UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Tennis

Memorable quotes from Wimbledon

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic said his match against Roger Federer was the highest-quality Grand Slam final he's played.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from Wimbledon ...

What was Maria Sharapova's advice to Grigor Dimitrov before his quarterfinal against Andy Murray? "Win it," Dimitrov said. "What can I say? I think that's a good tip."

Novak Djokovic has played some amazing matches, so his assessment of his 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer is quite a statement: "Sincerely, this has been the best quality Grand Slam final that I've ever been a part of. I've had the longest final, against [Rafael] Nadal in the Australian Open 2012. But quality-wise from the first to last point, this is definitely the best match."

Perspective helped Federer get over his disappointment after losing the final. "It's just nice being in the Wimbledon finals, number one. Winning or losing, it's always something special and something you'll remember, even more so when the match was as dramatic as it was. It's even more memorable when I see my kids there with my wife [in his player box]. That's what touched me the most. The disappointment of the match itself went pretty quickly."

Will we ever see Federer back in a Grand Slam final? "There is no guarantee that you're going to be ever there again or not. Or maybe there's much more to come. It's really impossible to answer that question. I'm very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future."

Serena Williams believes she gets her opponent's best. "If I'm not playing a great, great match, these girls when they play me, they play as if they're on the ATP Tour," Williams said after her loss to Alize Cornet in the third round, "and then they play other girls completely different. It's never easy being in my shoes."

What was the game plan for Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock against the top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles final? "Close your eyes; hope you play the best tennis of your life," Pospisil said. The underdogs won in five sets.

After her 6-3, 6-0 loss to Petra Kvitova in the final, Eugenie Bouchard could do nothing but tip her visor. "She has weapons. We know that when she's on, she's very tough to beat. Especially on this surface. I just have to give her credit. She deserved to win."

Was the Wimbledon final the best match Kvitova has ever played? "Yeah, it seems like, right?" she said, with a very big smile.

Kvitova shocked herself with her performance. "A few shots were really incredible and I really couldn't believe that I made [them]. Really for the first time I said, 'Oh, my God, this is good! I can really run and put everything back!'"

"The streak is broken. I'm so sorry to all of you who don't have to write about me this week and next week. I'm so sorry." That was Sloane Stephens, after a first-round loss to Maria Kirilenko ended her streak of fourth-round appearances in majors at six. We think she was being sarcastic. "I think the only people that it was important to me doing well the second week of a Slam was you guys," Stephens said. "It was never, I'm just going to focus doing well at the Grand Slams. It never happened that way. That's why I never had a real reason for why I had so much success at a Grand Slam. It just happened that way. Maybe in the next tournament that I play, I'll win it. Then I'll be like, Remember when we were talking at Wimbledon? So we'll see."

• Blaz Rola, 23, the 2013 NCAA singles champion at Ohio State, before playing Andy Murray in the second round: ""Hopefully I don't poop my pants and don't play well." Murray won 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.

Murray, on whether he's had any conversations about wine with his new coach and oenophile, Amelie Mauresmo. "It would be a pretty one‑sided conversation."

Ernests Gulbis, getting fed up when a reporter tried to bait him into making a controversial comment about female coaches. "Listen, my coach is Gunther [Bresnik]. Unfortunately, he's a man. I would wish it's a beautiful lady [smiling]."

Venus Williams, 34, doesn't want your pity and isn't concerned with your expectations. "I'm not really here to surprise anyone. No one is going to get behind you and pet you and say, 'It's OK, you can do it.' I have to do that for myself. I'm not looking for anyone to believe in me. You have to believe in yourself. I have nothing to prove, nothing to hide, nothing to lose."

• More from Venus: "Wishes don't come true. You have to work at it. I won't start wishing. I'll start working, running, hitting some winners. That will serve me more."

• Still more from Venus: "For me, when I leave tennis, I want it to be on my own terms. I want to know that I rose to every challenge. I want to look back with no regrets. So far in my career I can do that. Everyone messes up. Everyone chokes. Everyone gets tight. Everyone loses matches they should have won. But as long as you walked out there and you gave it your all, you can look back with no regrets."

• And Venus on aging gracefully: "Well, wisdom has served me well. I've worn my sunscreen so I haven't aged terribly. My knees are very tight, not saggy. And the crow's feet have been kept at bay. So I'll give myself an A+."

Taylor Townsend, 18, continues to be awesome: "As far as fitness is concerned, I have a great team and staff that have pushed and helped me and helped me understand and realize that my body is a total gift. I realize that I'm very strong and I can do a lot of things athletically that probably many people can't do. I train with 250-pound football players and we do the same stuff."

British player Naomi Broady, whose funding was pulled by the LTA after she posted a picture of herself next to a condom machine in 2007, won her first match at Wimbledon and made the second round. What if the LTA tries to take credit for her success? "I'll laugh in someone's face if they try to say it was them."

Broady doesn't mind her "bad girl" image. "I quite like it because I'm really boring. So I quite like that people are intrigued by my naughty side, which doesn't exist. That's great."

Madison Keys, 19, on whether she feels pressure from the media or fans to be the future of American tennis: "Sometimes they're definitely like, Are you feeling the pressure? It's like, What are you talking about? Is there something I don't know? I don't think there is any amount of pressure that another person could put on us that we don't put on ourselves. I think we've lived with the internal pressure and wanting to do well for so long, we're not really concerned with the country's pressure."

Li Na will not be boxed into your question:

Q.  Which is your favorite, grass or clay?

LI NA:  Hard court (laughter).

• Kvitova is well aware of her "P3tra" nickname: 

Q.  When did you start realizing you were playing a lot of three‑set matches?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I don't know.

Q.  When did it really sort of kick in?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Maybe when I was about the record, somewhere like that.  I don't remember when, but I know that I got nickname, so that was pretty nice.

Q.  Which was?

 PETRA KVITOVA:  Petra, but no E but 3. (P3tra.)

 Q.  You like that?

PETRA KVITOVA:  It's funny.  I prefer just to have a two over there, but still.

Gulbis had one of the best moments in the press room when he confused "umpires" for "vampires," but he had no idea the clip had gone viral. "[I didn't hear] nothing. No, I don't have friends on tour. Nobody talks to me about it [laughter]."

Here's Gulbis talking about Latvian art and Sotheby's, because why not: "For me, Latvian art, it's a mixture between Russian and European school. Unfortunately, Latvian art hasn't been so much work put into their marketing to make it bigger, because it's not really worse than, let's say, some really great Russian artists. So first time actually it was here in London. It was four years ago when they had their week of Russian art in Sotheby's and Christie's gallery. They asked my father to help them out. It was the first time in history two Latvian painters were sold in this auction. They asked for his help to put the nominal price just help out Latvian artists."

• Sergiy Stakhovsky was asked if his second-round victory over Gulbis was comparable to beating Federer in the second round last year. "No, not even close. Roger and Ernests on grass is like Rafa and me on clay."

With all this talk of the ATP's next generation making a move, Federer isn't too concerned. "I don't feel like a huge threat by them. I feel like, yeah, they're good. There are many good players from [No.] 5 or 6 to 20.  They're all unbelievably strong. But they're also somewhat exchangeable from 30 or 40. It's actually very strong in that level, between 5 and 40. But I feel like if I'm playing well I feel like I can control the field to a degree. Clearly there's never a guarantee. But I do believe the top guys are the ones we know and who are still going to be deciding outcomes of the bigger tournaments, like the Masters 1000s and the Grand Slams and the World Tour Finals."

The All England Club should probably reconsider putting the runner-up in the engraver's room before the trophy ceremony. "I was in the engraver's room, so I was watching them work, wishing one day, dreaming that he'll write my name somewhere," Bouchard said. 

Bouchard likes winning. She doesn't like losing, regardless of the circumstances. "I still think my junior title was better than this," she said after the final. "I think winning a tournament without losing a match is always something special. That was a big moment for me."

This seems like an unnecessary question to ask someone before a Grand Slam final:

Q.  If you lose, what will happen?  Will you take it as an experience?  Will you kill yourself?           

PETRA KVITOVA:  No, I will not kill myself, definitely.

Bouchard was surprised to hear that Justin Bieber was probably not Royal Box material. "They really wouldn't allow him in the Royal Box if he came? I feel like he would manage to get himself in there somehow. No?"

• Semifinalist Milos Raonic on the change of mindset in the locker room that the ATP Big Four can be beaten: "There is. But you don't really see it in the locker room. It's not like one player is going to another player and saying, 'You should believe more now.' I think you see it more in people's play and people's attitude when they step out on court. It's a big difference to where probably a lot of guys were maybe a year ago. It's an even bigger difference where guys were two, three, four, five years ago where there was a very tight stranglehold on who was winning those big tournaments."

More from Raonic on that point: "The one result that stands out the most this year has to be what Stan [Wawrinka] did at the beginning of the year. It doesn't have to be from a young guy. It has to be from this group that's considered contenders but sort of haven't been able to break through. I think that one, beating Novak and Rafa in that same [tournament], because you have to do it, that one was the biggest sigh of belief and relief for a lot of guys. I felt it when I was watching it in Tokyo during Davis Cup. You sort of felt like, OK, he did it. I feel like I compete well with this guy. Why can't I do it?"

Raonic on facing Federer: "I'm not playing the seven-time Wimbledon champion. I'm not playing a 32-year-old man. I'm not playing father of two sets of twins, which is a very low possibility I bet to do. I'm not playing the guy that's won whatever he's won, which I could probably list quite vividly. I'm playing a guy that is standing in my way of what I want to achieve."

Bouchard on being the "Next Sharapova": "I don't want to be the next someone else. I want to be the first of me. I'll try to make my own history."​

Here's a random exchange:

Q. Being a twin mother myself, I know how hard it is when they're babies. And you have doubles sets. How do you cope and how do you prepare yourself for this tournament, and how much does it motivate you being a dad?

ROGER FEDERER:  Thanks for sharing.  I don't think many people know how hard it is.  I'm glad you do.

Simona Halep on the downside of her 2014 success: "One funny thing, after the match I told my coach that next year I will have a lot of points to defend. I can feel now a little pressure."

Nadal after his fourth-round loss to Nick Kyrgios: "Oh, I am satisfied the way that I played this Wimbledon. It's true that my draw was not the best one. All the matches were uncomfortable against players that didn't give you the opportunity to play a lot."

Nadal keeps it simple: "I tried. I lost. That's the easiest way to explain that. It's not a drama. It's nothing strange. I lost in four sets having my chances."

Kyrgios' mom has a funny way of motivating him. "Yeah, last night I was actually reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me," Kyrgios said. "It actually made me a bit angry. You would think he's in a whole 'nother level compared to me." So what was he going to say to his mom now? "I'll just text her a smiley face [smiling]."

Sharapova did a fine job deflecting any criticism about Sugarpova:

Q.  You've come in for a little bit of criticism about the sweets shop, given it's not the kind of food for athletes.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Criticism but great sales afterwards.  It's kind of like the best day after the criticisms.  If you want to provide some more...

Q.  Which of the sweets do you eat?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, there's 15 of them.  I kind of go back and forth between my favorites.

Q.  Which ones are your favorites, please?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Quirky.  It's called Quirky.

Q.  What's it made of?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It's a licorice type, marshmallow middle with a strawberry flavor.  You should give it a try. You can smile more often, by the way.

Bouchard on the marriage proposals she gets on Twitter: "There's always a chance, I guess, that I'll say yes over Twitter (laughter). So keep 'em coming."

• And ... back to Venus: "People have been trying to retire me since I was like 25. For some reason in tennis we always do that to our players. It's weird. We don't encourage them to stick around. It's like, Get out of here. So I'm not getting out of here. This year has been a great year for me. I've had some tough losses, but I've learned a lot from them.  I'm finding my way back on my feet. I'm proud of myself for what I'm achieving on the court."

More Tennis

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again