform that the ATP should stage more top tournaments in South America to satisfy the enthusiastic crowds that attended the Rio Open and the Argentina Open in February.

Dec. 21, 2023: “I actually gained a lot of weight because I had to constantly eat something so I didn’t feel sick. The doctors tell you to walk a lot, so I walked a lot. I did a lot of stairs. I've never been a person that's really good at playing for myself, if that makes sense. So I kind of like the feeling of having the responsibility of having to take care of Shai and wanting to show her around the world. I kind of feel more like I'm playing for her.”

— Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka, now 26, telling NHK about the challenges during her pregnancy, and noting her daughter Shai, whom she gave birth to in July 2023, now gives her someone to play for. 

Dec. 21, 2023: “What I love about working in tennis because it’s a super honest sport. You need unbelievable mobility, strength, endurance, crazy hand-eye coordination, cognitively, and emotionally strong. There are so many different aspects that for me, this makes it the most honest sport in the world.”

— Florian Zitzelsberger, a performance coach in tennis and co-founder of Integralis Physiotherapie, which he co-founded with fellow trainer Daniel Pohl, telling Tennis.com about why he loves working with tennis players. The cornerstone of Zitzelsberger’s athletic philosophy is that of General Physical Preparedness—or “GPP”—the baseline from which development can begin. 

Dec. 21, 2023: “I have permission to say to him, ‘You really played like garbage today.' And I'll tell you why. Without it, I can’t work at all. He has to live with it and put up with it because it’s the only way to progress. We talked during the preparations about why he was losing matches. Is it because of his forehand or backhand, or maybe his stance? If your attitude isn't right for you, then you shouldn't be playing tennis at all. He improved from match to match, both his attitude and his style of play.”
— Boris Becker, appointed Holger Rune’s coach in October, telling Serbian outlet Sport that he won’t go easy on the immensely talented but immature, 20-year-old Dane, ranked No. 8.

Dec. 21, 2023: “There’s no home-and-away and there’s no five sets, so it’s not ideal. We are playing on a surface [hard courts] that I‘m really sick of playing on, to be honest. That’s not what Davis Cup is about. It’s playing on clay, grass, with outdoor elements.”

— Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt—a staunch and compelling critic of the new format—removed his runner-up medal from his neck seconds after receiving it on stage during the presentation. Italy defeated Australia 2-0 in the Davis Cup final.

Nov. 22, 2023: “If I were Djokovic’s coach, I’d pay someone 100 Euros to heckle him during the match. [That’s because] he just goes to the next level when he has someone to fend against.”

— Former No. 1 Jim Courier, now a Tennis Channel analyst, during Novak Djokovic’s 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Holger Rune at the Paris Masters.


Nov. 22, 2023: “Coco is still the present and the future of U.S. tennis. I’m happy that I’m also at the top of the game and one of the leaders for all the Americans. So that’s always really nice. And that’s kind of just where I see myself.”

— A modest Jessica Pegula, after she outplayed U.S. Open winner Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-1 at the WTA Finals to make the title match at the season-ending championship for the first time. Their semifinal marked the first time two U.S. women played each other in the final four at this event since 2002, when Serena Williams defeated Jennifer Capriati.

Nov. 22, 2023: “Some other, you know governing bodies in our sport have not been very supportive of PTPA or I would say have been pretty much ignoring PTPA. But, we are there and we are getting stronger and stronger day by day, gaining more trust and more support from players, players recognizing the importance of PTPA as an organization for them and representing their rights. Because at the end of the day, we are the only association in our sport that really has 100% interest of players.”

— Novak Djokovic, often critical of the ATP for not adequately looking after the best interests of its players. As a result, he and Canadian doubles standout Vasek Pospisil launched the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) in 2019 to safeguard and support men’s and women’s tennis players, looking after their rights in the game, and addressing several problems in the sport.

Nov. 22, 2023: “It’s not by chance. It is no coincidence that you see Ashleigh Barty retiring at 25, Naomi Osaka [four-time Grand Slam champion] going through a mentally difficult period. Then Garbine Muguruza… It is no coincidence. This is a very demanding sport in which we are forced to play more and more weeks and you are very exposed. It doesn’t surprise me.”

— Spain’s Paula Badosa, contending players today are being forced to play more matches each year and are extremely exposed to off-court pressure as well. Badosa, whose ranking plummeted to No. 66 after she was sidelined with a back injury this year, noting that four-time major champion Osaka took a mental health break from the WTA Tour in 2021 and again in 2023 due to her pregnancy.

Nov. 22, 2023“When we started the year I was one player and now I’m another. There are many positive things, to be honest. I think, especially the second half of the year, mentally I was much, much stronger. I was not complaining so much on court when things were going in the wrong way. One of the things where I can be really happy is that I played many, many important matches in the biggest stadiums we have throughout the whole year.”

— Jannik Sinner, pleased with his career-best season after he became the first Italian to reach the ATP Finals semifinals — and then the final where Novak Djokovic avenged his round-robin loss with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Sinner also became the Italian man with the most victories over top-five players (10), breaking Adriano Panatta’s record. His ranking jumped from No. 15 to No. 4 as he captured four ATP Tour titles.

October 21, 2023: “This is a pretty crazy atmosphere. To think that a year-and-a-half ago I was in college and a year ago playing Challengers, now I am on centre court in Shanghai with the crowd singing happy birthday. It is one of those pinch-me moments.”

— Ben Shelton, who ended Jannik Sinner's winning run with a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (5) victory to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time at the Shanghai Masters.

October 21, 2023
 “I know that if I play well I can probably beat anyone. I knew that Iga doesn’t really like to play against aggressive players. Because that means she doesn’t have a lot of time. I knew there will be a key moment when the game could go the other way. I was just trying to be aggressive, even if I was missing a little. First set, I was missing a little bit, few balls here and there, and I lost the set. It was very close games in the first set. After that, I settled down and just played.”

— Jelena Ostapenko, asked by Tennis United: "You defeated No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the fourth round of the US Open, the loss that cost her that No. 1 ranking. You’re now 4-0 against her … how do you explain that?"

October 21, 2023: “I really hope their kids play some competitive sports so they really understand what they put me through. It’s never straight sets. It’s like a mixture of severe nausea and mini heart attacks going on all at the same time and quite frankly, Cheltenham, I’m surprised I’m still alive.”

— Judy Murray, the mother-coach of Andy (former No. 1 in singles) and Jamie Murray (former No. 1 in doubles) and captain of the British Fed Cup team from 2011 to 2016, telling The Times (UK) that she hoped Andy and Jamie’s children become competitive athletes so her sons would learn the sacrifices their mother made for them. 

October 21, 2023: “I remember at the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to make the top 10 by the end of the year, and I couldn’t make it. I was really believing at that moment that I could have everything faster. But I wanted too much, and I was too much focused on the results, so I could not keep myself calm, focus on the process, focus on the present, I made a lot of mistakes.”
— Rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen, after winning the Zhengzhou 500-level tournament on Oct. 15, admitted that her season goal of reaching the top ten proved a pressure-packed distraction from her game.


October 21, 2023: “I want us together, I always want the men and women together. I always want us to be together at tournaments. The World Cup has become more and more important because of the football ... the whole world understands World Cup. When I say we're the World Cup of women's tennis, they get it right away, they know it’s country versus country, it’s exciting, it can be any place in the world. (I went) down to the World Cup in Australia and watched the women there, they had 75,000 people ... it's very exciting, the possibilities are unlimited.”

— American tennis great Billie Jean King, advocating a combined women and men's World Cup of tennis.

Sept. 22, 2023: “They’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest. They have allowed me to believe in this dream growing up. There weren’t too many Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was just them that I can remember. Obviously, more came because of their legacy, so it made the dream more believable. But all the things that they had to go through, they made it easier for someone like me to do this.”

— Coco Gauff, paying tribute to her girlhood idols, Venus and Serena Williams

Sept. 22, 2023
“He’s just an extremely loud player — hits the ball big, serves huge, throwing his whole arm at that thing. He’s so pumped up. Comes to the net. He’s got great volleys. He’s really athletic. He’s a great player. He’s fun to watch. He’s saying the loudest ‘C’MON!” from the first point of the match till the last. He’s yelling. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s great for the sport.”

— Frances Tiafoe, on fast-rising American lefty Ben Shelton, who upset Tiafoe to reach the US Open semifinals.

Sept. 22, 2023
“He played really great, so I couldn’t find solutions in the match. I thought that right now I am a better player to find solutions when the match is not going in the right direction. But after this match, I am going to change my mind. I'm not mature enough to handle these kinds of matches. So I have to learn about it.”

— Carlos Alcaraz, the 20-year-old Spanish sensation, with a refreshingly honest admission after losing to Daniil Medvedev in four sets in the US Open semifinals.


Sept. 22, 2023“I think the only way I can use it is thinking that Novak, when he loses, he’s never the same after. It’s just a different mentality. That’s why he has 23 grand-slam titles, [39] Masters 1000s, [389] weeks at No 1. I have to use it knowing that he’s going to be ten times better than he was that day. And if I still want to beat him, I have to be ten times better than I was that day.”

— A reverential Daniil Medvedev, before losing to Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.


Sept. 22, 2023“I had a childhood dream when I was seven, eight [years old]: I wanted to become the best player in the world and win a Wimbledon trophy. That was the only thing I wanted. When I realized that, I started to dream new dreams and set new objectives, new goals. I never imagined that I would be here talking about 24 Slams.”

— Novak Djokovic, after defeating No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to capture his fourth US Open and 24th Grand Slam title to surpass Serena Williams and equal the all-time record set by Margaret Court.

August 25, 2023: “We’re out on tour to win tournaments and to win titles every single week, but tennis can be really tough where you sometimes lose a lot. Even when you’re winning a lot of matches, you’re still not winning tournaments, so it can get tough. Winning a week like this week makes it all worth it and makes you want to keep going for more. I know, obviously, physically she wasn’t feeling her best, but at the same time I played a really clean match. I don’t really think I made any unforced errors or anything. I played kind of a perfect match.”
— Jessica Pegula, the 29-year-old American seeded fourth, routed Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 to win the National Bank Open for her third career WTA Tour victory. Pegula beat doubles partner Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals, then knocked off top-ranked Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 on Saturday in the semifinals.
August 25, 2023: “This is the only sport in the world where you don’t know when you’re going to play. It was 11 p.m. yesterday, and I didn’t know when I’m going to play. This is unacceptable in any shape or form… I look at it as a player, and it’s ridiculous. I look at it as a fan, and I don’t know which matches I’m going to go watch because I have no clue, unless you’re very fanatical, but we need to appeal to a bigger crowd to watch our sport.”
— Victoria Azarenka, rightly arguing that matches starting late in the evening are bad for both players and spectators.
August 25, 2023: “There were some things that I thought they edited it, and people kind of misunderstood sometimes [a] few situations in the episode. Well, we already kind of spoke to Netflix about these things. I wish it could be done a little bit differently. When we watched before the premiere, we couldn't have any influence on how they edited some stuff. Yeah, there was a lot of hate after the episode came out. That's another thing that kind of convinced me that I don't need that right now at this stage of my career."
— Iga Swiatek, telling reporters her episode of "Break Point," the Netflix docuseries, only added to the hate she had received, and she said she would not be a part of the docuseries's second season.
August 25, 2023: “Brad is a genius at taking very complex things and simplifying them. We’re going to focus on these two things out of the gate and we’re going to do it all practice right. Then those things are covered, three days later we’re going to add in something else. He’s very good at layering in information and simplifying gameplay. He’s a master strategist, there’ll be no shot that any one of the opponents is going to hit, there's one they hit sometimes and one they hit under pressure, he’s very good at finding the differentiators between those two because they’re not always the same. Her being able to get in and coming into the net, I feel like she’s making those decisions before she’s actually hitting an approach shot. There’s a sense of commitment to it all. Sticking the forehand cross court, taking big swings on the backhand, mixing up pace up the line, I just couldn’t love what I’m seeing from Coco Gauff more right now.”
— Former No. 1 Andy Roddick, praising Coco Gauff's new coach, Brad Gilbert, after Gauff upset No. 1 Iga Swiatek at Cincinnati.
August 25, 2023: “The feeling that I have on the court reminds me a little bit when I was facing Nadal when we were at our prime of our careers. Each point is a hustle. Each point is a battle. You feel like you’re not going to get maybe in total five free points in the entire match. You’ve got to basically earn every single point, every single shot, regardless of the conditions.”
— Novak Djokovic, compared playing Carlos Alcaraz to playing longtime archrival Rafael Nadal, after he outlasted Alcaraz 5-7, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) in the thrilling and sensationally played Western & Southern Open final at Cincinnati.

July 24, 2023: “Surprising, because I never dream about tennis players, but I dreamt about him that night — that we were both winning Australian Open. Then it was like we were having a very romantic moment, but I’m not going to explain. I’m just going to leave it there.”

— Paula Badosa, who is dating handsome Greek star Stefanos Tsitspas, said she watched Stefanos lose to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January. 

July 24, 2023: “After giving birth to our daughter, I think this is the second happiest moment in my life."

— What Ukraine's unseeded Elina Svitolina, a former world No. 4 and 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist, declared in her on-court interview with Rishi Persad after she outlasted Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9), clinching the Wimbledon fourth-round victory with her eighth ace. Svitolina's terrific career comeback continued when she upset world No. 1 Iga Swiatek 7-5, 6-7 (50, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

July 24, 2023: "I feel like I am living a dream right now, this is absolutely insane. It's surreal, it's unbelievable, I can't believe it."

— Christopher Eubanks, a late-blooming, 27-year-old American, ecstatic after scoring a fourth-round 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-4 6-4 win over Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. En route to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, the unseeded Eubanks hit 247 winners and 163 unforced errors, both totals more than any other player.

July 24, 2023: “It’s extra motivation to win the final against Novak, a legend from our sport. It would be amazing for me, super special. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I grew up watching him. I admire him the most. He has beaten all the big guys, as I’ve said many times he has no weakness – a really complete player. He’s amazing. He does nothing wrong on the court. Physically and mentally he’s a beast.”

— Carlos Alcaraz, with high praise for Novak Djokovic, before he upset the seven-time champion 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.

July 24, 2023: “I was just trying to win a couple of matches here. It was the most impossible Grand Slam for me to win, so I didn’t even think of it. This time last year I was injured with a cast on my left wrist and came here to watch my best friend play Qualifying. I was a tourist. When I was coming back, I didn’t know if I could play at this level again. I didn't start the final well. But I was so calm. I felt really good. On match point, I couldn't breathe. Crazy nervous. I was thinking to myself, ‘Just be over’. Everything is on you. Then – just relief. Nobody would have said that I even have a chance to win. It’s such a crazy journey. I can’t believe it still.”

— No. 42-ranked Marketa Vondrousova, an 80-1 longshot, after upsetting No. 6 Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final 6-4, 6-4. The title boosted her ranking to a career-high No. 10.

June 15, 2023: “It’s kind of symbolic in a way that I won my historic 23rd here in Roland Garros, makes it even sweeter and greater knowing what it takes to win Roland Garros for me. It’s not to take anything away from, of course, winning any other Slam, but just Roland Garros is the highest mountain to climb for me I think in my career. That’s why it’s even more satisfying.”

Novak Djokovic, who showed his all-surface versatility by winning his third French Open, which made him the first man to win all four Grand Slam titles three times.

June 15, 2023: “Novak is not human at times. It’s scary how good he can play. I had a game plan. It worked well in the beginning. But he had all the answers. Twenty-three [major titles] is a ridiculous number.”

Casper Ruud, in an interview with NBC's Maria Taylor, after Novak Djokovic defeated him 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 in the French Open final.

June 15, 2023: “I disappointed myself honestly. In a match like this, coming to this match with great feeling, feeling great physically, and, yeah, cramping at the end of the second set, beginning of the third set, it was really disappointing. If someone says that he [goes on] court with no nerves playing against Novak, he lies. At the beginning of the third set, I started to cramp every part of my body, not only the legs. The arms, as well, every part of the legs. I started match really nervous. The tension of the first set, the second set, it was really intense two sets as well. Really good rallies, tough rallies, you know, drop shots, sprints, rallies. It’s a combination of a lot of things. But, you know, the main thing, it was the tension that I had all the first two sets.”

Carlos Alcaraz, explaining why he suffered leg and hand cramps in his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 French Open semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic.

June 15, 2023: “I really like her game, honestly. I really respect her, and she's, I feel like, a player who can do anything. She has great touch. She can also speed up the game. She plays with that kind of, I don't know, freedom in her movements. And she has a great technique. So I watched her matches, and I feel like I know her game pretty well.”

Iga Swiatek, lavishing praise on Karolina Muchova before she defeated the highly talented 26-year-old Czech 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the French Open final.

June 15, 2023: "A break down twice, and the shots she came up with! She said to me, ‘Did you see my serve?’ I was just complimenting her on how she played with her back to the wall, and only champions can play like that when they are down. She’s just hungry. There are champions that win one Slam and that’s enough, but there are players that are really hungry — Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, myself, and Martina Navratilova, and I think Iga is the same type of person. She hits the ball harder than a man. She can take those mid-court balls and volley them. She can still improve. She’s going to be in for the long haul, and I told her — you’ve won three French Opens, I won seven. You’re only 22, you’re going to go past that. You can go to eight, nine, 10. But she’s got to pace herself and make sure she’s not injured.”

Chris Evert recounted to Eurosport what she told Iga Swiatek on the podium after the Polish star won her third French Open and fourth Grand Slam title.

May 20, 2023: “He kind of reminds me a little bit [of myself], the way he plays. Really fit physically, great defense, but also great counter-puncher. He can hurt you from both the forehand and backhand side. Really solid serve. Aggressive returns. Just all-around player on all surfaces.”
Novak Djokovic, lavishing praise on fast-rising Holger Rune before defeating him 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the Rome Masters quarterfinals.
May 20, 2023: “My ambition is to stop to give myself an opportunity to enjoy next year, which is probably going to be my last year on the professional tour. That’s my idea, even though I can’t say 100 percent that it is going to be like this because you never know what can happen. But my idea and my motivation is to try to say goodbye to all of the tournaments that have been important for me and my tennis career.”
Rafael Nadal, who turns 37 on June 3 and has struggled to overcome a lingering hip problem, announcing his plan to retire from tennis next year after he withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon.
May 20, 2023: “It was a conscious decision because I don’t believe that being the partner of a tennis player is anything newsworthy. I have never been interested in capitalising on that [Andy’s profile] and would have felt like a fraud. I was always confident and satisfied that I had stuff going on, and that my life was full with direction. And I have never felt the need to justify that to anyone.”
Kim Murray, who has long she has been in the public eye, on why she has managed to keep a remarkably low profile as Andy Murray’s wife, in The Times (UK).
May 20, 2023: “I’m interested in only tennis in my life. Tennis was my big passion. I learned tennis when I was five. My father taught me. Rafa Nadal was my idol. He’s a big fighter on the court. I saw him on TV. He wants to win every point. This is the key, why I like him. I’m calm every match. This is how I play tennis. My first goal is top 100 and then top 50.”
— Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan, ranked a lowly No. 135, talking to Tennis Channel after he fashioned a stunning 6-3, 7-6 (4) upset against Carlos Alcaraz in the Rome Masters third round.
May 20, 2023: "I feel a bit weird because it's my second WTA tournament and my first was in Monastir, but there were not a lot of famous players. Here almost every day I see Andy Murray, Daniil Medvedev and all the players from home. They say hi to me and I'm like, 'Wow, how come they know me?' So, yes, it's pretty great."
Mirra Andreeva, a promising 16-year-old Russian, asked by WTA.com: What has it been like to be at your first WTA 1000? At the Mutua Madrid Open, Andreeva upset No. 13 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia from Brazil 7-6 (6), 6-3 and Poland's Magda Linette 6-3, 6-3.
April 18, 2023: “The tiebreak, oh my God, it was probably the longest in my career and somehow I managed it. She had so many aces at the beginning of the tiebreak that I couldn’t even play. So it was really difficult and amazing.”
— Petra Kvitova, who fended off five set points in the see-saw, marathon tiebreaker to upset Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 7-6(14) 6-2 to win her first Miami Open crown and ninth WTA 1000 title.
April 18, 2023: “Back then I was a very famous person. At hotels, restaurants, wherever I went, there were always hundreds of people. At the beginning of your career, you will love that. But after some years, you would want some private life. That’s why I stepped away. If like [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal I had more security, I may have played for more years.”
— Bjorn Borg, the 1970s superstar, now 66, telling Sportstar one reason he retired when still in his prime at age 26.
April 18, 2023: “Caty McNally would be pretty good. I’ll throw in like, a Coco Vandeweghe—some of the American girls. Danielle Collins—she would be good. She played college tennis. She would be a good one. I think most of the American girls. Vika would be pretty good. Sloane will be low-key very good. She’ll just thrown in little things, like a little smile. It’d be so funny.”
— Jessica Pegula, a late-blooming American ranked No. 3, on which players on the WTA Tour would be good trash talkers.
April 18, 2023: “For me, tennis is a bit different. I think it’s not going to work, in my opinion. I think tennis must be a little bit on the side of it. I know fighters, basketball players especially in the United States, it’s very popular thing. We’re not from United States, so, we’re not used to it. I was always educated by the way that tennis is an intelligent sport. So, I will go with that.”
— Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, responding to Jessica Pegula’s post on Twitter this week on whether “trash-talking” should be encouraged. It received many positive responses, with American youngster Ben Shelton volunteering to start immediately at the Estoril Open in Cascais, Portugal.
April 18, 2023: “I’ll prepare myself and try not to lose my mind.”
— Daniil Medvedev, on his attitude toward clay based on his dismal results during his six-year pro career: a 7-6 record at Roland Garros and a combined 6-9 record at the three Masters 1000 events on clay at Monte Carlo, Madrid, and Rome, going into the European clay-court circuit.

March 20, 2023: “I used to be naive about tennis. When I started out, I kind of assumed that male and female pros were treated the same way. It just made sense, you know? I mean, why would it be any different? Then I met my girlfriend, Mirjam Bjorklund, and she really opened my eyes. Things are definitely going in the right direction. But overall, the gap is still huge. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I think some people might think of gender equality as mere political correctness. Deep down they don’t feel that women deserve as much, you know? And that’s terrible."

— World No. 30 Denis Shapovalov told the Players' Tribune.

March 20, 2023: "Regarding the Russian soccer team shirt, the WTA has formally warned the player that this was not acceptable nor an appropriate action. We do not expect to see any reoccurrence of this in the future."

— The Women's Tennis Association's formal warning to Anastasia Potapova, a 21-year-old Russian ranked No. 26, for wearing a T-shirt of Russian soccer team Spartak Moscow before her match against Jessica Pegula at Indian Wells this week. Potapova said she had supported Spartak since she was 13 and saw no provocation in it.

March 20, 2023:
“Sorry I didn't make this final entertaining. I tried and I tried. I don't like to lose, but today was unfortunately pretty easy. I hope you still enjoyed it. I'm really disappointed because I had 20 one time. This would be cool to try to beat it and maybe try to prolong it as long as possible. Really disappointed that it ended, but a lot of confidence from this streak. Because last year, that's what I was missing, kind of these streaks. I was doing sometimes finals, semis in Cincinnati, kind of playing good but not playing well enough in the semis. I managed to win 19 matches in a row. I’m proud of it, and now it’s time to try to build a new streak. There is no other way in tennis.”

Daniil Medvedev, joking to Indian Wells spectators after Carlos Alcaraz thrashed him 6-3, 6-2 in the 70-minute final to end the Russian’s 19-matching winning streak. The 27-year-old former No. 1 had won the three previous tournaments that he played — Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai.

March 20, 2023: "What I improve a lot is to don't take the pressure, just to play relaxed. That's why I show a great level, because I feel like I have no pressure. I enjoy. I'm playing relaxed. I really trust in every shot that I hit. If I miss, I don't mind."

Carlos Alcaraz, who became the first man to win the BNP Paribas Open without dropping a set since Roger Federer in 2017 and the youngest man to win the title in the desert.

March 20, 2023: "We just saw a level we rarely see in a tennis season. This kid can play an absolutely astonishing level of tennis."

— Tennis Channel analyst Paul Annacone, who formerly coached Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, on Carlos Alcaraz's sensational shotmaking when he routed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in the BNP Paribas Open to become only the second male teenager to win three or more Masters 1000 titles.

Feb. 16, 2023: “Novak is 35 years old, and he knows at 40 he won't manage this performance. I think it will be a hell of a ride after the Australian Open. It will be a completely different act and a completely different burden in Paris and Wimbledon. Success is his life’s dream, he wants to become the most successful player in history. Even as a child, he said: I'm going to be the best - and he was right. And now he is at the limit.”

— Boris Becker, speaking on Eurosport Germany’s tennis podcast ‘Das Gelbe vom Ball’, says that Novak Djokovic has always focused on becoming the greatest of all time, and his capturing his 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open helped him come closer to achieving that ambition.


Feb. 16, 2023: “I made history here for my country and for my home. I’m very proud of myself and especially thanks to all the fans and my team who came here to support. I couldn’t do this without any of you guys.”

— Wu Yibing became the first man from China to win an ATP title when he held off home hero John Isner 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 7-6(12) in a thrilling final to claim the Dallas Open. Also, no Chinese man had ever before defeated a top-10 opponent, and Wu used his all-court game to upset No. 8 Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals.


Feb. 16, 2023: “I for sure feel more at peace now. It's interesting. I think I feel torn because I'm still able to play at a very, very, very high level. With that being said, I always wanted to leave the game playing at a very high level. I also wanted to walk away when I'm healthy and have a quality of life. But I'm inch by inch leaning away, inch by inch embracing it. I was playing earlier when I first retired because it was hard to do it cold turkey. But lately, I haven't played so much. And I miss it. I'm like, 'Oh my goodness. I gotta get out there'. But it's hard for me to get out there. I did play the other day, and it's just like, 'There's no way I shouldn't be playing professional tennis'. Like, there's literally no excuse. But I mean, I guess there is an excuse, right? It's hard because when I'm playing I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm pretty good at this. I can continue to do this,' which not a lot of people can say."

— Serena Williams, the 23-time major champion played her last pro match at the 2022 US Open, talking to E! about her thoughts about retirement five months later.


Feb. 16, 2023: "Tennis matches, especially at this level with so much on the line, are about few points. Unfortunately, injustice happens daily to players when we have line & chair umpires calling & no electronic review. Just saying that at this level (WTA tour) umpires are not good enough (not to say BAD!) & that I am a big big big very fan of the electronic machine calling every single ball! I wish our sport would develop in this direction. Yes for those wondering.. It was match point down.. 5/6 in the third set 30:40. Great battle. Hard luck. What can we do? Unfortunately nothing. Up to the next one. Good night."

— French veteran Kristina Mladenovic, advocating for electronic line calling at all events because umpires are simply not good enough for this level. Mladenovic was left frustrated by her early loss in Lyon to Petra Martic, venting on social media.


Feb. 16, 2023: “They need to cut that out, allowing players to challenge line calls that cannot be changed."

— ESPN analyst and former No. 1 John McEnroe rightly stressed that the whole point of electronic line calling is to get line calls right, which should have meant the end of player challenges, but instead now merely indulge players and waste time.

Jan. 23, 2023: "Everyone is different. Some will stop eating and for me it was the opposite: I used to take refuge in food. You feel so empty, so sad, that you need to fill yourself. It came from the distress of not managing to do what I wanted to do on court, of not winning anymore, of suffering physically. Eating would appease me for a few minutes. We all know it does not last but it was an escape route. When you're alone, it's harder to control. In tennis, you spend a lot of time alone in your room. It's how it often happened.... You start understanding and realizing that if it happens, it's not the end of the world. Since I've been taking time for myself, it happens less. And when it happens, I accept it better and feel less guilty. Allowing myself some regular indulgences helps me avoid having too many of these cravings." 

— World No. 4 Caroline Garcia, who reached the US Open semis and win the WTA Finals last year, told French sports daily L'Equipe about her struggles with bulimia.   

Jan. 23, 2023: “I think it’s huge for Chinese men’s tennis. We have had really good players from the women’s side, but not really big names in the men’s. Hopefully, we can do something big in the future.”

— Teenage qualifier Shang Juncheng, a 17-year-old qualifier, became the first Chinese man to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open in the professional era, when he hit 34 winners to beat Germany’s Oscar Otte 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5.

Jan. 23, 2023: “A couple of years ago Andy, you played at the French Open and I was questioning you taking a wildcard. You went out and played against Stan Wawrinka on the Philippe-Chatrier, you didn’t look motivated and I thought maybe you shouldn’t have taken that wildcard. You then later told me that you were going to take every wildcard because ‘I am wanting to get back’. Today, you’ve proved me wrong in a way because to see you fight like that, to see your problem-solving skills and to get rewarded for all the hard work makes it all worthwhile to stay in this job."

— Eurosport tennis analyst and seven-time major champion Mats Wilander apologized to Andy Murray for doubting him after his impressive win over 13th seed Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open.

Jan. 23, 2023: “I stayed calm when I needed to and made the serve when I needed to. Held when I needed to. I think that definitely comes with maturity. I feel like in the past, I would have freaked out in that moment. Fans are eager to see a new face of the game.”

— 18-year-old American Coco Gauff, who staved off two set points, noting that she steadied herself and went on to a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over the 20-year-old Emma Raducanu in Rod Laver Arena to reach the third round at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2020.

Jan. 23, 2023:
“Sports and tennis can have a role in anything going on around the world. Tennis has players from every continent, tournaments in every continent and it’s seen worldwide on TV. Tennis players have a voice, and I think they’ve used it well over the past year, especially in terms of some political debates and the war in Ukraine. Tennis has stood its ground well.”

— Casper Ruud, a Norwegian who was the runner-up at the French Open and US Open in 2022 and is seeded second at the Australian Open.


Dec. 14, 2022: “In my mind, I always see myself as the best player in the world, of course.”

—Supremely confident Novak Djokovic, after winning his record-equaling sixth title at the ATP Finals with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over world No. 3 Casper Ruud in the final.

Dec. 14, 2022: “In the end, it’s been disappointing to end up losing these big finals. Overall, if you gave me an offer to end the year at No. 3, play the finals that I’ve played, on the 1st of January this year, I would sign the contract right away. No doubt about it.”

Casper Ruud, on his highly successful yet bittersweet year. The mild-mannered, 23-year-old seized three tour titles but lost four prestigious finals at the U.S. Open, Roland Garros, the Miami Open, and the ATP Finals.

Dec. 14, 2022: “Casper Ruud, I remember when he came to the [Nadal] academy, he had a bad backhand because in my opinion he made bad movement with his legs. Now his backhand is enough good. Every year, he has improved a little. I remember, when he came to the academy, never thought that he could be No. 2 in the world. Now, I have seen many of his matches and he is a very good tennis player. He can be No. 1. Casper has this capacity. Normally, he makes things very easy, very simple, and not complicated. Go, boom, and every time calm, he hits very well.”

Toni Nadal, telling Eurosport that 23-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud, the French, U.S., and ATP Finals runner-up, now ranked No. 3, can rise to No. 1.

Dec. 14, 2022: “Things out of his control are impacting Stefanos. His family is so invested in his success. They want to help him from the sidelines, but they’re just hurting him. And it’s hurting his chances to play good tennis. You saw how he threw his serve away with two double faults [in the third set]. He got lost in the match when his parents started jawing at each other. It seems like they need a therapy session to figure it all out. Because they want their kid to do well, but it’s just not working. The way it’s going right now, it’s hurting him more than it’s helping.”

— Former No. 1 Jim Courier, on Tennis Channel, summed up the Tsitsipas family dysfunction, which has a history of illegal coaching during matches, drawing repeated warnings from umpires and complaints from opponents. Stefanos has told his parents he doesn’t want their input, but that hasn’t stopped his garrulous dad from shouting from the player’s box. In the third set of his 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Rublev at the ATP Finals, a frustrated and angry Tsitsipas whacked a ball toward his father.

Dec. 14, 2022: “Obviously the doubles with Vasek in the quarter-finals against Germany was massive. Against an undefeated (Davis Cup) team, coming back from a set down, we just completely lit it up. It was crazy, crazy. We didn’t miss a ball for a while there. It was like an out-of-body experience. It was crazy.”

Denis Shapovalov, calling his 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 doubles win with Vasek Pospisil over Germans Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz a highlight of Canada’s winning the Davis Cup for the first time.

Nov. 21, 2022: “Federer, 41, leaves with an airtight case as the GOAT of men’s tennis—20 Grand Slam titles, 310 weeks ranked world No. 1 and perhaps the purest, most varied shotmaking the game has ever seen.”

— Sports Illustrated magazine's dubious claim that Roger Federer is the GOAT, despite the fact that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have significantly better career records.

Nov. 21, 2022: “What a talent Alcaraz is. This kid's rise has been meteoric. He so obviously passes the eye test for someone who is going to win majors, now to get to No. 1 that quickly, that's a different story. As we look forward to next year, I still think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't think Novak Djokovic is the best player in the world. But the No. 1 rank for Alcaraz is well-deserved, he was unbelievable to watch this year. I wish so badly he was in Turin mixing it up this week with this group of phenomenal players, but we want health and he has a long career ahead of himself. Hopefully, he comes back healthy and ready, and I can’t wait to see him match up with Rafa [Nadal], Novak, and the guys that are going to try to claim that territory for as long as they can. What a gift to the game Alcaraz has been.”

— Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, praising world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz on Tennis Channel.

Nov. 21, 2022“My main takeaway from this is a little bit of a feeling of empathy for Stef Tsitsipas. Things that are out of his control are impacting him. His family, they’re so invested in his success. They want so much for him, they want to help him from the sidelines, but they’re just hurting him. And it’s hurting his chances to play good tennis. You saw how he threw his serve away with two double faults [in the third set against Andrey Rublev]. He got lost in the match when his parents started jawing at each other. I just feel for the kid. Because Stef seems like a good guy to me, and he’s said time and time again he doesn’t want input from the bench. But they give it to him anyway. It seems like they need a therapy session to figure it all out. Because they all want the same. They want their kid to do well, of course, they do, but it’s just not working. The way it’s going about right now, it’s hurting him more than it’s helping."

— Former No. 1 Jim Courier, on the dysfunctional Tsitsipas family. During Stefanos’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Andrey Rublev, he whacked a ball at his talkative father during the third set in frustration.

Nov. 21, 2022: "It looks like the tournaments in a week suit me better than the Slams for now, so I need to make some adjustments. But it's a great experience and the week in Cincinnati really helped me get some confidence in my fitness, my level of tennis, my game style," [she told the WTA website].

— Caroline Garcia, after winning the WTA Finals for her biggest title. Garcia also ranked as high as No. 4 in 2018, but then fell to No. 19 in 2019 and was down to No.75 before starting her turnaround this season. This time, she wants to stay consistent.

Nov. 21, 2022: “I gave so much energy in Jil’s match, ’cause I was trying to push her so much. Storm [Sanders] was playing incredible, she was throwing everything at Jil. And she stayed so strong, every point she didn’t go away. And she, like, refused to lose and fought with everything she had, and I was so proud and so inspired in a way. And I kind of tried to do the same thing. I don’t think we got it yet, that we’re the first ones (from Switzerland) to win.”

— A jubilant Belinda Bencic, after she routed Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-1 in the final to clinch Switzerland’s first title at the Billie Jean King Cup.

Oct. 17, 2022: “Yeah, it’s a great story. Hopefully there will be a movie about it one day. But he has to win the Grand Slam first. You only get movies if you do well.”

Wayne Ferreira, coach of France Tiafoe, known as “Big Foe” in the tennis community, about the surprise US Open semifinalist’s Cinderella story.

Oct. 17, 2022: “Growing up, I never thought that I was different because the No. 1 player in the world was somebody who looked like me.”

Coco Gauff on Serena Williams, her girlhood idol.

Oct. 17, 2022: “Tennis is a psychological game, as well as it is physical. Sometimes, I guess, we are trying to act like we have good posture, but on the inside, we probably feel different. There is a bit of acting, as well, in sports.”

Casper Ruud, who reached his second Grand Slam final of 2022, at the US Open.

Oct. 17, 2022: “I wouldn't be Serena if there wasn’t Venus, so thank you, Venus [Williams]. She's the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed.”

— Serena Williams, paying tribute to her older sister Venus.

Oct. 17, 2022: “If you look at Daniil Medvedev only on the tennis court, only as a tennis player, maybe it’s not that easy to like him as much because my technique is a little bit odd. My game style is probably not the flashiest, but that’s because I want to win…But I do feel like when I interact with my fans, if they know a little bit more about who I am in real life, they start to like me more. I would think my personality together with what I am on the tennis court, what I am straight afterward in interviews or my personal life, is what makes some people a fan of Daniil Medvedev.”

Daniil Medvedev, making the case for sports fans to like him.

Oct. 17, 2022: "Roger, Where do we begin? It's been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many."

Wimbledon, where Roger Federer captured a men's record eight titles, issued an emotional statement after the Swiss superstar announced his retirement.

Sept. 15, 2022: “I’m a dynamic player. I can do anything on the court. The opponent can’t read my shots. In some moments, I can try (unique) shots. I can do a lot of shots.”

Carlos Alcaraz, asked what he considers his best quality after the 19-year-old Spaniard won the US Open.

Sept. 15, 2022: "I have the goal to put him on the high level of tennis. Of course, I think it's going to be very, very difficult to achieve what [the Big 3] have done on tennis. We're talking about 22 Grand Slams. He has only one. Is a long way still to go. But who knows? I think he has all the tennis and potential to be one of the best. All we have to do is try it."

Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has coached Carlos Alcaraz, the new world No. 1 since he was 15, has high hopes about the teen sensation’s future.

Sept. 15, 2022: “I have been playing tennis since before I have a memory because my father played with me for fun when I was young. Tennis has always been a big part of my life. When I saw Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer] on TV when I was young, I said that I want to be on TV someday myself. I think that just stuck with me all my life, that someday I would like to try to become world No. 1 and win Grand Slams.”

— Casper Ruud, who became the first Norwegian man in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam final, losing in four entertaining sets to Carlos Alcaraz but rising to a career-high No. 2 in the rankings.

Sept. 15, 2022: “You know, everyone loves a Cinderella story. Just trying to make one.”

— No. 22 seed Frances Tiafoe, after becoming the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006 by defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets.

Sept. 15, 2022: “You are fearless. I love it. And you hate to lose. It’s great. You’ve touched our hearts and minds to be our authentic self, to use our voices, to dream big. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially for women and women of color. Most of all, thank you for sharing your journey with every single one of us. We love you.”

Billie Jean King, paying tribute to superstar Serena Williams, who lost in the third round of her last Grand Slam event at the US Open.

Sept. 15, 2022: “It's like a confirmation for me that the sky is the limit.”

Iga Swiatek, a 21-year-old Pole, who won her first two Grand Slam titles on clay at the French Open, was thrilled and encouraged that her third major crown came on hard courts at the US Open.

Aug. 15, 2022: “You just have to be a mental animal to win a Grand Slam. Novak, Federer, and Nadal, I think I give them a bit more respect now. Playing one of them in the final, I felt like he was fresh, felt like he wasn’t playing tennis for the last two weeks, never seen him rattled. I take so much confidence from it. The doubles earlier in the year with Thanasi [Kokkinakis] really helped me mentally, even though it was doubles.”
— Nick Kyrgios told the Citi Open Instagram account what he learned during Wimbledon, where he reached his first Grand Slam final, losing in four high-quality sets to Novak Djokovic, who captured his seventh Wimbledon and 21st Grand Slam title.
Aug. 15, 2022: “I think it's someone that left it all out there. Played with their heart on their sleeve, gave absolutely a hundred percent every time they stepped onto the tennis court, no matter what the situation was. Someone that took great pride in playing for their country, playing for their teammates, their captain, coach. Loyalty was a big, big thing for me in my life in general. For me, repaying those people that had that belief in me and backed me, I felt like I had to do a lot of things for them throughout my career. So they're the things I’d like to be remembered for.”
— Lleyton Hewitt, an Australian star who won the 2001 US Open and the 2002 Wimbledon, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 17, asked by Tennis.com: What is the legacy you want people to take away from who Lleyton Hewitt was on the court?
Aug. 15, 2022: “When Ash was winning, at the top of her tennis, they had so many people coming for coaching lessons because of her. So she has affected a lot of young kids out there to want to play this wonderful game. (Role models) are very important. I think Ash has inspired a lot more young girls to get out there and play this lovely game. So who knows? Maybe we'll even find a champion here at the carnival.”
— Evonne Goolagong Cawley, the 1970s Australian champion, whose foundation sponsors Indigenous tennis, telling Reuters that Ashleigh Barty's impact had been clear in the community.
Aug. 15, 2022: “There is no happiness in this topic for me. I know it’s not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. It’s like a taboo topic…It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry.”
— What Serena Williams wrote in the September issue of Vogue magazine in her announcement that she would retire from pro tennis after the 2022 US Open.
Aug. 15, 2022: “I’ve learned a lot from them [Serena and sister Venus]. People always tell me that you’re going to be next whatever blah blah blah, and Serena has been considered the GOAT for at least the second half of her career and she never succumbed to that pressure. I think she overcame it, and I think that’s something I take from her and try to learn from it. Not that I’m at her level and experiencing the same pressure she is, but in the moment I try to emulate that.”
— Coco Gauff has not taken to the “next Serena” tag, but Gauff admits that Williams’ rise to dominance as a Black woman in a “predominantly white sport” is something to aspire to.
July 18, 2022“Usually when I’m coming back, I have some kind of a plan, and I know what to change. Here I didn’t know. I was confused. On grass courts, everything happens so quickly. I didn’t tank it, but I just didn’t know what to do.”
— World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, candidly explaining what went wrong in her error-prone 6-4, 6-2 Wimbledon fourth-round loss to Alize Cornet, who won 12 of the final 14 points and snapped Swiatek's 37-match winning streak.

July 18, 2022“Default or not? If that is me you are defaulting me. He has hit a ball in the f****** crowd. Are you dumb? It’s a default brother. It’s a default bro! What classifies as that then? What classifies it? So you can hit a ball into the crowd, hit someone and not get defaulted? Are you dumb?”                     

 — Nick Kyrgios, who earlier clashed with umpire Damien Dumusois over an errant line call, was outraged that Stefanos Tsitsipas wasn't defaulted when he whacked the ball in frustration, and it barely missed spectator and hit the Wimbledon Centre Court stadium wall during Kyrgios's four-set victory.

July 18, 2022: “I’m now in the quarterfinal of Wimbledon, so it’s really amazing for me. This means also that you always have to keep going. Doesn’t matter how old you are, doesn’t matter how many kids you have, you just have to keep going and to believe in yourself.”                                                                     

— Tatjana Maria, a mother of two daughters at 34 years, 10 months, and the oldest player left in the Wimbledon women singles draw.

July 18, 2022“I have lost words for what this tournament, what this trophy means to me, to my team and family. It always has been and will be the most special tournament in my heart, the one that motivated me, inspired me to start playing tennis in a small little mountain resort in Serbia where my parents used to run a restaurant. I was four or five years old, I saw Pete Sampras win his first Wimbledon in 1992 [actually 1993]. I asked my dad and mum to buy me a racket, my first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon. I always dreamt of coming here, playing in this court, and of course realising the childhood dream of winning this trophy. Every single time, it gets more and more meaningful and special. I am very blessed and very thankful to be standing here with the trophy.”

— Novak Djokovic, after defeating unseeded Nick Kyrgios 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 7–6 (3) for his fourth straight Wimbledon title and seventh overall and 21st Grand Slam title, putting him one behind Rafael Nadal and one ahead of Roger Federer.

July 18, 2022: “Maybe I proved that [you don’t always] have to have a great team from a young age, because I didn’t till the age of 17, 18. So I think this is the most important thing, that everybody, no matter their financial situation, no matter who they are, they can play and achieve many great results.”

— Elena Rybakina, a pre-Wimbledon 100-1 longshot from Kazakhstan, after overpowering favorite Ons Jabeur, of Tunisia, also in her first Grand Slam final, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to capture her first Grand Slam title.

June 17, 2022: “We’ve talked so long about the Big 3, but the last couple of years, it’s been the Big 1. And we’ve been talking about the ‘Next Gen’ for so long. [Alcaraz] said he grew up idolizing Federer, but he reminds in temperament much more of Rafa, playing every point for what it’s worth. Down love-40 serving, he still thinks he should win that game. He’s that guy. He plays with the joy of an 8-year-old who wants to show you he can do 100 pushups.”
— Mary Carillo, praising 19-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz in The New York Post.
June 17, 2022“Fear is actually what we can feel every day in tennis. You’re scared to lose. Sometimes you are scared of what people gonna think about you. You know, so for example, I was No. 1 in the world for two weeks, if I’m not mistaken. I’m not scared if people are going to say, ‘Well, yeah, it doesn’t matter, you were only two weeks.’ But you can be scared of this. I think in every sport, especially the higher you get, the more you can have this situation. I try to work hard on, you know, not being scared of anything and just learning, even if I do mistakes, not being scared to repeat them but try not to repeat them.”
— Daniil Medvedev, talking about what fear can do to you when you’re in the public eye, and how he’s tried to overcome it.
June 17, 2022: “I give my 100 percent every day. I don't need these kinds of extra comments, because, of course, it doesn't help my confidence, either. I'm not a robot, you know. So these kinds of things I decide not to read anymore. I'm sorry if someone is tagging me on Twitter or Instagram because I'm not seeing it. But jokes aside. Yeah, I think it was the first step to protect myself.”
— No. 3 seed Paula Badosa, who came into Roland Garros with mixed results, saying she had been feeling too much pressure from critics, including the Spanish media and Internet trolls.
June 17, 2022: “It’s basically the hardest part of the job. You can see in Grand Slams that there are a lot of surprises. It’s not easy to cope with all that different atmosphere and the pressure, because everybody is preparing for the Grand Slams always, you know. I felt the baggage. The hardest thing is like not letting yourself think about that and overanalyze, and not letting yourself think about all the numbers and the odds, you know. I’ve been doing that for a few months now, and for sure, two weeks here were harder. But it’s part of the work and I’m getting better and better at it, and that’s also something that I’m proud of.”
— Iga Swiatek, on the challenge of winning a major title, after the 21-year-old Pole outclassed Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 to capture her second French Open title.
June 17, 2022: “It’s amazing, much more, probably, emotional than the first time because it was completely unexpected to be where I am at this age, at this stage of my career. It means everything. I have been going through tough times this past couple of months and to have the trophy with me here is something, just unbelievable.”
— Rafael Nadal, after winning a historic 14th French Open title by trouncing Noway's Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the final. Interestingly, the Spaniard’s latest, record-extending title etched a spot in the history books on the same day he won his first French Open in 2005. 
May 20, 2022: "I think it's very unfair to my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues, in that sense it's not their fault what's happening in this moment with the war. Let's see what happens in the next weeks, if the players will take some kind of decision. There's one thing that's negative, there are things that are clear. When the government imposes some restrictions, you just have to follow them."
— Rafael Nadal told reporters at the Madrid Open that Wimbledon’s ban of Russian and Belarusian players because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unfair.
May 20, 2022: "We competed together... we’ve played each other on tour. Please tell me how it is fair that Ukrainian players cannot return home? How it is fair that Ukrainian kids cannot play tennis? How is it fair that Ukrainians are dying?"
— Kyiv native Sergiy Stakhovsky, a former ATP player who enlisted in the Ukraine military reserve to defend his beloved country, passionately slammed  Rafael Nadal’s views on Twitter, highlighting the dire crisis in his home country.
May 20, 2022: “I'm not going to lie, it's not like every day is being perfect. I talk to my therapist at least once a week, and I just try to be more open to things. Say something happens that kind of throws me off my groove, I try to see it from a different perspective. I was talking to my therapist about that, being more open to all the possibilities. I would say that filtering the negativity from a minority is something that I'm getting better at doing. I'm doing mental exercises to focus on the positive.”
— Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has admitted that "not every day is perfect" but she is giving her best to improve her mental health and live a healthy and happy life.
May 20, 2022: “I love to watch him play, as do a lot of other players on the tour. He’s fantastic for our sport, no doubt. I think it’s great that we have a young player who is doing so well and giving a new fresh breath to the tennis world. Seeing that and knowing that he’s a very nice guy, very humble with good values, is a perfect combination.”
— Novak Djokovic, with high praise for rising star Carlos Alcaraz after the 19-year-old Spaniard upset him at the Madrid Open.
May 20, 2022: “I think it’s a horrible thing. I think breaking a racket on a tennis court is a low-level gesture, because most people can’t afford to buy one. Lleyton Hewitt told me that children in Australia are starting to behave like Kyrgios. I’m not saying they throw rackets on every occasion, but they often send the ball off the court like Kyrgios. This is serious enough. Nick is very talented, but he doesn’t use his head. He never uses his feet when he hits the ball, but many guys admire him. I think it’s atrocious.”
— Seven-time major titlist Mats Wilander, in an interview with Tennis Head, spoke about misbehaving Australian Nick Kyrgios and the recent penalties imposed by the ATP.
April 15: “I didn’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore.”
— Ashleigh Barty, on why she decided to retire at age 25. Barty stunned the tennis world on March 22 when she announced she would be retiring as the current WTA world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion.
April 15: “I was crying for 40 minutes. Mainly, it was because of Ash's retirement. I didn't know it was going to happen and it really surprised me. I always had this vision that we would all play until we are 35 or something, until our bodies are so tired that we can't any more. I needed time to actually understand what she must have thought. Her decision was really brave and I felt a lot of emotions because of that. I also felt emotional because of my own position. I realised after two hours of being really emotional that 'hey, you don't know what is going to happen yet, and you still have to win some matches.’ So I told myself 'let's wait with the emotions and with being excited because I have work to do’”
— Iga Swiatek, telling the BBC that world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty's decision to retire made her so emotional that she cried for 40 minutes.
April 15: “Yeah, I don't know. It feels kind of good to chase something, and I think that maybe that's a feeling that I have been missing, like wanting to strive to do better. For me, like, it's cool to see where the level of No. 1 is so like I can find out if I can reach that, if that makes sense.”
— Naomi Osaka, saying the thrill of being the hunter will inspire her as she tries to regain the No. 1 ranking.
April 15: “His evolution during these months has been meteoric. He has improved in all aspects of his game, both physically and technically. His journey in this tournament has not been easy. If in some meetings he got rid of his rivals with authority, in others he had to squeeze to the end. And in the latter, we were able to verify his high degree of maturity, his desire to fight and the mental strength he has to face really complicated situations.”
— Toni Nadal, praising Carlos Alcaraz’s physical and mental strength before the Miami Open final, which Alcaraz won for his first Masters 1000 title, in his column in El Pais.
April 15: "I don’t know what the reason is, but if you’re trying to be the best in history and you’re going to give up the race for some vaccines, you have to be the king of stupidity. I believe that at first it was out of fear, but now he is being too arrogant."
— Former No. 1 Marcelo Rios told La Tercera, as revealed by Sasa Ozmo. Djokovic has stated that he is willing to miss tournaments that introduce mandatory vaccination.
March 30, 2022: “Now at 35 that's absurd, at 35 years old, to go in 15-0, best season start of his career ever, is absolutely amazing. How do you even stay motivated for that span of 17 years?"
— Former No. 1 Tracy Austin, on Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal’s torrid start in 2022, which includes two wins over new No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.
March 30, 2022: “The worst I’ve ever gotten, I remember, was when I was in a tournament in Canada, and I was having a really great run. It was a $60,000 event and I went through qualifying and then I beat the No 1 seed [Mihaela Buzarnescu] in the main draw as a qualifier. And the negativity came right there. Everyone had betted for her to win, of course. My win was obviously not expected. I didn’t even expect to win. So clearly, people weren’t happy that had betted for her to win. The messages rolled in. It was like, ‘I hope you die. I hope your whole family dies of cancer.’”
— Julia Elbaba, a former American pro with a career-high WTA singles ranking of 372, experienced social media abuse and threats from gamblers who have lost money on a match she played.
March 30, 2022: “I think he’s unstoppable in terms of his career. He has the passion. He’s humble enough to work hard. He reminds me of things when I was a 17- or 18-year-old kid.”
— Rafael Nadal, on 18-year-year Carlos Alcaraz, who overpowered world No. 12 Cam Norrie 6-4, 6-3 in the Indian Wells quarters, before Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 him in the semifinals. (They played once before, on clay in Madrid in 2021, and Rafa won 6-1, 6-2.)
March 30, 2022: “You already know that I like to cry, so I was crying for a long time. Yeah, I mean, there was a lot of confusion in me, for sure. But also, like, sadness because when I think of the player that is really complete in terms of physicality, mentality, tennis-wise, I always thought of Ash and I always looked up to her. I mean, I still do. It would be really nice also to be able to compete against her for the next few years and actually try to play better and better, to be able to beat her slice. Yeah, I mean, we're going to miss her, for sure."
— Iga Swiatek told the media in Miami on March 24 how sad she was to learn of world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty’s shocking retirement at age 25.
March 30, 2022: “I honestly still don’t imagine how my wife will forgive me, if she ever will. The worst thing out of it all (was speaking to my) youngest one. I have a three-year-old son and I was at the door and he asked me, ‘Daddy, where are you going?’ and I said, ‘I’ll be right back’. That’s the toughest one. Apart from that, I never took it lightly. I barely slept since the war broke out. I can’t really sleep. Honestly, now being in Kyiv, yes, it is stressful, yes, it is different. But I honestly feel relief, because I see the energy in the eyes of the people when I was crossing Ukraine because I actually drove from the Slovakian border all the way to Kyiv, so basically around 700km. I can see how well the self-organisation of the territorial defence is working. Little cities, villages, they get around and build roadblocks. They take their hunting rifles, and they all stand and they all check and they all want to help to prevail, to win. I’m not a soldier. I know how to use the guns, but I’ve never shot anyone or been in a gunfight. So, it’s not really something that I’m looking forward to, but if it’s necessary, I will do it.”
— Sergiy Stakhovsky told RSN that he and his compatriots would do whatever was required to help. Former world No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky, who retired after this year’s Australian Open, has signed up to join his country’s military reserves despite having no experience. Stakhovsky left behind his wife and three children to drive about 700km into war-torn Ukraine.
March 30, 2022: “I do not blame any of the Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland.”
— Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina, in her Feb. 28 social media post, said her objective in demanding tennis follow the International Olympic Committee’s lead and insist that players from Russia and Belarus are only identified as “neutral athletes” was not against individual competitors.
Feb. 28, 2022: “Every round I play a Grand Slam champion so it’s not the easiest draw. I mean every match is a really tough one. So I was really ready for a fight, for a battle.”
— An aggressive Jelena Ostapenko overpowered Simona Halep 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-0—her fourth straight win over a Grand Slam champion—to drive into her first final of the season at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships in a rematch of the 2017 Roland Garros final. It is the third straight match Ostapenko, who swept 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in her opener, recovered from a set down to take down a Slam champion. Ostapenko rallied past 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) in the round of 16 then denied match point toppling two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (9) in the quarterfinals.
Feb. 28, 2022: “It was dangerous, reckless. I’m certainly not claiming to be an angel. I’m not perfect myself. However, when you’re ripping your tennis racquet right next to the umpire multiple times, you can’t be doing that… It’s graphite flying off the racquet, as well.”
— Andy Murray, in his press conference after losing to Jannik Sinner, 7-5, 6-2, admitted he has behaved badly in the heat of the moment before. Even so, Murray believes Alexander Zverev went too far when he aggressively swung his racquet three times at the chair umpire’s box while glaring at umpire Alessandro Germani after his doubles match at Acapulco, Mexico.
Feb. 28, 2022: “Life is interesting and tennis life is interesting, so there are different moments where, whether with the best or the worst matches in your career, some time passes and it’s always an experience. At least for me, it motivates me to be better. I learn from my mistakes and also from my victories. Australia is the same: when time passed, I made some conclusions about myself and everything else. It helped me mature and understand some things better. As we all know, I never ask anyone to cheer me on, and when you’re playing against Rafa, who is playing for his 21st Grand Slam—and we never know how much time he has left because he himself has said he’s been many times injured and many times thought he wouldn’t come back—I understand that everybody is going to be for Rafa. It’s just that, everybody was for Rafa and there were some really disrespectful moments, and that’s what I was really sad about. At the same time, I know my mistakes, so after the tournament, I made some conclusions where I’m going to try and be better and care less about others.”
— Daniil Medvedev, musing in Acapulco after a straight-set win over Benoit Paire,  
Feb. 28, 2022: “I really felt sad that he was experiencing these kinds of emotions because the inner kid is the reason why we are playing tennis. I mean, at least in my case and I think in his case. Most of the players pick up the racquet when they were young because they fell in love with the sport, they dream to achieve some of the greatest things this sport can offer them. I had plenty of matches where I had the crowd on my side and the crowd against me. This is part of the sport. You can't expect always to have the support behind you. Sometimes you just wish things to be different.”
 — An empathetic Novak Djokovic echoed those sentiments in Dubai, having discussed Daniil Medvedev’s post-Melbourne malaise over text.
Feb. 28, 2022: “It makes the world of difference to our armed forces that they are not alone at least in a media environment, but let’s be realistic here, it’s been eight years of war with Russia, where was all of this for eight years? None of us believed that this could happen, and yet it happened. None of the European leaders or the world is ready to help, ready to put the fight in Ukraine maybe for a better Europe in the future, because once Ukraine is lost, we will resist.”
— Sergiy Stakhovsky, age 36, saying he is now ready to fight for his country. Stakhovsky, who reached a singles ranking of world No 31 and famously upset Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, is in the process of helping his wife and children to safety in Hungary.
Jan. 31, 2022: “Also I have a goal in the press room, that I'm never going to cry again, so hopefully that works out in my favor. I just feel like for me, I'm the type of person that cared a little bit too much about the results and the ranking and stuff like that. And I just need to find a way to enjoy the game again because that's the reason why I was playing in the first place.”
— Naomi Osaka, saying her new goal is to never cry in the pressroom. Following her three-set win over Alizé Cornet on Jan. 4 in Melbourne, the four-time Grand Slam champion admitted that she had taken things a little too seriously in 2021.
Jan. 31, 2022: “I think 2022 is all about learning for me. Being in those situations of, you know, winning a set and then having to fight in a decider is definitely all just accumulating into a bank of experience that I can tap into later on down the line.”
— Emma Raducanu, the shock 22021 US Open champion, after beating 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in the Australian Open’s first round.
Jan. 31, 2022: “I've been in a wheelchair my whole life. I was born with a tumor wrapped around my spinal cord that was cut out when I was only a couple of days old. I've known nothing but having a disability, and if I'm honest with you, I can’t tell you how much I used to hate myself. I hated being different and I didn’t want to be here anymore. I really didn’t. Whenever I turned on the TV, or the radio or the newspaper, I never saw anybody like me. And whenever I did, it was a road safety ad where someone drink drives, has a car accident and what's the next scene? Someone like me in tears because their life was over.... I’m really the luckiest guy in the world and I didn't need to win today to realize that. It's because you, everybody watching here today, people like me with a disability, we are getting not only the recognition but we are integrated and involved in our society."
— Australian wheelchair tennis icon Dylan Alcott, whose fabulous career—highlighted by 15 singles and eight doubles Grand Slam titles plus two Paralympics gold medals—came to a close at the Australian Open with a loss in the quad final.
Jan. 31, 2022: “I don’t know what to say, for me, it’s just amazing. Being honest, one month and a half ago I didn’t know if I would be able to be back on the tour again. You really don’t know how much I fight to be here. I can’t thank you enough [for] all the support I receive since I arrive here. You are just amazing. Thank you so much for the love and support; without a doubt probably one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career having the huge support I received during the last three weeks. It's just gonna stay in my heart for the rest of my life so many, many thanks.”
— Rafael Nadal, thanking the crowd after he overcame Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to capture a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title in an epic and amazing Australian Open final. Nadal became the first man in Open Era history to fight back from two sets down to win the Australian Open final. It was a rematch of Nadal’s riveting five-set triumph over Medvedev in the 2019 US Open final.
Jan. 31, 2022“As an Aussie, the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people. This crowd is one of the most fun I’ve ever played in front of. You relaxed me, forced me to play my best tennis.”
— Ashleigh Barty, after she rebounded from a 5-1 second-set deficit to defeat Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 (2) to become the first Australian since Chris O’Neil in 1978 to win the Australian Open singles title. The world No. 1 Barty captured her third Grand Slam title in three finals. Barty now has Grand Slam singles titles on three surfaces, adding the hard court at Melbourne Park to her win on grass at Wimbledon last year and on clay at the 2019 French Open. She joins Serena Williams as the only active players on the women’s tour with majors on all three surfaces.
Dec. 29, 2021: “Before there used to always talk about Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. Now the big titles were the Olympics, U.S. Open, Turin and Wimbledon, and they were all won by Medvedev, Djokovic, and me. I don’t expect it to be any different next year.”
— Alexander Zverev, saying that he believes that Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, and himself are going to dominate the ATP Tour in 2022 just as they did in 2021.
Dec. 29, 2021: “Peng’s message has been removed from the internet and discussion of this serious issue has been censored in China. Chinese officials have been provided the opportunity to cease this censorship, verifiably prove that Peng is free and able to speak without interference or intimidation, and investigate the allegation of sexual assault in a full, fair, and transparent manner. Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation. The WTA has been clear on what is needed here, and we repeat our call for a full and transparent investigation—without censorship—into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.”
— The WTA called for “a full and transparent investigation” into the claims of sexual assault by former doubles No. 1 Peng Shuai.
Dec. 29, 2021: “It feels amazing, but I’m happier for the team than for myself. We have an amazing team, amazing atmosphere, and I’m just happy to be part of this team and to be able to bring the points that we need. It was a pretty amazing two weeks because it’s never easy to come here at the end of the season. Two of the best weeks of my career.”
— World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, whose 7-6 (7), 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic and Andrey Rublev’s 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over 279th-ranked Borna Gojo clinched Russia’s first Davis Cup title since 2006. The Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) completed a trophy double over Croatia in the final in Madrid a month after the Russians claimed the prize at the Billie Jean King Cup finals to give the country the two most prestigious trophies in international team tennis.
Dec. 29, 2021“He is totally unique. I think it's really about time—even though there are a lot of people who obviously respect his huge career—that people realize what he is achieving. You can like Novak Djokovic, you can dislike him, there are many people who don't fancy his character, but what he is doing in his career, what the champion is doing, is simply extraordinary."
— Seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin talking to Eurosport about Novak Djokovic, highlighting some of the Serb’s standout qualities.
Nov. 25, 2021: “Djokovic makes it look so easy it fools the eye. It’s less obvious than Federer’s grace and Nadal’s physicality. I call his strokes effortless brutality.”
— Former No. 1 Jim Courier, on Novak Djokovic’s averaging 80 mph on his forehand, the same as Caper Rudd, during their ATP Finals round-robin match despite swinging less hard.
Nov. 25, 2021: “He’s been playing great tennis for a while, but now he’s also playing very intelligent tennis. He’s improving his game. I’ve seen him hit his backhand slice approach shot and hit a volley drop shot to finish off the point, serve-and-volley. ... I really enjoyed watching it.”
— Mischa Zverev, Alexander Zverev’s older brother and fellow pro who has been coaching him in the absence of Alexander Zverev Sr., after Alexander defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the ATP Finals.
Nov. 25, 2021: “Maybe the mind is now my best weapon when a couple of years ago it was the worst I had. I was the typical player who said I played well but had no head to be among the best in the world. I listened to it so much that I set the goal of trying to be one of the best mentally, and I think I am succeeding. That part is the most difficult to improve and the step has been very big this year.”
— Spain’s Paula Badosa, who turned 24 on Nov. 15, on how her newfound mental strength helped her jump 60 places in the rankings, from 70th to 10th, in 2021 when she won her first title in Belgrade and then in Indian Wells and qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals.
Nov. 25, 2021: “Great players like Stefanos or Jannik have won this tournament, but it is useless if you do not accompany it with the work and discipline that comes with fulfilling your dream. My dream is to be number one in the world and I will work hard for it. Beyond winning this tournament or not, I’m still focused on my goal, which is to be world number one. It is fantastic to finish the season winning this title. I have played great games against good players, so it is the perfect closing of the year.”
— Carlos Alcaraz, after defeating Sebastian Korda 4-3, 4-2, 4-2 in the final to win the Next Gen ATP Finals. Alcaraz has surged this year from No. 141 in the world to No. 32.
Nov. 25, 2021: “I think tennis has been one of the best sports in this regard. Also the subject of AIDS, with Arthur Ashe (The former African-American tennis player was infected by a transfusion and announced it at a press conference on April 9, 1992). We were more open and fair with the LGTBIQ + issue. Martina Navratilova and I were almost the first to come out of the closet. When she had it decided, I told her: ‘If you can, announce it and that way you will control the message.’ We dated in 1981 and then I tried to find out who I was. She said she was bisexual. But the point is, we talk about it. The more often someone is discovered the better the issue will be understood, because people will realize that many people are LGBTQ +. And all families, probably almost all, even if they don’t know it, have such a person in their midst. It is always important to be as authentic as possible with yourself and leave a much better life for others if you can.”
— Women’s rights pioneer Billie Jean King, asked: Do you think that the topic of homosexuality is still taboo in the world of tennis?

Oct. 25, 2021: “I have to be honest. It was a bit rough for me to watch both of their runs. I’m trying to be the best I can be, so I obviously want to be where they are, and I’m sure it’s going to happen soon. It just didn’t feel very nice to watch them playing a final. It was very inspirational because it gave me strength and helped me realize that I can do the same thing. This is a thing they gave me, and I’m very thankful for that. Leading something is never easy: when you are the first, there’s always extra pressure and more expectations.”

Marta Kostyuk, a highly touted 18-year-old from Ukraine, confiding she found herself crestfallen to see Emma Raducanu and runner-up Leylah Fernandez suddenly surpass her and play the century’s first all-teen final in Flushing Meadows, after she reached her third WTA semifinal of the season, by routing Raducanu 6-1, 6-2 at the Transsylvania Open in Romania.

Oct. 25, 2021: “Less than a year after tennis officials engaged in painstaking wrangling with players to accept quarantine conditions just to get the [2021] Australian Open off the ground, the sport faces another battle: convincing unvaccinated players to get the jab. After confirmation that Australia is mandating double vaccination as a condition of entry, the nation’s annual tennis-fest at Melbourne Park in January represents a sudden reality for professional tennis players: get vaccinated for COVID-19, or don’t come. Suddenly, it’s suck it up or skip a slam.”

Scott Spits, sports columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, in his Oct. 24 column titled “Get the jab or skip a slam: does professional tennis have a vaccination problem?”

Oct. 25, 2021: “I think we are watching a future No.1—he’s got it all. Mentality, the athleticism, there are very few places to go [higher in the rankings], you’d only imagine with the attitude he’s shown, with the great coach that he’s teamed up with, that he’s going to continue to improve. He’s a quiet character but there’s some real drive there.”

Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray’s former coach, impressed by 20-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner’s potential while commentating during Sinner’s overpowering 6-2 6-2 victory over Diego Schwartzman in the Antwerp final.

Oct. 25, 2021: “You only get to play the Olympics once every four years, not four times a year. And a gold medal every bit as valuable as a major title these days.”

Jim Courier, a four-time major champion in the 1990s, on the great value of an Olympics gold medal.

Oct. 25, 2021: “The young guys are better than us, if I’m being honest. Korda is a hell of a player…Brooksby is brutal…He’s going to be a big second-week guy. [Brandon] Nakashima is as pure of a ball-striker as there is. The young guys are going to be the guys to beat, from the American standpoint…Korda’s dad was a great player – no offense to Seb but it’s hard not to be great. He grew up with a great tennis mind and he’s a nice kid. He’s got a nice build, a nice modern-day tennis frame…[But] I’d invest in Brooksby. He’s special, and could be No. 1. His mind works so differently. He’s got this game plan, he sees things so well and is so tricky. Behind the baseline he reminds me of Djokovic. He’s got great depth, is a great ball striker, a great mover, good size and intangibles. He’s got this X-factor, his mindset, that could make him a future Grand Slam champion.”

Reilly Opelka, telling Inside Tennis why Sebastian Korda and Jenson Brooksby are future champions.

Sept. 18, 2021: “Can’t get any worse. You’ve lost to her every time. Try something different.”

— Shelby Rogers, a heavy underdog, asked about her mindset when she trailed world No. 1 Ash Barty 5-2 in the third set before Barty blew a big lead in the final set and lost to 43rd-ranked Rogers, a veteran American, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (5). Rogers was a quarterfinalist at the US Open a year ago, while Barty owns titles from the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon this July but never has been past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. Coming into this match, Barty was 5-0 against Rogers.

Sept. 18, 2021: “I don’t feel absolutely any pressure. I’m still only 18 years old. I’m just having a free swing at anything that comes my way. That’s how I faced every match here in the States. It got me this trophy, so I don’t think I should change anything.”

— Emma Raducanu, an 18-year-old Englishwoman who didn't lose a set and defeated Leylah Fernandez, another longshot, 6-1, 6-4 in the final to become the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam singles title.

 Sept. 18, 2021: “Tennis is such a brutal sport where there is no room for error when you’re playing top guys. I am a top guy; he is a top guy. ... It’s always about the small details. He definitely was not at his best; we saw him playing better. The question is, if he would be [at his best], would I be able to [keep] up with him? We can never know now.”

— Daniil Medvedev, after he decisively upset Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final to win his first major singles title and thwart Djokovic's bid to capture the first Grand Slam since Rod Laver's in 1969.

Sept. 18, 2021: "I am going for a fourth US Open, that's all I am thinking about. It is only one match left. I'm all in. I have to put my heart, soul, body... I am going to play this match like it's the last match of my career."

— Novak Djokovic said this with a laugh after he edged Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the US Open semifinals.

Sept. 18, 2021: “From a very young age I was just a happy-go-lucky girl. I never really take things too seriously. During the past year with all the difficulties around the world, I was lucky enough to have my family and my sisters…Every time I was feeling down, they were always there to bring me back up. My younger sister makes me laugh all the time…[She’s] the person [responsible for who] I am today, being so happy, so carefree. “[My parents taught me] you can’t take things too seriously, you’ve got to be mature but at the same time just be a kid, let loose, have fun, eat chocolate when you want, just have fun, watch movies, go past your bedtime…My family have definitely kept the joy for me.”

— Leylah Fernandez, a 200-1 pre-tournament longshot who reached the US Open final, explaining to Inside Tennis her joie de vivre.

Aug. 22, 2021: “I really don’t know how it worked out for me. I really had a lot of belief in myself. I gave it my best, I gave it my all and I’m really proud now. It’s a magnificent moment.”
— Belinda Bencic, after she outlasted Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to win the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Aug. 22, 2021: “The most amount of tears I’ve ever seen shed is at the Olympics Games—more than anywhere else on tour.”
— NBC tennis analyst Rennae Stubbs, during Belinda Bencic’s victory over Marketa Vondrousova in the gold medal final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Aug. 22, 2021: “This is the biggest tournament you can win, in any sport. I can’t believe it, I’m an Olympic gold medalist.”
— Alexander Zverev, a 24-year-old German, after his resounding 6-3, 6-1 Olympic gold medal win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov, culminating a week in which he dropped just one set in singles and also upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
Aug. 22, 2021: “The gold medal [at the Tokyo Olympics] has done wonders for his confidence. He has that air about him that he can beat anyone. This guy is going to win multiple, multiple Slams.”
— Prakash Amritraj, a Tennis Channel analyst, after Alexander Zverev trounced Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 in the Cincinnati final for his fifth Masters 1000 title.
Aug. 22, 2021: “I have definitely gotten mentally tougher this year, and it’s only kept improving. I just really love, truly love playing on these stages. No opponent will faze me. I can compete with anyone.”
— Jenson Brooksby, a 20-year-old American ranked No. 130 when he upset Frances Tiafoe, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and John Millman to reach the Citi Open semifinals in Washington, D.C., where Jannik Sinner defeated him 7-6, 6-1.

July 30, 2021: “I am a better player in all areas. The journey that I've been through has been very rewarding for every segment of my game and also my mental strength, the experience, understanding of how to cope with the pressure in the big moments, how to be a clutch player when it matters the most. Just the ability to cope with pressure. The more you play the big matches, the more experience you have. The more experience you have, the more you believe in yourself. The more you win, the more confident you are. It's all connected. Obviously, it's all coming together. In the last couple of years, for me, age is just a number. I don't feel that I'm old or anything like that. Obviously, things are a bit different, and you have to adjust and adapt to your, so to say, phases you go through in your career. But I feel like I'm probably the most complete that I've been as a player right now in my entire career.”

Novak Djokovic, who turned 34 on May 22nd, believes he’s playing the best tennis of his career after he defeated 25-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final to move three-quarters of the way to becoming the first man since Australia's Rod Laver in 1969 to capture the Grand Slam.

July 30, 2021: “I have a very large team. I know not everyone is here with me this week. I've got obviously my family at home, I mean, trainers, physios back in Australia. I also have my trainer and physio this week as well as Tyz and Garry. It's nice to be able to share some of these awesome moments with those that put so much time and energy into my career and allow me, encourage me, help me kind of work and figure out a plan and a way that they try and achieve our dreams. I think being able to share that with them is really special.”

Ashleigh Barty, on the team effort that enabled her to perform at her best to defeat Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 to win her first Wimbledon and second Grand Slam title.

July 30, 2021: “I know that he was chasing history, but in this kind of moments, me and Novak are very close. I feel sorry for Novak, but he’s won 20 Grand Slams, 550 Masters series or whatever. You can’t have everything. Of course, I am happy that I’ve won, but in the end of the day I also know how he feels. I told Novak he is the greatest player of all time. I am 99 percent sure that he will win the most Grand Slams, the most Masters 1000. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you’re going to bring a medal back home. It seemed it was impossible to beat him at this event, so I’m very happy right now, but yet there’s still one match to go.”

— No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev, who stunned Djokovic 1-6 6-3 6-1 to secure the gold medal decider against Karen Khachanov at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

July 30, 2021: “I really don’t know how it worked out for me. I really had a lot of belief in myself. I gave it my best, I gave it my all and I’m really proud now. It’s a magnificent moment.”

Belinda Bencic, who wept tears of joy after she outlasted Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to win the singles gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

June 19, 2021: “Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland-Garros for me, and top three matches that I ever played in my entire career, considering the quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15- plus years, and the atmosphere which was completely electric. For both players, a lot of support. Just amazing.”

Novak Djokovic, a fter his epic 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 semifinal victory over Rafael Nadal. The Serb became the first man in history to own two victories over the Mallorcan at Roland-Garros.

June 19, 2021: “Everything is possible. I mean, definitely in my case I can say that what I've been through in my career, in my life, this journey has been terrific so far. I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve. Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam. But I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal.”

Novak Djokovic, after overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open final, for the second time in his career would turn to Wimbledon with the season’s opening two majors in his bag, halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam. And as had been the case five years ago, the prospect of a Golden Slam was also alive.

June 19, 2021: “Despite my loss today, I have faith in my game. I very much believe I can get to that point very soon. I was close today. Every opponent is difficult. There’s a small difference between the player I played today and the ones from before. But I think with the same attitude and if I don’t downgrade myself, I see no reason for me not to be holding that trophy one day.”

— A confident Stefanos Tsitsipas, after losing the French Open final.

June 19, 2021: "It's something I have always dreamed about. Winning here, my first doubles title, then winning the mixed ones. Now I was just telling myself, It would be really nice if I can get the Grand Slam in all three categories. Now it's happening. I cannot believe it. Wow."

Barbora Krejcikova, who had won two women’s doubles and three mixed doubles titles before winning her first Grand Slam title in singles at the French Open.

June 19, 2021: “This was a crazy, random kind of French Open, wasn’t it? You can’t get overpowered on a clay court as much as you can on a grass court or a hard court. ... So that brings in another style, with consistency and defensive tennis and running balls down. Players have more time to set up for the ball and meet their targets or to just retrieve balls and still be in the point. Serena is like the only player in the last, really, 15 to 20 years who has been able to blast opponents off the clay courts. She was a great clay-court player because she had the offense and defense in her prime.”

Chris Evert, who won seven of her 18 major singles title at Roland Garros in the 1970s and 1980s, told the Associated Press, after four players reached their first major semifinal at Roland Garros, a first in the Open Era, only one top-15 player made the quarterfinals, and unseeded Barbora Krejcikova won the women's title.

May 20, 2021: “When you make a salad and you are putting ingredients inside the salad, he has, I mean, plenty of ingredients to become a great player. That's the main thing. Then, of course, nothing is easy. You're gonna have big opponents in front. I mean, nothing is easy in this life.”

— Rafael Nadal, with praise of Carlos Alcaraz, whom Nadal defeated 6-1, 6-2 in the Madrid Open second round, but also caution for those predicting stardom for the gifted, 18-year-old Spaniard.
May 20, 2021: “While [Serena] Williams transcended the sport of tennis, becoming a household name as the winningest [at least by grand slam count] celebrity the game has produced, Osaka is bringing the sport with her into other realms, building off of Williams' tremendous work but making it her own. Not only did [Osaka] assume the title of world’s highest-paid female athlete ever, knocking the robust earnings from Williams off the top spot, it was the way she did it that puts her Met Gala participation in context.”
— Renowned columnist Caitlin Thompson, in her recent piece published by Eurosport, suggesting Naomi Osaka is now more impactful than 39-year-old Serena Williams.
May 20, 2021“This kid is crazy talented. He has great vision, great feel, great skill.”
— Former world No. 1 Jim Courier, on flashy, 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, during his first-round upset over Hubert Hurkacz at the Italian Open.
May 20, 2021: "I just finished watching Demon Slayer. The main character, Tanjiro, he has this breathing technique right before he fights. When I get nervous, I notice that slowing down my breathing helps me a lot. Honestly, today I could say at least five to 10 times I was in my head. You got to do the Total Concentration Breathing that Tanjiro does. I probably wasn't doing it like him, but it definitely helped on those match points, before both match points. I was, Okay, I got to do the water breathing like him. It did. Shout out to Demon Slayer for helping me."
— Coco Gauff, a rising, 17-year-old American star, invoking the power of anime during her 7-5, 6-3 Italian Open upset over No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka.
May 20, 2021: “I felt like now was the time for me to do what I wanted to do myself."
— Slumping, 22-year-old Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, on why she fired her dad Alex as her coach.
April 22, 2021: “I would say this week I am controlling really well my emotions. At the end that's the key," he said. "If I would show a bit emotion, for sure I would lose. Same thing today with Rafa. If after the second set I would say something or if I would show emotions, for sure the third set will be over, will be 6-2 for him. So I'm happy that I could handle it."
— Russia’s Andrey Rublev, after the 23-year-old world No. 8 upset King of Clay Rafael Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and hand 11-time champion Nadal just his sixth career loss at the event that he has owned over the past 15 years.
April 22, 2021: “If she can get her first WTA win in this fashion, that will prove a lot to herself.”
— Tennis Channel analyst Chanda Rubin, on highly impressive Linda Fruhvirtova, a 15-year-old Czech, at 4-4 in the third set just before French veteran Alize Cornet retired at the Muss Health Women’s Open.
April 22, 2021: “There are small problems, now it's the left knee. During the first lockdown, I had the same thing in my right knee. It didn't matter, I didn't have to cancel any tournaments because there weren't any. It’s a congenital pressure in the knees that comes up every now and then. That happened this year at the Australian Open and especially in Doha and Dubai. The opponents are way too strong, the level is too high and you go down in the first or second round. If I had gone to Belgrade with knee pain, I would have done that again. And then you're in a downward spiral. That I must avoid.”
— Injury-plagued Dominic Thiem, the 2020 US Open champion, telling der Standard why he’s played only four tournaments this year, skipped Monte Carlo, and withdrew from Belgrade. The Austrian hasn’t competed since losing to Lloyd Harris in the Dubai first round.
April 22, 2021: “He has everything, no? He has a big serve, he's tall, he's big, he moves well, he has very good groundstrokes. Well, mentally he's also great and improving. He has a great future coming up.”
— Roberto Bautista Agut, with high praise for Jannik Sinner, who beat him 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to become the fourth teenager to reach the Miami Open final. The other three teens won a combined 46 Grand Slam singles titles—Andre Agassi (’90 winner), Rafael Nadal (’05 runner-up), Novak Djokovic (’07 winner).
March 20, 2021: “To win nine Australian Opens, I need to win every year until I’m 34. I mean, I believe in myself, but I don’t think I’m able to do it. Same with Rafa. I mean, 13 Roland Garros… We’re talking about some Cyborgs of tennis in a good way. They’re just unbelievable.”
— Daniil Medvedev, in awe of Novak Djokovic, after the Serb captured his men's record ninth Australian Open title.
March 20, 2021“I think for me, I have a really hard time thinking about tennis as if it’s just a solo sport. I know everyone says tennis is a solo sport, but I have always been surrounded by people that put in so many hours with me, and we do everything together. So I would say that — I wouldn’t say it’s selfish or unselfish. I would just say my mindset behind it is wanting to do everything together and wanting to share every experience that I can with the people that sort of do everything with me.”
— Naomi Osaka , saying she plays for her team as much as for herself and she wants them to be a part of every experience.
March 20, 2021: “I guess I copied my style of play from him. I like to hit the balls with a lot of topspin. My first coach also told me that it was unusual for a girl to play with topspin. He advised me to focus on it as one day it will be a great strength.”
— Iga Swiatek , the 2020 French Open champion, revealing that she tried to copy Rafael Nadal’s topspin and his overall style.
March 20, 2021: “I definitely want to play [Simona] Halep one day. I think she’s just a champion, she plays 100 percent every tournament she plays and no matter what the score, she’s always there. And [Petra] Kvitova also—I love watching her play. I want to feel how her balls are coming, because she just hits so big and I want to play like her. I like to come in the court and finish at net if I have the opportunity —but it’s really hard to do that against [WTA] players because they play so good. I would like to be the kind of player who serves really well, plays big shots—like Kvitova. She’s not afraid to hit the ball. I really think I can be that type of player.”
— Clara Tauson, a fast-rising 18-year-old Dane, after she won the Open 6ème Sens - Métropole de Lyon, asked by WTA.com: “Who would you most like to face across the net?”
March 20, 2021: “Retirement was never really on the cards. I think it’s more of a conversation if the knee keeps bothering me for months and months—then let’s look at it. I just feel like the story is not over. It’s not like there’s one particular reason that I wanted to keep playing tennis other than I enjoyed playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road. I’m still a work in progress, but probably one of the other reasons for coming back is I want to get that high again of playing against the biggest players and in the biggest tournaments and hopefully winning them again. Hopefully, I can play in front of crowds again.”
— Roger Federer, on March 7, saying he never contemplated retirement as he spent 13 months on the sidelines due to double knee surgery last year, and the 39-year-old says he is now pain-free and eager and ready to resume competition.

Feb. 25, 2021: "I'm speechless. I have no words to describe what just happened. It's an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight at such a level and just be able to give it my all on the court. I started very nervous, I won't lie, but I don't know what happened after the third set. I just flied like a little bird, everything was working for me. The emotions at the end are indescribable."

Stefanos Tsitsipas pulled off an astonishing comeback at the Australian Open, knocking off Rafael Nadal to reach the semifinals. The Greek star appeared well on his way out after tamely losing the first two sets, but then rallied for a gritty 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 victory.

Feb. 25, 2021: "I think the thing that I'm most proud of is now mentally strong I've become. I used to be really up and down. For me, I had a lot of doubts in myself. But I think the quarantine process and seeing everything that's going on in the world, for me it put a lot into perspective. I used to weigh my entire existence on if I won or lost a tennis match. That's just not how I feel any more. I honestly think that it's just opening myself up more to my team, having longer talks with Wim [Fissette] before I go out, expressing the nerves that I feel instead of bottling it all up and trying to deal with it by myself. I feel like just being secure in myself as a person and knowing that the people that I love will still love me, like my family won't hate me because I lose a tennis match and stuff like that."

Naomi Osaka, after winning her second Australian Open and fourth Grand Slam title.

Feb. 25, 2021: "I belong at this level. I think winning a Grand Slam is totally achievable. It's within reach. Playing out there, obviously, I was nervous. Didn't go my way. But at the same time, coming off court, I was, like, 'OK, that feels a little bit normal.' It felt different than what I was expecting it to feel like. If you were to ask me maybe a year ago, I wouldn't think it's possible - or it would feel like it's like going to Mars."

Jennifer Brady, who will rise from No. 24 to No. 13 in the WTA rankings after losing 6-4, 6-3 to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final. Still, Brady leaves with a self-belief she never used to have.

Feb. 25, 2021:  "We had quarantine and a lot of things happening in the media, then the letter that I wrote as ideas and recommendations that I got for players was misinterpreted as a list of demands. Then the next thing I was persona non grata here in this country. So it was tough dealing with all of this. I got injured in the third round. It was a rollercoaster ride if I can define it in one word. I think it makes it even sweeter for me."

Novak Djokovic, after clinching his ninth Australian Open and 18th Grand Slam title, leaving him only two majors behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Feb. 25, 2021: "He was super nice to me. I thought, 'OK, he's not going to speak to me' or something, because the guy was a god for me. Because I was shy, I didn't speak. He was asking the questions, talking to me like a friend. I was really surprised."

Daniil Medvedev, who was trounced 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, recalling a practice session with a friendly Djokovic a dozen years ago at Monte Carlo when he was a teenager and Djokovic was a Grand Slam champion.

Jan. 19, 2021: “This announcement for the top threes is a bit out of the blue and it’s weird, to put it mildly. They will even be able to benefit from a gym at the hotel and will be able to do their [gym] exercises which will not count towards the five-hour quota. Everyone can go out. They will almost be able to live normally. Already they have a lot of privileges. If they can do everything more than you, it will not be the same preparation. And that’s weird for a sport where we’re all supposed to be on the same footing.”

World No. 72 Jeremy Chardy, telling L’Equipe that he was left scratching his head over the "privileges" being handed to the world’s best players. Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley confirmed last week that an eight-player exhibition event is to be staged in Adelaide in the build-up to the hard-court Grand Slam. Tiley added that the players would be allowed to quarantine in South Australia adding, &ldquoWe chose the top three men and top three women.”

Jan. 19, 2021: “Conditions are much better in Adelaide. First, players were allowed to take a lot more staff with them. [Daniil] Medvedev and [Alexander] Zverev, for example, were only allowed to take two people with them, while Thiem, Nadal and Djokovic each came with more. They also have a gym in their hotel, so, they don’t have to do their fitness exercises during the five-hour period. You only have the five hours to play tennis.”

Doubles specialist Phillip Oswald, telling Tennisnet that Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Novak Djokovic have been given a huge advantage by the Adelaide bubble. Oswald is one of the players currently forced to self-isolate in their hotel rooms due to a positive coronavirus result on their flight to Australia. There are more than 50 players in the same boat in Melbourne, but the top three players in the ATP are in a separate bubble in Adelaide as they prepare for a pre-Australian Open exhibition event. 

Jan. 19, 2021: “I think I am more sensitive to the fact that Martina has won nine Wimbledons, but nobody really talks about it. Rafael Nadal has won 13 Roland Garros and all to underline the greatness of this record. I mean, Martina's Wimbledon record is incredible, and I think it needs to be celebrated from time to time, so why don’t they? And what about Steffi Graf’s 1988 Golden Slam? I mean, Olympics and Four Slams. If a man had done this he would have been mentioned for a very long time but no one ever mentions Steffi.”

All-time great Chris Evert, telling TennisMajors.com that the record of nine titles won at Wimbledon by her former rival Martina Navratilova was not celebrated as the 13 Roland Garros titles won by the 20-times Slam winner Rafael Nadal.

Jan. 19, 2021: 
“My first reaction to this nomination was to accept it with the intention that, if elected, I would do my best to protect players’ interests within the ATP. However, a few days after my nomination, the ATP passed a new rule which has put me in a difficult position. Unfortunately, given these latest developments, I feel it is now necessary to remove myself from the list of candidates. I do not wish to create conflict or uncertainty around the player elections or create any issues that may arise. The PTPA has made it clear it does not intend to be combative, it is unclear how the ATP will view the association in the future.”

World No. 1 and 17-time major winner Novak Djokovic, tweeting why he has withdrawn from the December ATP Player Council elections, citing the governing body’s new rule that would make it a “conflict of interest” because of his role in the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The Serb set up the new breakaway independent players’ union on the eve of the US Open in September and resigned as head of the ATP Player Council. While he confirmed last month he had been nominated by his fellow professionals for the current elections, which he accepted, the new ATP rule means he has had to withdraw. Djokovic served two terms as president of the player council, from 2016 to 2020

Jan. 19, 2021: 
"I have to say that if Serena had never been there, I probably wouldn't be here now. I also believe that many other players can say the same thing."

Naomi Osaka, talking to EssentiallySports. The Japanese tennis player has repeatedly stressed the importance of an inspirational figure like Serena Williams for her tennis career. Her father Leonard Francois decided to teach his two girls to play tennis after seeing the Williams sisters compete on television at the 1999 French Open.

December 17, 2020: “It’s special as sometimes I need to remind myself that I am the tigress and I need to fight till the end. I just put it on my arm to make sure I can see it every time and be on fire.”
  • Aryna Sabalenka, who won both the singles and doubles titles at the Ostrava Open 2020, explained the meaning of the tattoo of the roaring tiger on her left forearm.”

December 17, 2020: 
“Obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence, so we will have to wait and see. Whether the ATP should develop this kind of a policy, yeah, why not? It probably should be there in place. I guess it wasn’t developed and it wasn’t there because we just did not have cases like this previously in the history of the sport. Maybe that kind of case will, in a way, inspire the ATP to do something like that.”
  • Novak Djokovic, in the wake of allegation of domestic violence against Alexander Zverev, suggested that the ATP should develop a specific domestic violence policy to handle such allegations, in line with procedures that the NBA and NFL have initiated.

December 17, 2020: “You just can’t do a two-week hard lockdown to get ready for an Australian Open. I don’t think any of the international players would do that. Your body is what pays the bills. You are an injury risk, you can’t go from zero to 100 right away, that’s the biggest risk. I’m not pessimistic and I understand the complexities of it all. You get to really understand how quarantine works when you are inside it… it’s very strict, and I know if I had to pick up a racquet right now and go and play tennis, I’d be absolute rubbish. I’d probably injure myself.”
  • Australia’s John Millman, telling Tennis Majors he’s very concerned about a two-week hard lockdown before the Australian Open, which starts three weeks later in 2021 on Feb. 8. Tennis Australia, forced to delay the Australian Open and cancel the ATP Cup, wants to add more tournaments in Australia after the Open finishes.

December 17, 2020: “It’s hard to imagine that hospitality will open up quickly, at least not immediately, to its former levels. Perhaps tournaments that are allowed spectators will find they will have to lower ticket prices to entice fans into stadiums. It goes without saying, though, that fans will be a welcome bonus for players in 2021. It’s just not clear who might be in a position, given the international nature of the sport and the voracity of the virus, to have a full stadium yet. It certainly won’t happen in Australia, even if the government has done a remarkable job to seemingly reduce numbers to zero — the last case in Victoria dating back to October 29. Their idea of having 75 percent of their usual crowds always seemed fanciful; if they get anywhere near 50 percent it would be a surprise.”
  •  Simon Cambers, writing for Tennis Majors.

December 17, 2020: "The way I see it…Novak will win more Majors from today than the other two players, I believe. Nadal, I think, will be second in that competition. Federer, maybe he has another one in him. He was ‘oh, so close’ at Wimbledon last year. Let’s not forget that Novak stole one there. It could easily be Federer 21 and Djokovic 16. I think Nadal has probably got 2-3 more in him…I think that Djokovic is somewhere in that 5-6 range, all assuming health."

  • Tennis Channel analyst Jim Courier, predicting Novak Djokovic will finish with the most Grand Slam singles titles. Federer held two match points at 8-7 in the fifth set in the 2019 Wimbledon final, but couldn’t bring home the bacon.
November 16, 2020: “I now have faith that I could win all four Grand Slams in my career, it always seemed so far away before... I’m happy I achieved this, but on the inside I still feel the same. My whole life has been turned upside down, so I needed some time to get used to it. The pandemic helps a bit in this aspect because it happens that people on the street who want photos and autographs, they are now less pushy.”
  • Surprise French Open champion Iga Swiatek told Reuters she remains grounded—even if her dream of winning all four majors is now a real possibility. Although the focus has been quite intense since her triumph at Roland Garros, Swiatek said the COVID-19 restrictions in place in Poland have helped.

November 16, 2020:
 “Now that automated line calling has succeeded at a Grand Slam, is there any reason why the sport shouldn’t adopt it everywhere?”
  • TennisMagazine’s rhetorical question in its article titled “Tennis Goes Electronic.” In truth, the sport should have adopted automated line calling in 2006 when Hawk-Eye arrived.

November 16, 2020: 
“Does the ATP want to meet these accusations with silence? The situation should be a wake-up call for the tour that it needs to put in place a set of policies covering abuse cases. It would be in the interests of everyone in this dual-gender sport, including its male players, not to continue to lag behind other leagues when it comes to reacting to abuse allegations; they may happen less frequently in tennis, but we’ve seen two cases among players in the Top 30 in 2020. If Zverev is innocent, as he says, an investigation might help him clear his name, or at the very least give his side of the story.”
  • Tennis Magazine’s Steve Tignor, on accusations by ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova that 2020 US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev physically and emotionally abused her during their 13-month relationship in 2018 and 2019.

November 16, 2020:
 “Nothing’s wrong with asking for more diversity. For him to say that is definitely inspiring, especially with him being a man and white. For someone like him to call for diversity, it shows how great an ally he is. I love what Andy is doing on and off the court. He’s one of my favourite players to watch. It’s important we do have diversity because there are people from all over the world from different backgrounds and areas. I think representation is important. At least for me, as a girl – seeing yourself being represented means a lot.”
  • Coco Gauff saluted Andy Murray for his role in speaking out on key issues in the sport, as she spoke at the Ostrava Open event.

November 16, 2020:
 "For sure it's the best victory of my life. Novak is the best in the world. Today I played so, so good. It's unbelievable. It's amazing. I played the best match in my life. I'm so happy for this."
  • Lorenzo Sonego, a fast-improving Italian, ecstatic after shocking No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-1 in the Erste Bank Open quarterfinals.

October 20, 2020: "It's crazy. Two years ago, I won a junior Grand Slam [at Wimbledon], and right now I'm here. It feels like such a short time. I'm just overwhelmed."

  • Iga Swiatek, talking to the sparse crowd after defeating No. 4-seeded Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the French Open final for her first Grand Slam title. The 54th-ranked Swiatek shocked the field by winning every match in straight sets, including a stunning 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of No. 1 seeded Simona Halep, and dropped a total of 28 games in seven matches.

October 20, 2020: 
“The spinny forehand, it obviously doesn't look like it’s so difficult, but it has so much spin, it bounces up. It’s obviously going to my backhand. I missed a few backhands cross when I had the chances. It’s not an easy shot. She has a really good backhand down the line. She went a few times behind me. Dropshot was also well for her. She served big on some points.”

  • Sofia Kenin, praising the versatility of Iga Swiatek’s game, after she was upset by the unseeded, 19-year-old Pole 6-4, 6-1 in the French Open final.

October 20, 2020: 
“I played at my highest level when I needed to play at my highest level, so [that is] something I am very proud of,” he said. “The personal satisfaction is big because under the circumstances that we played this Roland-Garros, even if I played an amazing match this afternoon, the conditions are a little bit not the conditions that I will choose to play an event like this.”

  • Rafael Nadal, who had played just three matches since coming out of quarantine and had grumbled about the chilly weather and slower new Wilson balls, after trouncing No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 for his record-extending 13th French Open and 20th Grand Slam title, which tied Roger Federer's all-time record.

October 20, 2020: 
“He keeps going. No holding him back it seems like. It's amazing. I admire all his achievements, especially the one here. It's stunning score and results and records that he's got on this court. He lost two times in his entire career (Soderling 2009, Djokovic 2015). Winning 13 times, there's not much you can say. All the superlatives you can use, he deserves them.”

  • Novak Djokovic, lavishing praise on the Rafael Nadal after the incomparable King of Clay overwhelmed him 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the French Open final.

October 20, 2020: 
"The technology is so advanced right now, there is absolutely no reason why you should keep line umpires on the court. That's my opinion. Of course, I understand technology is expensive, so it's an economic issue and a question mark. But I feel like we are all moving towards that, and sooner or later there is no reason to keep line umpires. Yes, ball kids, of course, ball person, yes, but line umpires, I don't see why anymore, to be honest. I would also probably then have less chances to do what I did in New York."

  • Novak Djokovic, contending that technology should replace fallible line judges and umpires. The ATP's Next Gen tournament has successfully experimented with Hawk-Eye technology calling the lines using an automated voice rather than having officials on court.

September 20, 2020: “We know that here we made one commitment to everyone: that this would be a safe US Open. On this championship Sunday, we’re closing down this very historic moment for our sport here in New York City with a very healthy and safe US Open. Everyone now is leaving and carrying on in our sport. That I think is the other big takeaway for us. We're back. New York rallied. The US Open rallied.”

  • Stacey Allaster, US Open tournament director and former head of the WTA.

September 20, 2020: 
“I achieved a life goal, a dream of mine, which I’ve had for many, many years, as a kid, when I started to play tennis. But back then it was so far away. Then I got closer and closer to the top. At one point, I realized that, ‘Wow, maybe one day I can really win one of the four biggest titles in tennis.’ I put a lot of work in. I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one of the four majors. Now I did it.”

  • Dominic Thiem, who overcame a horrendous start to outlast Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in the US Open final to earn his first Grand Slam title after losing in three previous major finals.

September 20, 2020: 
“I thought it would be embarrassing to lose in an hour, so I had to change my attitude. In the first set I just was so nervous. I was too much in my own head. I just didn’t want to lose 6-1, 6-0. … I didn’t really enjoy it. It was a really tough match for me."

  • Naomi Osaka, who trailed 6-1, 2-0, and was down a break point, before reviving to prevail 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 against a game, talented, and resurgent Victoria Azarenka in the 2020 US Open women’s final for her third Grand Slam crown.

September 20, 2020: 
“I was playing Challenger events, lower Challenger events, losing in the first round of qualifying, and I was thinking, ‘Do I have a chance to make it? Will I make it? How can I really succeed doing this? Am I meant to play this sport?’ There were a lot of doubts, a lot of questions. I think I’m pretty lucky to have just stuck to it and continue to just play and practice and compete and get better. Here I am today."

  • Late-blooming American Jennifer Brady, who made her first Grand Slam semifinal at age 25 at the US Open.

September 20, 2020: 
"He played like a real champion. He’s playing really some great tennis—backhand, forehand, slice.... Everything is there."

  • Daniil Medvedev lavishing well-deserved praise on Dominic Thiem, after the 27-year-old Austrian beat him 6-2, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) in the US Open semifinals.

September 20, 2020: 
“Identifying myself or other players just as mothers, I think that's not the only thing that we are. We are also tennis players. We are also women who have dreams and goals and passions. To see that rise of women being able to fulfill their dreams, as well as balancing the motherhood, I think they all are heroes."

  • Victoria Azarenka, mother of three-year-old Leo, who staged a terrific career comeback by defeating No. 5 seeded Aryna Sabalenka, rapidly improving No. 20 Karolina Muchova, No. 16 Elise Mertens, and six-time champion Serena Williams to reach her first Grand Slam final in seven years at the US Open.

August 25, 2020: “I met Holger three years ago. He came here to the academy and we trained together. I remember saying to my coach, Kerei Abakar, that here was something special. I do not say that often about players, but he caught my attention and I think we will see a lot from him in the near future. There's nothing holding him back. He has everything it takes to become a top player and I will not be surprised if we see him in the top 10 in the future. Now he has the chance to play against the big boys, which will be difficult in the beginning, but I am sure he will adapt and find his pattern and his rhythm. It is a very difficult leap between junior and senior. It takes adjustment to be ready for it..”

  • No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who also trains at Mouratoglou's academy and has practiced with Holger Rune, says, on the DR website, the teenage Dane is something special. Rune has begun transitioning to the professional circuit earlier this year prior to the tennis shutdown, which he has found tough, but Tsitsipas says that it is an adjustment that all players need to make it.

August 25, 2020: 
“Life in lockdown during coronavirus has been challenging in many ways but personally it’s been one of the most exciting and happy times of my life. On the 16th of June, my partner Liz gave birth to our beautiful little girl, Genevieve. It has been a whirlwind time, but we could not imagine life without her now. Mum and Evie are doing well and it’s so amazing to be home with them both. We are absolutely in love with this little bundle and rolling with the happy chaos. We can’t wait for what’s to come and to watch little Evie grow up....Although not too quickly we hope! #babygirl #homecourt #wta #tennisaustrali" #family”

  • Sam Stosur, posting on Instagram about her partner Liz giving birth to a girl.

August 25, 2020: 
“Roger still loves life on the circuit, I’ve never heard him say that he should stop because he wants a change of lifestyle or that he's tired of travelling. Nothing can be 100% ruled out but given that he still loves tennis and the time he spends with the friends that he has everywhere, I don't think he's thinking of retiring in 2021. It's true, there are parallels with 2016. Perhaps he could use that to his advantage. The truth is that this injury arrived at the best possible moment. The day after the operation he was looking forward to a new phase in which he would spend him with his family. He has a unique capacity to be very ambitious without getting frustrated with the unexpected.”

  • Severin Luthi, Roger Federer’s longtime coach, told Swiss magazine Smash that Federer is not planning his retirement from professional tennis any time soon.

August 25, 2020: 
“People have talked a lot about my campaign in Paris. A lot of people have said that what I achieved was a fluke. Honestly, I don't like them to say that sort of thing. I worked hard to do a good job in Paris and before this tournament I had already won an ATP tournament and after that I won two more. I don't think my good results on the circuit are due to luck."

  • Italian tennis player Marco Cecchinato told La Republicca that he admits it hurts a bit when someone says his semifinal run at the 2018 French Open was a fluke as the Italian believes him making such a deep run at Roland Garros wasn't a coincidence. Cecchinato stunned 17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinal to make his maiden semifinal at a Major.

July 25, 2020: “Everyone has a vote and a say. I think it’s really weird that athletes get told to just stick to sports. You would never go up to a barber and say just stick to cutting hair. It’s a weird stigma that gets attached, and I don’t even know where it comes from.”

  • Naomi Osaka, who has Japanese and Haitian heritage, explained why this phrase—“Stick to sports”—is worn out in an interview with TIME magazine.”

July 25, 2020: 
“Big thanks to the @usopen for reversing their decision—now allowing wheelchair players to compete at the 2020 Open. And most importantly thanks to you reading this for supporting us and sharing the message—you made this happen. The decision of not allowing us to compete, without communication or consideration was bigger than tennis. In yrs (sic) gone by decisions would have been made for us and no one would have cared. You cannot be treated differently because of your gender, race, religion or disability. This is a massive sign of progress for our community, and I appreciate all your help. I know there is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and the tournament might not even go ahead, but at least now we have the same rights as our able bodied counterparts - like we deserve."

  • Dylan Alcott, reacting on Twitter after he learned that wheelchair tennis will be played at the 2020 US Open due to his impassioned plea to the tournament organisers. Last week, Alcott labelled the decision not to include wheelchair tennis at the tournament as “disgusting discrimination.”

July 25, 2020: 
“In psychology I didn’t do any sports, quite the contrary. I found out a lot about putting yourself in the situation of others. You often focus on yourself and sometimes you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It was not one of my favorite courses, but it was interesting how to help someone in a moment of great suffering or shock. It was not my forte. Now it makes me really sad when I beat a rival (laughs).”

  • Two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza, who complete four university courses during the quarantine, telling El Hormiguero de Antena 3 what she learned in the Johns Hopkins University psychology course.

July 25, 2020:
 “What Roger and Rafa are doing is epic. Both of these guys are legends. They do inspire me and I have said this millions of times and I will say it again. They made me the player I am today. They still continue to inspire me and motivate me to be even better. I think these rivalries that we have are great promotion for our sport. They are really good for tennis in general and also for the upcoming generations. Hopefully we give a positive example and inspire younger guys to be the best they can possibly be."

  • Novak Djokovic, telling Tennis Channel that he hopes his historic rivalry with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can inspire future generations to be great and reiterated the impact it has had on his career. Djokovic, Federer and Nadal share 56 Grand Slam titles between them, countless records and have been great ambassadors for the sport. And, despite the intense rivalry, healthy respect has been built between them as they try to outdo one another.

June 20, 2020: “Tennis is my first love, and even though it's been years since I've competed, it's still heartbreaking to officially say goodbye. This has been a long time coming, guys. I'm sure those of you who have followed my tennis career know that I've undergone numerous surgeries in the past few years. Unfortunately, they weren't successful enough for me to return to tennis.”

  • Former world No. 24 Jamie Hampton, who notched big wins over Caroline Wozniacki and Kiki Bertens seven years ago when she had a highly promising career, announced her retirement at age 30 in May. A series of injuries repeatedly sidelined her and prevented her from reaching her considerable potential.

June 20, 2020: “I think that I still have things to do in this sport. I believe that I can win the most Slams and break the record for most weeks at No.1. Those are definitely my clear goals. I don't believe in limits. I definitely want to go for a long time. But I'm aware that the amount of tournaments I'm playing is going to decrease very soon. I will not be able to play at this intensity, with this many tournaments and this much travelling, for a long time. I might be playing at 40, but then there will probably be a focus on the biggest tournaments and the tournaments that mean the most to me.”

  • Novak Djokovic talking on the "In Depth with Graham Bensinger" TV show. Djokovic, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on May 22, sees himself still playing at 40.

June 20, 2020:
 “I am in tears watching this video. Everyday innocent people are dying because of our skin color. No one deserves to die like that. I just can’t believe this. This needs to stop. I promise to always use my platform to help make the world a better place.”

  • What 16-year-old rising star Coco Gauff wrote on Twitter to protest the death of George Floyd, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin crushed Floyd’s neck on a street after he and three officers apprehended him for a suspected crime.

June 20, 2020:
 “I learned a lot from the two-month isolation. I realized that in the last six years I’ve been actually on a total lockdown. It occurred to me that I have to change something in my life, in order to also develop on the emotional and personal side. The fact that I’ve been on lockdown for six years has helped me become world No. 1, but now, for me to have a happy life without tennis, I am slowly trying to experience new feelings, see something else. My mindset is such that it tells me I have to be home at 10 p.m. in the evening because I have to train the next morning. I can't let go completely, but I’ve progressed a bit. And I’m proud."

  • Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, telling Agerpres that although she is undoubtedly disturbed by the fact that she can’t compete for trophies and titles now, she took advantage of this no-tennis window and explored the other facets of her soul. Now that she’s done it, Halep feels grateful for the time spent in lockdown.

June 20, 2020:
 “I’m talking as a player now – but I’m also a tournament director and I am able to see the reality, to see how tough it is to survive in this crisis. It is hitting everyone. It’s tough to break even. This is what the players need to understand. It is really urgent that everybody plays. But, if we don’t have tournaments, it’s possible the ATP is not going to survive either. We need to stay together. It is the only way to survive.”

  • Feliciano López, telling The Guardian (UK), that players, rich and struggling, will have to accept “significant” cuts in prize money to save their sport. López has also warned that the ATP may not survive the coronavirus crisis. While the west London host of the ATP 500 tournament idles along with the rest of tennis, López paints a grim picture as the industry wrestles with the impact of Covid-19. López, eager to resume playing at 38, is also the Madrid Open’s director and offers a unique perspective on what might happen next.

May 18, 2020: “I completely agree with that [one can’t compare different generations in the GOAT debate] but, in reality, all three of the best players are playing in the same generation. Nobody competes with Rafa on clay, Roger’s record at Wimbledon is the best, your [Novak Djokovic’s] record on hard court is the best. When people ask me what my toughest match is, who are the hardest guys to play against, I feel like I’m competing against the best hard court player ever, the best clay court player, and the best grass court player.”

  • Andy Murray, telling the BBC about his view of the men’s GOAT.

May 18, 2020:
 “Obviously players like above all to play in front of full stands... but it's better than having the season cancelled. It would be hugely good for fans. By the start of the US Open, people would be so impatient for tennis they would look forward to matches with no spectators. This is why I favor 'in camera' until normal conditions can be restored. The only problem is travel for the players.”

  • Alexander Zverev told Bild that he prefers playing in front of empty stands to having no events. Zverev says he is in favor of playing events with no fans if required, and is also willing to compete in a rescheduled French Open. While tournaments and players have generally been reluctant to consider playing in front of empty stands, it now appears preferable to an extended hiatus due to coronavirus.

May 18, 2020:
 “When it comes to mental strength there is no one better than Rafa. Over the years, we have seen him bounce back from injury so many times. He probably has had more injuries than anyone on the ATP tour. He has managed to comeback from every single one of them. When you walk onto the court with him and you see him jumping, you know you are facing a gladiator. You know you are facing a mental giant. He is mentally stronger than even Roger Federer.”

  • Novak Djokovic, saying that when it came to mental strength, the first name was Rafael Nadal. Djokovic and Nadal faced each other 55 times with Djokovic leading 29–26. Djokovic leads 15–11 in finals. Of these matches, 15 have been in Grand Slams with Nadal leading 9–6”

May 18, 2020:
 “I know the Futures Tour and played there for two years. There are a lot of people who don’t give everything to sport. I don’t see why I should give money to such people. I would prefer to donate to people or institutions that really need it. I’m not guaranteed in any profession to make a lot of money at some point. No tennis players are fighting for survival, not even the ones down below. Nobody has to starve. None of us top people got it as a gift. We had to fight our way up."

  • Dominic Thiem, telling the Kronen Zeitung newspaper that he does not like the idea of giving up his own money. Thiem, 26, has career on-court earnings approaching $24 million.

May 18, 2020: “I like the history of tennis. I like the way it’s played. Obviously, I feel the need to bring interesting things [to the court], but I’m not quite sure of the way, because I like the duel… I like the tension of the two players competing. You have to respect the history of the sport and the duel and the fight like two gladiators going on court. I think that’s essentially the essence of tennis, so for my part I am a big fan of that.”

  • Although Canada's rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime is a teenager, he spoke on Eurosport about how much he appreciates the history of the sport.

April 15, 2020: “Devastated.”

  • Eight-time champion Roger Federer’s one-word tweet after learning that Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus. Wimbledon chiefs pulled the plug on the oldest Grand Slam tournament on April 1 in response to the continued chaos caused by the pandemic.

April 15, 2020: 
“Because of the uncertainty, it makes it hard to see how the three can dominate when they come back because of the age of Roger and Rafa. It also puts more pressure on Rafa, and it changes all of those storylines that were on the table for 2020. For Novak, it may come at a good time in his career to actually rejuvenate him again, give him another big burst. So if anything, this period helps him the most.”

  • Todd Woodbridge, a nine-time Wimbledon doubles champion and a singles semi-finalist, telling AAP on April 2 that he can’t see The Big Three of Federer, 33-year-old Rafael Nadal (19 slams), and 32-year-old Novak Djokovic (17) continuing to rule as they have for the past decade-and-a-half after the coronavirus shutdown of the pro tour ends.

April 15, 2020:
“I decided to run for this position because I saw an amazing opportunity for the game, which is not fulfilling its own potential. Tennis is in a healthy state, very solid from a business standpoint, but if you compare its TV space to others, it takes up less than 1.2% of the available room, despite having over a billion fans! We are a Top 5 sport both in the men’s and in the women’s game, while other sports revolve almost exclusively around men. We can spend the next few years fighting over leftovers, while there is a world of opportunity out there. Our competitors aren’t just other sports, but also entertainment platforms. Nowadays, you are competing against people’s time, attention, and income disposal. If a young man is sitting on his sofa, he’ll have the chance to watch Netflix, listen to some music, watch a football match, or a tennis one. So far, we’ve been doing well, but we need to stay focused, because the world is changing from a linear broadcaster state to a digital one in which there are enormous opportunities, especially for our sport.”

  • Andrea Gaudenzi, the new ATP Tour Chairman, in an April 8 interview, when asked, “What would you change about the current situation, if you could?”

April 15, 2020:
“I think a player should be in charge of his own thoughts, find solutions on his own. It’s obvious coaches do help you and can have a better vision [of matches] from the outside and might be able to give you something useful, but tennis from the beginning has been a very introverted sport. You have to think on your own, do everything yourself, so I don’t support it 100 percent. It’s great the way it is, that’s my opinion.”"

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas with compelling reasons why on-court coaching should not be used on the ATP Tour.

April 15, 2020:
 “Yeah, I first met Naomi, I think I hit with her at the Miami Open maybe three years ago. Our dads always knew each other. When I talked to her, we do have similarities. I remember I was complimenting her headphones because I saw she designed it. Like, these are pretty cool. I think she’s doing amazing, obviously. Hopefully, I can get to her level. I mean, she’s amazing. She’s a nice person. I mean, I can’t even, like, say anything bad about her, her family, because they’ve always been super nice, even since I was 12.”

  • Coco Gauff, on the beautiful relationship between Naomi Osaka and her that stretches across years.

April 15, 2020: “We are working on the possibility of a four-week clay swing after the US Open. The best-case scenario would be to have the North American swing during the summer, then the clay, then Asia, and then the ATP Finals. If that were to happen, it would mean that we saved 80% of the season after cancelling the grass tournaments. With seven Masters 1000 and three Slams taking place, there wouldn’t be much room for complaints. If the US Open gets cancelled, the complexity of the situation would grow exponentially, because we should consider playing in November and December too, but at the moment we are focusing on a re-start after the Wimbledon slot.”

  • Andrea Gaudenzi, the new ATP Tour Chairman, in an April 8 interview, stating the best-case scenario for the remainder of the 2020 pro tour.

March 14, 2020:  “I think it's normal. It's part of the job, of the success of any sportsman in any sport. But especially, of course, in New York [after the 2019 US Open final] like the next day, I had to wear a hoodie, sunglasses, still people recognized me. I would look at myself in the mirror, ‘How can you recognize me? I cannot recognize me’.”

  • Daniil Medvedev, the 2019 US Open finalist, needs to work on his disguise if he plans on making more Grand Slam finals.

March 14, 2020:
  “I’ve been coming here for years watching Andy Murray and hearing ‘C’mon, Andy’ on this court. And for that to be me today, that will live with me forever. If there’s one disabled person watching this around the world, we are proof that you should go for your dreams. Just go for it. I was sitting up there the other night cheering on Nick Kyrgios and now I’m down here on court.”

  • Wheelchair singles runner-up Andy Lapthorne, with some inspiring words after the final during the Australian Open trophy ceremony.

March 14, 2020:
 “I always dream about him. I think he can see what I play today. He will proud of me. I really hope he can be here watch I play. Yes, I miss him.”

  • China's Wang Qiang, paying tribute to her late coach Peter McNamara after her stunning upset of Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

March 14, 2020:
 “My heroes have changed after having a child. My heroes are moms because women are superheroes. To have a baby and then have to go to work two or three weeks later or work a 9 to 5 … I’m fortunate to not have to do that. I’m at a loss for words when I think of women who work day in and day out, providing for their families, when I know how hard it is for me to leave my daughter. I never felt that way until I became a mom. I think women need to be recognized."

  • Serena Williams, telling TIME magazine that she wants women to be “recognized” for their hard work, especially those who work full time while also raising young children.

March 14, 2020:
 “A couple of times I was watching the rallies and rubbing my eyes and saying, ‘This is like 12 years ago.’ It’s such a different conversation than it could have been with what happened in the second set. And so this continues in my mind to be one of the most intriguing times in women’s tennis in the 40-some-odd years I’ve been involved. It’s the mix of people, ages, geography, everything. There are so many great stories.”

  • Pam Shriver, intrigued by Kim Clijsters’ comeback at age 36, in The New York Times.

February 14, 2020:  “Tonight it was a toe-to-toe battle. I was on the brink of losing that match. I didn’t feel great. I had a couple of points, I think a break point in the fourth set, where I played serve and volley. It was kind of a courageous move, throwing it all in there, get things going. Unfortunately one of us had to lose, but all respect to Dominic. I didn’t have any injuries, but my energy just completely collapsed. Every time I would toss a ball, I would feel dizzy. I was lucky. From 2-2 in the fourth, I started to feel better. The doctor said maybe I had a couple of issues, I tried to get as many energy gels as I could. She told me I was dehydrated, so I tried to drink as much as I could.”

  • Novak Djokovic told Australia’s Channel 9 about how he regained enough energy to pull out the Australian Open final against Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 for his eighth Australian and 17th Grand Slam title.

February 14, 2020:
  “I think I’ve rarely felt physically that tired, especially now after all the tension’s gone. I played an unbelievable intense match against Rafa, such an intense match against Sascha [Zverev] in the semis. Today again I think almost over four hours. I think that was very demanding. Of course, I just feel a lot of emptiness right now. But, yeah, that’s it. I know the feeling. I did after the last two in Paris. But, also already now I feel little bit of motivation to come back for the next grand slam. Well, if I have a little break, it’s going to be bigger.”

  • Two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem was exhausted and sad after losing the five-set Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, but said he would return hungry to win a first Grand Slam title.

February 14, 2020:
 “It hasn’t sunk in yet. Everything is just still a blur for me. I just can’t believe what happened. It’s just great. I feel like I’m doing some great things for American tennis. It’s such an honor. I’ve watched Serena, I’ve been following her, all the Slams she's been winning. It’s a special feeling just to be ahead of her. I’m just super excited.”

  • Sofia Kenin, a pre-Australian Open 35-1 long shot, after defeating Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the final to become the top-ranked American for the first time on Feb. 3 when she took over the No. 7 spot—two places ahead of Williams. Kenin pocketed a prize money check of $2.76 million, which almost doubled her career earnings overnight.

February 14, 2020:
 “She proved to us that she can play very well. And play very well in the important moments, which is a different story. I think it’s even more special."

  • A gracious Garbine Muguruza, talking to the Australian Open crowd after being upset by 21-year-old Sofia Kenin in the final.

February 14, 2020: 
“We saw it in her semi-final against Ash Barty, the same thing. When she was in trouble, when her back was against the wall, she came up with these shots. Champions do that and she has it. It is innate and I think a lot of it is just the hunger to win. It wasn’t about the power. It was how she hit the corners and her choice of shots. And her variety of shot, her drop shots. She served really well. She can still improve. She can still volley [better]. She can still improve that serve. A little bit of fitness. She is going to keep going up in the rankings.”

  • Chris Evert, analyzing surprise Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, on ESPN.

January 18, 2020: “The one person I would love to play in the year to come would be Roger Federer. Just because I haven’t had the chance to play him yet. He’s an icon, a legend of the sport and we don’t know how much time he has left on the tour, how many years, but if I could have a chance to compete on the big stage against him would be an amazing memory.”

  • Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 19-year-old Canadian ranked No. 21, telling Tennis Channel Roger Federer is the player he wants to meet the most during the 2020 ATP season is none other than Roger Federer

January 18, 2020
 “You definitely recognise it and notice it. It feels like a little bit of a second-hand event. It’s definitely a bit of a strange strategic move [favouring the men]. I’m not sure (but) I heard that because the way that the court is constructed, that it’s not regulation for us to be playing on centre court with the benches on the side. I don’t know what else it might be that’s preventing (us playing there), because I think there’s a lot of girls that are deserving of that centre court spot in this draw. Everyone should have a conversation about it, that’s just my outside view.”

  • Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova said the Brisbane International felt like “a second-hand event” with women relegated to outside courts to make way for men playing the inaugural ATP Cup.

January 18, 2020: 
“Because you make the extra effort. It means that you have the chance to compete again the next day. And the next day, you’re going to be playing better. Sometimes when I’m in the first round or second round, and I’m not playing well, I say, okay, just accept it. Don’t get frustrated. Just accept and focus.”

  • Rafael Nadal, telling “60 Minutes” that if he comes from behind to win, he finds the victory even more satisfying than trouncing a competitor.

January 18, 2020: 
“I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amidst devastation from the bushfires. As the father of four young children and a fervent supporter of universal education, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the youth climate movement, and I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviours and act on innovative solutions. We owe it to them and ourselves to listen. I appreciate reminders of responsibility as a private individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I’m committed to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors."

  • Roger Federer issued this statement on Jan. 11, addressing his partnership with Credit Suisse, which was criticized for its heavy investments in fossil fuels. Climate change activist Greta Thunberg then retweeted a post from 350.org Europe claiming Credit Suisse had given $US57 billion to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits. “Roger Federer do you endorse this?” the tweet read.

January 18, 2020: 
“The more I think about the conditions we played in a few days ago the more it boils my blood. We can't let this slide. The email we received yesterday from the ATP and AO was a slap in the face, conditions were 'playable'. Were they healthy? Citizens of Melbourne were warned to keep their animals indoors the day I played qualifying, and yet we were expected to go outside for high intensity physical competition? What do we have to do to create a players union? Where is the protection for players, both male and female? When multiple players need asthma spray on court and they don't even have asthma? When a player collapses and has to retire due to respiratory issues? On tour we let so many things go that aren't right, but at some point we have to make a stand. ALL players need protection, not just a select few.”

  • British tennis player, No. 234-ranked Liam Broady, in a tweet, accused Australian Open officials of treating qualifiers worse than animals as calls grow among players to form a union. Broady, who lost in the first round of qualifying, played his match in a blanket of smoke at Melbourne Park on Jan. 14, and said he struggled to breathe in the conditions. Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic had to quit her qualifying match that day after a coughing fit, while Australia's Bernard Tomic also sought medical treatment.

Author:  Paul Fein
Published:  2021
Length:  511 pages