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Beyond the Baseline

Andrea Petkovic's post-victory celebration, more Charleston quotes

Mic Smith/AP Andrew Petkovic's flight from the Family Circle Cup sounded like it would be a fun one after her win in the tournament. (Mic Smith/AP)

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston ...

• "I'm going to have champagne and I don't even drink champagne, but I'm just going to have it for the heck of it in the airplane. I'm going to get drunk  I never get drunk on the airplane. That's what I'm going to do, and I'm going to walk around and dance with the cabin attendants. That's what I'm going to do."

-- Andrea Petkovic's post-win celebration plans. She was on a flight that very night back to Europe to prepare for Fed Cup.

• "I'm really just dead. I need some weeks off where I don't think about tennis and kind of regroup.  I've had a long couple of years, and I'm really a little fatigued."

-- Serena Williams, after losing to Jana Cepelova in her opening match.

• "Don't make any excuses for yourself.  If you didn't win the match, guess what, it's you on the court.  So figure it out."

-- Venus Williams' advice to the younger generation of players.

• "I am a doubter, you know.  I doubt constantly everything.  I doubt the world and myself and everybody around me, so just having those doubts go away somehow and seeing that it comes together on the court, even if I had lost the second or third round, I felt like I was a better player and everything came sort of together.  That kind of give me the edge, I think for this week."

-- Petkovic, on how everything came together for her in Charleston.

• "Before the tournament if somebody tell me you will be in final, I cannot believe them.  But now, you know, I'm a little bit upset, but maybe tomorrow everything okay."

-- Cepelova, after losing her first WTA final in Charleston.

• "I mean it's kind of [up in the air] after Serena saying that she needs a month and a half off.  We're all kind of like, oh, okay.  Fed Cup is in two weeks.  So maybe you won't be there.  So yeah, we're kind of waiting to see what she says.  (Laughs)."

-- Madison Keys, on whether she'll play Fed Cup in two weeks.

• "She came to the practice court, and she was so funny.  I love her.  She is so cool.  She was like, "yo, girl.  Yo.  You're rocking it today.  I feel it in my blood.  You're gonna win this tournament today.  You're gonna win this tournament today." I was like, "okay."  "As long as you believe in it, you know, I'm happy."

-- Petkovic on her Charleston Superfan, who cheered her on from the stands throughout the weekend. Petkovic was able to track her down and give her tickets and an autograph ,and threw a wristband up to her after she won the title.

• "I'm getting older, and I only put makeup when I go to the parties or go somewhere where I want to look nice.  Here I want to look like a beast.  I just want to look as scary as possible.  I don't want to look pretty and all nice and dolled up.  For what?"

-- Jelena Jankovic on her decision not to wear make-up on court anymore.

• "To talk too much."

-- Jankovic on her superhero power.

• "I think it's kind of the now generation, everything is instant.  So I think we see things changing with the younger people, just not as much depth, and I don't know, blame it on technology.  Things have changed so fast. Back in the day you would have to memorize phone numbers and you wrote them down.  Now it's all in your phone and it's connected to a server.  So things have changed so much.  I think it makes you use less brain power.  There's less effort that goes into everything."

-- Venus on the younger generation, generally.

• "Like I said, like I'm 21 now. If I play 10 more years of tennis, until I'm 31, that's a lot of tennis to be played. I could win the next Grand Slam or I could win one in six years and that would still be -- if I had pretty decent results and I was pretty consistent, I think that would still be pretty good. But like I said, there's a lot of tennis to be played and I'm not -- like I'm in the Top 20 and I'm still really young and still learning a lot about myself and things like that, so I'm not rushing to try and do anything fabulous."

-- Sloane Stephens, on keeping perspective on her young career.

• "The game is for sure a little bit older, with Serena, and Li Na, for example, doing so well in their 30s, but to me I'm playing here and now. I want to do the best I can right away.  There's no point for me to just kind of be relaxed about it.  Of course, each match winning is out of my control, but I want to try to do the best I can as soon as I can, and I want to have 10 successful years and not five slow ones and then five good ones."

-- Eugenie Bouchard, on feeling a sense of urgency.

• "She stays so low and she takes your balls early off the ground, so even though you hit so hard, she just picks them up so easily and kind of directs them and that's her biggest strength, that she can absorb someone's ball and just use it."

-- Jankovic, on what Bouchard does well.

• "She's going to be a top player.  She has an incredible mindset, good attitude, and I think she's definitely one of the future stars on the tennis tour.  I mean she already is.  It's not a future anymore."

-- Petkovic on Bouchard. The German moved to 3-0 vs. Bouchard with a three-set win in the semifinals.

• "I'm going to go on a vacation, for sure.  I need some time off, so I'm going to kind of take a deep breath, and I haven't had time, even in the off season, I went straight to training and there's just been so much in several years, so I just need to take a deep breath and regroup, and I think actually it'll really help me for the rest of the clay‑court season.

-- Serena, on needing to regroup.

• "No."

-- Cepelova, admitting she had no belief she would beat Serena.

• "What?"

-- Cepelova on what was going through her mind when she built a 5-0 lead on Serena en route to the straight set upset.

• Petkovic, after making the final:

Q.  Tomorrow you'll either play a 20‑year‑old or a 17‑year‑old.

ANDREA PETKOVIC:  I'm the oldest here.  Can you believe that?  Oh, my God, I want to kill myself.  (Laughs).

• "I respect her and every opponent I play, but I also try to not put them on a pedestal too much. But for me it's always an opportunity for me to play someone I've watched on TV when I was younger and someone who's been No. 1 and such a great player. So I always expect great tennis because she's still playing at a great level, and she was at an amazing level. So you never know. So I was ready for that. But at the same time, every time I walk on the court I believe I can win, and I think I believed more this time than probably the last time I played her.

-- Bouchard, after defeating Venus Williams 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 in the third round. Bouchard lost to Williams in three sets last year at the Tokyo Open.

• "I think she has nothing to lose right now.  She's not the favorite.  I think, you know, where she will be one of those when she's expected to win it's going to be, I think, a little bit different. So she can let loose and just play her game. And she's young and fresh and hungry and she wants to do well, so that's different. But I think she's a great player and she's going to be really good. I don't want to predict, who am I to say how far she will go, but I think she has a great future ahead of her."

-- Jankovic, on Bouchard.

• "In the beginning when I was coming up on the tour, everything was super special for me, and I saw Rafa and Roger going around, and I was just in the constant awe all the time, and it takes a lot of energy being in constant awe when you are looking around, oh, my God, it's Serena. So now I am much more relaxed, and I know all of these players; and it's my life.  You know, that's my life.  The tour is my life, part of my life, and I love it.  Sometimes I hate it, but most of the time I love it, and so it's nice to have this peace with the tour and just being able to enjoy it most of the time."

-- Petkovic, on coming to peace with her life as a professional tennis player.

• "I think that players, which is Top 20 or even Top 10 they are playing more consistently, more solid, even in the important moments they are showing their best. They are not scared to go for the shots.  So I think this is the most important, that you are going for shots when you need to improve your level.  So I think this is the main difference from juniors to the top players. They are playing really solid on the important moments, like for example, 5‑5, 30‑30 or something."

-- Elina Svitolina, on the difference in competition level from the juniors to the pros.

• "I mean anybody who has ever written a poem feels like fricking good at that time, and I'm writing a poem, and I'm like I'm a genius, why has nobody discovered me.  And then when I read it back a month later, I realize how bad I suck, actually. And then I forbid myself of writing for the next three months, and then I get this kind of emotional phase where I have to express myself.  And then again, shitty poetry comes out.  Excuse my words."

-- Petkovic, on why you will never read any of the poetry she's ever written.

• "I lowered the amount of training that I did. I did a lot before, I practiced six hours every day, and so now I lowered it to maybe four hours a day, and I take more days off.... I just listen to my body more carefully because before I was this machine that when I felt pain, I don't feel pain, I'm Robocop.  (Laughs).  And I just went through it. I never said anything when I was having pain or when something was troubling me.  I just went through everything, and now when I feel something I immediately say, listen, I don't know, my arm is hurting.  Maybe I should take a day off or something.  And that's helped me."

-- Petkovic on learning to work smarter as opposed to work harder after all her injuries over the last two years.

• "I don't want to do it anymore, to be honest, because I feel like I'm 26 years old now, and I'm very experienced.  I'm a big girl.  I can handle myself (laughs).

No, but the thing is, Peter helped me a lot on court, but in the Grand Slams he cannot come out, and I really in the late stages of my career I want to do well in the Grand Slams, and I really want to play well there, and I just want to get used to being alone on the court, making my own decisions.  And also, the talk that I had with Eric was like he wants me to get to the place where I can analyze inside the match and just look at him and he can confirm, you know.  That's the ideal part so I can also in the Grand Slams sort of find the solutions.

Today I lost the first set 6‑1 and I knew what the problem was.  I knew I was too late for the shots and I was too short, and as a tennis player you have to be able ‑‑ that's why I picked this sport.  You have to be able to make your own decisions, on the court, by yourself.  And that's why I'm trying to don't get the coach out anymore."

-- Petkovic, on on-court coaching.

• "Fighter."

- Cepelova's decisive response when asked to describe herself in one word.

• "Have you seen the "Wizard of Oz," the lion? He didn't have a heart, but he wanted it. So he got it. He did what it took. So you have to recognize, hey, I got this issue.  Let me fix it.  You can't just ignore it.  So I think for me it was a learned thing."

-- Venus Williams, taking a little creative license with the Wizard of Oz to illustrated how she learned to compete better over the years.

• "I mean it's more of an at least no one can say I didn't try.  I mean I fought.  I gave it my all, and it wasn't like I just gave it away.  I definitely made her fight and win the match.... I mean it's definitely, there's definitely the matches where, I mean, I would never say that I just completely stopped playing, but there's definitely matches where sometimes it just gets away from me and I can't really get it back.  So I mean today it was definitely a positive to be able to get it back and figure out a way that I could have win.  So that's definitely something that's good that I've been working on."

-- Madison Keys, after fighting back from 6-1, 5-1 only to lose 6-1, 6-7 (3), 7-6, (4) to Peng Shuai in the second round.

• "I like winning more than I hate losing. I think it's important to keep it a bit more positive than negative in that sense.  Most of the weeks you're going to lose a match anyway, so it's important to not get too down about it. But no matter what, I think it's important to just be pretty even no matter what happens, because you play so many matches, you can't get too high after a win and too low after a loss, so it's important to keep emotionally in check and a level head, and I think I do that pretty well."

- Bouchard, on perspective.

• "I mean obviously it would be very nice to have the results.  I mean it would be great if I was sitting in here like, yeah, I won!  But I mean it's if you're going to have a long career ‑‑ I mean this is going into my second full year on the tour.  So if I'm going to go in and have crazy ups every single time I win and be devastated every time I lose, I'm probably not going to have a very long career.  It's just too emotionally draining. So I mean, yeah, putting in perspective of did I play badly today?  Yes.  Am I happy with it?  No.  But I can go back out on the practice court for in a couple of days and practice and get better for Madrid. So there's definitely that.  You also think about in the juniors when you had terrible losses and you thought you'd never play again, it was the worst loss of your entire life, and it's three or four years later and I'm looking back and like, hey, it wasn't that bad.  I still play tennis.  The world did not end."

-- Keys, on keeping perspective. It was quite the theme this week in the press room.

• "I don't think there's ever going to be an end to this story.  I think it's just a consistent journey that is there and that we have to go each day just because, you know, I get it that the men's, I guess are bigger stars, but then again, Maria and Serena and Venus, they are cross‑over pop stars, you know, and I think it's just a matter of sort of taking the attention and not being afraid of taking the attention and being proud of the attention that we get, because I think the girls do an amazing job every day, and they fight their hearts out there, and they try their best to be out there and strong and powerful and giving an example to little girls."

-- Petkovic, on the legacy of the WTA's Original Nine and the continued battle for equality in women's tennis.

• "I mean I was really tired in Miami as well.  But you know, I feel ‑‑ I'm happy that I have an opportunity to feel that way, you know.  So means I've been doing pretty well. But like I said everything happens for a reason.  I feel like I can always look at the positive and see what I can achieve after this. So I'm excited.  I feel like I now have time to just take a breath and the break that I really needed to take and go from there."

-- Serena, on playing well despite the fatigue.

• "I still love Bon Iver, you know. I'm still going to listen to emo music. But yeah, maybe I'm also going to listen to Shakira.  (Laughs)."

-- Petkovic, who may start listening to more upbeat music now that she's in a good mood.

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