Quotable Quotes: Players Dish On Family, Food, Federer & More

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By Blair Henley

You can learn a lot about a player by watching them on the court. Are they emotional? Are they stoic? Do they sweat a lot? Do they stick to certain routines? But there’s really no better place to get inside the mind of an athlete than inside the pressroom. Sometimes media members stick to questions about the match, and sometimes, well, they don’t. 

Take a look at some of our favorite quotes from the first few days of play at the Western & Southern Open.

 

Venus Williams

On shopping for her new niece or nephew (Serena is due in September)…

"I have a lot of things in my cart that I'm about to order (smiling). I talked to my mom yesterday. I'm like, “Mom, what do we really, really need?” So she really gave me the low-down.mI'm going to get this stuff, and as things progress I'll see what I need after."

On the biggest difference in herself now compared to her first trip to Cincinnati in 2009…
"I don't remember the first time, so that would be a walk down memory lane. But right now is just a good time to be playing tennis, a good time to be alive. It's a good time to live your dream, and that's what I'm doing."

 

John Isner

On playing tentative tennis…

"There have been some matches these last two years where…I just wanted to win so bad that I lose track of the task at hand, really. And the worst feeling is going out there and on a big point and just hoping to win the point, hoping that my opponent makes a mistake. Even if they do, it doesn't feel good. It's stressful."

 

Madison Keys

On how it feels to be on a winning streak…

"It feels good. It's been awhile (smiling). It feels like things are going in the right direction. Things are kind of just -- I feel like I have stopped forcing everything and taken a big, deep breath and kind of let things happen."

On the fact that her coach Lindsay Davenport is often smiling at her during on-court coaching visits…
"I'm a great person, so... (Smiling.)"

On her younger sister heading off to college…

"I feel so old. I'm, like, “Wait. No, I feel like I should just be going into college. Like, how is that happening?” It's also terrifying, because I'm, like, “You're going to be, like, responsible for yourself. You have to manage, like, get to school on time and, like, eat, do your own laundry.”"

"I'm a little worried. But she has a lot of friends around her. So I'm hoping as, like, a group they will manage to not get into too much trouble."

 

Alexander Zverev

On his opponent’s assessment that he was fatigued from winning back-to-back titles…

"Yes, 100%. I'm completely dead right now. I have been dead for the past two days."

 

Ashleigh Barty 

On her decision to step away from tennis as and try her hand at professional cricket in 2014…

"For me, I just needed to take some time and refresh, be myself a little bit. I wasn't expecting to go into cricket. It just sort of came up for me. Obviously, I'm very happy now, back playing tennis. I'm happy and healthy and playing well."

On keeping a straight face when she and Casey Dellacqua play doubles against their fellow Australians, including Dasha Gavrilova… 

"For me, it's easy. We laugh at some things. And Case and I rarely have a straight face on a doubles court in the best of days. We laugh at Dash when she does some amazing things. She's always there for a good time. But when we are playing, it's game on, and then at the end of the game we shake hands and it's like nothing ever happened."

 

Frances Tiafoe

On the assertion that his win over Alexander Zverev avenged Roger Federer’s loss to the German last week in Montreal…

"I don't even know what to say. Today I was lucky. Just happy to get it done today. Hopefully one day I can beat Roger (smiling)."

 

Ekaterina Makarova 

On the possibility of blowing a third-set lead against Angelique Kerber in the second round…

"I was thinking if I lose this match, leading 5-2 and had match points, I will just kill myself (smiling). All the match points she had, I was, like, no. I will play my aggressive tennis. I'm not gonna give it to you."

 

Grigor Dimitrov

On how he handles playing against Juan Martin del Potro...

"Well, I lost five times against him. What can I say? I kind of know what to expect now."

 

Sloane Stephens 

On her ordering habits at sushi restaurant Nobu…

"You go all out. I get, like, the miso cod. I get the yellowtail sashimi. I get everything on the menu. Like, I don't get just one thing. That's my issue. I can't stop eating. It's, like, six dishes and I'm, like, “Hmm, can't let that go to waste.” You've got to eat everything."

 

Rafael Nadal 

On whether Roger Federer’s longevity is an inspiration for him…

"No. I do my way, and Roger did his way, no? Everybody is different. For me, personally, I always say the same. I'm going to keep playing until what I am doing makes me happy. I am a very lucky person that I can choose when I want to stop, so that's the real thing."

 

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