Wednesday August 31st, 2011

A roundup of the best quotage from players on Day 2 of the U.S. Open.

• "I think the guys should play second. They're guys. We're ladies. They should totally play second all the time.  Ladies, you open the door for ladies. They should go second.  It's ridiculous."

-- Serena Williams, on having to wait to play second at night after Rafael Nadal on Tuesday.

• "People forget a lot of things, but last year my first match was really bad. ... I played bad against a similar opponent [as Tuesday night's]. ... It is very difficult to start one tournament playing very well from beginning. I am not saying that I will play fantastic [in the] next days, but I am confident that I can do it better."

-- Rafael Nadal, on his difficult first-round match against Andrey Golubev. Last year, Nadal withstood a challenge from Teymuraz Gabashvili in the first round.

• "Before the match, I was talking to my coach. I say, 'I didn't have good timing to hit the ball.' He tells me everything is perfect, everything is fantastic. I say, 'Yes, everything is fantastic, but I always lose first round.' I mean, this is not fantastic."

-- Li Na, on her crisis of confidence.

• "You know, he has something I'm looking for and I have something he's looking for. He wants to be No. 1. So it's good to have something on each other."

-- Caroline Wozniacki, on her relationship with 2011 U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlroy, the sixth-ranked player in the world.

• "After [winning Wimbledon] I took some time off and I got to think about everything that I've been through. I have more motivation to play and to win more Grand Slams now more than ever [because] I know that I can actually perform equally well on any surface, that I have equal chances on any Grand Slam that I play."

-- Novak Djokovic, on his mindset after winning at the All England Club and reaching No. 1.

• "It's better to come in under the map instead of on top of it."

-- Sloane Stephens, on playing the role of underdog.

• "That's a little bit silly question to ask me. Of course I want me to be there first."

-- Victoria Azarenka, on who she thinks, between her and good friend Caroline Wozniacki, will win a Slam first.

• "I don't want to lose my No. 1 spot. I don't want to lose it to juniors. The seniors have to slap them down, keep them down for as long as you can. Heather [Watson] is very talented.  Laura [Robson] is very talented.  They're off on their journey now, rightly so. I mean, I'm 28 now, so ...  See how many years I've got left.  It's exciting."

-- British No. 1 Elena Baltacha, on trying to stay ahead of the next generation of British talent.

• "I feel fine.  Even last time I played here, I went out with a bang.  I came in with a bang tonight.  So it's all good."-- Serena Williams, on how it felt to return to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since her infamous default in 2009.

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