Visitor:
OTC - Home > Humor, Fun
Tennis Quotations

Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world.
 ~Jacques Barzun

I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.
 ~Yannick Noah

Love is nothing in tennis, but in life it's everything.
 ~Author Unknown

Tennis is an addiction that once it has truly hooked a man will not let him go.
 ~Russell Lynes

Ladies, here's a hint. If you're up against a girl with big boobs, bring her to the net and make her hit backhand volleys. That's the hardest shot for the well-endowed.
 ~Billie Jean King

Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified.
 ~Virginia Graham, Say Please, 1949

When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.
 ~Hugo L. Black

An otherwise happily married couple may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
 ~Rod Laver

The serve was invented so that the net could play.
 ~Bill Cosby

Though your game is hardly the best
You can fray your opponent's nerves
By methodically bouncing the ball
At least ten times before your serves.
~Arnold J. Zarett

Why has slamming a ball with a racquet become so obsessive a pleasure for so many of us? It seems clear to me that a primary attraction of the sport is the opportunity it gives to release aggression physically without being arrested for felonious assault.
 ~Nat Hentoff

But that won't give me a free hand to hold the beer.
 ~Billy Carter, while being taught a two-handed backhand shot

The primary conception of tennis is to get the ball over the net and at the same time to keep it within bounds of the court; failing this, within the borders of the neighborhood.
 ~Elliot Chaze

A perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.
 ~Billie Jean King

A column of ants began to follow me onto the tennis court. Because I would not step on them, I lost the match. But I won with God.
 ~Peter Burwash

Tennis begins with love.
 ~Author Unknown

What a polite game tennis is. The chief word in it seems to be "sorry" and admiration of each other's play crosses the net as frequently as the ball.
 ~J.M. Barrie

Tennis is not a gentle game. Psychologically, it is vicious. That people are only just beginning to come to terms with this fact illustrates just how big a con trick has been perpetrated on the non-playing tennis public - and even a few players, usually losing players - for decades.
 ~Richard Evans

The cunning competitor plays on the other party's guilt. Continuously praise your opponent's shots, and you'll notice how he begins to press. Self-beratement also serves to balance a guilty conscience for being successful and makes your opponent disturbed for upsetting you so. If on occasion you call one of your opponent's "out" shots "in," then later on you can innocently call an "in" shot "out" on a crucial play. Practice saying "Good try," sincerely; then you can call a lot of close shots "out" and get away with it.
 ~Theodor Saretsky

Speed in tennis is a strange mixture of intuition, guesswork, footwork and hair-trigger reflexes. Many of the players famed for quickness on court would finish dead last in a field of schoolgirls in a race over any distance more than ten yards.
 ~Eugene Scott

In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe.
 ~Elliot Chaze

It's difficult for most people to imagine the creative process in tennis. Seemingly it's just an athletic matter of hitting the ball consistently well within the boundaries of the court. That analysis is just as specious as thinking that the difficulty in portraying King Lear on stage is learning all the lines.
 ~Virginia Wade

It's one-on-one out there, man. There ain't no hiding. I can't pass the ball.
 ~Pete Sampras


"I would so like to be Lenny Kravitz."
-- Roger Federer.

"I'm not a fan of it. I hate it, but I may as well utilize it. I think it takes away from the integrity of tennis."
-- Serena Williams on the WTA Tour's on-court coaching experiment.

"Sometimes, actually, I see myself a little bit in him sometimes, you know, talking to his coach, you know, yelling a couple of negative words towards the box, which it's good to see I'm not the only one."
-- Tommy Haas on rising star Andy Murray.

"You would have to refer to the LL Cool J song called "Round The Way Girl," and he explains it in full detail, the meaning of the earrings. These are bamboo. He explains it in full detail. I'm a 'Round The Way Girl."
-- Serena Williams on her earring worn in Miami.

"I would honestly rather lose to the same guy twice than lose to two different guys. I think if I lost to two different players I would think I wasn't playing well, but with one guy I can think 'OK, this guy is on a roll'. It's just easier to digest."
-- Roger Federer on his losses to Guillermo Canas this year at Indian Wells and Miami.

"For me it's something that doesn't quite fit into the schedule. It's going to be real tough to go from Houston all the way over to Monte Carlo, then come back just for a week or two to train for Rome. For the Americans, that tournament has never been exactly the easiest one in the schedule. I'm not going to be able to make it to that one."
-- James Blake on skipping the Masters Series Monte Carlo.

"I wore that to a sixth-grade dance."
-- Robby Ginepri on Vince Spadea's outfit in Miami.

"My player box is going to be full of celebrities, too; my dad, this guy Jose Hidalgo, his guest, my buddy from SC [University of Southern California]. That's about it. I'll probably get an autograph from Tiger in between sets. I'll bring a golf ball with me."
-- Sam Querrey on Tiger Woods sitting in Roger Federer's box for their match in Miami.

"I might have had a little fun last night and then I woke up. I'd like to thank Mr. Grey Goose. I won't do that again, but I thought I had zero shot of getting in."
-- Robert Kendrick on unexpectedly getting into Miami as a lucky loser and winning a round before losing handily to Andy Murray.

"He hasn't even started to use a lot of his game."
-- Coach Tony Roche on protege Roger Federer.

"This is probably my most dominant grand slam victory and it's already my 10th in such a short period of time. I amazed myself."
-- Roger Federer on his Australian Open win.

"I saw Andy in the locker room, running around playing cards and he was loose. If you don't get on Federer early, it's trouble because no one comes back on him. Once he starts hitting those sweet shots, he took a little belief out of Andy. I saw Andy's face and I said 'Oh s***.'"
-- Bob Bryan on Andy Roddick's dismantling at the hands of Roger Federer at the Australian Open.

"Yeah, there's a lot of strategy talk. It's not so much like, If you're down 6-4, 6-0, 2-0. We didn't really talk about that. Oops."
-- Andy Roddick on his strategy with coach Jimmy Connors after losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals.

"I don't want to be like some of those celebrities walking around, just so full of themselves. I always want to be down-to-earth, want to be a person like when you meet them, they're the same person that you think of them in the article or something."
-- Serena Williams.

"That's what you do all the hard work for, to play in situations that put your body through gruelling times. If you're not up to it, pull out."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on the grueling heat at the Aussie Open.

"It [playing Wimbledon] has crossed my mind -- I won't lie to you. Nothing against Nadal who is a tremendous athlete, but that sort of [baseline] game, I'd be licking my chops to come in [to net] and use that grass to your advantage."
-- Pete Sampras talking to ESPN.

"I don't really know any other players extra well."
-- Venus Williams on having no friends on tour besides sister Serena.

"You can't expect yourself to be already peaking like crazy in an exhibition tournament."
-- Roger Federer on losing to Andy Roddick in the Kooyong Classic final.

"Amazingly, [Martina] Hingis went so far as to say, "Dinara [Safina] has an amazing future, and will be even better than Marat [Safin]; Dinara has to work harder and doesn't have as much touch, but she fights so hard." Oh sure, and Radek Stepanek is going to be better than Ivan Lendl, too."
-- Matt Cronin of Tennisreporters.net.

"I listen to him most of the time, some of the time I switch off."
-- Andy Murray on coach Brad Gilbert.

"Venus and I would really like to thank the jury again because they really were able to see the truth in this matter."
-- Venus Williams after her father Richard Williams was found guilty of representing them as a manager or a multi-million dollar exhibition but did not have to pay any financial restitution.

"This trophy is one of the most beautiful we have in tennis -- The Golden Falcon. I wanted it so bad. Andy was a very good opponent. He fought hard and didn't miss many balls. But I was patient. I knew I had to be aggressive but not too aggressive. Against someone like Andy you need to find the perfect balance, because if you go to the net too much, he will pass you. And if you stay at the baseline, he's too solid. So the combination was the key today."
-- Ivan Ljubicic after beating Andy Murray in the Doha final.

"I'm not sure it will help. I already tried it and it's really confusing. I'm there thinking and worrying, 'Should I call my coach for help or not?' I need to play a couple of tournaments like this."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova on the WTA's on-court coaching experiment.

"As I was walking off the court, the models were waiting to go on for Ferrero's match. It's a little disappointing. Maybe I'm concentrating better in my matches than I would have later on. Tomorrow I think I'm playing on the outside court, so I'm not going to have them again. I think if I win my next one, there's a good chance that I'll be on the court with them."
-- Andy Murray on the models-as-ball-girls in Madrid.

"He has a more complete game than Sampras. Sampras had a bigger first and second serve. In the conditions Pete was playing, it was easier to be more aggressive all the time. Now with the courts and the balls much slower, Roger is so effective because he has so many attributes to his game."
-- Tim Henman on Roger Federer.

"No one is friends with Hewitt and he does not worry me at all."
-- David Nalbandian on Lleyton Hewitt and the Argentina vs. Australia Davis Cup tie.

"Hewitt seems to think that he's come to Iraq. But we're not bothered because this is the circus that he wanted to set up. Nothing's going to happen and we shouldn't pay any attention to it."
-- Jose Acasuso on Lleyton Hewitt coming to Argentina for the Davis Cup semifinals.

"He told me he got pelted with coins and the umpire had to stop the match at one stage. We are expecting the worst and if that doesn't happen, well, that's a bonus."
-- Wayne Arthurs speaking to SMH.com on Dominik Hrbaty reminiscing on the Slovak Republic's Davis Cup victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1998 in the fifth rubber. Australia will travel to Argentina for the 2006 semifinals.

"I just won a Grand Slam. The last thing I'm going to talk about is some fingers or a banana, alright? I hope you got that one, thanks."
-- The cheating Maria Sharapova when asked about being coached with signals from the stands by Michael Joyce during the US Open final.

"Better not say anything about that because if I do, I know I'm gonna get slighted. I'm really disappointed there's not more English people in it (laughter)."
-- Andy Murray speaking to the media at the US Open on three Scottish players being named to the British Davis Cup team.

"I feel like I'm helping out Andy, because Andy has dealt with it on his own for a while now. I'm proud to be helping him. I'm proud that we're doing this together. We're both in the quarters now. He's playing great tennis again. I'm really happy to see that. He played unbelievable in Cincinnati. I thought he played great in Indianapolis.And I had to play possibly my best match ever to beat him in the finals. I'm happy to see him doing great. We're both playing pretty darn well going into Moscow. I'm looking forward to us teaming up together instead of playing against each other."
-- James Blake on being in the Top 10 with Andy Roddick at the US Open, leading up to the Davis Cup semifinal at Russia.

"Those are real hard fans. There are a lot of them here. Some are a little bit crazy with their drinking their beers every once in a while. But I love it."
-- Maria Sharapova on the US Open fans.

"If you read it, you must have been one of the 10 books he sold."
-- James Blake on Vince Spadea's tell-all book.

"No, you know. Not at all. I don't think so. Some days."
-- Serena Williams, in a post-match conference at the US Open, after many short answers, then asked if the media questions get on her nerves.

"The players strongly support the move away from best-of-five-set finals."
-- James Blake, 0-9 in five-set matches, on the ATP's proposed changes for 2007.

"It's weird, because there are a couple of sides of me. There's the Maria that's a tennis player. There's the Maria that is a normal girl. And there's the Maria who's a businesswoman. And that's where the 'Maria Sharapova brand' comes into play. I've been lucky to be associated with amazing companies that have given me experience about all that."
-- Maria Sharapova.

"Justine (Henin-Hardenne) and Amelie (Mauresmo) are kind, they're smart, but they're also shy and not wildly outgoing. But when Venus Williams and Irina Spirlea bump each other, fans like that drama and they like that tension."
-- Anne Worcester, former WTA Tour CEO and current director of the Pilot Pen Tournament in New Haven, speaking to The New York Observer on the need for more bumping in the current sleep-inducing Top 10 on the WTA Tour rankings.

"The players aren't supporting the tour. (Amelie) Mauresmo has blown off the entire hardcourt season. Then there are injuries and phony injuries -- (Kim) Clijsters is out for two months...They don't think about growing the game; they think about growing their bank account. There's been a recession for years, but the players don't feel it. They're making more. You can't convince them that tennis is in trouble. They can't feel it; their agents can't feel it. They're living in an entirely different reality."
-- NBC and CBS tennis analyst Mary Carillo speaking to The New York Observer on women's tennis.

"No, I'm not (disappointed). There's no reason to be because I'm on an incredible run. You always expect a loss once in a while. So when it happens, why be disappointed if I win over 90% of my matches."
-- Roger Federer after tanking against Andy Murray at Cincinnati.

"I love reading your website. And I don't even like to read!"
-- The Tennis Channel's world-wanderer Murphy Jensen on Tennis-X.com.

"I think this is the biggest advantage of these two guys. When they go on the court, the opponents are down one set because they are fearful of them. (The other players) think that they are gods."
-- Tomas Berdych on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal after beating Nadal at the MS-Canada.

"I hope guys don't go into it already beaten. That happened when Pete was around. Guys definitely in the locker room felt like, a match against Pete Sampras, it was time to book your flight for the next day."
-- James Blake on the intimidation factor against players facing Roger Federer.

"The good thing about him is that he doesn't do anything special but he wins most of his matches easily. That means that he's good.
-- Carlos Moya on Andy Murray.

"I can't say I don't like acting, but I can't imagine a career when I have to spend 70 percent of my time in a trailer eating Snickers bars."
-- Maria Sharapova on possible doing some acting.

"It's like a book. It's the first chapter. You don't know what's in the middle and you don't know what's in the end. That's what the coolest thing is. Andy has an opportunity to make an incredible book."
-- Brad Gilbert on coaching Andy Murray after coming off best-selling novels Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.

"The Argentineans practice on the court for two hours a day, then they must practice in front of a mirror for two more hour saying 'I'm not guilty.'"
-- Vince Spadea on the Argentines on the men's tour and drug testing.

"We have undoubtedly got the talent but maybe we have not had the right attitude. We need to be more focused, more determined and more ruthless in what we want to achieve. The confidence and belief levels in British tennis at the moment are very low and we have got to raise them by surrounding ourselves with proven winners and tough task-masters on and off the court."
-- LTA tennis chief executive Roger Draper on hoping that coach Brad Gilbert can turn-around British tennis fortunes.

"They tried it on the ATP a while ago. Sometimes, when things aren't going well in the sport, they search a little bit. I don't think it's a time to panic in the men's or ladies field. It's their (the WTA Tour's) deal and if it adds a little bit then great. One thing I love about tennis is it's an individual deal. It's up to you out there and I've always thought that was pretty unique. The only other sport to have that is boxing and it can really expose you as an athlete and I like that. I like to figure it out on my own just as my opponent has to figure it out on his own, so I'm not into coaching."
-- Pete Sampras on the WTA's on-court coaching experiment.

"Throw him a bone?...I'm going to put the beat-down on him!"
-- NBC commentator Jim Courier on his upcoming exhibition with Pete Sampras.

"He's one of the few players that has ever sent me a thank-you note. He appreciates it, and that means a lot."
-- U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe on practice-partner team member Sam Querrey.

"A great coach can lead you to a place where you don't need him any more."
-- Andre Agassi on Brad Gilbert. But maybe you repay him by keeping him on?

"You know, I don't think anyone on the call really cares (laughter)...I'm just kidding."
-- Pete Sampras on a World TeamTennis conference call when asked to talk about something other than himself -- in this case his World TeamTennis teammates.

"Keep in mind, we didn't come close to winning the baseball, basketball or the hockey or the soccer. It's not tennis. We're not winning anything anymore. This country's dominance in sports has died in everything."
-- Former player and coach Eliot Teltscher speaking with the LA Times on the struggling U.S. sport fortunes.

"The way I look at the top five, (Rod) Laver, (Roger) Federer, myself, Borg and (Ivan) Lendl. I think those five guys dominated their generations better than anyone. Maybe Roger will dominate better than any one of the other four. Maybe I put Andre (Agassi) as kind of six through 10 with, you know, (John) McEnroe and (Jimmy) Connors, kind of those guys. That's kind of how I see it."
-- Pete Sampras.

"Look. There's many former players, many experts, who think they know everything. Sometimes they're right, but they can also be wrong. You can't always listen to them, especially as a player. From a former top player -- almost a legend of the game -- to hear stuff like this is obviously very disappointing. I thought I got along well with him; I probably still am, because he never told these things to my face. Next time I see him, maybe I'll say something. Or maybe he's not a man to be around for me. Because if you say stuff like this? There's professional and there's friendship, but if you cross the line too many times eventually you're going to lose your friends. That's maybe what he's doing."
-- Roger Federer on Mats Wilanders' comments that he had "no balls" when playing against Rafael Nadal.

"Oh, oh, first time happen in my match, so...I mean, if the crowd likes it, that's okay with me."
-- Elena Dementieva on the streaker during her match at Wimbledon.

"I wouldn't change a thing."
-- Maria Sharapova on what she would do if a player or tournament official asked her to tone down her orgasma-grunting.

"The Chinese tennis federation is concentrating more on girls' tennis to start with because it's easier. Men's tennis is very strong but there are not so many good women players in the world."
-- China's Na Li. Then the WTA PR squad heard this and went "Doh!"

"Women are held to a different standard. When those blowouts come in the early rounds, the critics come down on them. If we get a few more, the critics will jump -- especially in this year when everyone is talking about equal prize money. But that's not the point. We don't punch a clock; we don't get paid by the game or set. When you have the same job, then anything less than equality is just wrong."
-- ESPN commentator Pam Shriver on the many early blowouts on the women's side at Wimbledon and the pay-equality dispute in 2006.

"It is very important not to think about losing."
-- Venus Williams on her strategy for coming from behind to win matches. Time to write a book.

"Reminds me a bit of me sometimes."
-- Roger Federer on Richard "Baby Fed" Gasquet.

"I think it's in his mind. It's a little difficult to play Nadal because he's a leftie, he's younger, he has less pressure than Roger. By the way he's playing, I think he should beat him. I think it's more mental than any other problem...He has no reason to get really down, he won seven Grand Slams. So, he has nothing to be pissed off about."
-- Marat Safin on Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal.

"The president of the French federation, Christian Bimes, is always saying he wants a French winner at Roland Garros, but if that's the case they should provide us with some clay courts. Look at Rafael Nadal. In Spain he's playing on clay courts the whole year round. Most French players learn their game on hard courts. I learned mine on wooden indoor courts. But not clay."
-- Amelie Mauresmo speaking to The Independent.

"Grand Slams are funny things. You have to try to find a way to get through the first week and put yourself in a position in the second week. A lot of strange things happen."
-- Lleyton Hewitt putting the hex on Roger Federer, addressing the Swiss winning another Wimbledon title in 2006.

"The balls skid a lot more and stay low. It forces you to use a different muscle group. Your ass -- can I say that on the Internet? -- gets really sore. For the first few days, it's really, really tough."
-- Patrick McEnroe speaking with ESPN.com on grasscourt tennis.

"Most kids growing up playing tennis want to win Grand Slam titles and be No. 1 in the world in singles. Truth be told, Mike and Bob's primary goal as 6-year-olds was to win all four Grand Slams as a doubles team, be No. 1 in the world in doubles and help the U.S. team win the Davis Cup. Those have always been their tennis dreams."
-- Wayne Bryan speaking with Tennis Week on his twin sons.

"Pete and I played doubles, and we were down two sets to love, and I try to rally Pete to get him going so something good could happen. And it did, and we turned it around and ended up winning in five sets. Pete he may not admit this, but he hugged me and he told me he loved me."
-- John McEnroe speaking with The Tennis Channel on his 1992 Davis Cup doubles win with Pete Sampras.

"I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe, if the girl steps up I'm smackin' the ho."
-- House of Pain, "Jump Around."

"I'll probably be wearing something fun and sexy as usual, but I can't say it will be the 'Catsuit.'"
-- Serena Williams speaking with the Cincinnati Inquirer on her return to the WTA Tour from injury in July at Cincinnati.

"He was right before me shouting out encouragements to himself, doing little sprints and kangaroo jumps. It was borderline aggressive, but that kind of thing just makes me laugh. He's just another guy and he can crumble like anyone else."
-- Paul-Henri Mathieu at the French Open on his previous meeting with Rafael Nadal in Montreal.

"Rafa being 6-1 against Roger is not a source of pride for me. I'm happy that Rafa won the tournament, but I would have liked that Federer could have won the Grand Slam, because I think he's a phenomenal player. For me, he is the player I enjoy watching the most."
-- Toni Nadal speaking with the International Herald Tribune.

"I would actually put him up there with the best of all time, mainly because he's so strong in his legs."
-- Mats Wilander on Rafael Nadal.

"I'm not impressed with that streak. He was close to losing many times. If I play my game, I know I can beat anyone. Why not Rafael Nadal? I definitely know I have my chances. He keeps winning on clay but he can't win for ever."
-- Ivan Ljubicic on Rafael Nadal's claycourt winning streak before facing the Spaniard in the semifinal at the French Open.

"I think they're hanging by their fingernails. I think if you told them they had to stand on their heads and breathe through a straw, they'd do it -- if that's the only way you're going to keep your job."
-- ESPN's Luke Jensen on the Bryan brothers and the state of doubles on the men's tour.

"It was a very solid performance, I almost felt sorry for her."
-- Martina Hingis after dropping only four games at the French Open against Zuzana Ondraskova.

"She doesn't have a lot of patience for (clay), I don't know if she can be Top 20."
-- Anastasia Myskina's assessment of Indian star Sania Mirza.

"Whatever I said last year, just copy it. I'm sure it still fits."
-- Andy Roddick speaking with the media after losing in the first round at the 2006 French Open.

"I've never been more happy than I am today. I have a great family, great kids. I have practically everything, you know? Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It's really true: Life starts at 50."
-- Bjorn Borg speaking with USA Today.

"I am working on it but I don't thinking having a good serve is the most important thing. It is about a lot of things coming together that makes you a good player."
-- Elena Dementieva.

"Another factor is the education and culture in which you grow up. I didn't grow up in the culture of victory, where you are expected to be or have to be, the best. It was not at all like that in my family. Tennis was really a hobby. If it led to something, great. If not, there were other things in life. I think that was something I was missing at some points in my career, because when I see Hingis or the Williamses, you see how they were educated for this: to win, to be the best, a bit the American mentality. Number one. Number one. Number one. I didn't have this."
-- Amelie Mauresmo speaking with the International Herald Tribune.

"He seems like he's moving farther and farther back in the court for the most part, which I don't think is a winning solution for him. You need binoculars to see him sometimes."
-- John McEnroe on Andy Roddick playing on clay.

"It could get into my mind. I could start thinking, 'I can't play against this guy, his game doesn't suit me'. I could start accepting the fact that I have been losing against him, but that would be a bad thing for me to do."
-- Roger Federer on Rafael Nadal.

"He has never broken a racket in anger. It would be showing a lack of respect to people who actually have to buy the equipment to play the sport."
-- Uncle Toni Nadal on nephew Rafael.

"A lot of people say I'm not very friendly, that I'm cold. But I'm just the opposite. I live a very simple life. I'm a normal person, very sensitive, very caring about those around me."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne speaking with Tennis.com.

"I think it's been far too comfortable and I think that's part of the problem when you are a resource-rich governing body. It has surprised me the amount of funding the LTA are spending on players who are 300, 400, 500 in the world and are stuck there. I don't mind funding players who actually have a chance of making it through to the Top 100. But we have to start really focusing on our younger age groups, the 10, 11, 12-year-olds. They have to be the warriors and competitors coming through. You can't teach a youngster to compete when they are 16, 17 and 18."
-- British Lawn Tennis Association chief Roger Draper on spending money on those washed-up teenagers. Lucky Pat Rafter didn't come up through your system or he would have been cut before his career started.

"I thank everybody for the backing offered, especially my manager, my physical trainer and my girlfriend. I'm happy with the decision and feeling good. During this year, I've lived a lot of things. It's been very hard for me. But I can finally say that we won the fight to clear my name. I feel clean and with the same security I had on the first day. I've been training to be as well as possible. It's a pleasure to say that I'll be playing in three months time."
-- Guillermo Canas after getting his doping suspension cut from two years to 15 months.

"I'm struggling with my tennis. Definitely I'm playing the worst tennis ever. The opponent doesn't matter, I'm playing so bad. This will of course affect my confidence. It's the worst situation getting to the French Open and playing like this."
-- The ever-positive Gaston Gaudio at the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf.

"There is no desire on our part to say anything derogatory against the leading women players -- they are fantastic athletes who add a huge amount to Wimbledon. We could respond to the pressures and do something that would be fundamentally unfair to the men, but we have not."
-- Wimbledon Chairman Tim Phillips.

"I think that always myself is my worst opponent. I always playing against myself first and then to the other one. So I'm playing against two guys during the match...It's like mentally I don't know what is gonna happen in the next ten minutes. Maybe I get depressed in ten minutes. I don't know myself too much...Yeah, I was working with a psychology, and I still."
-- Gaston Gaudio.

"He is like a beast, an animal, on the court. He's very strong and he's very well prepared."
-- Guillermo Coria after losing to Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo.

"A lot of these young girls, they don't even know what the game is about. They have never seen a drop shot, a slice and all the mixture and variety I have."
-- Martina Hingis.

"I don't care if I win another match for the rest of the year, if we can hold up that (Davis) Cup, I really don't care. That's probably the one time of the year where you can say that and be that selfless and mean it."
-- Andy Roddick after helping the U.S. advance into the Davis Cup semifinals.

"I would love them to ask me what I would love to hear during warm up. But I love this song which they had when they present me. I was so excited they put it because they put it in the match before I guess when I played (Martina) Hingis. It's something about, 'I'm so excited, I gonna like it,' or whatever. I was pretty pumped. I love this song...I mean, I love the music. I hope one day we can have like in basketball match the same thing on this music. I think this will be great for crowd, for tennis and for everything."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova on the music she listens to before matches in Miami.

"Davis Cup is different. It's a different sport, almost."
-- Chile's Fernando Gonzalez on Davis Cup.

"Sure, in fact I'd like to. I would love to do it. I'd be very much into doing that."
-- Pete Sampras on the possibility of playing an exhibition (after some training time on hardcourts) against world No. 1 Roger Federer, speaking at the River Oaks exhibition.

"The art...is pretty much extinct. You have some guys that do a little bit of it, but across the board, everyone stays back and just trades groundies. I miss the contrast. I miss one guy coming in and the other guy defending. I think that's the best tennis. But that's just a sign of the times. It's just the kind of direction it was at Wimbledon the last couple years. The part of the court that's worn out is the baseline, not the net. So, you know, if I'd be playing today, I'd be licking my chops on grass."
-- Pete Sampras on the lost art of the serve and volley in 2006.

"Sorry."
-- Mirka Vavrinec, Roger Federer's girlfriend, giving Ivan Ljubicic a hug after the Miami final.

"Even Roger Federer never won Davis Cup, so it's really something special, something that gives you confidence when you go out there and you look at the other opponent and you feel like you have something more than the other guys do."
-- Ivan Ljubicic on winning the Davis Cup.

"A lot of people are going to be disappointed to see technology take over a little bit in the sport. But we're in 2006. For me, it's time to change."
-- Kim Clijsters on the video replay challenge in Miami.

"Watching a movie a couple of weeks ago. An American movie. I can't remember the name, but it wasn't even a sad movie. It caught me off guard. I was on an airplane."
-- Roger Federer speaking with the Miami Herald at the NASDAQ-100 Open on the last time he cried. Was it "The Pink Panther," because it was so bad and there was nowhere to go?

"What does that say about men's tennis these days? They're two pretty cute girls. I don't blame him."
-- James Blake on his brother Thomas watching the Maria Sharapova-Maria Kirilenko match rather than his.

"Federer's winning so much that he likes the situation the way it is."
-- Brad Gilbert speaking with Fox Sports on Roger Federer being against the video replay system.

"We Scots have a fierce pride in the things we do that others can never appreciate. I am the British No. 1, but I would prefer to be the British No. 1 from Scotland every time."
-- Andy Murray speaking with The Times.

"(Marat) Safin for instance, is not afraid to say and do a lot of things and has the game to back it up. The problem is, you don't cut him loose and allow him to do it. That's the kind of interest that's going to draw me to watch more tennis and to be apart of it on more of an everyday level to see someone like that show his passion, his interest, his love for the game and his pride in himself to be that good, and if not, better. But everyone is under the thumb now, it seems. They want to play the same. Forget the production line. Cut guys loose a little bit and let them be themselves."
-- Jimmy Connors says let players show their personalities, speaking with The Desert Sun at Indian Wells.

"It comes from playing like s**t. Why would I feel confident right now? If that was the case, I don't think we'd be sitting here having this funeral-like press conference. It's just weird because, I used to like hit for a half hour and then go eat Cheetos the rest of the day, come out and drill forehands. Now I'm really trying to make it happen, being professional, really going for it, and I miss my Cheetos."
-- Andy Roddick speaking with reporters on the source of his frustration and lack of confidence after his loss to Igor Andreev at Indian Wells.

"I'm going with the flow. I feel when the time is right to stop, it will be flashing in neon lights for me, like this is it. It could be this year, it could be next year, I have no idea. Anyone in their profession seems to think it's fairly clear when it's the right time. I haven't had that moment of clarity."
-- Lindsay Davenport in Indian Wells on retiring from tennis.

"If you get operated, something can go wrong and you can just say bye-bye to tennis. That's what happened to a lot of soccer players in Europe. They get operated, some things, it's not the mistake of the doctor. It's just some surgeries, they just don't go the right way...My injury will never go away. It's already become so chronic there's no chance to fix it so I can play without pain."
-- Marat Safin at Indian Wells on avoiding surgery on his bum knee.

"For a couple of months, though I wasn't partying all the time I was going out, having a glass or two of wine, knowing my Mum wasn't going to be cracking the whip the next morning. I skied in St. Moritz, I show-jumped, but then the challenges disappeared. I knew I was never going to be the best at anything else -- not the best commentator, not the best rider. I think I can still be one of the best tennis players; that is what has brought me back. And I have studied this sport for 20 years, so I think I know what I'm talking about."
-- Martina Hingis on her comeback in 2006.

"I just don't believe I can win on clay, and if it suits me to maybe jump into one tournament just so I stay familiar with the game, then I might make a call like that."
-- Andre Agassi on skipping the claycourt season in 2006.

"I'm at the top of my game so, when I win or lose, I don't freak out...I don't think we can call it a rivalry yet. There's just to many great players around."
-- Roger Federer putting the spin on his 1-3 record against Rafael Nadal.

"When I saw that, I couldn't believe it. I would love for Wimbledon to (buy them). I don't care who buys them, whether it's $500,000, $5 million or $50 million, that's got Borg's name on that trophy. What are you going to do with that trophy? Use it as an ashtray? All the blood and everything that went into winning that, no one is going to have the satisfaction of winning that from just owning them. It's impossible."
-- Jimmy Connors on Bjorn Borg selling his Wimbledon trophies.

"I'm done growing. I only grow when I put my high heels on now."
-- Maria Sharapova.

"What's so sad, to me, about Serena is she is still so young and still has so much ability. If Serena wants to come back in a proper way and really prepare, I believe she could still become No. 1 again. It's getting to the point where it's either get fit and get ready to really make a proper comeback or don't dally in it. I think she might be taking a little time away now to think about that and decide where she wants to go."
-- Tracy Austin speaking with Tennis Week on Serena Williams.

"If you go to Australia, the Australian Open is on all day long on network TV. There's no way CBS, NBC and ABC would do that. They only show the finals. That's always been the case. They don't want to give the time to the biggest tournament we have in the United States. Any other country, it's everywhere -- front page of the main paper, front page of the sports section. We haven't had that here."
-- Lindsay Davenport on televised tennis in the U.S.

"No! I don't have a chance. For me he's unbelievable. I will continue with my comeback and I am just happy with that."
-- Rafael Nadal on if he could surpass Roger Federer for the No. 1 ranking.

"This could become one of the favorite stops for the players after just one year. They understood how much effort we made to make them feel welcome."
-- Tennis Channel Open Las Vegas Tournament Director Steve Bellamy.

"I think he shouldn't play tennis because it's so boring to play against him. He has a good serve, but his problem is on the baseline."
-- Tommy Robredo after losing to the giant-serving "Dr." Ivo Karlovic at The Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas.

"He moves great, does everything very well. He's gotten to a point that when he's not at his best, he's finding ways to win, and that separates him from the rest," Sampras said, a moment before making sure to bolster his own credentials a tad. "There are less great players today than there was when I was playing."
-- Pete Sampras in USA Today on Roger Federer.

"Plus wasn't she the first player to lose 0-and-0 in the final of a Grand Slam? That has to count for something."
-- Mike Bryan on Natasha Zvereva deserving of being in the Tennis Hall of Fame for her doubles exploits.

"Davis Cup was as special (as winning Wimbledon) because you play as a team and for your country you have very little opportunity to do that as tennis is such an individual sport. I remember coming in to the locker room after winning Wimbledon and I really had no one who knew how I felt. It was a very strange feeling."
-- Pat Cash comparing winning the Davis Cup to winning Wimbledon.

"I think if he keeps doing well, he might come back to win a few more titles. Steal that Todd Woodbridge record back."
-- Mike Bryan on John McEnroe, who is five titles behind Todd Woodbridge's all-time record for doubles title wins.

"It's in Caesar's. It's unbelievable. They say on a good night it makes like 500 grand...There's a line outside that wraps around the place...He hooked us up with a sweet table in the middle and he got bodyguards for us...Not that we needed it...He's the man there. James [Blake] went to Vegas for a bachelor party and Andre hooked him up with rooms at Hard Rock."
-- Bob and Mike Bryan speaking with SI.com on their idol Andre Agassi's nightclub in Las Vegas, "Pure."

"It doesn't suit Australian tennis players. It's disappointing to have no impact at all. They always say it's going to be done and nothing happens."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on his frustration with Tennis Australia over the slow and sticky Rebound Ace surface at the Australian Open.

"When my family left me back in '93, Richard Williams [father of Venus and Serena] came to my apartment and put a thousand dollars on the table and said, 'That's yours every month as long as you need it.' But I couldn't take it."
-- Jim Pierce, father of Mary Pierce.

"Andy's an emotional and intense guy. I like how intense he gets, but maybe it's my fault for not helping him strike a better balance. Sometimes his stomach gets upset. Some great athletes throw up before every match. Fortunately, he doesn't do that."
-- U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe on Andy Roddick tossing his cookies versus Romania.

"That super tiebreaker takes all the excitement out of the match. I guess it's good for TV because it's over faster, but for the fans it sucks."
-- Tennis fan Jeff Rosenblatt at the ATP stop in Delray Beach speaking to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"I've been talking to Martina [Hingis] about playing for a couple of years. Maybe I can convince her to play some doubles."
-- Martina Navratilova.

"This has been a long time coming. The problems with doubles have not just come around in this generation. I realized where doubles was in 1985, when Martina [Navratilova] and I were coming to the end of our 109-match winning streak. Imagine a 109-match winning streak in any sport. But it got teeny, teeny attention. Martina is one of the greats of all time and I was a Top 10 singles player and had a name, but where did it get us? Basically, there was hardly mention of our long winning streak."
-- Pam Shriver speaking to Tennis Week on doubles' troubles.

"Well I got to No. 1. That's my answer to that."
-- Maria Sharapova when asked if her modeling/self-promotion is getting in the way of her tennis.

"I really want to win a race this year. If I don't, then all the guys will start calling me Tim Henman."
-- Mark Webber, Australian Formula One driver. Ouch.

"He's now gone from being a really great talent or whatever to, in my mind, not a great player anymore. Now it's becoming ordinary, totally ordinary...When he's not in control of the point, he tries to hit a two-hander. He's got the whole strategy turned around."
-- Mats Wilander on Andy Roddick.

"Maybe I was a bit scared of him. Maybe I didn't really believe it. Things were happening so fast."
-- Marcos Baghdatis after losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final.

"A strong body listens. It obeys. A weak body commands. If you're body is weak it tells you what to do. If you're body is strong it'll actually listen to you when you tell it to do something. If you build it right you can overcome some of the obstacles of age and recovery."
-- Andre Agassi.

"But Henin-Hardenne, the champ here in 2004, holder of four major titles and destined for the Hall of Fame, walked. She walked away with $458,500, which ought to buy a lot of upset-stomach relief, leaving a bad taste and a blot on the game. In a word she was unprofessional, especially with 15,452 in the stands and a worldwide TV audience eavesdropping."
-- Bud Collins writing for the Boston Globe.

"How a Cypriot got to be ranked among the world's best defies logic on an island where we eat ourselves fitter."
-- Charlie Charalambous, a columnist for The Cyprus Weekly.

"I know you are reporters and I know this is your job, but, you know, take your note pads, take your pencils down, take your grunt-o-meters down, the fashion police, put everything away and just watch the match, you know, from just the fans' perspective. I seriously think that the quality of the match today was great."
-- Maria Sharapova lecturing the media after losing to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the Australian Open.

"She's just an unbelievable player. She hasn't got a huge serve, she hasn't got big groundies, but she's got everything mentally and just anticipates really well. She just knows what's going on out there. She can hit lob winners on the line and reflex volleys back when she needs to. She's just an awesome player. Now playing her, I know why she's won all these Grand Slams and why she's probably going to go down as one of the greats ever."
-- Sam Stosur on Martina Hingis.

"If you ask Jim Courier, I mean, that guy has his tongue up (Roger Federer's) ass, I think...you know, the whole time when you actually listen to him commentating or listen to him talk about Roger Federer. Sometimes makes me sick almost."
-- Tommy Haas on TV commentator and former player Jim Courier.

"There was kind of a code that you had as an Australian that you never left the court losing unless you had blood all over you. That's the sort of toughness you need to compete on the world stage and I feel that our kids today just don't have it."
-- John Newcombe.

"Once those players are out of their comfort zone, they've got to come up with something different and if it's not quite their game, then you've already won a small victory before the ball has been hit."
-- Tony Roche on Roger Federer's opponents, such as Andy Roddick, who try and press their net play when facing the Swiss.

"He has a middle seat reserved on the express train to hell."
-- WTA Tour player Tara Snyder on former coach Joe Giuliano who has been accused of sexually assaulting several players.

"Not on my end."
-- Serena Williams' curious choice of wording regarding injury worries as she enters the Aussie Open having packed on a few extra pounds.

"If someone had done that to me when I was 18, I honestly think a lot of things would have been different. The message I got early on was that I could get away with just about anything on the court. No one wanted me defaulted. The tournament director didn't want me defaulted, neither did the TV people. But if someone had nailed me, cost me a big tournament, the chances are I would have learned my lesson and not done it again. I mean, I'm not stupid. Tell me where the line is and I won't cross it. The message I got until Australia was that there was no line."
-- John McEnroe on getting defaulted at the Aussie Open years back and how it's the tour officials' fault he turned out a bad boy.

"I'll keep training, I'm only 16. I'll be back, and my return will be thunderous."
-- 16-year-old Sesil "The Mouth" Karatantcheva, given a two-year ban from tennis for doping the nandro.

"With all the injury problems we have in men's tennis at the moment, I'm happy to still be standing."
-- Roger Federer entering the Australian Open.

"I would like to see it. We're the only sport out there without a players' rep and we have no one going to business meetings for us and a lot of that doesn't make sense to me but, like I said, I could be talking out of complete ignorance here if I kind of go into that any further."
-- Andy Roddick on unionizing men's tennis.

"I'm not allowed to make a joke. It is a bit unfair how I'm treated. I thought it was a joke. I got calls and messages. I would rather not to have to worry about things like that. It is disappointing."
-- Brit-Scot Andy Murray on media and public reaction after telling the crowd he and his opponent "played like women" after a match.

"If I play, it will be for one reason: my fans."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne, indicating she could be bothered to represent Belgium in the Fed Cup competition in 2006.

"Somebody who has tested positive twice in less than two years is someone who clearly doesn't think the rules apply to him."
-- World Anti-Doping Agency head Dick Pound on Mariano Puerta.

"I was very happy when I heard she was coming back. I was hoping that one day she would take the courage to do it, and she did it, and she even won her first match which was fantastic. I think it's great for the sport and think it will do her well too, to come back and see how good she can be again because she's a great competitor and she broke all the records. I think she could do something great again."
-- Roger Federer on Swiss compatriot Martina Hingis.

"It is about choosing where you play carefully. We are lucky to have so many tournaments."
-- Roger Federer on the answer to fewer injuries -- not scaling down the tournament calendar, but getting players to play fewer small tournaments and exhibitions.

"We're all part of this big family, this tennis family. When we need each other's help for our various fund-raising purposes we can count on each other and it is a pleasure to play. I've played at Pam's [Shriver] event and this will be my second time doing so, and she has been such a great champion for tennis and for her charities over the years. It's a real easy yes. Everyone who is playing is very philanthropic; it sort of fits with our way of life to help each other."
-- Jim Courier.

"I'm proud of myself. I'm a relieved, happy girl."
-- Lindsay Davenport on finishing the year at No. 1.

"I guess it will be fun to look at them while you're playing. It might be nice."
-- Lindsay Davenport on the 2006 WTA Championships in Madrid employing male models instead of ballboys.

"You have to put him as the best player in the world. Level wise, it is very difficult to say if it is Pete Sampras or Rod Laver. They won a lot of majors. Or Bjorn Borg, for that matter. But if you talk about the level that Pete Sampras played at, I would have to say that, when he played well there was no way Roger Federer would have beaten him. Not yet!"
-- Mats Wilander on Pete Sampras.

"We have technology of cameras at every single angle. Let's take the human element out. Umpires get nervous just like we do. So, if it's there, why not use it? Plus it would be fun. Can you imagine if you had a flag in your bag that you could throw for an instant replay once or twice a set? It would add a whole 'nother element of excitement to it."
-- Andy Roddick on the Hawk-Eye line-calling and replay technology that tournaments are slow to adopt.

"McEnroe respects one guy -- himself, and that's it."
-- Luke Jensen on why former No. 1-ranked doubles player John McEnroe hasn't taken an active role in stopping the ATP from killing doubles, speaking to the Portland Tribune.

"I have a very strong opinion. I'm absolutely against it. I'm against the challenge system. I'm for the way it is right now. Don't change that."
-- Roger Federer on allowing players to challenge calls using a video replay system.

"The atmosphere was very much Russian."
-- Maria Sharapova after playing her first-round match in Moscow. You would hope so.

"You tennis people have to admit that the fish and not the angler has to enjoy the bait. Daily newspapers only cover controversy, not the game of doubles. It really hurt my heart to see at a Grand Slam doubles event when 90 percent of the people did not stay for the men's doubles finals [this year's match at Roland Garros where the No. 3 seed team of Jonas Bjorkman/Max Mirnyi defeated the No. 2 seed Bryan brothers] after the women's semifinals and half of the people in stands at Roland Garros left after first set. The doubles issue has been on the table nine years and it has not been fixed in a way that enhances situation of doubles at all. It came to a point where we had to make a decision where we had to enhance the product of doubles."
-- The ATP's Horst Klosterkemper speaking with Tennis Week. Too bad the ATP aren't "tennis people," and since when did the terms "enhance" and "kill" become interchangeable?

"If Britain lose this tie, then they took a horrible decision."
-- Roger Federer on Brit Davis Cup captain Jeremy Bates leaving Greg Rusedski out of the first day of play in the Switzerland vs. Britain Davis Cup tie.

"There's an edge because [Courier] gets teed off if I start beating him and I do, too. That's the tough part. The easy part is when I team up with Anna Kournikova. Jim's single so he's probably jealous."
-- John McEnroe speaking with the Ottawa Sun on the potential fireworks in playing an exhibition with Jim Courier and Anna Kournikova.

"I let the evening unfold. I'm the sort of guy who likes to sit in the chair and look at the wine glass."
-- Roger Federer on partying hardy the night after winning the 2005 US Open. Roger, take that lampshade off your head, you nut!

"Well, [Peter] Lundgren proved me wrong but I'm not bitter. I'm very happy for both Marat [Safin] and Peter."
-- Shamil Tarpishchev, who said he wouldn't hire foreign coaches because they could "never fully understand the secrets of the Russian soul."

"I had a nice dinner. I let the evening unfold, flow. I like to sit in a chair with a wine glass. When I woke up, I thought, 'Why didn't I go to bed at 11?' I came back at 3 and went to bed at 5."
-- Roger Federer on celebrating with approximately 10 friends the night after winning the US Open.

"We'd love to be a team like John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, continue for numerous and numerous Grand Slams. I think we can. Just got to stay healthy and stay young."
-- Mike Bryan after winning his first US Open title with brother Bob.

"It's been really disappointing. Billie Jean King came up to the booth the other day and I don't want to say she was embarrassed because -- I don't want to put words in her mouth -- but this is not what she envisioned I think. Obviously, she has no control of it and, in some cases, it could just be bad luck; it just doesn't seem like it picked up any steam. In the men's, it seems like a lot of close matches and good story lines. I do cover both men's and women's, although I do have a bias towards men's tennis because I played on the men's tour for 15 years, but really there's much more excitement. Hopefully the quarterfinals on that we'll see some great tennis."
-- John McEnroe on the uneven blowouts through the first four rounds on the women's side at the 2005 US Open.

"No, I wouldn't wear it. I wouldn't wear it. But it made it a lot easier for me to beat him today."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on Dominik Hrbaty's pink shirt with the holes on the back.

"I know James has had some difficult moments, and so I'm happy for him. I like to see people do well who have suffered and been through hard things."
-- Rafael Nadal on James Blake.

"He's a little weird. He can play great or he can play horrible. He's spoiled. I think he'll grow as a person, but right now, he's a kid and he's acting as a kid."
-- Ivan Ljubicic on French teen Richard Gasquet.

"Like Ahh-nold? (Schwarzenegger) I don't think so. I'm more into, in general, helping people. Like Muhammad Ali does for the world. Think about the world not only like 'God Bless America' sort of thing but God bless the world, because we're all together. We're living on the same world, you know? And not alone. Sometimes people forget. This is why we have fights all over the world. Of course you can't stop them, but still pick an issue, maybe in the future. Of course it goes into politics a little bit. Maybe. Who knows what I'll do? But I don't really see this sort of role. I'd like to be more of an ambassador."
-- Swiss Roger Federer on whether he would ever go into politics.

"I think I actually made a very kind gesture out of nowhere; I decided in the middle of that match that for every ace I hit I want to donate money. I just think people should honestly look at themselves before they judge another person. I've never been spoiled. I want a Range Rover very bad, but I refuse to spend the money to buy a Range...The diamonds are borrowed. I won't buy them because I'm too cheap."
-- Serena Williams defending herself after critics compared her $100/ace donation to the Gulf Coast hurricane victims to her $50,000+ jewelry worn during matches at the US Open.

"I get more tense and more tense. Then I was scared. I didn't try so much anymore to go for the points, but I stayed more back behind the baseline to put the balls in the court, and then he hit winners. In the beginning I didn't know what to do. I was feeling like I was serving bad because he returned every ball. Then I tried to hit faster and harder, and so that's how you get more tense."
-- Gilles Muller on choking the chicken against Robby Ginepri after beating Andy Roddick.

"I donate lots to charity. I don't necessarily tell everybody the number or what I do."
-- Lindsay Davenport on donating to the hurricane relief effort.

"It's a lot of bling to play with. You got to have the bling."
-- Serena Williams on playing at the US Open wearing $40K diamond earrings.

"I went to buy shirts the other day and lots of people were saying, 'Oh, this is the girl, she won last year.' Sometimes they go, 'What's your name?' I'm like, 'Uh...' and I find it difficult to say anything. I say 'Kuznetsova' and they say 'What?' So I just say, 'Okay, whatever. Just forget it.'"
-- Defending US Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova on her over-the-top popularity on the streets of New York before being eliminated in her opening-round match.

"Appropriate ban. No more I could say. It's a pity people have to do this."
-- Roger Federer on Guillermo Canas' two-year ban due to doping.

"I was curious to see how people will see me this year because I haven't really been back in New York since obviously the US Open. I feel there is a buzz."
-- Roger Federer at the US Open.

"I have a great record against anybody right now, so it doesn't really matter who I play in the final. I'll be in there as the big favorite. But I play my best in the finals, in the important matches. That's why I'm number one. There's no secret...I'm not overconfident, but very confident."
-- Roger Federer after winning the first semifinal in Cincinnati.

"I pulled out, I think, three times during a tournament and about three times before a tournament in my whole career...Now, it's four, five, six tournaments a year these top players are pulling out, or more. That's a shame."
-- Martina Navratilova on the rash of injuries on the WTA Tour.

"If you're a guy, you're interested in a couple of things: sports and hot girls. Tennis is the only sport that tends to bring those two together."
-- Max Valiquette, president of Toronto youth marketing firm Youthography.

"Some singles players aren't very good in doubles and others simply don't enjoy doubles. A couple of top singles players have told me that literally standing at the net while their partner is serving is the scariest thing in the world."
-- Mark Knowles on why the ATP's doubles scoring changes to get more singles players playing doubles is a bad idea.

"As good as anybody not named Roger."
-- Andy Roddick on his chances at the US Open.

"Thinking about my accessibility to fans, the amount of autographs that I didn't sign versus the ones I did, I look back a little mortified at my behavior. I was so exclusively focused on playing well that I put all the responsibilities of being a top-ranked professional on the side, believing that was not my job. That was sincere naivete. I have a much broader perspective now. I understand that the players drive the popularity of the game. The thing that I am most upset about is that we had arguably the best generation of American players in history, but at the same time, the popularity of the game declined in America. There are lots of people in power just as culpable as I am and my peers, but we had a real opportunity to keep tennis on the front pages and it slipped away. Part of that has got to be my fault."
-- Jim Courier speaking with Tennis Week.

"Roger Federer has a physical and mental advantage over everybody. He's doing to tennis what Tiger Woods did to golf a few years ago. He is making us all improve."
-- Andy Roddick.

"I mean it is frustrating coming so close in the big ones. Sometimes I feel like I would rather lose in the semifinals than the finals. You spend the night before dreaming about winning it, and then having to watch another team celebrate kind of stinks. But I think it also keeps us gunning and training for more. We aren't satisfied. We still want another title bad."
-- Mike Bryan, who with brother Bob have lost in the doubles final of all three Slams this year.

"If there's a heaven, this guy is going there. His commitment to kids is beyond compare."
-- Agnostic Martyn Brewer, director of sports marketing for adidas America, on Andre Agassi.

"I will try. I don't have a lot of time, traveling every week. I have one month in Mallorca in December after finishing the Tennis Masters Cup and then I want to do that."
-- Rafael Nadal on when he will get his driver's license so he can drive his new Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 he won at Stuttgart. Or consider the Tennis-X auto donation program, with proceeds going to charity, of course.

"There's so many other chapters that we can explore."
-- Serena Williams on possibly extending the boring Williams sisters reality show.

"Andy's got a great attitude and is already a bit of an icon within his generation, but he may never do better than Chang. He's more charismatic, but results-wise, he's no better than Michael was at this point. Really, if he were playing during Sampras' and Agassi's primes, Andy might be like Michael, playing a little bit in their shadows."
-- Vince Spadea on Andy Roddick.

"Lleyton cheers for other people's mistakes and is very aggressive. It is very difficult not to feel provoked. But as a person, I would rather not win a single tournament than be like Lleyton."
-- Guillermo Coria on Lleyton Hewitt.

"In sports, it's always that there's winners and losers, and it's impossible to always be the winner. At least, it's not just me losing this time, it's the whole team, and I can take some comfort in that."
-- Venus Williams, recording a 1-2 win-loss record for the weekend after the U.S. lost to Russia in the Fed Cup semifinals.

"The thing that really impresses me is that like the (Rod) Lavers and (Ken) Rosewalls, he really cares about this game. Being No 1, he feels he has a duty to do as much for the game as possible, and, to me, that is very important."
-- Tony Roche on protege Roger Federer.

"Yes, we are friend. Is difficult because we don't speak English very good. It's difficult for us. Yeah, (we communicate) in English. Not a lot because we speak so bad."
-- Frenchman Richard Gasquet on communicating with Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

"I believe ‑‑ I live in a black and white. I think things are like either black or white. I don't really believe that much in the gray. I think that there's gray for a lot of people, but I don't live in the gray. I realize whatever action I have or take, it's going to have a consequence -- either good or bad. So I live my life in a way where I don't have bad consequences. I just notice there's a lot people around me just live in the gray. I don't know, for me, I'm just really straightforward."
-- Venus Williams at Wimbledon.

"I don't know if you guys have seen my body, there's no anabolicness speed there. This is as natural as it gets. You know, this is ‑‑ you know ‑‑ this is part Jewish, part Christian, part upper‑class upbringing working as hard as you can genetics. There's no anabolicness going on here."
-- Justin Gimelstob on the cortisone shots he's taking having possible stroidal effects.

"Drop me on the west coast of Ireland and I'll be happy. Golf, Guinness and great people, perfect."
-- Mats Wilander.

"She's as mean as a snake. She reminds me of me."
-- Martina Hingis on Maria Sharapova.

"McDonald's. We have been there every night and we'll be there tonight."
-- Klara "Kouky" Koukalova on the reason for her success at the WTA grasscourt stop in 's-Hertogenbosch.

"Returning his serve, it's like trying to return a serve that comes from the Eiffel Tower. It comes fast and bounces very high. It's probably the biggest serve on the tour."
-- Thomas Johansson on returning the serve of the towering Croat "Dr." Ivo Karlovic.

"I know I can beat him on any surface."
-- Roger Federer, eating some of his ego after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals.

"(Maria) Sharapova plays thoughtless tennis, just pounding at the ball."
-- Mats Wilander on the game of defending Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova.

"Last time I came here I went to see the (Red Hot) Chilli Peppers in concert and this time I will be going to see U2. I don't think about tennis 24/7. I enjoy time on the lake at my Florida home and just being lazy on the sofa."
-- Andy Roddick on his Wimbledon fortnight, speaking to The Guardian.

"Simple version for me is, umm, started bad and finished bad basically..."
-- Roger Federer summarizing his Roland Garros semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal.

"We've worked pretty hard on this shot because everybody knows my backhand is beautiful, it's natural, but it doesn't give me a lot of points."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne on her preference to hit the inside-out forehand over the backhand.

"I'm not envious of anyone."
-- Maria Sharapova when asked if she was envious of any parts of Justine Henin-Hardenne's game after losing to the Belgian at Roland Garros.

"Well, you gotta find his backhand, huh?"
-- Roger Federer on the key to beating Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez.

"I just want to say, my mom was sick...she has a problem with her health...really serious problem, so I have been dealing with this for the past couple of months. I would like (the media) to not...ask any questions about this any more. It has been a pretty hard time...but I am a professional tennis player so I have to play no matter what. So I am here. I'm trying to do my best..."
-- Defending champ Anastasia Myskina at the French Open.

"Let's be truthful, this isn't a team, because there's someone who makes decisions choosing the best for himself. I can understand that a player gets tired and decides to rest before Paris. I also did so on Tuesday against the Czechs but not in the most important match of all. Coria and I were the best team and if we were a real team this wouldn't have happened."
-- Gason Gaudio, miffed about countryman Guillermo Coria sitting out the match against the two-time defending champ Chileans at the World Team Cup.

"I think you have to love yourself before you fall in love. I'm still learning to love myself."
-- Serena Williams.

"If anything, for the first time in my career I've been getting tight a couple of times because I'm more committed. It's not so free and easy and I like the way that feels."
-- Andy Roddick on getting inspired by his chokes as he falls down the rankings.

"Everybody knows the French have a problem with winning."
-- Yannick Noah, who has undertaken the task of coaching the oft-choking Amelie Mauresmo to a French Open title.

"I feel good about beating (Ivan) Ljubicic, of course, but I would have traded it for the loss to him in Davis Cup two months ago. That hurt a lot to me and the team."
-- Andre Agassi in Rome. That's a good sign for U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe going into his September qualifying match when Agassi is still talking about "the team."

"I don't know if I'm going to be anywhere next year really. Every week I feel like I'm not sure for the next year."
-- Andre Agassi after losing first round in Hamburg.

"I wanted to get a rematch from the Olympics. That always plays a role in such matches. You don't just forget what happened in the previous matches against any player. And with him I have kind of a tough past -- he ruined my Olympic dreams in Athens (laughing), so it's nice."
-- Roger Federer after dropping only three games in Hamburg against Tomas Berdych, who he lost to in last year's Athens Olympics.

"It's nice to be one of the most beautiful people."
-- Maria Sharapova on being named to People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful list.

"I'm an outside chance at Roland Garros but my focus is really on Wimbledon where it is realistically between me and Roger Federer to win."
-- Lleyton Hewitt. Huh? Were you in the final last year and we missed it? Or the year before?

"Pushing off is a lot tougher and I prefer to have the firm ground when as soon as I slide I can push back off. That's one of the advantages I have, that I'm strong enough to do that on the hardcourt. On the claycourt, it's tougher. You push off but keep sliding."
-- Kim Clijsters on her affinity for sliding/doing the splits on hardcourt as opposed to sliding around on the clay.

"I know for a fact that if my kids keep going, they'll be the No. 1 players in the world one day. My daughter's gonna kill these bitches. She's gonna be on the tour by 11. I guarantee it. Mr. Williams ain't the only crazy motherf***** out here."
-- African-American multi-millionaire Tom Stafford speaking to Sports Illustrated.

"You come here and all you hear is Nadal, Nadal, Nadal. It is wrong for somebody so young. The country has great players. Moya, Ferrero, Albert Costa have all won the French Open but nobody talks about them. Only Nadal. Why is this?"
-- Marat Safin in Barcelona.

"As our contract came to a close, and after carefully considering what is in the best interest of our business, Reebok has elected not to continue this partnership."
-- Dennis Baldwin, Reebok's chief marketing officer, said in a statement on their decision to dump Andy Roddick.

"I don't think she came out there and beat me. I just kept making error after error...I just think I'm having a mental letdown from all the tennis I've been playing in the last four weeks, and I just felt pretty dead."
-- Venus Williams giving props, Williams sisters-style, to Tatiana Golovin after losing to the French teen at Charleston.

"Not at all. I mean, that wasn't even a big match. The serve-and-volley was nothing today. It's just my mistakes and, well, she served pretty well. That's the only one thing she can do."
-- Anastasia Myskina on if she was impressed by conqueror Nicole Vaidisova after losing at Charleston.

"Meanwhile, though, let's get to the "bottom" of something else -- Serena Williams' heft. Granted, the poor girl has plenty of other problems to worry about -- she pulled out of Amelia Island with a sprained ankle last week, launching another round of speculation about her dedication and fighting spirit. No matter how you cut it, fitness is an issue for Serena..."
-- Peter Bodo on Serena's bodacious behind.

"Just look at Andy Roddick. He has the biggest serve on the men's tour and he's not the No. 1 because other parts of his game are not so good. I think it's more important to have the desire and the other parts of your game."
-- Elena Dementieva, defending her weak serve. Ouch, like A-Rod doesn't have enough problems without getting slammed by WTA players.

"(Rafael) Nadal will most likely grind his way into the Top 10, but he doesn't have the firepower to be No. 1. Too many players hit a bigger ball..."
-- Steve Tignor, managing editor for Tennis Magazine, talking about Nadal last week in Miami. So Steve, how did you come across that job? Any openings soon at Tennis Magazine?

"They wanted me to change, but I am too old to change the way I play."
-- Gustavo Kuerten, returning from hip surgery, on doctors wanting him to change his style of play.

"I was just telling myself, 'Wow, V, I really, you know, made it so hard on myself out there. Not only did I have to play my opponent, but I also had to play against me.' That's hard to do the whole match. You know, I have to be kinder to myself, basically."
-- Venus Williams on her split-ego-personality in suffering through bad losses.

"Well, as far as my game, I think, you know, I had some of my best results when I was actually my heaviest and arguably my slowest weight. For my game, for me to be successful, the bottom line is I have to be serving well, hitting the spots on my serves, and volleying very firm. That's just the bottom line. If I'm holding serve, I'm going to eke out a break here and there. But having said that, you can't argue that me getting faster doesn't make the game easier; I mean, it's going to make the game easier."
-- Taylor Dent on playing better when he's fatter. Time to hit Dairy Queen and win Wimbledon.

"To tell you the truth, I could care less (laughing). There are other things that I'm more worried about than that."
-- Maria Sharapova on Serena and Venus Williams possibly meeting in the Miami quarterfinals, and whether fans are still interested in the sisters.

"You know what, I'm ignorant to the whole West Bank settlement of Israel. I'm American. Can you elaborate on that, please?"
-- Serena Williams when asked about 17-year-old Israeli Shahar Peer, who grew up in the dangerous West Bank settlement. Apparently being American is equivalent to being ignorant of anything outside of America?

"The French hasn't worked out for me the last couple of years and I'll make sure that doesn't happen again."
-- Roger Federer laying down a warning regarding the upcoming French Open for 2005.

"He needs the right players to lose, he needs to be scheduled at the right time, he needs to shut out the voices he doesn't need to hear. I had the single-minded focus that he is still trying to find."
-- Pete Sampras talking to The Times on what Tim Henman needs to win Wimbledon.

"She has a very quiet way of communicating. She says a lot without saying much at all. They wrote a song about that, didn't they?"
-- Andre Agassi on wife Steffi Graf.

"Ten minutes? That's the women. It's not for the men; not for the real game, mate."
-- Lleyton Hewitt when asked if Andy Roddick's 10-minute bathroom break in their match at the Australian Open exceeded the limit.

"I don't know. Haven't I always been mature?"
-- Lleyton Hewitt, when asked if he had matured in his time since the break-up with former fiancee Kim Clijsters. The same Lleyton Hewitt whose standard on-court demeanor resembles a petulant 12-year-old in his first junior final?

"It's called Retail Therapy."
-- Maria Sharapova on getting over her Australian Open loss to Serena Williams by going shopping.

"I have started to realize that I am really just a world athlete and a world entertainer -- I am a world-known person, I am a global icon."
-- Serena Williams speaking to the Khaleej Times in Dubai.

"What Andre does is great for tennis. All the guys can look up at him and he can be their role model."
-- Croatian Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic on Andre Agassi.

"Our distribution, capacity and ability for the standard fan to get The Tennis Channel is going to go up tremendously in the very near future. These deals are very large and very sensitive, but that should tell you a lot. And right now, believe it or not, The Tennis Channel is in some part of 19 of the Top 20 markets in America. We're in 236 markets. We're in 2,900 communities. We're carried by 34 different cable and satellite companies."
-- Tennis Channel CEO Steve Bellamy with the U.S. distribution update.

"We have evidence that Mr. Fuehrer knew (Irakli) Labadze was going to lose. Under such conditions we cannot accept any bet."
-- Cashpoint spokesman Michael Wondra on the investigation into alleged price fixing at the ATP St. Poelten tournament.

"I know when I played Davis Cup and Cashy (Pat Cash) was in the team, we all got a little bit cockier. When he wasn't in the team, we crapped ourselves."
-- Australian Davis Cup captain Wally Masur on having big-match players such as Lleyton Hewitt on the team.

"Many say that (Pete) Sampras is the greatest player. But I say with all due respect to the rest, that he (Roger Federer) is the most complete player in the world so far."
-- Marat Safin on world No. 1 Roger Federer.

"These rackets they use today, you can go to the moon with them. You can do anything you want with them. You have so many choices, but the whole body has more chance of getting injured because every shot is possible from every position."
-- Guillermo Vilas talking to the New York Times about all the injuries on tour.

"Yeah, I couldn't get cell phone service in the stadium this morning."
-- Andy Roddick when asked if anything was not working today in the final of the ATP stop in San Jose.

"The balls are terribly unpredictable. They skim the net, you make the adjustment and they go 18 feet long. Prince should stick to tennis rackets, that's for sure."
-- Andre Agassi on the Prince balls used at the ATP San Jose event.

"There is something about the size of the balls that is not making me comfortable. They aren't friendly."
-- No not what you might think, but rather Max "The Beast" Mirnyi disparaging the San Jose tournament's use of a particular brand of Prince tennis balls.

"I was never comfortable or competing against or being around John (McEnroe) or Jimmy (Connors). They were highly unique characters to say the least. I had to pay my dues. Now I see so many countries succeeding by taking each other in. It's nice to see our country do that now, our guys supporting each other."
-- Andre Agassi on his reason for returning to the U.S. Davis Cup fold.

"This is maddening, I've never seen anything like this. The players aren't used to this, they've been complaining a lot."
-- WTA Tournamnt Director Clair Woods, speaking to Indian Express on the unruly crowds at the WTA event in Hyderabad.

"I just thought he was one of the nicest guys, like just really easygoing and easy to get along with."
-- Bec Cartwright on meeting fiancee Lleyton Hewitt. Does Lleyton have a twin we don't know about?

"The morning I got the call about the (Tsunami exhibition). I went over to our tennis academy, where Andy was practicing for the Australian Open. I asked him if he knew about it. He said, 'Is Mattress Mack putting it on?' When I told him yes, he said, 'I'm there. I don't care if I make the finals. I'm flying in that day. Anything he does, I feel a responsibility to be there.' I think that's a good indication of how Andy Roddick feels."
-- Chris Evert on Andy Roddick playing in the Houston tsunami benefit put on by Houston tennis promoter Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale.

"On balance I thought it was a terrific tournament and I know some Americans come out here and they say, don't quote me, because they're American tennis officials, but this is the best of the four. They don't want to upset Wimbledon."
-- American commentator and fashion guru Bud Collins on the Australian Open. We quoted you.

"That was...that was choking. You're right. But of course when you play against (Roger) Federer, he's No. 1 in the world, he won three grand slams last year, and he's just full of confidence. It's difficult to do anything regular to beat him. You have to do something extra to be able to have the chance to beat him. Set points, I had six of them and I couldn't take one. But I was close."
-- Marat Safin interviewed by Jim Courier on losing a 20-18 tiebreak to Roger Federer at the 2004 Masters Cup.

"My coach told me I had to expect, you know, some long rallies and stuff. So, you know, I was ready for this."
-- Amelie Mauresmo breaking down the intricate nature of Team Mauresmo coaching strategies.

"Would it shock you if I told you I was going to play Christian Sampras before Jaden does?"
-- Andre Agassi when asked when his son Jaden might be playing Pete Sampras' son Christian.

"You said it, I didn't. I can't think of anything funny to say that would not get me in trouble. I'm going to leave that one alone."
-- Andy Roddick, replying to a media question as to whether the new long pants worn this year by some of the Spaniards and other players are "too metrosexual."

"No, she's not. Two women is too much for me."
-- Marat Safin, when asked if his mother was in Melbourne in addition to his sister.

"Earlier in his career it wasn't like that. He would sort of start out like he was doing a warm-up lap..."
-- Fabrice Santoro on the oppressive early-match play of Roger Federer.

"Couple years ago I was No. 7 and I ended up top. So I kind of like the position that I'm at right now. It's hot."
-- Serena Williams doing her Paris Hilton impression.

"I think the experts and me and Tony (Roche), we all know it's not his mistake if my ranking drops. Eventually it will drop. I can't stay No. 1 for 50 years, you know. We'll see what happens. But I'm not worried that he will be blamed. I'm not thinking this way."
-- Roger Federer.

"It's a completely different situation right now because last year it was the time that nobody expected anything from me anything -- I had nothing to lose, basically I was starting from zero. And now I'm back in Top 5. And for me it's a different stage."
-- Marat Safin, sounding like he's ready to choke an early exit at the Australian Open.

"Maybe if you're playing in London or America, you don't feel that pressure quite as much."
-- Lleyton Hewitt's choke-insightful comment after losing at the Australian Open in 2003.

"Such an attitude to their commercial responsibilities is one reason why Venus and Serena have earned more than $100 million (£52m) from endorsements in their relatively short careers. Neither sees any contradiction in putting her game on the line to further the sales of Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets to America's ever more sedentary and obese young population. One television ad saw the sisters compete for a packet of french fries on a variety of playing surfaces."
-- The Guardian on the Williams sisters playing the McDonald's exhibition tour at the end of last year even though both were attempting to shrug off injuries.

"I've never dated anybody. It's good to get experience under your belt but you should never get wild or go crazy. If I can't see myself with this person for life -- I can't be bothered. I can't waste my time. I have some really good men friends but I believe in no sex before marriage. No fornicating. Stuff like that. I really believe in that. I mean, I'm not perfect. It's hard to live by the Bible standards but I'm really comfortable with me."
-- Serena Williams speaking to The Telegraph.

"Everybody who plays me plays me so hard because they always want to beat me."
-- Serena Williams at the Hong Kong exhibition.

"I think I was as mentally tough as I've ever been. I felt like I handled the situation both on and off the court extremely well. I felt like I needed to."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on his break-up with Kim Clijsters.

"I was worried a bit at the beginning because I didn't know how the situation was. Once the ATP wanted to do the tournament, I realised there was no risk at all. I'm very sorry about what happened. It's not easy to be here knowing so many people were killed very near from here."
-- Carlos Moya on making the trip to Chennai, India this week after the tsunami disaster.

"I can definitely beat him, yeah. But it's not going to be easy and I think I know as well as anyone he's definitely the man to beat at the moment."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on Roger Federer, who he has lost his last six matches against, including five bagel sets. Yeah, maybe he'll twist an ankle.

"I was completely caught off guard. I couldn't see any signs that it was coming. But I stand by my record with Andy. It was pretty good."
-- Brad Gilbert speaking to tennisreporters.net on getting canned as coach by Andy Roddick.

"While you lose some viewers, you stand to gain much more when you bump matches to later in the day, because that's when the level of households using TV is greater. The rule is to bring the most compelling tennis to the widest audience. If that means showing Americans on tape delay, we'll do it."
-- ESPN Senior Vice President of Programming Strategy Len DeLuca on ESPN's tennis broadcasting strategy for 2005. That's like a promo for subscribing to The Tennis Channel.

"I'm not promising anything. I said 2004 was my last year and I lied so I'm not saying any more about the future."
-- Martina Navratilova.

"I think Andy (Roddick) realizes what Brad (Gilbert) brought, but he also realizes they had their differences. And when you have thoughts like that, it's really hard to listen to the technical stuff...I think Andy just felt like he needed a different voice and maybe a little more low-key guy than Brad. Dean (Goldfine) has a good mind, the respect of the guys, he's a hard worker and he's pretty low-key, so that wouldn't surprise me."
-- Patrick McEnroe with some insight on Andy Roddick firing coach Brad Gilbert and potentially hiring Dean Goldfine for his 2005 campaign.

"Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream. Our Dad used to say that. It's an adage.''
-- Serena Williams said that. It's a quote.

"We don't like to do it to a hostile crowd. If we feel it here, we'll do it. But there are no guarantees. We're playing in front of 26,000 fans that hate us. We don't want to rile them up."
-- Bob Bryan on doing the celebratory flying chest bump with brother Mike during the Davis Cup doubles final versus Spain.

"(Maria) Sharapova of course -- but I don't know if you would call her Russian though."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova when asked who is the most popular of the Top 10 Russians.

"I look at it as we're the underdogs. I don't know if anybody is expecting a lot from us."
-- Andy Roddick, attempting to lower expectations and soften the blow before he and clay neophyte Mardy Fish travel to the slaughterhouse the Spaniards have constructed in Seville for the Davis Cup final.

"In reality there was a match. She must not have been in reality."
-- Maria Sharapova responding to Serena Williams saying "Actually, I don't believe I played a Wimbledon final" concerning their last meeting, which the Russian won.

"If I'd known it was going to be this cold, I wouldn't have done it."
-- Andy Roddick on his new short haircut at the Masters Cup in Houston.

"I know her the way she is. She has always been like this. And once I lost to her because she starts crying. I was 4-1 up in the third set. I was playing unbelievable. And suddenly Vera started crying. And she was talking to herself. So I stopped. So I lost in a tiebreaker."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova on the car crash known as Russian countrywoman Vera "The Crying Game" Zvonareva.

"I'm an unbelievable designer. I don't know how I know and just do these things. I just start sketching and then I just know the colors and I always know the forecast. I know green and purple are going to be hot. I was born to be a designer. I worked hard to be a tennis player, I don't work hard to be a designer."
-- The modest Serena Williams on her design talents.

ďI know a lot of people who are 12 and doing things they shouldnít be doing. Whether youíre an actress or a singer, itís always the sexier ones that are selling more tickets or selling more albums.Ē
-- Serena Williams explaining away the WTA's pimping of Maria Sharapova at the WTA Championships.

"I don't care what they're selling."
-- Maria Sharapova when questioned by the L.A. Times as to whether the sexy WTA marketing campaign featuring the Russian at the WTA Championships was selling sex.

"It's something that I really look forward to as well. I have a very young mom as well and I think that's something that I would like to be as well. I'm not going to say that I may quit (tennis) completely. Who knows?"
-- Kim Clijsters back in March on her rush to bust out some kids.

"Yes, and I wish everyone else would do the same."
-- Andre Agassi on casting his 2004 presidential vote for John Kerry.

"Within a few years the name 'Maria Sharapova' will be a brand as universally recognized as Calvin Klein, BMW and Rolex."
-- Maria Sharapova (c) manager Max Eisenbud.

"I've got a new man and I'm head over heels in love. I adore him, he's so hot. His name is Mark Philippoussis."
-- Professional skank Paris Hilton as quoted by The Sunday Telegraph.

"It's something different, isn't it. They certainly look good from where I've been sitting."
-- Tim Henman on the ball models at the ATP Madrid tournament.

"I think it is important for our sport to understand its product clearly, and I'm not quite convinced this is part of our product...It was difficult, to say the least, to concentrate on the ball. But I suppose I had an advantage. I'm used to playing with my wife (smiling)."
-- Andre Agassi on the models-instead-of-ball-girls at the Masters Series-Madrid.

"I'm a couple of years late. I retired at the wrong time. Maybe I should ask for a wildcard? But I wouldn't be able to play. I would just want to take (phone) numbers."
-- Goran Ivanisevic, who is with girlfriend and child, reaching for the humor on the models-for-ballkids episode at the MS-Madrid.

"I don't think she won the match, it was me who lost it...At the end she was celebrating as if she just won a Grand Slam. It just shows how desperate she was for a win."
-- A touchy Svetlana Kuznetsova after losing to countrywoman Elena Dementieva at Moscow. Meow!

"Neither will you."
-- Andy Roddick during an on-line ESPN-sponsored chat answering the accusation "...you suck and you will never win a major again so what do you have to say about that?"

"She doesn't have any 'Oh my God!' shots, but she is a solid all-round player."
-- Mashona Washington on Maria Sharapova.

"This is good all this craziness...but maybe there is a little too much craziness."
-- Goran Ivanisevic on the light-and-sound spectacular at the Superset exhibition in England last weekend.

"Playing (Serena) it always felt like playing a steamroller. No subtlety, no finesse, just raw, loud power. To respect this style of play was always a bit tough for me, but of course I had to, because the rules of tennis don't state that having a beautiful game is required to become No. 1."
-- Martina Hingis speaking to the German magazine Matchball on facing Serena Williams.

"I went to Phuket already, but would love to go to Chiang Mai one day."
-- Roger Federer in Bangkok. If you can't go to Chiang Mai, may as well Phuket.

"The week before the (US Open) I gave a few interviews for CNN, USA Network, New York Times, USA Today and Sports Illustrated which had been arranged beforehand. The reason for giving these interviews is not only because working with the media is just part of the job, it is much more my desire to contribute to the promotion of tennis in the U.S."
-- Roger Federer writing in his on-line diary. Which he lets us read. Thanks Roger.

"I'm excited because I haven't won a title since March and that's not like me."
-- Serena Williams after winning the Beijing title.

"Maybe it's just a coincidence that I break the record in every Davis Cup."
-- A smirking Andy Roddick in his Davis Cup post-match conference on the friendly speed gun used by the USTA.

"The first thing John (McEnroe) said to me was, 'Get the cold beer, rookie. That's your job.' We had just beaten Czechoslovakia, and McEnroe came into the locker room and told me to get the beer."
-- Rodney Harmon, speaking to Charlie "Brick" Bricker on being a U.S. Davis Cup practice partner back in the day.

"She's a mediocre player who never will be in the Top 20. We have people offering players like this to us every month."
-- The Spanish Tennis Federation on Svetlana Kuznetsova, who trained in Spain as a junior. This was the Spanish Federation commenting on the Casal-Sanchez Tennis Academy wishing to convert the junior Kuznetsova to Spanish citizenship. Now Spain has zero top women players. Stone.

"I still can't believe that I won, you know. When you're on the court and you hear 'US Open champion' you say, 'Wow, who is that? I don't see any champion.' It's just great. It's amazing."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova in Bali the week after her US Open win.

"(Roger) Federer, I feel, is probably more back to our era, the style of play. I think he's so good all-around, and he's got all the strokes. I mean, he can be aggressive if he wants to. He can chip. He can topspin. He can do anything."
-- Legend Margaret Smith Court.

"I want success. I want to do something. I really want people to remember my name."
-- Svetlana Kuznetsova after winning the US Open.

"The nicer the point, the more -- the better I feel, the more excited I get. But I never play that my opponent looks stupid. I think that is wrong. I have too much respect for every opponent I play."
-- Roger Federer on his shot selection.

"I'd like to think that the Masters Cup in Houston, which has been a big goal of mine, is now even more likely."
-- Tim Henman after reaching the semis at the US Open.

"He's already made a few comments to me in the locker room. He's not gonna get me a Christmas present. He reckons that was mine today, so..."
-- Lleyton Hewitt after beating his sister's boyfriend Joachim "Pim-Pim" Johansson at the US Open.

"(Andy) Roddick needs to work on his return game. He has turtle-like reflexes out there, not cat-like. Put a ball machine on a ladder and practice returning 140 mph serves until your hands bleed!"
-- Tennis-X reader Mike M.

"More than anything I'm just disappointed for them. It's just about getting over the hump in the Slams, you know? I had trouble early on too...I think it's just a matter of breaking through, and hopefully it will happen for them sooner rather than later."
-- Andy Roddick on "B"-level Americans Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, James Blake and crew.

"You know, it's pretty one-dimensional now. Everyone's pretty much solid off the ground, so much power off the ground. Maybe you had more different styles of play (in the past)."
-- Jennifer Capriati on the current state of the women's game.

"I'm a fan, Pat Mac (Patrick McEnroe) turned me on to your site what seems like a year or two ago, I check it out at night when I get home."
-- USA Network commentator Jim Courier at the US Open.

"I like the site, I read it a lot."
-- Tennis Channel CEO Steve Bellamy, a Tennis-X.com aficionado.

"Usually, when I get tired, I usually get tired and I keep getting tired. I mean, I don't really know. After he came back from the bathroom break, you know, I mean, it just all of a sudden he's -- you know, he's fresh again. I'm not quite sure how that happens."
-- Mardy Fish on losing to an exhausted Nicolas Massu in the gold medal match at the Athens Olympics.

"Unbelievable, yet, what else could it be?"
-- A sample of the insight of NBC/USA commentator Jim Courier during the Olympics.

I'm just walking along minding my business, and I look up and there's Andy Roddick just walking right by me. I was like 'Ohhhhhhh...my gawwwd! It's Andy Roddick!' You always figure guys like that would be surrounded by these huge entourages, but there he was just walking all by himself, baseball cap on backward, wearing flip flops and shorts."
-- NCAA and WNBA basetball championship winner Swin Cash at the Athens Olympics.

"My real goal is the Olympics. It's going to be tough but it was very good preparation to play here."
-- Anastasia Myskina after bailing on the WTA Sopot semifinals with a "rib injury" to fly to Athens for the Olympics.

"Unfortunately, no!"
-- Serena Williams when asked if any of the other WTA players ask her for beauty tips.

"The Olympics is not for tennis and tennis does not need the Olympics. It is not my goal in life to win a gold medal."
-- Marat Safin. Here's a crazy idea Marat, don't go. Give your spot to someone who won't tank the event.

"This is the Olympics. He's 21 years old. He's strong as a bull. It's the American way. Go step up."
-- The tough-talking Brad Gilbert speaking to the Cincinnati Enquirer on Andy Roddick playing the US Open a little more than a week after the Athens Olympics.

"For me, I'm in the driver's seat; I'm No. 1 in the world. I've won the last couple of meetings, and I've won the big tournaments lately. Whoever comes, I'll try to beat him. But it's almost up to me to decide who's my rival, isn't it?"
-- Roger Federer, who says he'll decide whether Andy Roddick is his rival or not, thank you very much.

"Reading the newspapers, there's nothing I'm going to learn new about myself, because I know what I said, and you know, I don't need to read what I said, 'cause I know what I said. I like to look at the pictures."
-- 17-year-old Maria Sharapova on her strategy for reading the newspaper. Another argument for a college education.

"She's an amazing talent. As much as she is hot, she's a good-girl-next-door hot."
-- Murphy Jensen on Wimbledon (the movie) co-star Kirsten Dunst, told to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"He was OK, but I've played better. If I played better, I could have won."
-- 15-year-old American Donald Young after losing to Noam Okun in the MS-Cincinnati qualifying. Kid is already making some giant mental strides: playing better = winning.

"Right now I want to look forward and I want to see the US Open Series succeed."
-- ATP CEO Mark "I Can't See for" Miles speaking to the Florida Sun-Sentinel's Charlie "Brick" Bricker on his contract running out in 2005. Might we ask why the US Open Series, now entering it's fourth week, is not even promoted on the ATP website? Hmmmm.

"I'll give you the dramatic version, as I am an actress. I stretched and I dove for the ball. Well, I didn't quite dive. I was extremely stoked, but unfortunately during that point, I hurt my knee."
-- Serena Williams the actress on how she reinjured her knee in San Diego. That explanation was about as good as the acting.

"I'm not fighting with myself. Oh, my God. That's how I am. You know, the story of the hippo? The hippo comes to the monkey and said, listen, I'm not a hippo. So, he paint himself like a zebra. He said but he's still a hippo. He said but look at you, you're painted like a zebra but you are a hippo. So then he goes, you know, like I want be a little parrot. So, he put the colours on him and he comes to the monkey and said but, sorry, you are a hippo. So, in the end, you know, he comes and said I'm happy to be a hippo. This is who I am. So, I have to be who I am and he's happy being a hippo."
-- Marat Safin, happy to be a hippo.

"The good news is that the ATP were willing to let someone independent look at how they handled the cases. The bad news is that the independent person found they had completely mis-handled the whole thing."
-- Porn star-named Dick Pound, chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"People seem to forget that Anna (Kournikova) isn't in the picture anymore. It's Maria-time now."
-- Maria Sharapova in Sports Illustrated. Maria-time, is that like Hammer-time?

"If you saw me with my clothes off you'd see that my body is in great shape and ready to take on the world."
-- Anna Kournikova in March on her impending tour comeback. If we saw you with your clothes off we'd...probably be looking at an issue of Playboy five years from now.

"She's not real any more. She doesn't really like tennis. You can tell. She's not playing from the heart. It's all contrived. She just wants to look good."
-- Mats Wilander, getting his kick-her-when-she's-down licks in on Serena.

"Honestly, I could get in a car accident today and never play tennis again, and then I wouldn't have anything to fall back on. But fortunately enough, I do."
-- Serena Williams on maintaining her outside interests. Yes, it's important to have something to fall back on in case you're suddenly not a billionaire any more.

"No, I don't read the papers. I just look at the pictures."
-- Serena Williams.

"Rod-dick...I had years of psychological issues with that."
-- Andy Roddick.

"Baah?"
-- Andy Roddick's answer to the question "What letter in the English language sounds like a female sheep" on the British "Weakest Link".

"I'm an actress, model and athlete, and I'd put athlete third on the list."
-- Serena Williams flashback quote.

"I cannot compare myself to her. She is another level. She is from another planet. She is one of the few women tennis players I respect... She's my hero."
-- Goran Ivanisevic on 47-year-old Martina Navratilova.

"Andy Roddick, he's gotten a lot of help from Brad Gilbert, but at the same time, I'm not sure he's doing anything for him anymore. What he taught Roddick didn't take too long -- it's just that somebody told him...I'm not sure he's developing his game anymore. I think he's just keeping him interested in fighting and winning tennis matches."
-- Former No. 1 Mats Wilander on the Andy Roddick-Brad Gilbert pairing running its course.

"Perhaps it was (John) McEnroe's idea to build the new ATP men's tennis marketing campaign around Pat Benetar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot,' a song so dated it might have been on McEnroe's eight-track when he was a teenager."
-- The Age's Robert Lusetich.

"I'm sick of running around, waking up at 7am and going to the gym. I've been on tour now for 10 years. I have the best four years of my career left, but I want to do something after that and I want my new career to be even bigger."
-- Mark Philippoussis, who is debuting his own clothing line, explaining his lack of passion for the game.

"My goal in a couple of years is to try to build a successful fashion house like Armani or Versace. I want that more than anything."
-- Serena Williams on fashion trumping tennis.

"He's up there. But (Marat) Safin, on his game, is as hard to beat. And Andy Roddick has that huge serve. A lot of guys can beat you if you're slightly off your game."
-- Lleyton Hewitt, refusing to acknowledge Roger Federer as the best in the game.

"...ESPN, if you wouldn't show the count in a baseball game on the screen with the number of balls last half the time, why would you show the score in a tennis game with the server's score last half the time? Is there anyone at all who has ever played tennis involved in the production decisions at ESPN?"
-- Post on rec.sport.tennis.

"Maybe I'm the 'Scud' now...maybe they should start calling me it."
-- Cocky Brit wildcard Ian Flanagan after out-acing Mark Philippoussis in a win at Queen's. That's good stuff, going for the nickname steal.

"The problem is not the claycourt. The problem is, you know, rather something to do with the conditions on center court. Because I've played well on Suzanne Lenglen, on the other courts. But the Chatrier court is really, really big, and I just haven't had enough play on it. Maybe I come here next year and play a week on this court, if I can, if the French Federation lets me. We'll see. I've been playing well in other tournaments, in Davis Cup on clay. So for me it's not the surface, it's rather maybe the court."
-- Roger Federer on his problems at the French Open.

"I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?...They tried to destroy the match. All of the people who run the sport, they have no clue. It's a pity that the tennis is really going down the drain. Every year it's getting worse and worse and worse. There has to be a radical change, and I hope it will be really soon."
-- Marat Safin on getting penalized for pulling down his pants after a point against Felix Mantilla.

"I think I earned it. If she wins two French Opens and tries to get a wild card at the age of 47, she'll probably get it, too. I didn't get a wildcard when I was 16. I earned my way."
-- Martina Navratilova, replying to Amelie Mauresmo's and Emilie Loit's whining that Navratoliva playing the French cheated French teen Capucine Rousseau out of a wildcard.

"I'd say there's about a 40 percent chance I'll play."
-- Juan Carlos Ferrero on playing his first round match at the French Open.

"I talked with Tom Hanks. I saw that movie 'Turner and Hooch' at least 50 times. It took all my guts to go up to him. I went up to him, I was like, 'Can I have a picture?' We talked acting; he wanted to know what I was doing. We talked a little tennis. I mean, he knew all about myself and my sister."
-- The name-dropping Serena Williams, the undereducated ambassador of tennis.

"Tennis whites are boring, unless it's Wimbledon, where it's classy."
-- From the wisdom of fashion designer Serena Williams.

"I met Greg when I was 15. I was a ball girl at Queen's and there he was, grinning at me."
-- Lucy Rusedski on meeting husband Greg, speaking to The Independent. Wow, 15 years old, nice pick there Grinning Greg.

"Anything which draws attention to me because I am so attractive."
-- Venus Williams on what works in her fashion world, as reported by the Indian Times.

"I think people are looking at this as too dramatic. It's not a disaster, because I knew how tough the claycourt season is for me."
-- World No. 1 Roger Federer after his early exit at the MS-Rome. Damn people, the man lost to a former Roland Garros winner, chill out.

"Jim Courier did a great job of showing the rest what is possible. He could only hit forehands, but almost every one could have been a winner. But Jim struggled when others learned to hit the ball just as hard. Many look at Andy (Roddick) as being a similar animal, and it could well be in a few years everybody hits the ball as hard as him."
-- Todd Martin on the power game in men's tennis, speaking to The Independent.

"I can't say that I've had heroes, but who I really admired for their talent and the way they played was Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe."
-- Steffi Graf, who will be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport, R.I. this year. Connors and McEnroe? You need to have thrown your racquet at least once to say that.

"I didn't even have fun to break anything today. That's how I felt, you know. Today's such a day when, you know...Even if somebody told me, 'Break,' I wouldn't break. You just...But I don't know. With me, anything is possible. When I come on the court, you know, anything happens. So they always expect something, something is gonna happen. But today, nothing happen. Today was show but no actors in the show, you know. Disappointing."
-- Goran Ivanisevic on not breaking any racquets during his first round loss at the Masters Series-Rome. Sounds like the fire is gone.

"Hey -- you guys with the ladder. If you come here I'll buy you pizza."
-- Andy Roddick, calling out to firefighters in the process of rescuing Roddick and other hotel guests from a fire in Rome.

"I think I said I would put on a skirt if I dropped serve again."
-- Tim Henman after his third-round win over Nicolas Massu in Monte Carlo. That should get the WTA supporters fired up.

When I was a kid, it was challenging to find out when and where you could find tennis on TV."
-- Andy Roddick on the "US Open Series" of summer hardcourt events and their new TV package. How things haven't changed in the last 10 years.

It is the tennis fan who will likely benefit the most through greater exposure on television for tennis."
-- Mark Miles, CEO of the ATP. You think? That is the kind of clear-thinking leadership that has brought the sport to where it is today.

"The US Open Series is a revolutionary breakthrough for tennis."
-- Mark Shapiro, executive vice president of programming and production for ESPN. If simply putting more tennis on TV is revolutionary, this sport is in even more trouble than we thought.

"When you make the schedule, you're not planning on playing deep into every single week, or at least I haven't in the past. I'm not physically or mentally ready to pick up my bags and go to Monte Carlo. I definitely have to look at what's best for my chances at (at the French Open)."
-- Andy Roddick on pulling from the Masters Series-Monte Carlo the night before the tournament began.

"I can tell you that based on our experience, they are reporting speeds they don't measure. What they're doing is tracking the ball as it moves through the air and extrapolating back to a theoretical launch point."
-- Leo Levin, director of product development for IDS, which measures service speeds on the ATP Tour, on Wige Data of Germany, which measures service speeds for the Davis Cup, and credited Andy Roddick with a 152 m.p.h. blast.

"Honestly, I'm not excited at all right now. I'm having some issues off the court, just growing up, and I'm just taking it day by day. I'm trying to get back into it right now."
-- 18-year-old Ashley "Anna 2.0" Harkleroad, who is engaged to player Alex Bogomolov, Jr. Sounds like that is going well.

"The Argentines are known for using dirty tactics in their Davis Cup matches. Every time you play there they pour water on their claycourt day and night to make it very slow. So we'll pay them back this time: they prefer slow courts, so we'll try to make the court as fast as possible. If we could make it like an ice rink, I would be very happy indeed. They had better bring their ice skates with them."
-- Belarus Davis Cup captain Sergei Teterin.

"OK, it's official. Every gay tennis fan has roasted me this week. This has nothing to do with good-looking guys; it has to do with hideous-looking apparel. I'm comfortable enough with my sexuality to say (Carlos) Moya would look good wearing a rhinestone muumuu with parachute pants. That doesn't mean the outfit looks good. Those flame-retardant shirts are precisely the kind of fashion faux pas we'll all laugh at 10 years hence. Also, so we're clear: a) Just because I think those shirts are the height of tacky doesn't mean I'm calling for a ban. Players can wear whatever they want -- even sausage-casing tight hot pants with matching headbands on which their first name is embroidered..."
-- Jon Wertheim writing for SI.com.

"Yeah, I have become aware of it. It's important for me as a young lady and a young individual to carry myself with aplomb and to walk with all kinds of confidence in this world around me. Because a lot of kids are feeding off of that. A lot of people look up to myself and my sister; and a lot of entertainers in our age group, a lot of kids are looking up to us. For me, I'm okay with that. I just feel that I should carry myself in a manner that they'd be able to copy themselves after."
-- Serena Williams, role model.

"(Those) who say that Serena isn't serious about tennis; she wants to go Hollywood. That's true, about Hollywood. I would love to get a lot of acting gigs. But you wouldn't believe the stuff I've turned down because of my tournament schedule...I would do well beside (comedian) Chris Tucker."
-- The ego-maniacal Serena Williams, lapsing into second-person mode while discussing her acting career.

"If you saw me with my clothes off you'd see that my body is in great shape and ready to take on the world...I could snap my fingers and have any man I wanted but I have too much respect for myself for that...People can look then wonder about the taste and the sensuous delights of the dish, but when it comes down to it they simply can't afford such an expensive luxury."
-- Anna Kournikova, looking for some media attention while down in Australia in March. Concerning the clothes thing, we don't believe it -- prove it.

"(It's) a corset design making me look very, very slim and trim. I call it a corset dress. Very Hollywood glamour with the silk."
-- Serena Williams on her new Greecian serving girl tennis dress, which makes her look "very, very slim" when she looks in that funhouse mirror that is her reality. We hear stripes are slimming, next time try stripes.

"He [Vince Spadea] was about as down and out as you could see from a Top 20 player. Then to claw his way back through the minor leagues and do it the hard way where he wasn't young, wasn't getting wildcards, wasn't getting any help. I guess he decided he was just going to do it."
-- Andy Roddick, thinking hard about his take on the rebirth of Vince Spadea. Don't hurt yourself.

"Walk into a General Nutrition Center, or any place that sells supplements, and pick something randomly off the shelf. You have close to a 20 percent chance of there being something there that we, as players, aren't allowed to take. Much of it, rightfully so. But in any of those products, you might have contamination willfully, meaning the manufacturer actually puts additional stuff in there that isn't listed on the label."
-- Andre Agassi on the difficulties of shopping.

"I never faced Pete (Sampras) in a match. I think from watching, his is the best serve ever. And he is the only guy that I would probably not take the bet that he would so often offer in practice -- he's down love-40, says "10 bucks, I still hold serve." I probably wouldn't even take that against him. So many times he would come back and win. He would just put it on the dime. I also wouldn't take the bets when we were just practicing our serves, he put just a tennis ball can on the other side, and says, "A hundred bucks for who hits more." That's not a safe bet with him."
-- James Blake on the serve of Pete Sampras.

"I've been getting my reel together. I think they are looking at me more as an actress because I have a lot of potential and a lot of skills."
-- The removed-from-reality Serena Williams, who as an actress has skills. Just ask her.

"Andy Roddick was the featured performer at night (at Indian Wells). Cost another $71 for those who had spent $134 earlier. Cheaper tickets for the two sessions were available for $54. Free would still be a little expensive for my taste."
-- T.J. Simers writing in the LA Times.

"There are those at the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the overall governing body, who remain furious with the ATP for seemingly making a mockery of a drug-testing procedure that had been methodically constructed over the past decade."
-- The Guardian.

"I agree, she has a good backhand, but that's it. Not a good serve. She plays well, obviously. From my opinion, it's nothing special."
-- No. 25 seed Magui Serna after losing to precocious 14-year-old Sesil "The Mouth" Karatancheva at Indian Wells. The Mouth, after beating Serna, predicted a spanking for Maria Sharapova in the next round.

"She's a female Marat Safin. She has great potential. Give her two or three more years. She has the best potential in women's tennis since Martina Navratilova."
-- Pancho Segura on 16-year-old Russian Maria "Grunt-o-rama" Sharapova. Easy Pancho.

"The fact is that the ATP have got plenty of thinking to do about this judgement and I am sure the story will develop over the next few days and weeks."
-- Greg Rusedski's lawyer Mark Gay.

"As was the situation with the seven previous low-level nandrolone doping cases last summer, it is our responsibility to process each and every doping case. The (Greg) Rusedski tribunal concluded that he should have received personal notification of the risk of taking an electrolyte supplement previously distributed by ATP trainers, and that the ATP notices posted in the player newsletters, player intranet website and locker rooms were not adequate. We respect the authority and independence of the tribunal and are satisfied that the process was conducted fairly."
-- ATP CEO Mark Miles commenting on Greg Rusedski being cleared of doping by a drug tribunal.

"It's very important to have her with me as she gives me great support. When she needs to study she stays in Argentina and if not, she will travel with me."
-- Guillermo Coria on his teenage student-bride.

"I'd like just one time to see you guys step up and do something for us."
-- Andy Roddick venting on ATP Supervisor Gayle Bradshaw after getting no love from the chair umpire at the ATP Scottsdale event.

"I'd like to get married and have children sometime, but sometimes I feel I'm a child myself so it's a little early yet."
-- Former No. 1 and broadcast announcer Martina Hingis.

"The women's Top 100 increasingly resembles football's Premiership. Venus and Serena are Arsenal and Manchester United, winning virtually anything they put their minds to, while Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne are Chelsea and Liverpool, cleaning up the left-overs. There is no obvious contender waiting in the wings."
-- Britain's Financial Times.

"They've lost my page -- somebody ripped it out. But I'm the main sponsor for the tour, I'm the guy who paid the most fines. So they should give me respect. There should be a page saying 'This is the guy who paid the most fines.' I don't exist now, I'm a ghost, so I can do whatever I want."
-- Goran Ivanisevic on being left out of the 2004 ATP Player Guide.

"About the doping, everybody is a little scared. We are top-level athletes who are too much on the court playing long matches. We need vitamins to recover and be able to keep on this rhythm for the good of the tennis. Everything you can buy at a pharmacy, even if it is natural can be contaminated. It is obvious, that we are scared. I am scared of even ingesting vitamin C."
-- The scared Nicolas Massu. Did he mention he was scared?

"The banned list of drugs is in small print. I can't read it. I can't pronounce it. And I don't know what the drugs do."
-- Russian Dmitry Tursunov on his efforts to Just Say No to the ATP's list of banned drugs.

"No matter how good an athlete you are. You are going to need something to help, like vitamins. I'm not talking something crazy. When this question was asked at a player meeting, we got a 'We don't have that much for you, you're responsible for what you put in your body.' There's something that doesn't quite fit there. Right now it's kind of a rough situation because it's impossible to do what we do 46 weeks a year on water."
-- Andy Roddick, slamming the ATP for a lack of leadership regarding supplements for players.

"When they say that out of the 120 best players in the world, 47 have nandrolone in their blood, I think that all the Argentinean team is in that list. Why am I so sure? Great traditions -- (Guillermo) Coria was caught, (Mariano) Puerta was caught twice, (Juan Ignacio) Chela was caught as well. So I have something against them. We are in the same business, and it is not nice when you are being cheated."
-- Vladimir Voltchkov shaking the bee's nest for Belarus' April Davis Cup meeting with Argentina.

"There are no limits for Andy. I would not be at all surprised to see him up at 155 m.p.h. in a couple of years and then move on to the 160 m.p.h. mark."
-- Tom Russ, Babolat spokesman, after Andy Roddick hit a record 150 m.p.h. serve. Sure, by then you guys will have designed a gun-barrel racquet that catches the ball and fires it back out, with still no racquet restrictions from the ATP. Look for the debut of their latest racquet, "The Nandrolone."

"I want to thank myself for having such a good week here."
-- Maggie Maleeva speaking to the crowd at the trophy presentation after finishing runner-up to Lindsay Davenport in Tokyo.

"We've been together 24/7 all our lives. We can basically read each other's mind...We are never going to give up on each other. He's not going to dump me, and I'm not going to dump him. Sometimes we go back to the room and box it out, too. That spices it up a little bit."
-- Mike Bryan, who with brother Bob won their first doubles title at age 6, in their first-ever tournament in the 10-and-under division.

"This definitely cast a shadow over the win but apparently Paulís shoulder just isnít meant to heal properly anymore. And anyway, most of us had expected him to have quit tennis years and years ago,Ē joked Verkerk. ďI for one wonít be on court anymore in my thirties -- I can think of better ways to spend my time,Ē said Verkerk, eyeing a few bottles of champagne in the corner of the press room. ďSo, erm, I have to go. Bye.Ē
-- Martin "Berzerker" Verkerk, after clinching the Netherlands' Davis Cup win over Canada, on the retirement of countryman Paul Haarhuis (courtesy of DavisCup.com).

"The circumstances were very, very crazy -- [12,000] crazy Americans screaming and John and me. Now we're friends, but then we were on-court enemies. We didn't really like each other and it was a war, but I came out on top so it was a sweet memory."
-- Boris Becker on the last time a U.S. Davis Cup match was played in Connecticut, in 1987 when he beat John McEnroe 4-6, 15-13, 8-10, 6-2, 6-2 to lead Germany over the U.S. squad.

"Compared with British tennis, Mars appears brimming with life"
-- Headline in The Guardian.

"I don't wish to offend the other women players on the circuit, but I learn more by watching the men play than I do watching the girls. You can't compare the two and I am not too shy to say that."
-- The not-too-shy Justine Henin-Hardenne. Hey, when you're No. 1 it's your pulpit.

"But, for the second time in less than a year, (Justine) Henin-Hardenne's ethics have been called into question after her gesture to indicate a (Kim) Clijsters volley was out in the eighth game of the third set (in the Aussie Open final). The baseline judge ruled -- correctly -- the ball had shaved the edge of the line."
-- FOX Sports Australia.

"(He's) the type of guy who's been happy to give 70 percent. If he was to give 100 percent to his tennis for the next three years he could win these types of tournaments...There are times when I question his preparation and his complete focus on something. When it comes down to the real crunch times Ė the real, real important times Ė he tends to fade away."
-- Todd Woodbridge, upholding the seeming-new Aussie tradition of bagging on Mark Philippoussis at every opportunity.

"I'm not going to say anything that is going to get any sideways looks when I walk through the front door. Steffi can say more without saying anything, it's a great ability to have. If I could imitate that look, I'd have it on the tennis court."
-- Andre Agassi, flirting with the press about possibly getting wife Steffi to play mixed doubles with him by next year's Australian Open.

"A wading pool has more depth than women's tennis, yet (Alicia) Molik is ranked 40th in the world. She was ranked 35th at the end of last year. She has been as high as 33. She said she has played great tennis this summer, but the numbers suggest she has not. Women's tennis is in trouble. Lindsay Davenport beat the world's 13th-ranked player Vera Zvonareva in less time it takes Andre Agassi to comb his hair...Earlier in the tournament Australian Sam Stosur lost to Hungarian Aniko Kapros, who serves slower than a bad restaurant."
-- Aussie newspaper The Australian lamenting the state of women's tennis in Australia (and in general).

"I've tried to take the best things from all the places I've lived. In my game you can see that I really want to win, and that's from my time in the U.S. And from France I've learnt the joie de vivre."
-- 16-year-old Aussie Open wonder Tatiana Golovin, in the round of 16. And what did you learn from being born in Russia, how to tank matches? Oops, that's the men's side.

"It's a pretty bitter pill to swallow. These are the types of matches that you've got to find a way to get through. He did, and I didn't."
-- Tim Henman after choking a 2-0 set lead, then up a break in the fifth set against Guillermo Canas at the Aussie Open.

"If February 9 is to be the date Greg Rusedski's career ends, he will have crashed out of the game the way he played his tennis -- whining, wailing and making excuses."
-- Britain's Daily Mirror.

"I guess it's a little bit sentimental, but at the time I was really very focused in on really my performance. Afterwards, it was really just a breath of fresh air, just like, 'Oh, yes, I'm back now. I'm doing good.'"
-- Venus Williams after her first match back from injury after pummeling Ashley Harkleroad at the Australian Open.

"That alone immediately suggests two things. (John) McEnroe is a bigger dill than we thought and that his erratic, aggressive behavior on court may have been drug-induced."
-- The Weekend Australian on John McEnroe admitting he unwittingly took steroids during his playing days.

"I've changed my whole life around. I've devoted my life for tennis instead of partying and I'm very happy."
-- Mark Philippoussis. Does that mean no more Tara Reid, the portable party machine?

"It's very hard to accept and believe that the drug got into Petr's body by accident. It's hard not to look at him now without having a great deal of suspicion."
-- Greg Rusedski in 1998 after Petr Korda tested positive for nandrolone. Hey Grinning Greg, you reap what you sow.

"I was tested 17 or 18 times last year...If there really were 47 positive drugs tests, then a third of the tour would have been announced. I think those are just numbers."
-- Andy Roddick on Greg Rusedski's claim that the ATP ignored other positive drug tests. As Butt-head said to Beavis, "I Hate numbers." Beavis: "Yeah, there's like, too many of them and stuff."

"I want, very much, an Olympic medal. I missed a medal by one round. I would love to go to Athens and win a medal."
-- Gustavo Kuerten, who four years ago in Sydney missed medaling at the Olympics after losing in the quarterfinals.

"You can't find a guy guilty until you prove him guilty. Greg is playing here and in Melbourne. I would say 'hello' to him. I am not that close to Greg, but I would not ignore him or anything, that's for sure."
-- Lleyton Hewitt, who says he would not ignore the drug-accused Greg Rusedski -- that's about as warm as the former No. 1 Aussie gets.

"The game's changed. I'm watching the guys out there hitting balls just in the last two years and everyone's hitting it a lot harder. I'm glad I'm not playing anymore."
-- Former No. 1 Patrick Rafter, playing doubles at the ATP stop in Adelaide.

"Winning Wimbledon, winning the Masters and the way he plays reminds me of some of the players from our time, like myself, like Pete (Sampras), like Stefan (Edberg), and Boris (Becker). He plays with a lot of variety and he plays shots you don't expect him to play. When you sit in the stands you think 'Wow, that's not possible, but he did it.' The other players are good but they play to a certain routine. Federer is a guy who brings a lot, and can do great things for the game if he keeps his current level going."
-- Michael Stich on Roger Federer.

"I don't really know why Pat is playing doubles. It is good in a way I suppose but in another way people will get to see him briefly and then he will just disappear again."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on Pat Rafter's doubles comeback.

"I've been thinking about it some time."
-- Roger Federer on why he canned coach Peter Lundgren.

"I often feel I'm representing the whole of Asia, but it's a lonely journey."
-- Paradorn Srichaphan on the few Asian players among the top echelon on the ATP.

"It wasn't like we were best friends or anything, we were more like brothers. We fought all the time. We were very competitive. We played a lot of one-on-one basketball, and we'd race to school every day."
-- Mardy Fish on staying at the Roddick household and going to school with Andy Roddick.

"He's got a big game, definitely. He's got a very big serve. He can still improve his consistency on the serve, because I think he could have a great serve. He returns well. He has his weaknesses, but there's not a weakness that stands out, especially on the grass."
-- Roger Federer, kind of praising Mardy Fish.

"In Australia, being engaged means a lot. But there are no concrete plans (for a wedding date). But I'm extremely happy with my early Christmas present."
-- Kim Clijsters on her engagement to Lleyton Hewitt. In Europe being engaged means a lot too -- it means a few years later you're still engaged.

"(Brad Gilbert instilled) in his new student the ingredients of discipline, dedication and -- perhaps most crucially -- a flashy new backhand, the impact was immediate and awesome."
-- John Skilbeck, writing for Sporting Life. Flashy new awesome backhand? Which Andy Roddick was he watching in 2003? Back to covering golf for you.

"Chris Evert was my mentor (provided by the WTA Tour) when I turned pro. The main thing I asked her was, 'How do you handle men?'"
-- The retired Martina Hingis.

"I really don't watch any tennis but I can imagine that (Roger) Federer has the most complete game. He is the one guy that can do everything. (Andy) Roddick is a great player but Federer is more complete and will win multiple majors I would think."
-- Pete Sampras shunning countryman Andy Roddick to peg Club Fed as the next great.

"They [the promoters] could not come up with the money. I am glad it didn't happen. I would have wanted to play well but that would have meant hitting a lot of tennis balls to prepare and that is the last thing I want to do. I haven't played since three months before Wimbledon."
-- Pete Sampras talking to Tennis Week on the now-canned doubles exhibition between he and Andre Agassi vs. John McEnroe/Jimmy Connors

"I've know her since were were 13 years old. And we've traveled together on USTA trips. We both live in Miami, we both practice in Key Biscayne and both of our coaches are very good friends. And so it went from a friendship into a relationship."
-- Alex Bogomolov on girlfriend Ashley "Anna 2.0" Harkleroad.

"When I was 12 years old, I was just horrible. My parents were ashamed to watch my matches. I would play on a court at the local club and they would watch from the balcony. They would scream, 'Be quiet' to me and I would scream back, 'Go and have a drink. Leave me alone.' Then we would drive home in a very quiet car. No one speaking to each other."
-- Roger Federer on his Johnny Mac-like junior days in tennis.

"It is disaster time right now for British tennis on the women's side. There is nobody threatening to get into the Top 50. I've been asking some questions and the opportunities are not as equal for the girls as the boys. I would never have made it under that system. They are just trying to do it one way. You just have to have the right kind of player and not coach them in only one way."
-- Martina Navratilova bashing Brit women's tennis.

"Like in tennis, you go to the net. They say how you play tennis is how you act in life."
-- Jean-Pierre Qui Phu Huynh, father of Vietnam's No. 1 women's player, on leaving his comfortable living as a tennis pro in Guam to return to Vietnam.

"I've said that to myself since I stopped playing: "I'm not going to get on the senior tour." I do somewhere around four exhibitions a year, mostly I've done it in Sweden in small clubs. I've done it (against Boris Becker) at Queen's Club this year. So that I will do...I'm quite happy being at home now after traveling around the world for so many years."
-- Stefan Edberg talking to Tennis Week magazine.

"The thing is everybody is trying to find another Anna Kournikova, and they're not going to do it. There is only one of her, and she came along at a time that was perfect for her. There are a lot of girls coming up now who are attractive, but I doubt any of them can be like Anna."
-- Ashley "Pebbles" Harkleroad, who grew up in Flintstone, Georgia. Keep dreaming H-Road, reach for the stars.

"(Carlos) Moya's a great looking guy. I wish I had muscles like him, but what happens next? Are you going to get someone without a clothing contract who has a great chest and decides to play without a shirt? Those 'sleeveless' shirts just didn't seem right to me at Wimbledon. Maybe I'm becoming an old fogey -- traditional. I'm considered a rebel but I find it shocking that Wimbledon, of all places, allowed something like that. They looked like one of my sweatshirts after they've got wrinkled because of all the travel."
-- John McEnroe, not a fan of the sleeveless shirt.

"I think (Roger) Federer is two notches better (than Andy Roddick). I'd rather face Roddick than Federer and I'd rather face Roddick than (Andre) Agassi."
-- 2002 Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson on the over-hyped Andy Roddick.

"(To) Andy Roddick: The ability to say no. A reality show on your life may be too much exposure. Take it from a guy who has been in your press conferences: You're good, but only in small doses."
-- Desert Sun writer Leighton Ginn's Christmas wish for Andy Roddick.

"I'll be back at Doha to prepare myself for the Australian Open. But there is still a chance I won't make it. Just so you know that."
-- Tommy Haas in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel, talking up/down a return to tennis, just so we know.

"We want him to remember what he did to us in Spain. We won't go outside the rules and we'll support our team within the spirit of the rules and the Davis Cup, but we want him to realize that we remember what he did. At the end of the first day in Spain, both Corretja and Duarte said the Spanish crowd wasn't loud enough and that the Australians in the crowd were making too much noise. The Spanish took it to another level the next day. We knew as soon as we walked in that they wanted blood. During that doubles match, Corretja was glaring at us and appeared to be swearing at us. When he and Costa were on the bench during singles matches, they would look up at us and run a finger across their throats and were saying: 'You're f...ing dead.' A lot of the Fanatics were mugged in Spain simply because of the stuff that had gone on at the tennis. Pete Rafter (Pat's brother) and I had a knife pulled on us. It was the worst tie I've been to in terms of being received by the locals and Corretja was the one who stirred it up two days beforehand with Lleyton in the newspapers, saying you've got to hate him. By the time the match was played, the Aussies in the crowd were taken aback by the vitriol."
-- Aussie "Fanatics" fan leader Warren Livingstone on the Davis Cup tie at Spain two year ago.

"(Andy Roddick's) a different kind of guy. I don't spend a lot of time with him. His coach in the past (Tarik Benhabiles), I didn't have a lot of time for at all. He was a bigger problem than Andy."
-- Lleyton Hewitt while practicing for the Davis Cup.

"Aussies, I think, because of the travel all those years ago when Harry Hopman teams used to go across (to play matches) by boat, always developed close bonds with each other. Of all the countries, Australia has stayed relatively drama-free in the teammate department. Philippoussis and Pat Rafter had a bit of a falling-out once but that?s about all I can think of. Aussies have always got on with their teammates, and I think that?s just part of it -? you play Davis Cup, you get on with your teammates."
-- Pat Cash on the Aussie Davis Cup experience breeding success.

"I think the sport of tennis made a mistake by allowing the wooden racquets to go by the wayside. My racquet was 78 square inches, and now you?re talking about a Serena Williams or an Andre Agassi using racquets that are maybe 110 square inches with materials like graphite that make it that much more powerful. I'd love to see the guys of today playing with wooden racquets. I'd love to see a guy like Roger Federer doing it, because I think he could...I want wood racquets and tight shorts, but I'm also advocating that we need to get young girls interested by having the guys playing without shirts."
-- John McEnroe's advice for improving tennis. You just keep the shirt on Mac.

"Yeah, but I remember the first year we came on the tour. Knowles-Nestor wanted to kill us. They're like, 'Who are these little guys bouncing around, doing chest bumps. I hate these guys.' Now we're great friends with Knowles-Nestor, and all these guys. I mean, it's great having Bhupathi and Woodbridge and Bjorkman as your best friends on the tour. I mean, you grow up, you watch these guys on TV."
-- Bob "Beads" Bryan on how to win friends on the doubles circuit.

"Well, he's kept me out here for -- we've been together 14 years. You know, he's kept me getting better as an athlete, consistently. He's helped me through some pretty difficult times. He's the reason why I'm still here."
-- Andre Agassi on trainer, friend and general mountain of a man Gil Reyes.

"It's incredible to see what they've created. Mac is one the greatest human beings I've ever seen when it comes to his commitment to put his money where his mouth is, to step up to the plate and actually affect the things he claims he cares about. I've seen him care about children, and I've seen him care about tennis. I admire him, and I'm inspired by him. He's absolutely pushing this sport forward single-handedly."
-- Andre Agassi on Tennis Masters Cup promoter Jim McIngvale.

"...they've got to fix tennis, because eventually what they're gonna do is they're going to drive people like us out. Because this is not a way to run a business...You have somebody like our company and Octagon, to their credit, that have lost millions of dollars on this tournament, trying to build it over a period of time and make it work in L.A. Now at the same time, we were saying if we can't get it to a point of making sense in L.A., what do we do with it? But again, that was a private conversation we were having. I didn't know they were going to publicly announce that next year is our last year...I'm a little bewildered that we could lose as much money as we've lost, and then we learn about this through a press conference."
-- Tim Leiweke, head of Anschutz Entertainment Group which owns 50% of the WTA Championships, reacting to WTA CEO Larry Scott's premature announcement that the championships would likely be moving out of LA in 2005, as told to the LA Times.

"I think one of the reasons why I stay fresh in between tournaments and enjoy playing at this time of year is I try to take as much time off as possible in between. I will rest and chill out for 4-5 days then train for the last 2-3. I think some girls can overtrain in their time off and that doesn't make them as fresh then."
-- Kim Clijsters' recipe for tournament success during the year.

"I'm always putting out fires at my house. My kids [sons 12, 9 and 7] look at me like I'm chopped liver most of the time, so it's nice to come here and have people clapping for you."
-- Former No. 1 Chris Evert at the WTA Championships ceremony for former No. 1 players.

"I don't know how much they want it. I am thinking something is wrong here because Serena has an amazing body yet she has a lot of injuries. Venus is even worse. After the problems they've had, I wonder how much they want to play or what training they do when they are not playing?"
-- Martina Navratilova on her favorite pastime, hammering the Williams sisters.

"All the players have complained about it. For sure, this hardcourt is a very bad one."
-- Rainer Schuettler on the courts at the Westside Tennis Club, host of the Masters Cup in Houston.

"Becker, who was recently expelled from the United States after spending a day in an airport detention cell because as an "ex-convict" he lacked a U.S. entry visa, has done everything possible to destroy his name as a German hero."
-- From a Reuters story on Boris Becker's upcoming tell-all book.

"Martina Hingis has been watching a lot of tennis and has been scouting a lot of the players and has been practicing and working out in the gym. I think there's a good chance we'll see her (play) again."
-- ESPN commentator Mary Joe Fernandez.

"We have the product. How you market it, that's another story. I think we're going in the right direction now, in more of the ability of the women rather than how they look, which is where the emphasis should be...Another key is, of course, for Serena Williams and Venus Williams to play more. You've got to support the tour."
-- Martina Navratilova on the progress of the women's tour.

"The first initiatives involve the creation of the Tennis Internet Group, a shared services venture to produce and market ATPtennis.com and WTATour.com, the two leading professional tennis Web sites, and producing a combined guidebook. We are producing the '2004 Official Guide to Professional Tennis' -- a comprehensive 800-page guide with the women's game covered in one half of the book and the men's covered in the other half."
-- ATP CEO Mark Miles on the ATP and WTA joining forces.

"I don't want to end my career and then start something, I like to do something while my career is still hot and I've always enjoyed designing. There's plenty of time after my tennis to definitely go full-time fashion, when I have arthritis and all that fun stuff."
-- Serena Williams on combining tennis and fashion design in her career.

"We know our territory, where we can go to have a good time, what places we'll get mobbed at, and where we can go to relax. We're both homebodies, so we spend a lot of time at each other's place watching movies."
-- Andy Roddick on him and girlfriend Mandy Moore, as told to the Boca News.

"Forget about tennis, I was scared to open my mouth. I didn't even feel worthy of saying something and not sounding stupid...People want to hear what I have to say and respect what I say."
-- Jennifer Capriati on her early days on tour. And you feel worthy now?

"Of course my pride is hurt. But I also expected it. I will watch all the matches on the television, and whether they win or lose, I will feel like a winner or a loser with them. I feel part of this team."
-- Al Costa, trying to put a good spin on being cut from Spain's Davis Cup team in favor of lefty Feliciano Lopez, who has played well on grass. The Spain vs. Australia Davis Cup final will be played on grass in Australia.

"Pat will have his day, there can be no doubt about that. Looking out at Garden Square, I think it's pretty safe to say one day there'll be a bronze bust of Pat Rafter out there, so that's really our way of doing it. If he popped up at the tournament. I'm sure people would like to give him a wave, put it that way, but there's nothing formal planned."
-- Aussie Open CEO Paul McNamee, who says there will be no Pete Sampras-like send-off for Patrick Rafter at the 2004 Aussie Open.

"This is my greatest achievement. I couldn't be happier this week the way I've played, the people I've beaten and now winning the title."
-- Tim Henman, trumping the TMS-Paris win over his numerous Wimbledon semifinals.

"You beat me last time in Moscow, and now it's my turn here in Philly."
-- Amelie Mauresmo, running some smack at Anastasia Myskina on the mike after her win over the Russian in the Philadelphia final.

"As far as I'm concerned, its factually wrong. With all my businesses, with all my contracts that I finished before moving to Switzerland, I will continue to pay taxes in Germany. I came back to Germany voluntarily in 1994 and have paid more than (US$29 million) in taxes since then. For that, I've gotten a kick in the butt."
-- Boris Becker, talking to Bild am Sonntag about accusations that he is a Swiss-living tax dodger.

"Right now I don't have a tennis coach. The guy, Gabriel Trifu, he's my doubles partner from Davis Cup -- he's been injured as well. He's coming back as well. He's coming out, he's practicing with me. He's going to the fitness with me. We work together and we want to be more like a team next year. So also for doubles, you know. So we are very good friends -- one of the best friends."
-- Andrei Pavel on his coaching situation.

"It's almost been scripted with Juan Carlos [Ferrero] winning on clay, Roger [Federer] winning on grass, me winning in the States -- it's kind of been almost a fairy tale year for us. But only one of us gets to finish on a fairy tale. I think it's nice for all of us, and it's a big relief for all of us. Even though we're pretty young, people are already starting to say, 'When's it gonna happen? When's it gonna happen? Why? Why? Why?' It's a big relief now. I think all of our best tennis is ahead of us still."
-- Andy Roddick on the battle for the year-end No. 1 ranking this year. "Why? Why? Why?" Calm down Andy.

"I'm playing a lot better. All the work that I've done is paying off now. It would be a shame to stop playing when I'm just hitting my peak."
-- Martina Navratilova, hitting her peak at 47 years young.

"More recently, for every generation that passes since Billie Jean King started the WTA in 1973, players are getting more and more wrapped up into their own world and a little less caring about the bigger picture of their sport. And they should care not just about the WTA but they should care about promoting the sport of tennis."
-- Pam Shriver with a message for the young WTA players: 'Get over yourselves.'

"The fact is that there are a hell of a lot of guys out there who give their heart and soul every time they go out on the court. They are clean and play by the rules. It would be cool if a lot more was focused on that."
-- Andy Roddick, who wants the media to accentuate the positive.

"I am playing in this tournament because I want to earn some money, which is what I dearly need at this time in my life. Money is very important to me (more) than ATP points"
-- Nigerian Adewunmi Adeniji, competing at a Futures event in Nigeria.

"We've had the same people at the USTA for a long time...and everyone really fits in and really helps each other. I don't think that people realize that we're like a family now with the USTA and the players and all that. That was one of our goals. We wanted it to be like a family thing and it really is. And I must say the USTA staff has been fantastic...they've been so supportive."
-- Billie Jean King during the USTA-lovefest Fed Cup conference call.

"It happens to J-Lo all the time. It's out of control with her and Ben Affleck. What I have is nothing. People are curious. That's their nature."
-- Alexandra "Dr. A" Stevenson on being the love child of former NBA great Julius "Dr. J" Erving. Yeah you and J-Lo, a lot in common.

"I'm not sure if I could beat him today even if I played my best match. Kuerten has a very uncomfortable backhand. You never know were the ball will go."
-- Sargis Sargsian on the dangerous Guga backhand wing after losing in the St. Petersburg final.

"I've been training pretty hard the last couple of weeks. I have a new coach Gunter Bresnik who has been great. I've been playing pretty good all year long but I've been close but haven't quite made it."
-- Sargis "Sarge" Sargsian after beating Rainer Schuettler to make the St. Petersburg final.

"Early this year, I started to doubt myself a little bit. We didn't play for a few tournaments, Jonas' (Bjorkman) son Max was born, then I struggled on the clay, which is probably normal for me. It all turned around on the grass. I remember I was asked by a reporter in Paris if I could do it [the record] and I said I wasn't sure, but then I started thinking if it happens, it happens, and that took the pressure off."
-- Todd Woodbridge on tying Tom Okker's doubles title record of 78.

"I feel great."
-- David Nalbandian after beating Andy Roddick in the Basel semifinals, the day before he could concede the final without stepping on the court with a wrist injury.

"I'll be sure to miss that."
-- Rec.sport.tennis poster on the subject of Billie Jean King appearing on the TV show "Law & Order."

"I didn't play my best but I won. He was a lucky loser but I think he went out of luck today."
-- Tim Henman, cracking a funny after beating lucky loser Tomas Zib in Basel.

"I think Kim and Justine adjusted their level this year and have shown they can beat the Williams sisters...We don't know what kind of form they are in or how they will play when they come back. But I think if the Williams sisters do get back to one and two it will take a while."
-- Jelena Dokic, who knows about physically (and mentally) taking some time off.

"These tournaments are so tough. You have a small draw with most of the best players in the world. From the first round, you know you're going to have a tough opponent."
-- Younes El Aynaoui on reaching his career-first TMS semifinal in Madrid.

"I am very disappointed for the tournament and the fans in Linz. I had a terrific time last year and really enjoyed the experience of playing there."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne, who pulled from the Linz tournament because she is too tired.

"I think it's all bullshit, is all I can tell you...I understood it (the report) says (I've) been involved in match-fixing in tennis. You know it just completely tears me apart...When I walked into the locker room all the tennis players looked at me like I'm the worst enemy of all time. Back in my own country, where basically people look at me like I'm a role model, now they look at me like I'm the worst enemy."
-- Yevgeny Kafelnikov reacting to the ATP match-fixing investigation originally brought about by a British newspaper.

"We both tie Tom Okker on 78 by winning a tournament together, then I've told him he's on his own from there and I'm going to take [the record] by myself."
-- Doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge on potentially playing with John McEnroe in 2004 so they could together tie Tom Okker's tournament title record.

"There's a way to go about it. Like, if you're on a centre court TV match and you go up and say point-blank, 'fuck you,' that probably wouldn't fly too well. You're probably going to get fined. So you'd say it more like under your breath and hope they hear it but don't really quite hear it, if you know what I'm saying."
-- Heart-throb Andy Roddick on how to deal with chair umpires, speaking to Rolling Stone magazine.

"Besides my strokes improving, I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the game. The travel's not so tough any more, I'm learning my way around the circuit. I'm learning to cope and I'm having fun. That's the key -- the tennis is fun and I'm really enjoying it."
-- Mardy Fish, on the verge of breaking into the Top 20 for the first time.

"Traditional bookmakers are always shy against laying big bets on tennis because they realize there's people out there who know more about tennis than their odds compilers do."
-- An anonymous London bookmaker. Duh, how do you think Tennis-X pads its bank account?

"Top international tennis players are deliberately throwing matches for financial gain. It is believed that bets of up to £80,000 have been placed by players, through their coaches and other intermediaries, with Internet betting exchanges, resulting in massive pay-outs."
-- The U.K.'s Sport Telegraph.

"I just got my shit together, that's all. You get a little bit of confidence and figure out how to play on your bad days. There's going to be a bottom of the hill, but right now I think I'm still going up."
-- Dmitry Tursunov, this week competing at the Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger, on his breakthrough at the US Open.

"That's something that doesn't really matter to me. I'd rather be No. 2 in Chile and No. 1 in the world. I don't care about numbers right now."
-- Chile's Nicolas Massu, ranked No. 1 in his home country, demonstrating the impact that skipping college has on the math skills.

"I was thinking that maybe I would play Davis Cup, so I didn't enter any tournaments. I actually didn't touch a racquet for two weeks after the U.S. Open. I just did some fitness work. Sometimes taking a break like that is a good thing. I trained for two, three weeks really hard for this tournament and I was getting tired of practicing, so it's good to be back at a tournament. It makes me especially motivated."
-- Robby Ginepri in Lyon. You thought wrong.

"From now until the end of the year I would like to eke out one victory, that's my short term aim. I am sure I can be competitive in 2004. Tennis is like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it."
-- Marat Safin, 0-2 since his comeback from injury, setting high one-win goals for himself for the remainder of 2003.

"If the WTA Championships are to avoid a second straight attendance disaster at Staples Center in Los Angeles, it has to have at least one of the Williams sisters in the eight-women lineup."
-- Charlie Bricker in the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"I feel like there are thousands and thousands of children in the inner city of Las Vegas that benefit from the fact that I still am out here trying to be the best at tennis. They benefit through the money that we raise for the foundation, through the school that's been put up, through the Boys and Girls Club and the Assistance League. We clothe 3,000 children a year plus. What keeps me going is the fact that I love the sport. Tennis has been great to me. So I feel I like I've got to give everything I have to it so that I can live without regrets."
-- Andre Agassi on what keeps him going.

"Kim Clijsters has won the WTA's sportsmanship award for the past two years. When organizers and sponsors want someone to visit a hospital or sick children, she is automatic first choice. Last year, at Wimbledon, she spent four hours -- considerably more than necessary -- at Great Ormond Street (whereas with the Williams sisters, as one tour observer noted, you're lucky to get 15 minutes)."
-- Geraldine Bedell writing for The Guardian.

"I think that most players would say I'm a big bruiser, but really I like to think of myself as a mixture of both. When I'm returning, I like to think of myself as being a little more subtle, working the ball by chipping, coming in when I can."
-- Taylor Dent, who wants players to see his sensitive side.

"I have many back problems and a little bit on my shoulder, too...I think the Fed Cup is very late on the calendar. We talked a lot with my doctors and everybody. I need some rest before my preparation in Florida and my next goal, after the championships, is to be ready for 2004...and going to Moscow is not a good idea for myself. I think that people can understand it. It wasn't an easy decision to make -- I think that in the future we will have to change the date because it's not going to work any more like this."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne, who says she can't play the Fed Cup semis in Russia due to "medical reasons," but in the meantime has no problem playing tour events. For those who don't speak Belgian, "medical reasons" means "I'm boycotting Fed Cup because they let Russia host the semi instead of Belgium."

"I was too busy with my own problems. Roddick won something, I think. He was in the final against, what was that guy's name again?"
-- Quote machine Marat Safin joking about not paying attention to the results while he was injured.

"I could do what I wanted to do, I hung out with friends, and, living in Australia, you sit together, you drink a few beers and you smoke. I'm not saying smoking and drinking is a great thing to do but it's something you do when you are hanging out and relaxing and that's what I did -- it wasn't excessive but after doing it year-in, year-out, I put on weight. I hadn't been training at all and my metabolism changed completely."
-- Former No. 1 Thomas Muster on smoking and getting fat (putting on 53 pounds) after he retired.

"When I was 15 she told me that there was no way I could make it if I didn't work harder. She told me that my serve wasn't good enough and that because I was short...I would have to work three times as hard as everyone else. I quit for about three weeks after that but came back because she was such a huge presence who inspired me. When everyone else would run 20 laps, I'd run 50."
-- Zina Garrsion on the influence of Althea Gibson.

"Of course, I didn't play very well today. It was one of my worst matches in a while. Everything was going badly. It has not been a good season for me and this tournament was no exception."
-- Russian Mikhail Youzhny on the great time he's having in Moscow after bowing out in the opening round.

"The rise in Russian tennis is definitely because of (the end of the old regime). Because we can travel more, we can all play more tournaments. When it was the Soviet Union, only two players from the country could travel. But now anyone who has money can do that."
-- Russian 22-year-old Anastasia Myskina on her freedom to wear shorts skirts and make bank.

"There's nothing alluring, attractive or charismatic to describe the letdown of learning that last weekend's glorious (Davis Cup) Canadian win over Brazil leads only to a date with the Dutch in their country."
-- Tom Tebbutt for Canada's Globe and Mail.

"I think 10 days was too long for the players to be out in Morocco -- they (Henman and Rusedski) can get a bit irritated and unsettled if they are away together for so long...I'd be surprised if Roger (Taylor) gets the (captain's) job back."
-- John Lloyd on the Brit Davis Cup loss against Morocco.

"This really is a good day for tennis in Canada."
-- An unnamed official at Tennis Canada upon hearing that former Canadian Greg Rusedski blew the Davis Cup tie for Britain, one day after Canada qualified for the 2004 World Group.

"My father did not help me at start. I went to the [Nick] Bollettieri Academy and was half-player, half-teacher. In morning I could practise and in afternoon I would feed balls to players. I could practise for free all day and work at night there. I was 19 and I would look after the kids there, check their rooms, drive the bus at weekends or clean the gym. The breakthrough came when I got a wild card in 1988 and played Thomas Muster in Casablanca. He was 20 in the world rankings and I beat him. I started to play better, and won a satellite tournament in Morocco."
-- Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui on his rags-to-riches story.

"You want me to tell you why Justine is beating Kim regularly? Because her muscle mass has doubled and she now has an arm like Serena's. Technically, she was already superior. This strength is the big difference, not what's going on in her head or in Kim's head."
-- Leo Clijsters on why his daughter regularly gets pummeled by Justine Henin-Hardenne.

"When you start paying CEO's of nonprofits more than the president of the United States, you can't make it a virtue. Just like Enron and WorldCom, there is greed and corruption." -- Jon Van Til, a Rutgers professor who is a former president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations, speaking to the New York Times concerning the USTA. Salaries of some USTA employees, with bonuses, are in the seven-figure range according to the NYT.

"In Belgium, what we are trying to do is to start a fight between these two girls. I swear on the heads of my two sons that she has never taken doping products. In Belgium, we want absolutely to create a fight between the two girls. Justine is better than Kim and will win more often than her. In six months, Justine has become a different player, a lot stronger. I know that she works very hard but she is not the only one. All players, including Kim, work on their muscular force." -- Henin's coach Carlos Rodriguez quoted in the Belgian press as accusing Leo Clijsters of spreading rumors.

"(Justine) Henin is possessed with the idea of becoming the world's No. 1. To reach that objective she is prepared, in a ruthless way, to mentally and physically strike down everything that would hinder her."
-- The Dutch-language daily De Standaard in an editorial. Hey, calm down Netherlanders.

"Americans can put a man on the moon but they can't get more blow dryers on the Armstrong court?"
-- Dirk Hordorff, coach of Rainer Schuettler, as told to Charlie Bricker of the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"A very special thank you to Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. Gentlemen, we've been through a lot together. You have brought out the best in me. Of all the things I'll miss on tour it will be playing you in front of a packed house."
-- Michael Chang in his retirement speech at the US Open.

"He is Andy Roddick, we are in the States, and if somebody says something bad about him, then it's a big boom. I'm sorry if he's expecting everybody's going to like him. He thinks he's the best, the greatest, the most beautiful. But that's not the case...I mean, generally, I don't like him. I mean, not me, nobody in the locker room likes his acting on the court."
-- Ivan Ljubicic on his new best friend Andy Roddick.

"When I started off we had the average system of 12. It really encouraged you to only play 12 events. I think the top players really stuck to that, because sometimes it would really harm you to play more than that. You know, it was a lot more encouraging to players to play more when they changed the ranking system. But as it's done that, you've gotten girls that maybe in the early '90s played 12 tournaments. Now they play 24. It's just impossible on the body."
-- Lindsay Davenport on the rankings system.

"It was amazing to see somebody just with so much confidence. You know, he didn't have a serve that was like Roddick's or Rusedski's. Actually, Rusedski is a bad example. But like Andy's, just blows it by you. He could hit it if he wanted to, but he took a lot of pace off it and he placed it. There's nobody better, ever."
-- Mardy Fish on the Pete Sampras serve.

"I think Jeff Tarango wins that. When it comes just as straight amusing, I don't think it's changed much."
-- Andre Agassi answering the question as to who was more amusing in their junior years, Pete Sampras or Michael Chang.

"I never really wanted to go to school, you know. School is always gonna be there. I didn't want to be all -- 'cause, you know, agents and things like that, companies, they make players feel bad. When you get like 20 and, "Hey, I want a contract," they're like, "She's too old." They want a 14-year-old. That makes players feel really bad. That's one reason why I didn't consider school."
-- American Angela Haynes on the merit of not getting an education.

"For all the winning, you can count on one hand the number of stirring victories. Fighting back tears, he beat Jim Courier in the Australian Open just after his coach, Tim Gullikson, was diagnosed with cancer. Another time, weakened by repeated bouts with dehydration and vomiting, he held off dehydration and Alex Corretja in the U.S. Open. But that's been pretty much it. Champions on Sampras' scale shouldn't just dominate their sport, they have to grow it. They can't be content just to be caretakers, especially not when a waning sport needs competitors whose desire to entertain is eclipsed only by their desire to win."
-- Jim Litke writing for the Associated Press.

"Pete Sampras was enjoying the first-class accommodations of a cross-country flight a few years back when he noticed he was sitting behind Barry Bonds. Engaged in conversation with a fellow passenger, Bonds turned to look at Sampras, who expected a nod of recognition. It never came. 'If this kid moves,' Bonds said cheerily to his companion, 'you could sit over here.' That was just fine with Sampras, who got up, surrendered his seat, and sat quietly elsewhere for the rest of the flight. Wasn't it always that way with Sampras? Always about somebody else?"
-- Bruce Jenkins writing for the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I'm not a good actor or anything. I don't see myself doing anything in that direction. It creates more opportunities to expand yourself and your personality. You just have to be yourself. That's what Serena and Venus are doing."
-- Kim Clijsters, whose personality has expanded about as far as it's going to get.

"Really, we just hang out a lot. I think the best coaching is subtle. Like at dinner the night before I want to let him know what will happen and what to look for in his next match. Right now, we are big on subtle things. We'll make changes in the offseason." --
The non-stop-talking Brad Gilbert on his coaching technique, which must get annoying to be around after awhile (ask Steffi Graf), speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Obviously I would've liked to have been seeded going into the US Open but the rankings don't lie and over the past 12 months or so I haven't played well enough to keep my ranking as high as I would've liked. But I feel I've played pretty well over the past few weeks and if I execute my game plan well enough I feel I can beat anybody in the draw, seeded or not."
-- Tim Henman on the US Open.

"After the Wimbledon victory and a well-played Montreal tournament, I am extremely motivated. I got to New York early, just like in Wimbledon, and I will do everything to be optimally prepared. My main goal is to play well at the US Open, and if the No. 1 comes with the result, great."
-- Roger Federer on his US Open prep.

"Michael Chang will play his final tour match or matches at the U.S. Open, and he will be on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, where, following his inevitable defeat, he will receive the sort of warm, nostalgic and extended goodbye he deserves. He has not been the greatest ambassador for American tennis and only an infrequent Davis Cup player. But you cannot underestimate the contribution he has made to tennis over the past 15 years."
-- Tennis writer Charlie Bricker of the Florida Sun-Sentinel on Michael Chang.

"I'm not sure exactly what his points are, but without even knowing what his points are, I'd say he has some good points."
-- John McEnroe on Wayne Ferreira organizing against the ATP.

"Mardy Fish's serve-and-volley this week has been as good as anyone's since Stefan Edberg."
-- ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale giving high praise to Mardy Fish during the TMS-Cincy final against Andy Roddick.

"It is a powerful serve, but I've played guys that have better serves. There are guys that disguise it much better than he does. I was not really impressed that much."
-- Max "The Beast" Mirnyi laying down some truth about the A-Rod serve. Hey Beast, check the scoreboard.

"People ask me, 'What's happening to Lleyton, what's happening to Lleyton?' but what a lot of them don't realise is that one or two points can be the difference in any match. When you're not quite where you want to be, it just doesn't seem to happen...we're not used to it from Lleyton, but he's a champion and he'll come good."
-- Aussie Davis Cup coach and former player Wally Masur on Lleyton Hewitt, as told to AAP.

"I was happy to get to (No.) 4 because Brad, that was what he had on me -- 'Yeah, yeah, I was 4 in the world, you're only 5.' So he's lost that line this week."
-- Andy Roddick after moving up to the No. 4 ranking, tying coach Brad Gilbert's career best.

"Grand Slams are different. If you can get through a few matches, the draw opens up and you get confident. You just need a little bit of luck early, you get through those opening matches and you never know what could happen."
-- Lleyton Hewitt on how his game is going to magically turn around (see: Pete Sampras) at the US Open.

"I mean, that was a big reason, kind of what he did with Andre. You know, Andre was kind of in the same position I'm in right now when he and Brad got together. You know, granted, he had already won his first Slam, but he was kind of struggling. People were saying, 'Well, what's he going to do? Is he just going to go by the wayside, or is he going to step it up and become a great player?' Anything that I'm going to encounter in the next six, seven, eight years, Brad's already seen before and it's not going to be any new surprise for him."
-- Andy Roddick, likening himself to Andre Agassi and talking long-tern about coach Brad Gilbert.

"To my mind, though, it's the (WTA) tour's responsibility to compel its prize talents ó- through incentives or penalties or whatever -ó to show up. Note that the men's tour doesn't have an attendance problem. Perhaps the WTA Tour could take a lesson."
-- Toronto Star sports writer Dave Feschuk, who in the same breath criticizes the WTA Tour for ranking Kim Clijsters No. 1, noting she has played 23 tournaments in 2003 to Serena Williams' 12, then says the WTA needs to encourage their top players to play more. Go back to covering that sport with brooms on ice.

"It's a long season and, with the grind of the tour, there's not much time to take a break, let alone recover. I don't feel like I can sit back and not try to play. Plus, the game is so much more powerful now and maybe some of the girls are over-training trying to get stronger."
-- Jennifer Capriati on the rash of WTA injuries.

"At this point, the US Open is in danger of waiting to see which Belgian will win the title."
-- Shaky ESPN commentator and former player Pam Shriver.

"If you look at the number of tournaments people play now and average it out against the number of tournaments the top 10 played 10 years ago, they probably play five more tournaments a year now. That's a lot of matches and time you're not taking care of your body or recovering from injuries. Serena and Venus have pulled out of more tournaments in one year than I did in my whole career."
-- Martina Navratilova on the number of injuries on the WTA Tour.

"There were a lot of quotes from ATP representatives that were just lies, basically. That was the biggest problem I had about the whole thing: People who had absolutely nothing to do with it and had no idea about the situation and in the end were just pretty much lying."
-- Lleyton Hewitt talking to the Cincinnati Enquirer about those lying ATP employees.

ďItís a feeling I canít describe. Out there on court, I got butterflies in my stomach. It hasnít really sunk in yet. This is a very special day I'll never forget. No matter what will happen the rest of my career, no one will ever take that away from me. It's something that I will always have on my resume, so I'll definitely celebrate a little.Ē
-- Kim Clijsters on being the new No. 1.

"He's got to jump out of an airplane with me...I've been four times, but he's got to go with me. He's scared to look off the second floor balcony downstairs. So it should be fun. He might mess his pants or something. This is going to be good stuff...I don't know [when it will happen]. Call 1-800-sky-dive tomorrow and see if they have a place close to Cincy, who knows?"
-- Andy Roddick on winning his bet with coach Brad Gilbert after winning the TMS-Canada.

"He's been great. We've been getting along really well. He's always super positive about things. He does his homework. He loves watching matches, scouting opponents. We're just getting along well. We're very relaxed together all the time. It's not too intense, which is a change of pace and it seems to be working so far. A lot of it is just strategy going into matches and maybe helping me with how to think in certain situations, you know, on court not trying to blast my way out of every situation, showing me that there's a different way to win or lose a match."
-- Andy Roddick praising coach Brad Gilbert and throwing some subtle shots at former coach Tarik Benhabiles.

"To have a player field for a Tier One tournament with $1.3 million (U.S.) invested ó to have 11 of 20 (top seeds show up) ó is unacceptable...If the guys don't show up, they get zero points. The ranking really drives the players. It drives their entire career. It affects their endorsement agreements and it affects their seeding going into the Grand Slams...On the WTA Tour, players don't have to use this tournament in their average. So if they miss Toronto, it's almost, `So what?'"
-- A frustrated Stacy Allaster, tournament directer for the women's Toronto event, talking to the Toronto Star about all the player withdrawals.

"I think we're both starting to hit our stride a little bit -- him more so. He's obviously won his first Slam. But he's gone 'win, win, final' and now he's in the semis again and I've gone 'win, semi, win,' and I'm in the semis again. I think over the past couple of months we're a couple of the top players."
-- Andy Roddick trying to do the math in his budding rivalry with Roger Federer, with the players winning a combined five titles in the last three months.

"I asked them if he had ever played tennis, and they looked at me like I was making a joke. It is important for these children to know that there are options for them to get out of the house and do things. It makes me very happy to see many of these kids make improvements and gain confidence."
-- Ivan Lendl, who hosts a week-long tennis camp for wheelchair kids each year.

"Sometimes she was like limping after points she lost and the next point she was running all the balls down...Those were like little signs where I thought maybe she was faking it a little bit."
-- Sore loser Kim Clijsters, telling the LA Times of Henin's poor sportsmanship in the San Diego final

"I've never been able to grow a beard, so I just thought I'd see how long it takes me. It's been a long time, about a month, and itís still not quite there.Ē
-- Wayne Ferreira on his struggle to grow facial hair.

"When people say that I am the best player on clay right now and compare me to Ferrero and other great players on this surface, it really motivates me and encourages me to play even better."
-- Guillermo Coria on kicking ass on dirt.

"He's a great player. I know so many of these young guys coming up, and he's got such a strong game. It was never going to be easy. I think today'sconditions were probably the toughest we've had to play in. As I shook his hand, he said 'See you on Tuesday,' because we play first round in Montreal. So he has his chance for revenge."
-- Our Tim Henman on Fernando Gonzalez, who he'll meet Tuesday in Montreal.

"I think all these players don't like it I'm not so strong and tall and am not the same looking players as them. They don't like to see me running all over the court and having power, too. Mentally, it's hard for them to compete against me."
-- Justine Henin-Hardenne after beating Kim Clijsters for the San Diego title.

"That's definitely my most improved shot from last year. I hit a backhand lob winner in the first game, and a backhand passing shot to break. And another one in the tiebreak. I couldn't hit a backhand into the ocean last year."
-- Andy Roddick on his improved weakness.

"It's all open, I don't know. It depends on the doctor. I have to find a solution. Anyway it's the end of the season, so I need to find out and be prepared for the next season."
-- Marat Safin already talking season over.

"You're on live TV, you know. You look like a real moron right now."
-- The lovable Andy Roddick yelling at a chair umpire at Indianapolis.

"We are disappointed that Washington is going up against L.A. The Mercedes is one of our favorite tournaments because we love seeing everyone locally that only get to see us play like once or twice a year. But SFX does a great job with us, so we kind of have to do it. There was nothing we could do about it."
-- Bob Bryan, managed by SFX, on why he and brother Bob have to play doubles at the SFX-managed Washington stop on the ATP Tour this week, rather than playing at L.A. But it turned out OK, if you notice they both received singles wildcards. Nice system.

"This week I'm away from my family and I'm not away from my family to be unmotivated. I'm here to get better, to take my chance at winning and prepare myself for the Open."
-- Five-time Washington champion Andre Agassi this week in D.C.

"Other sports ruthlessly enforce their anti-doping policies, but men's tennis is clearly running scared over the ramifications of seven players being banned. But we should demand the truth and if the trainers are at fault, they should go. As yet, nobody has been able to give a satisfactory answer to the question: "Who is to blame?" If the ATP wants to resurrect any of sort of credibility, someone should stand up and take the ultimate responsibility."
-- Jonathan Overend, writing for BBC sports, on the ATP trainers unknowingly handing out banned substances to players.

"Despite being knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon, he is already a lot higher in the rankings than Tim Henman was at his age."
-- David Felgate on 19-year-old Brit Alex Bogdanovic.

"I have an easy schedule this year. I haven't been playing as much as I used. I decided to come over to the U.S. for four weeks starting here up to Cincinnati. I didn't want to kill myself again, the way I have the last 11 or 12 years...I've been fortunate enough to accomplish all those goals I had in my career. I re-thought what I wanted to do and I didn't have too many thoughts on what I wanted to do in 2003. I haven't had too many plans."
-- Yevgeny Kafelnikov in Indianapolis revealing why he cut his schedule from playing 42 weeks to 40 weeks.

"The support for (Raemon) Sluiter today was very good. They were extremely encouraging all the way through the match, urging him to do well. In Chile the crowds are different. People really get into it and go crazy if you lose."
-- Chilean Nicolas Massu after beating Dutchman Raemon Sluiter in the Amersfoort (Netherlands) final.

"Not being at the Open this year, which Iím going to pull out of, and not playing Wimbledon -- I donít miss it enough to really start training, start practicing, doing everything I have to do to be where I want to be. So it tells me itís a sign to say, ĎItís probably time.í"
-- Pete Sampras speaking to NBC-TV in Lake Tahoe.

"I recently got into a competition with Pete Sampras to see who could throw a 16-pound medicine ball farther. He said he could beat me anytime on the tennis court in anything, so I brought a medicine ball instead of a tennis racquet. I said, `Let's see how far you can throw this ball across the net.' You stand at one line and you try to throw it backward over your head and over the net. And I won. I got it about 6 feet past the net and he got it about 4 feet. Considering I am the world's worst athlete and he is the best, I took that as being a great thing. I could be his father. It's equivalent to me being beaten by an 85-year-old guy."
-- Sly Stallone explaining to the Toronto Star that he too has a win over Pete Sampras.

"Oops, my battery, my phone battery just died. Hold on one second. [Switching to speakerphone] Hello? Can you hear me?"
-- Serena Williams, when asked in a conference call Friday about real estate in Northern California. Damnit, Serena. Don't you know not to use a cell phone during a conference call? That's PR 101.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you could use your powers to rid the world of crime?"
-- Late Night U.S. talk show host Conan O'Brien on possible uses for Andy Roddick's 149-mph serve.

"SI.com: Rather than two Williamses, we now have two Belgians in the final. Did anything you saw Thursday change your pre-tournament prediction that Clijsters will win?"
-- SI.com's Jon Wertheim, Q&A-ing himself with an added ego massage on the Sports Illustrated tennis website.

"I've never played on grass. It's either going to be a big problem or I'll just hit serves. Maybe I lose in first round and don't hit a ball -- or maybe I'll do well."
-- Roland Garros finalist Martin Verkerk.

"This deserves a medal. This performance makes us think back to the glory days of Eddy Merckx (famous Belgian cyclist)."
-- International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, himself a Belgian, speaking to the Dutch-language paper De Morgen about the Clijsters vs. Henin-Hardenne final. Eddy Merckx, that's exactly what we were thinking!

"I'm hyper-happy. I jumped in the air. The Williamses are monsters. They play very well."
-- 30-year-old quality control officer Frederic Bource, having a drink to celebrate the Henin-Hardenne victory on the terrace of a Brussels bar, as told to a Reuters reporter.

"From the beginning, I really felt the French Open would be different from the other majors. First of all, because it's played on clay."
-- The insight of ESPN commentator Pam Shriver, writing for ESPN.com. We don't make this stuff up. We don't have to.

"I thought the crowd at times showed poor taste toward Serena. There were a couple of occasions when the linesperson didn't call the ball out and Serena stopped in the middle of a point to circle the mark and the chair umpire confirmed that the ball was out. Serena was completely in the right, but the crowd reacted negatively toward her. After that, they proceeded to cheer when Serena would miss the first serve, which is completely inappropriate."
-- ESPN commentator MaliVai Washington on the Serena vs. H-H match.

"You know, I know that in a lot of Grand Slams I think, you know, women's tennis, you know, I mean if you watch -- you know, I'm in the committee of the WTA and, you know, we get a lot of the results back from the Grand Slams and stuff. And, you know, women's tennis, at the moment, I think is a little bit more popular I think, if you compare them to, you know, whatever, TV ratings and stuff like that."
-- Kim Clijsters on the state of women's tennis, and, you know, stuff.

"I believe only a new white piece of paper will do the job, on which nobody challenges the greatness and value of the grand slams and we start from there. After that, shouldn't there be a certain number of small, medium and large mens, womens or mixed tournaments which not only support the slams, but participate in raising the prominence of tennis? I hope the chairmen agree that it is better to be the kings of a strong nation than the kings of a bad one. The time has come for an intelligent person to see that the sport has to change and makes these proposals to the tennis gods. We are talking about the speed of the game, the length of the game, the surfaces on which the game is played, everything that makes tennis great. This is no time to have split circuits that would ruin the sport. I was involved in 1973 (when the ATP players boycotted Wimbledon) and I don't want another '73. I don't want the players coming to me saying they want more money because I don't have it any more. Tennis is not as rich as it was six years ago. The players want 30 per cent (of the profits) of the grand slam prize money - why not start their negotiation with (an increase of) 3 and go from there?"
-- Ion Tiriac speaking to the UK's Times Online.

"I used to see him play when I was a kid, with his long hair. I used to like his attitude on court. I used to like his appearance, the way he used to dress; he was different. So from childhood, I only used to watch his matches. I have a lot of respect for him. It was very difficult to play him because of that. But now, I have better confidence, more maturity, and I will continue to respect him tomorrow. I'll arrive on court as I always do, but I'll still try to win."
-- Argentina's Guillermo Coria, getting over his idolization of Andre Agassi after getting his ass handed to him a couple times on hardcourt.

"The more kilos you have to move around, the more it weighs on your knees. Then of course in terms of stamina, the way you move around, it's a little extra. It might not be much, but when you exercise with two, three extra kilos, you can feel a difference; it's important."
-- Amelie Mauresmo on how tough it is to move around if you're fat.

"If you are not physically strong, it's difficult. But at the same time, I think you need something more than that; you need to vary your shots, as Justine has been able to do in Amelia or Charleston, where she beat her -- I can't remember where it was on clay. So you need this kind of thing. But of course if you're not fit, you'll never make it through."
-- Amelie Mauresmo on what you need to beat Serena.

"Well, he's No. 1 of the world. I think he can play well and beat any other player in any surface. But at the same way Sampras, the best player ever, never won here. So maybe in 15 years you'll be sure if he will win or not, but I cannot tell you (smiling). For sure, he will try as me. I try to win other tournaments, other surface, but sometimes we cannot be -- we cannot get everything that we want."
-- Gustavo Kuerten, laying down the truth about Lleyton Hewitt and the French Open.

"No. At the States we get no matches that are played in Europe on TV."
-- Lindsay Davenport, summing up the state of tennis fandom in the United States.

"My prayer is that I never get to a point in life where I think hundreds of thousands of dollars isn't a lot of money." -- Andre Agassi, upon hearing Serena Williams joke that the Australian Open doesn't offer enough prize money to the winner compared to the other slams.

"As far as I'm concerned, against anybody that speaks Spanish, it's a good win out there. Brazilian, Spanish, Portuguese, all of it. Those are all good wins. So today felt really good for me." -- Andre Agassi after beating Brazilian Flavio "Of Last Week" Saretta.

"I don't notice the heaviness of the ball. I don't notice if the court is slower. Maybe I should. I don't think I'm hitting through any different at all, no. I can't say that I am." -- Serena "Just Grip It and Rip It" Williams at Roland Garros.

"On clay, it's just so bad. You know, I see people get my balls back that I know on a hardcourt would probably not come back. They slide 10 feet, they get them back, we start the point again. Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to be able to do that." -- Lindsey Davenport at Roland Garros.

"Two matches on clay, I got about zero rhythm, which is pretty frustrating. Playing two huge servers. You know, one's a serve and volleyer, the other one just goes for winners as early as he can. So that took me out of my game and so when it got down to crunch time, I didn't have the same confidence in my shots like I usually do." -- James Blake after losing to Ivan Ljubicic.

"Given the situation with us living so far apart we both feel it's more beneficial to work on my game for 10 days or two weeks at a time rather than having Larry with me at tournaments. That's where it has the biggest impact. Once we're away at tournaments there isn't much for him to do." -- Tim Henman on travelling less with coach Larry Stefanki.

"It's not against him, and he understood that. David is a good friend of mine...he just told me, 'Come on, don't ask the chair umpire to give a warning. I'm your friend.'" -- French qualifier Nicolas Coutelot after beating the racquet-smashing David Nalbandian. Hey man, no friends on the red dirt.

"Now I'm sitting here and I'm 29 and now I understand what that meant to win that grand slam (Roland Garros) at that time. You know I won basically the hardest grand slam of all. Simple as that." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov after running out of gas in his fifth-set loss to Flavio "Of the Week" Saretta at Roland Garros.

"People think we all drive Porsches. If you want, I'll take you to the car park so you can see my car. You can put a picture of it in the newspaper and people will see what sort of cars we drive." -- French qualifier Nicolas Coutelot after his victory over Italian Davide Sanguinetti. Don't worry Nicolas, we already know that French qualifiers drive those Euro boxy crap cars.

"Every time I lose, it's a coaching change. I love it. You guys just won't quit. No, I mean, my coach didn't lose the match. You know, he's smart. I'm the one losing the matches. He's not losing them. You know, when we're doing well, we're the perfect fit and we've been together for four years. When I lose a match, it's time for a coaching change. I think, you know, the results lie in my hands. He's a smart guy. He's been around the block many times. But there's not much you can do from the stands when your player's playing like crap." -- Andy Roddick getting agitated with the press at the suggestion of a coaching change after his opening-round loss at Roland Garros.

"It's difficult to know the strong points and weak points of your opponent. I always try to play my game and think about what I need to do to play." -- Mary Pierce in Paris when asked how she prepares for a match. Ever hear of "strategy"? Man, does she need a coach.

"You know, it's never been my belief that the clay in Hamburg and the conditions in Hamburg lends itself to the same sort of tennis here (in Paris)." -- Andre Agassi on why he enjoys skipping the Tennis Masters Series Hamburg each year.

"In 16 years I have only cried twice and it's been on this court." -- Michael Chang after losing to Fabrice Santoro in his final Roland Garros appearance.

"I don't really think I hit that many good shots. Might have been a couple, but I don't remember them." -- Mary Pierce said after losing to 2002 semifinalist Clarisa Fernandez in the opening round.

"The day I stop feeling the pressure and I'm just enjoying myself and taking it easy is when I'm 35, asking for a wild card and playing mixed doubles with Arnaud Clement." -- Amelie Mauresmo on the pressure to win in her home country.

"If I compare it to babies, they've learnt how to make all the sounds but they haven't learnt how to construct sentences and speak with articulation. They understand how to hit all the shots and understand probably what they need to do in their physical training but they don't know how to put these elements together yet." -- Todd Martin on James Blake and the next generation of U.S. players.

"My fitness is unbelievable right now. I don't get tired. I've been working ever since right after Charleston. Even before that, I decided to really work on my fitness." -- Serena Williams in Paris.

"He's fresh and he's ready and he's healthy. He's done a lot of training. Physically, this is a brutal tournament to play." -- Coach Darren Cahill on his protege Andre Agassi, who played one match in the month leading to Roland Garros.

"Nothing will happen. It sounds incredible but it's true. But you know I don't care about my own birthday so the 20th anniversary of my victory, I couldn't care less. I won Roland Garros in 1983. Most people my age know it. But the kids don't care. Nothing was done for my 10 years (anniversary) so I can't see why they should do anything about my 20 years." -- Yannick Noah on celebrating the 20th anniversary of his French Open win.

"Every time you play him fast,inside the court, he has a lot of trouble to bring back the ball. But, when he's in a rhythm, he gets confident and starts playing pretty good. Also, I'm a leftie and he doesn't like that very much. Nobody really likes to play him because he's really solid from the baseline and he's really fast. I like to play him, because I get into the court and start to hit the balls. He doesn't cause me a lot of trouble." -- Marcelo Rios with the book on beating Gaston Gaudio.

"I don't know the answer to the question, really. I hate to say that I faced any career dilemmas, but this is a bit of an issue. There are plenty of things that make me want to stop, and there are plenty of things that make me want to keep playing. I love what I do, but I love when I'm not doing it too. So, I keep playing and I make sure that I keep playing until in my heart I feel reasons to stop." -- Todd Martin, mulling over retirement.

"Didn't expect anything coming into this tournament. I had some disappointing first round losses in March at Indian Wells and Miami, so I just came here to get some match practice for the grass court season. Any win that I get is a bonus. My condition is great and I'm feeling good...On clay, I think it favors the young players and the fresh players. But on grass, I think that I have advantages over the young guys. Last year, I had barely played and I reached the quarterfinals so I'm looking ahead to the grasscourt season...I am going to play full-time until the US Open and then after that I will play less tournaments, probably only a few, but it's definitely full-time until then." -- Richard Krajicek in St. Polten.

"It's not easy to play your best for 40 weeks. It happens every year, I don't play well in Rome or Hamburg -- I don't know why -- but then I play well after that." -- Carlos Moya gearing up for Roland Garros.

"I think I've had small indications in the past that I can go into the second week of the major tournaments. I don't want to disillusion myself but I think it's something I can do again." -- Vince Spadea gearing up for a Roland Garros run.

"Maybe I have to work a bit harder on clay. It's a challenge and I've always liked challenges. Whether I will ever win the French and master playing on clay, who knows? But I'll give it a shot." -- Lleyton Hewitt, not overconfident about beating the Spanish Armada to the French title.

"It is very disappointing to have come here with such a strong team and now not to be able to compete in the final. Carlos (Moya) had three match points against Novak yesterday and that would have changed everything." -- Alex Corretja in finger-pointing mode after Spain was eliminated from making the ATP World Team Championship finals. Hey Alex, don't forget, you've been playing like crap.

"The last CD I bought was the 'Chicago' soundtrack, but I also download a lot of music. My music tastes are pretty varied, anything from Madonna to the Foo Fighters and the Dixie Chicks." -- Laura Granville, soon to be banned from the WTA Tour for listening to the Dixie Chicks.

"I think we've seen the last of (Pete Sampras) in an ATP event. I don't think he's going to come back just to say goodbye. He's not the kind who needs to have his ego stroked, and from what I've heard he really enjoys being a father and being at home. It's great to see that someone who was so focused on his tennis can be so committed to being a family man. He may decide to come back for the American hardcourt season, maybe play Long Island and then the (U.S.) Open, but at the moment it's a storybook ending." -- James Blake.

"He is still uncertain sometimes about coming back, but not playing at Wimbledon says a lot. He won't play any more this year, and I'd put it at about 95% that he will not play again, period." -- Paul Annacone, coach of Pete Sampras, getting ready to send out some resumes.

"There might be a possibility I could play next year, I donít know that yet. Iím going to miss Wimbledon, but Iíll find out what it feels like not to play. Then Iíll be much clearer if I want to continue or not. Right now, mentally and physically, Iím nowhere near close enough to where I need to be to compete for the majors. You canít do it halfway...I play to win. I play to achieve goals. I won't do a farewell tour. I won't be part of that. When I step out there, I'm not there to say goodbye. I'm there to win." -- Pete Sampras on his "semi-retirement."

"Monday's action features 11 singles matches around the grounds of the N÷ Landessportschule and several intriguing match-ups on Center Court. Austrian hopeful Jurgen Melzer opens up play against 343rd-ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber." -- From an ATP press release from St. Polten. Intriguing match-ups? Where?

"Since the [shoulder] injury it's been really tough to come back, I haven't played like I've wanted since coming back. It's been tough...but the shoulder has been completely pain-free. I've got a protected ranking for another six tournaments. I am going to play Challengers and train, train, train and then think about the future and what's best." -- The update for all you Markus Hipfl fans out there.

"Last year I learned a lot from Pete Sampras here in DŁsseldorf mentally. We practiced together and he taught me how to quickly put a loss behind me and to go positively into the next match." -- James Blake after losing a tight one to Carlos Moya at the ATP World Team Championship.

"What I remember right now is the work I did, especially in December, when I was almost crying with (trainer) Pat Etcheberry in Florida. He said to me, 'Remember these moments when you will hold a trophy.' He was right. I want to thank him also for all the work I did." -- Justine Henin-Hardenne after winning the Roland Garros title.

"If you had said one year ago to me 'You gonna play Carlos Moya at Roland Garros quarterfinal and beat him,' I was gonna say 'Okay let's take a lot of beers and then I'll probably believe you.'" -- Martin Verkerk in Roland Garros.

"I know what it takes to be competitive...and I'm just not there right now." -- Pete Sampras on hanging it all up. Time to join Tommy Muster on the senior circuit.

"He really played great. But I don't think I did much to try and stop him. It's one of these days and I can honestly say I have no idea what happened out there. I just want to try and forget today as quick as possible." -- Mark Phillipoussis after getting housed by Guillermo Coria in Hamburg.

"Mark was a visionary and a true pioneer in the development of professional tennis. No one in our industry could match his drive and effectiveness. He and the company that he founded played an important role in the birth of the ATP, and continue as significant stakeholders. Pro tennis will forever remember him as a hard-nosed competitor who loved his sports." -- ATP CEO Mark Miles on the passing of IMG's Mark McCormack.

"For me, I'm the type of guy, no matter who I play I'm not going to get intimidated. I've got some big weapons and as long as I go out there and use them, attack and come in, make them pass me, I'm a big guy and if they can do that, then too good." -- Mark Philippoussis, who is one of the big guys in Hamburg.

"Florida is going to be a big part of what we do. We'll have four sort of hubs: California, Florida, Atlanta and Texas." -- Tennis Channel CEO Steve Bellamy.

"The truth is I feel bad for him. I played very well tonight but he was very nervous and was not at his best. I could see that and I felt so bad at one stage that I did not think I could continue. I did not celebrate after the win as I normally do. He's the best player that I have ever beaten but I wish I had beaten a player of his level but not Moya...My tactic was to be aggressive and hit angled shots not to have him dominate the exchanges with his forehand." -- 16-year-old Rafael Nadal after beating Carlos Moya in Hamburg.

"I can wake up three days from now and it can be nothing. It very much comes and goes. I will try to do everything possible at least to try to play the French. If it can get better, I'll take a little bit more time off. If it's not, then I have to make a decision to stop." -- Monica Seles on her ongoing foot problems that forced her to pull out in Rome.

"I definitely think the European weather has more of a factor than the European clay. I think the European weather changes from week to week, I mean, last year it was sunny and hot and this week it's kind of playing tricks on us a little bit. I definitely think that is a factor." -- Andy Roddick explaining why he has stunk up the Euro clay circuit this year: going to the bad weather card.

"I don't really see the pressure that I am the only German hope. There are some more Germans in the draw, four or five and everybody in the main draw can make it far. It is very close between the players who are in the main draw so that anybody can beat anybody. Thus, I don't see myself as the hope." -- Rainer Schuettler, trying to talk himself out of the pressure of being the top uninjured German. Don't worry, German fans don't see you as the hope either.

"It's been stop-start, stop-start, and mentally that's the most difficult thing. When my knee suddenly went, that was probably the worse moment because I was at the stage of playing practice sets against good players and I was winning them." -- Greg Rusedski, who hasn't played since last year's US Open, playing at the Zagreb Challenger this week (before pulling with a stiff neck).

"The artistry has been gutted out of the game by a racket technology that has led to a slug-fest, and attempts to slow play down by tinkering with balls and surfaces have merely laid the dead hand of sameness on concrete, carpet, clay and -- last year -- grass. A baseline final at Wimbledon? It was virtually unheard of until Argentina's Nalbandian and Australia's Lleyton Hewitt locked ground strokes, and mightily, mightily boring it was too. Radical measures are needed. A strong caucus favours cutting down the size of racket heads, thereby reducing the sweet spot, and returning the skill factor." -- Stephen Bierley writing for The Guardian.

"Clay is the ideal surface to build up your game and I am still at about 50 percent of my confidence since the operation." -- Tim Henman after beating claycourt whipping boy Jan-Michael Gambill in Hamburg.

"It's tough for me. I didn't grow up on clay, but I still try to enjoy it. Last year I didn't win a match on clay until the French Open." -- Paradorn Srichaphan, taking the claycourt season as an eight-week vacation.

"What's happening is great for such a little country. We get a lot of attention. I remember after the (2001) French Open, I saw kids in the street playing tennis. I'd never seen that in Belgium before." -- Justine Henin-Hardenne after the Berlin win.

"I couldn't speak. The third (thank you) was to my other coach, that he was with me almost 11 years. His name is Jordi Vilaro. He was with me during my career. At one stage I said, 'I must change something because, you know, we know each other a lot.' I said, 'I need another motivation.' It was really hard to stop with him because he's my second father for me because he shows the way to me to humility and to humble, to be humble, and just to have respect for everybody. And that is very important for me just to remember the people who was with you always, no?" -- Felix Mantilla on breaking down in tears during his acceptance speech after the win at Rome.

"If it is my fate to leave tennis this year, then Wimbledon will be my last tournament." -- The injury-plagued Goran Ivanisevic.

"I'd accomplished everything I had set out to do -- winning the French and Australian Opens, the Olympic gold medal and the Davis Cup. So I said to myself: 'Why don't you try another year and see if you can enjoy your tennis like you did once?' And I've been doing it." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who regrettably did not keep his word and retire after Russia won the Davis Cup. Doesn't a Russian's word mean anything anymore?

"I think, first of all, that I am hungry again, you know. The last two years my mentality was not as good as now. And for me, when you play like me that you must be running all the day, I don't have the serve of Sampras or the volley of Rafter or the talent of Agassi, you know. I must be very focus every point. I must be strong mentally. I did a very good preparation in the last couple of months, and that's the key. If I am strong physically, I am strong mentally. And when I am like that, I'm dangerous." -- Former Top 10er Felix Mantilla in Rome.

"I was feeling very terrible physically throughout the middle of last season. I had no energy, the leg was bothering me. I got out of shape completely. There was never a question that I could play on the high level again, it's whether I wanted to or not." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov on injuries, fitness, and tanking.

"I never want to see (Jelena) again. She left us. We don't need her. My wife speaks to her often, but I don't want to. I am angry at her. She did things that she was not supposed to. We brought her back here and did everything for her until she was 19. Then she chose that idiot (Bernoldi). Everybody says he's a formula one driver, but he is no one, nothing. (Jelena) supports him." -- Damir Dokic speaking to Australia's The Age.

"I am very disappointed that Agassi is not coming, although he had given us a written pledge. I can't understand that and neither can the fans. We will say what we think about this at the end of the tournament." -- ATP Hamburg Tournament Director Walter Knapper on Andre Agassi pulling from the event on Friday without reason. Least he could have done was shown up and tanked first round like in Rome, eh?

"On the court I feel okay, but now when I stop playing I feel very tired, and I think I'll go straight to bed again. So, hopefully, tomorrow I feel better. But on the court it's okay. I feel weak, but what can I do? The only chance is that I keep fighting...so far it works. It looks like a flu...I hope it's not SARS." -- German Rainer Schuettler in Rome.

"If I will be Top 8 and have the chance to play the Tennis Masters Cup in November, it's for me a dream. I'm going to try everything to reach this goal." -- Rainer Schuettler, who has Houston officials trembling at the thought of promoting him for the year-end ATP Masters Cup.

"All the guys were talking about it, not the girls. As for me, my entire college life depends on exams I have to take the next two days. But I couldn't pass up the chance to see Anna." -- 17-year-old Robert Nicholson talking to the Savannah Morning News about watching Anna Kournikova at the $25,000 USTA Circuit event in Sea Island, Georgia.

"I've never played on grass before in my life. I'm playing Rosmalen and Wimbledon for the first time. I'm looking forward to it, but I always thought it would be tough for me to play on grass because I'm pretty big to get to low shots, and my knees were not always as strong as they are now." -- Dutchman Martin Verkerk.

"I'm scared." -- Anna Kournikova, responding to an umpire that threatened her with a delay of game for excessively arguing line calls at the Sea Island, Georgia, USTA Circuit event.

"I'm definitely more mature. I explained this to a few people already that I feel much better out on the court now. I feel like I found myself, my inner self, really." -- The inner game of Roger Federer.

"He always is aggressive. He fights for every ball. I like that. You know, he always wants to win. He wants to serve big. He wants to impress the player, so that I know that he's Roddick and he serves well and he has a power game...You know that you play Roddick because he's tough on the court, he's a big guy. But I try to stay strong, also. Of course I am impressed by his game and impressed by what he has achieved, but today I was fighting against him like man to man, and I won." -- Qualifier Martin Verkerk after beating Andy Roddick in Rome.

"I think mentally and physically, I can change a match now. Before, it was more just because maybe little lucky, you know. But now I feel like I can really do it and turn around matches by hanging in there. This is also why I turned around this match today and I turned around the finals last week, you know, two days ago, three days ago." -- The increasingly-confident Roger Federer after his opening round win in Rome, reflecting on his Munich title last week.

"They're disturbed by our being there. They've tried everything they could to tame us, to recuperate us and when they couldn't, they said I was a mad man...If I was in (Serena and Venus') place, I would take a break for one or two years. I would do some sailing, some ice skating, and I would come back unranked, just so I could become No. 1 within five or six months." -- Richard "It's a Black Thing" Williams.

"If I could win one or two of these tough matches I will regain my confidence and find my game again. Physically I feel ready to play more games, but I don't have a good rhythm and that is a problem." -- Gustavo Kuerten, who lost in the opening round this week in Rome.

"Itís a new experience for me not to play tennis for four months as Iíve never had that in my life before. Iíve had chances to do things Iíve never done. Iíve been to Stars on Ice, a concert with the Scorpions, to a NASCAR race and I was invited to a cigar evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger." -- The injured Tommy Haas, who debuted his new website at www.tommyhaas.com. What the hell is a "cigar evening"?

"I kept thinking: 'I'm playing against Andre Agassi on center court,' but then I just told myself to stay calm, relax and enjoy it and I started playing a lot better. Since I was 12, Agassi has been my idol and I never thought I'd play on the same court as him. When I saw the draw, it was like a dream. Today I played the game of my life." -- Spaniard David Ferrer, beating Andre Agassi after losing the first set 6-0; then The Boss' pager went off with a call from Steffi in Rome saying "get the hell home, Jaden Gil need changing."

"While our singles players will see this as a healthy prize money increase given today's economy, they are much more concerned about the Grand Slams making an equitable overall contribution to men's and women's professional tennis. This includes contributing to pension plans, health and insurance benefits and the long-term growth of the professional game on a global basis. When the Grand Slams provide their fair share to professional tennis internationally, equal prize money will not be an issue." -- ATP CEO Mark Miles on the Wimbledon 2003 prize money increase. I'm not sure a lot of ATP players are "much more concerned about the Grand Slams making an equitable overall contribution to women's professional tennis" there Mark, that's a stretch.

"I can walk around fine, but I don't have a desk job." -- Venus Williams after retiring in the Warsaw final due to an abdominal strain.

"I never expected this, it's amazing! If you don't lose a set it's a pretty good tournament...I won three titles this year already and it's only half way of the season. I'm very happy with this season this far." -- The amazing Roger Federer after winning in Munich.

"I am not that far away from becoming the No. 1 player in the world. I am only around 1,000 points away from achieving it. The key will be whether I can play better and more consistently on hard courts. If I continue to play well in the European clay court season and then take that form to the hardcourts in the United Sates, I could finish the year as the world No. 1." -- Juan Carlos Ferrero after winning the Valencia title.

"My secret now is that my fitness level is very good. I've become more intense in my training schedule. An hour on the court now is comparable to what two hours would have been like a few years back." -- Andre Agassi.

"Such is the esteem in which Clijsters is held that her relationship with Hewitt is generally felt to be the Wimbledon champion's greatest reference. The Australian's confrontational manner easily earns him the image of being a dislikeable thug, but if you can judge someone by the company they keep he has scored well." -- Chris Bowers writing for the UK Independent.

"I didn't know how I would play here before the tournament. I didn't have the confidence. I put on a good show today and now the confidence is there again." -- Stefan Koubek upon reaching the semis in Munich.

"Pakistani children have enough talent. Lesser playing facilities are our major drawback. With patronage from Pakistan government, we can produce players of the caliber of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and other great players of the world." -- Mushaf Zia, a former pro tennis player from Pakistan, commenting on the Pakistan Tennis Federation's efforts to grow the sport.

"Sixteen-year-olds Rafael Nadal from Spain and Frenchman Richard Gasquet, as well as 19-year-old Croatian Mario Ancic will join an all-star field that includes Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin at the Queenís Club, 9-15 June, 2003. Nadal earned comparisons to Boris Becker, who won the Stella Artois as a 17-year-old in 1985, when he advanced to the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo two weeks ago. (Nadal) is ranked No. 93 and his first venture onto a grasscourt will take place at this yearís Stella Artois Championships." -- Press release from the ATP Queen's Club event. Do you really want to be pubbing a 16-year-old playing his first grasscourt tournament? Sounds like a first-round "L" to us.

"Obviously, it's a very serious issue from everything I've heard, but I'm not scared. I almost try to watch and read as little as possible." -- Andy "It Can't Hurt Me If I Don't Know About It" Roddick talking to ESPN about the SARS scare.

"I have asthma, so I'm very concerned about SARS. I fly out of LAX. It's a big city and a big drop-off for people flying from Asian cities. Believe me, I'm up on this stuff. You have to watch your back. We're going into countries where people travel a lot. I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm scheduled to go now, but if it's that serious...I mean, life is more important than tennis. I'm scheduled to go right now, but..." -- Alexandra Stevenson talking to ESPN on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Look for her soon wearing the Michael Jackson mask.

"I actually have a lot of experience playing big names. I wasn't really nervous. I think I'm mature enough to beat these guys. He's been shaky twice against me now. I'm a bit proud of that." -- German Alexander Waske, a proud 0-2 versus Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

"I'm happy that I'm winning the matches. It's been a while. The confidence is slowly coming back, and it's because I'm winning the matches." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov, connecting the dots between confidence and winning matches.

"I love Munich. I called my girlfriend and told her that we should consider moving here in the future." -- Sjeng Schalken, getting a little too excited about advancing to the second round.

"(Gaston) Gaudio is always a threat on clay." -- The ever-insightful ATP media staff at Valencia.

"I am taking a risk with my claycourt schedule. It is pretty heavy from now up until Roland Garros. I am scheduled to have one week off before Paris. Playing here is not as tiring as competing abroad. I wanted to see this tournament happen and now that we have the event, I want to see it grow." -- Juan Carlos Ferrero in Valencia, Spain.

"Wimbledon is not the tournament I love. I don't like how they treat the players. There are small things that don't cost them anything and they make such a big deal out of it. If they treat us this way, well, we have to treat them the same. We want to be respected, the way we respect Wimbledon, even if it is not the best Grand Slam on earth." -- Marat Safin, who apparently doesn't like Wimbledon.

"Right now my main aim is not to get injured any more. I am a little bit afraid of running and sliding because the ankle was so painful. But I am not a person who runs a lot, who spends a lot of energy on the court. If I am mentally OK, if nothing is bothering me and I want to play, then it is fine." -- Marat Safin on injuries, running, and tanking.

"So long as you're calling your local cable operator and screaming at them to carry the Tennis Channel, try convincing them to air 'She Got Game,' a terrific documentary that pulls back the curtain on the WTA Tour. The documentary was produced by Canadians Abbey Niedik and Bobbi Jo Krals and uses the ups and downs of the winsome Sonya Jeyaseelan as a central thread. But there are plenty of candid cameos by your favorite stars. A well-regarded WTA staffer practically takes to her knees begging for Serena Williams to pose for a simple photo shoot. Martina Hingis is as uninhibited as ever and playfully pretends to throw a cake in Anna Kournikova's face. Barbara Schett tells you why she has no desire to be a Top 10 player. This really is must-see TV for tennis fans." -- Jon Wertheim, writing for Sports Illustrated.

"It has been almost a year since I came back from my hip surgery. I was having to take pain killers every match with the constant pain I was feeling. I thought I was going to have to take them for the rest of my career, but then I took an entire month off in November and when I came back, I was absolutely pain free. I feel in great form now." -- Sargis Sargsian in Valencia.

"I think that Billie (Jean King) and Zina (Garrison), they have a whole lot of experience. Even if I don't quite agree with something or have a different way of doing it this week, whatever they said, I did it right away and I found out that it was correct. I think that's helped a lot...I'm having fun. I had a lot of fun out there. Sometimes I was ready to smile -- but I knew I'd lose focus -- because I was doing things that I'd done in practice and we talked about. I was ready to laugh and give someone a high-five, but it wasn't time for that." -- Venus Williams at the Fed Cup.

"It's held in the shadows. They've changed the rules and format so many times, it's hard to get a handle on it. Even for me." -- Bud Collins on the Fed Cup.

"Tennis is very much a young person's game. To start out at 22, as I did, is very late. Agassi is the exception, but most players have their best years between 22 and 25. They go on the tour at 16 and 18 and are ready to bust out at the age when I was getting started." -- American Paul Goldstein in Houston, who has suffered a groin injury each of the last two years.

"During the takeoff, one engine shut down. Everybody have the sensation that the plane is going to crash. I think I am going to die." -- Frenchman Olivier Mutis, who is afraid of flying, on the trip to Houston from Europe.

"I followed Andre Agassi and used to follow guys like Ilie Nastase, McEnroe, Borg, Connors, and Roscoe Tanner. I even saw Rod Laver play once. I guess I like the guys with a little attitude." -- "Professional Wrestler" Ric Flair visiting the ATP Houston event.

"My great-uncle, Joseph Wear, was the Davis Cup captain in 1934 and 1935. He had a team that included the likes of the great Don Budge, and at that time I was lucky enough to be a ballboy. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and that really sparked my lifelong love for the sport." -- Former President George Bush, reminiscing about a time when he wasn't blowing up Iraqis.

"It's a rare privilege to be able to visit with a family such as the Bush's. They have been so supportive of tennis over the years and have always come out to tournaments, but to have them open up their home to us was very unique. To think what remarkable things they have experienced and to see how incredibly down to earth they were was really something I won't forget." -- Todd Martin upon visiting with President Bush at his Houston home.

"You reach a point when you have different priorities. I got to a stage in my career when I decided to select my tournaments and limit my schedule. This can work out well if you maintain good results, but when you don't, you are in a difficult position. If you only play a few tournaments and do badly, you a lacking in matches. Most of the other players are constantly playing and have that advantage and rhythm over you." -- Alex Corretja, trying to talk himself into retirement.

"If I compare Asian tennis to European or American tennis, we have a long way to go. The competition isn't there. Asia doesn't have many tennis players or tournaments. I hope my success will contribute to raising the level of Asian tennis." -- Paradorn Srichaphan on the prospect of waiting another 30 years for a top Asian player to emerge.

"I've set myself absolutely no objectives. I'm in the top 100, which is where I want to be, but other than that I just want to improve each day. The important thing is to keep working and to give it everything on every type of surface, not just on clay. There's no great secret to my game." -- 16-year-old Spanish lefty Rafael Nadal.

"It's really tough mentally. I know myself that I can beat these guys, but their game is on clay. Sanchez is a good player in his own right. It was always going to be a tough match. A couple of games before the end of the match I started playing much better, but it was too late. I had run out of match." -- Paradorn Srichaphan after getting worked by David Sanchez in Barcelona.

"Clay is a totally different game to the one I like on hard courts. I need to learn how to move better on clay. It's all about the movement. I feel I can still hit the ball well, but I am not moving well enough to make the point. I also have to work on my shot selection."

"This year, I haven't been able to play even three consecutive weeks without becoming injured. Now I want to do well here in Barcelona and then the big tournaments. If I stay fit, my confidence will come back. I want to win Roland Garros. That's my main goal. I going to be at Roland Garros and take my chances. I am going to be dangerous this year." -- The dangerous Russian Marat Safin in Barcelona.

"Not once has Andre wavered in his commitment. There have been periods when life knocked him down or when it was more important to have a great life than to play great tennis. But when it has been just about the tennis, he's always right there with me. I don't know if anybody works harder. It's hard to imagine when you see what he does." -- From the Houston Chronicle, Gil Reyes, fitness guru and friend to Andre Agassi.

"I want to be No. 1 in the world. I obviously want to win Roland Garros on clay. But I'd also like to win the U.S. Open to silence all the people who keep thinking that Spaniards can't do it." -- The confident Juan Carlos Ferrero after winning the TMS-Monte Carlo title.

"Steff has been so good to me and good to my dreams that are still left on the tennis court. I just have a network. I'm a very blessed man in reference to all the people I have around me." -- The ageless Andre Agassi on his network.

"I don't like notoriety. That's why I always wear the hat. Off the court, I don't want people recognizing me." -- Amelia Island winner/Russian hottie Elena Dementieva.

"I'm almost in the Top 50. Looking back, I used to go down the list of guys that were in the Top 50. I'd say, `Those guys are so good. Hopefully I'll get there someday.' Now looking at the rankings and seeing my name there is special to me." -- Star-struck American Mardy Fish, trying to figure out if he'll settle for Top 50.

"My heart says one thing, that I can get back to where I once was. But my body doesn't respond the way I want it to." -- Former No. 2 and French Open runner-up Magnus Norman of Sweden, returning from hip surgery.

"My father was a tennis teacher and a great fan of (Guillermo) Vilas, hence my name." -- Guillermo Coria in Monte Carlo.

"The competition, at least for me, is to be number one in the world, not number one in Spain. I have to admit that right now it's a goal to be number one. I mean, I'm just a few steps away from being number one, but there are many points between the first and the third. But it would be a good first step to win here." -- Carlos Moya in Monte Carlo.

"I lost the edge, slid downhill. I lost the passion to win. I was playing in small towns in Missouri where they didn't even have ball boys. My comeback is different from the likes of (Andre) Agassi, (Jennifer) Capriati, Thomas Muster. Those guys were inspirational but they had a different entourage, they had contacts. My comeback came from ground-level." -- Vince Spadea, getting back some of his rap in the post-match conferences, finally losing some of the "I'm-humble-now-that-I'm-back" demeanor.

"I'm an actress, I'm a model and an athlete. I put athlete third on my list. I prefer actress, model, athlete...I got a lot of positive feedback from the Sports Illustrated shoot. Actually it was all positive. People were astonished and amazed. And modeling for Vogue was fun. Every week that I'm not on the court, I'm doing a photo shoot or modeling for a magazine cover. It's wild...Oh yeah, I also do PR for Venus's home design company. I go out and get jobs for her. I was talking to (comedian-turned-actor) Chris Tucker. He promised he'd let Venus do his house." -- The "full-figured" (as Reuters put it) "actress" Serena Williams.

"I'm actually enjoying what I'm doing now, which is absolutely nothing. I've been very lazy and I thought I'd snap out of it after a year, but I really haven't." -- From the Royal Gazette, retired former No. 1 and father Patrick Rafter.

"I had to retire from the Nasdaq Open because I sprained my foot. I had some cramping issues in Australia (early in the year). I had a lingering knee injury from the end of last year and I injured my back two weeks ago. So Iíve had one thing after the other but Iím trying to get healthy for the claycourt season and Europe." -- From the Royal Gazette, American Jeff Morrison at the Bermuda Challenger.

"The shoulder injury came about, just like that, in an exercise in the gym, but I had had a problem with my arm for many years before that, so it was coming...The first full month I was just doing rehab and was hoping to come back in a couple of weeks, but, of course, after a while you realize it might take some time. After four months the doctor and I took the decision to have the first surgery. After half a year, I was still hurting. I went during the US Open in 2000 and was told between six and nine months, and it ended up taking nine-and-a-half months." -- From the Royal Gazette, 29-year-old Kenneth Carlsen, who returned to the tennis court after 20 months off and undergoing two operations on his left shoulder.

"After I played the French (Open) I couldnít really walk and had to take a few weeks off. They didnít know what was wrong. I played for another couple of weeks, then I stopped...It was very, very difficult. You know what they say Ė- it doesnít rain, it pours...A few other things got me down; a few personal problems. It was just a bad time but I came out of it and whatever doesnít kill you makes you stronger...I have had quite a difficult life but I had four good years Ė- Ď98, Ď99, 2000 and 2001 Ė- where I did quite well and I guess I forgot that there are bad times out there..You get to enjoy your achievements more than before. Thereís a fine line between pleasure and pain. I am always coming back. I have been playing some good tennis, I am moving up and the next thing now is to get a good few results at bigger tournaments, the bigger Challengers and Tour events and slowly but surely Iíll get back up there. Itís just a matter of time." -- The oft-injured Australian, 26-year-old Andrew "I'd Rip My Shirt If I Could Get a Win" Ilie.

"I've always been told to keep fighting until the last point, and I've turned a couple of matches around in the past. This is huge for me. I've struggled with my confidence since coming back from my injury (hip surgery)." -- Magnus Norman after coming back from a 6-1 first set loss to beat Gustavo Kuerten at the TMS-Monte Carlo.

"I'm very frustrated that I lost because I felt I could have won it. But I am happy I fought back and showed that I can play with one of the best clay court players in the world." -- James Blake, happy with himself after a loss to Guillermo Coria at the TMS-Monte Carlo, showing why he doesn't have the fire to be a consistent Top 5 player.

"Clay is not my favorite surface." -- Thai sensation Paradorn Srichaphan, waiting for the summer hardcourt circuit to get here.

"I think he's very good, and you never know what can happen because he's still very young. But he has a lot of potential. I think in two years maximum he's going to be Top 10 player." -- Carlos Moya on 16-year-old fellow Mallorcan Rafael Nadal, who tuned Karol Kucera Tuesday 6-1, 6-2, and beat defending Roland Garros champion Albert Costa at the TMS-Monte Carlo.

"I'm still missing that little something." -- Andy Roddick after losing first round on clay at the TMS-Monte Carlo. Like, a backhand?

"I've been practicing with her a lot in Miami, and sheís a very cool girl." -- Ashley "The New Anna" Harkleroad on the old Anna.

"This doesn't change anything about the great champion that Serena is. But it means that today we could see that we can do these things against her." -- Justine Henin-Hardenne talking about opening the flood gates after beating Serena Williams in the Family Cup final.

"The appeal lodged on behalf of Lleyton was never about money. The ATP does not seem to recognize this. If the issue were money, Lleyton could have accepted one of the compromise offers made by the ATP prior to the appeal. If the ATP believes this is the correct way to handle this matter, there is little wonder that the International Men's Tennis Association is gaining support. It should be understood that the issue is, and always has been, about clearing Lleyton's name." -- Lleyton's dad Glynn Hewitt on his son threatening to sue the ATP over a fine instigated for not doing an interview.

"I hope the crowd will be a little calmer and enjoy the tennis as it is supposed to be enjoyed." -- Younes El Aynaoui on the crazy-ass crowds in Casablanca.

"Nevertheless, a lot of other businesses would be knocking the cover off the ball if they had the WTA's roster of stars. Just consider the super-athletes who are recognizable by only their first names -- Michael, Tiger, Lennox, Lance, and, um,.... Then think about the number of women tennis players who need no introduction other than Serena, Venus, Anna, and Jennifer -- to name four. That tell you anything?" -- Douglas Robson writing for Business Week.

"I said 15 years ago they should blow it up and start over. I still feel that way." -- Martina Navratilova on the state of the WTA Tour.

"I broke my wrist in Memphis. One doctor said I would be out for maybe two months, and said to think about coming back in May or June. I went five days or a week without playing at all and then I tried to practice with just the forehand for three weeks, no backhands because I play with two hands. I played three days before Miami and now I've been playing two weeks with both hands on the backhand, so now it's no problem." -- Russian Nikolay Davydenko in Estoril.

"In all reality, (Rubin's) days of being a Top 10 player are in the past." -- John Wertheim, writing for Sports Illustrated in 2002.

"I like to play a lot of national Russian folk songs. Whenever I hear something I like, I try to pick it up. I've also been taking singing lessons when I'm at home." -- The multi-talented Max Mirnyi.

"I've taken Pete fishing on a couple of occasions...he knows nothing about fishing." -- Michael Chang on hanging out with Pete and Andre.

"I felt like I was so close to becoming No. 1. I was really one match away. If I had beaten Pete Sampras in the final of the U.S. Open or if he had lost the match to (Alex) Corretja in which Corretja had a match point, I would've been No. 1. I felt like if I worked a little harder or pushed myself a little more, it would take me over the hump the following year. I think in certain aspects I did overtrain a little bit and ended up having some injuries as a result." -- Michael Chang reminiscing about being almost famous.

"My clay game is about as good as my golf game right now -- and that's not very good. I trained last week on clay at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston -- but it looks like it didn't help much...It's better than playing indoors in Germany, I guess. But I guess I need the European clay." -- Saaaa-lam! Nice Houston pub from Rainer Schuettler after his first round loss at Estoril. The German was referring to his golf outing to Quinta da Marinha Golf Course the previous day when he hit a reporter with a mis-hit golf ball. As if the Tennis Masters Cup-Houston promoters weren't already thrilled to think of Schuettler finishing Top 8.

"Capriati's unregenerate vulgarity is the worst-kept secret in the sport. (The list of transgressions and fits of pique is too long to catalog here, but when you call Billie Jean King "Hitler," you've pretty much surrendered your boarding pass, far as we're concerned.) One well-regarded top player recently told me that "Jennifer is her own worst enemy." But the real sadness is that her "management team," such as it is, capitulates to her demands, excuses her obscene behavior and furnishes her with no apparent guidance." -- John Wertheim writing for SI.com.

"Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Enqvist, I thought, were clearly the two singles players. Jonas Bjorkman is clearly the doubles player. We sang 'Happy Birthday' to Todd Woodbridge at the official dinner but he still didn't accept the Swedish citizenship, so we were looking for another doubles player and Thomas Enqvist had been playing so well in practice in singles. Jonas is a great doubles player and he's good enough to play so good that the other guy only needs to play singles, so to speak, in doubles." -- Swedish Davis Cup captain Mats Wilander.

"I may be a bit biased but I'm very proud of our history in the competition. We have 27 wins up on the board and it's very fair to say that Sweden over the last two decades have been the strongest nation in the world. Over a long period of time our record is a high number but in recent times they have been stronger than anyone." -- Aussie Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald.

"I still think I can do better maximizing what I have, get faster, and do more with endurance. I don't want to put on a lot more muscle. But it's made a huge difference. Women's tennis has gotten so physical, I knew that I needed to change my body and I did it. I have gotten stronger, more durable and faster at the same time, and I'm really happy about that." -- Meghann Shaugnessy.

"But supporting the Swiss number one, Georges Bastl does not seem an ideal choice after a lackluster season while Ivo Heuberger is more noted as Martina Hingis's former boyfriend than for his tennis prowess." -- Reuters

"TimeWarner Cable confirmed it stands ready to live up to the terms of the 15-year deal it signed with The Tennis Channel last June. According to TimeWarner Cable spokesperson Keith Cocozza, they are ready to provide The Tennis Channel across their 34 divisions and 27 states...According to SportsBusiness Journal, Cox Communications, the nationís fourth-largest cable operator, has almost no interest in adding channels like TTC to its lineup, and while DirecTV, a cable alternative, has discussed possibilities with the prospective channel, they are not convinced in the actual audience potential...The disconnect between promise and present is never clearer than with a visit to the Channelís web site, which at press time was continuing to promise coverage of seven of this yearís ATP events (five of which have already ended, obviously without TTC coverage) and four WTA tournaments (the Bank of West Classic is highlighted twice), one of which has already passed." -- Tennis Week article on The Tennis Channel.

"I guess the Tour expects me to take one for the team. It is difficult enough starting an event and going through a five-year growth process without big business getting in the way...They are asking me to run a race, breaking my leg and asking me to be successful." -- WTA Sarasota event COO Dickie Herbst on the Miami event swallowing his week on the WTA calendar next year.

"My goal for the end of the season was to be in the Top 10 and make the Masters (Cup)." -- Roger Federer. If you want to make the Masters Cup, I guess your goal is to be in the Top 8, dumb ass.

"Capriati showed a remarkable lack of sensitivity and taste by requesting that the Outkast song 'Bombs Over Baghdad' be played over the P.A. system as she walked onto the court. More galling is that tournament officials, her IMG "brain" trust and WTA Tour handlers continue to act as enablers for such nonsense." -- Jon Wertheim writing for Sports Illustrated.

"He could be as dominant as Michael Jordan was or Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, you name it. Unfortunately, he has the talent but not the desire to be the world No. 1." -- Russian Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev on former No. 1 Marat Safin.

"You know what, there are a whole bunch of tournaments out there, but there is only one Serena Williams...The women have a lot more power than they think they have. They just need to unite." -- Martina Navratilova in Miami. Are they going to invade Iraq or something?

"Politics aside, her logic was questionable. How uplifting is a song illuminated by such abrasive lyrics? But Capriati made a wish, and it was granted. Star power has its privileges on the women's tour, but it is often misspent on petty demands instead of tennis reform." -- The New York Times on Jennifer Capriati requesting "Bombs Over Baghdad" by rapper Outkast during the warm-up for one of her matches in Miami.

"Well, we don't want to play in the war. We want to make clothes. We don't want the war." -- Serena Williams, responding in a fake French accent, when asked about anti-French sentiment with the U.S.-Iraq war. When two tennis reporters from France were asked how Williams' comments will be received there, they responded with the French word "maladroit," which means "tactless."

"I honestly think I am a better player than I was four years ago, when I was No. 1 in the world." -- Carlos Moya in Miami.

"As long as the results are good then you take it and everything that comes with it, but after a while you definitely need the rest. I need some time off. There's the Fed Cup in about a month so I won't be doing anything until then. Maybe the week before I'll start hitting but I won't do anything for the next two or three weeks." -- 19-year-old Kim Clijsters, taking a month break after getting spanked by Serena in Miami.

"I don't feel out of place at all. It's when I lay down and I see my face sort of falling and wrinkles coming out and I realize these kids, you know, they're kids. I'm closer to menopause and some of them don't even have their period yet." -- The 46-year-old Martina Navratilova, playing doubles in Miami with 17-year-old Svetlana Kuznetsova. Yarg. Take it easy Martina, too much information.

"It's going to be wild and it's going to be crazy, but it's going to be the way we want it." -- Billie Jean King on her Fed Cup team comprised of the Williams sisters, Meghann Shaughnessy, and Alexandra Stevenson. Calm down Billie Jean.

"They can be very good, but I don't think they're going to be as good as the other guys, not as a group. Maybe one of them can be as good as Agassi, Sampras, Courier and Chang. But I don't think as a group they're going to achieve as much." -- Carlos Moya on the crop of young Americans.

"You know, it's the guys like -- I can't believe I'm saying it -- but it's the guys like me who have average serves that are going to have a tough time. Five years ago, I was a server who had to volley occasionally. Now, I'm a serve and volleyer. I mean, today it didn't happen because the court, the conditions were quicker than usual here. But typically, I'm having to play a lot of volleys now." -- Todd Martin in Miami.

"I think, you know, I mean, I'm physically in great shape. I've been working really hard, you know. But it's very hard to do anything, you know, if you don't have the confidence." -- 21-year-old Anna Kournikova in Miami.

"No. In the States it doesn't work, so..." -- Roger Federer when asked if he brought his PlayStation to Miami. Hey Fed, they sell them here too.

"I mean, he's a very strong kid. He can create power from just about any situation. I wouldn't say he's much like a Spanish player because he really goes for a little more on his serve. That was going in today. He attacks a lot more. I mean, if you watch the match, you saw how much he attacked my second serve." -- James Blake after losing to countryman Robby Ginepri Sunday in Miami.

"I'm not going to comment about that." -- Jennifer Capriati Sunday in Miami after a win when asked how her game stacks up against the Williams sisters.

"Tennis undoubtedly will miss (Michael) Chang more than he'll miss tennis." -- Karen Crouse, writing for the Palm Beach Post. What? I thought he retired years ago. I didn't even realize he was still playing.

"I spoke to Pete recently, and his future is very much in the air. He's waiting to see if he gets motivated to play Wimbledon, but if that motivation isn't there in the next few months, I don't think we'll see him again." -- Patrick McEnroe in Miami.

"It would have been nice if once, over the last 10 years, we had ever got support from the ATP tour on anything. That's a huge point for myself. They definitely want our support to go forward with this. Do they really need it? It would certainly help, especially if they're talking about being strong to the Slams...Overall, are the Slams being fair to us? Maybe not. Like I said, it would had been nice if we had an inkling of support on any issue. You've never heard (ATP CEO) Mark Miles say, 'Maybe it's time to consider equal prize money. Gosh, women's tennis, look how exciting it is!'...We're in a great position here, we're either following the men or choosing not to. We're not rocking any boats. We're not doing this on our own." -- Lindsey Davenport free associating on ATP/WTA tour negotiations with the ITF/Grand Slams.

"In an intriguing mission behind the scenes, the ATP is mounting an effort to receive what it calls "fairness" from the Grand Slam tournaments -- the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open -- and the men's tour is seeking the assistance of the women's tour in its crusade. Rough translation: It's time to get a bigger bag of money from the Grand Slams." -- Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times.

"I wouldn't expect it to last too long...This is not the time to be fooling around with things like this. I'm concerned that the players leading the initiative don't have full understanding of the issues." -- Todd Martin on the Wayne Ferreira-led IMTA player union/group.

"Couldn't get out of the qualifying for futures for a while. Finally got out. Yeah, finally got my first check of I think $100, which was big. Yeah, I mean, I remember the days, you're playing for $30, $40. My friends out on tour, my doubles partner from college, used to compare money with Wendy's Frosties. If we get this, we can buy 20 Frosties." -- Brian Vahaly on his early days on the circuit.

"We have that, you know, feeling. I mean, I go out to dinner with Mardy, Taylor, Robby all the time on the road, Andy, Brian. We have a great time together, all of us. We're cheering for each other. I want to see Andy do well tonight. I want to see Robby do well. We're excited for that. I think that makes a big difference because it gives us people to cheer for. Just makes it seem a little less lonely out here when you have friends that are doing well. If you have a bad week, but they have a good week, you take something out of it. You keep your confidence high and you just have someone to cheer for and someone to hang out with on the road. It makes a big difference." -- James Blake on the camaraderie of the American up-and-comers.

"I wanted to work towards the four majors and the Davis Cup. I know to a lot of people it may not mean too much, but to me (Davis Cup) means an awful lot." -- Lleyton Hewitt.

"I was really injured for a year, I lost my whole ranking because I didn't play. In some ways I was out there making myself a worse tennis player for some reason. I got a team, I designed a program, and I went about it. I was forcefully, adamantly, mentally, and physically going for a comeback. I asked the people that I felt wanted to be passionate about tennis, knowledgeable, and that would encourage and motivate me to do so. I worked with Dr. Pete Fisher, I called him. I started working with a tennis psychologist off and on. I started with a great fitness program. So all the way through, this was more or less a project, and it wasn't sort of a fluke that I'm starting to play back to my form of four years ago." -- 28-year-old Vince Spadea on bursting back on to the scene in Indian Wells.

"He gets really excited for these kind of matches, I guess. You know, a night match, the crowd was into it. So, yeah, he was wired. That definitely helped him. Looked like he got excited, definitely started playing better. Can't fault him for that. Too good." -- James Blake after losing to Gustavo Kuerten. Hey James, maybe you should get excited too at the prospect of advancing to the semifinals, then maybe you could put a "W" on the board, I guess.

"I'm the only guy in this tournament with a college degree. And it means a lot to show people what you can do out of college. I've had so many doubters. I've been getting consistent feedback from people saying, 'You're a great junior player, great college player, you're an average professional'." -- Indian Wells qualifier Brian Vahaly with a big f-you to the world after beating No. 3 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.

"For a veteran, he's helped me in every aspect, you know, with the tennis , off the court, media, anything. I remember a time, Memphis qualies about a year and a half ago, two years ago, I lost a close match after I practiced with him a bunch at Davis Cup when I was a practice partner. Really disappointed. Got on the phone and called him. We talked for about an hour. He told me stories about what he was doing when he was younger, some of the tough losses he had had, just how quickly things can change, how if you keep doing the right thing, it's all going to work out. Hearing that from someone who had done it, had gone through kind of what I had gone through, helped me. I thought we had so much in common, hearing it from someone similar to you makes a big difference in my career." -- James Blake on mentor Todd Martin.

"We have talent. We are four and a half millions. We have a lot of great talent. Soccer, handball, volleyball. With the balls, we are good with the balls." -- Goran Ivanisevic on the ballin' Croatians.

"I still cannot serve, maybe like 50-60 percent. My second serve is very slow. I can go on the women's tour with this second serve." -- Goran Ivanisevic on continuing problems with his shoulder after coming back to the tour too soon after surgery. Should have just hung out on the yacht and reveled in that Wimbledon win until the grasscourt season rolled around Goran.

"Still, it's not a good thing when an event considered the sixth most important in the world of tennis -- after the four Grand Slams and the Key Biscayne (TMS-Miami) tournament later in March -- looks a little like a Broadway play down to its fourth understudy." -- Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times staff writer on the TMS-Indian Wells. Shut up crybaby, just because Andre pulls with injury and Pete is in the midst of retiring you think Indian Wells sucks. Look around, you have five current or former No. 1s, five returning champions and the top talent on tour. Go back to covering golf the other 11 months of the year.

"You look at the depth of a Masters Series and you could say that draw-wise it's much stronger than a grand slam. There just don't seem to be any easy sections." -- Tim Henman at the TMS-Indian Wells.

"I try not to hold much information -- or advice -- back from James. I call myself "USA," or "The Provider of USA, Unsolicited Advice." -- Todd Martin on working with up-and-comer James Blake.

"It's too much pressure. You have to think match by match and moment by moment or it drives you to distraction. I'm tired of all the talk about it. Everyone is obsessed with it...If I was the type of person who had tennis, tennis, tennis all the time and I went to bed and ended up dreaming about tennis, I would go nuts." -- Marat Safin freaking out at the thought of making a run at No. 1.

"I would just get so excited just to watch him play. Iíd run out on the court and try to play just like him. Iíd hit weird volleys that only McEnroe could hit. Weird shots, they wouldnít work but for a while I tried to even do a right-handed version of his serve when I was little. It actually was pretty good, it had great spin serve with that. But it didnít last. I was about 12-13 years old. But my dad didnít want me to continue doing it -- he let me do it for a little while though." -- Tour goober Jan-Michael Gambill on childhood idol John McEnroe.

"There should be no illusions. My dreams are over. Tennis will certainly still be part of my life, but not what it was before...There are other ways to make money...I have a huge knowledge of tennis and I want to make use of it...I can also see myself on the courts, checking out who has talent." -- Martina Hingis.

"It's like all of my press conference at the moment are about Venus and Serena. I would really appreciate it if they were about my tennis or something." -- Kim Clijsters.

"...great script. It's about this guy who is going for a record Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Like Pete Sampras, only with a personality. And before the final, he disappears. No one can find him." -- Murphy Jensen on a movie script he is writing.

"I'm very exciting to make my first final. I'm also really happy that all my family and friends could come and watch. My sister is here who is in college and my dad doesn't get to see many of my matches because of his work. I also had a couple of my best friends here who never get to see me play. It was a very special moment." -- Mardy Fish about reaching the Delray Beach final.

"I felt tired in the second set. It's hard playing in that sultry and hot Florida sun." -- Jan-Michael Gambill after winning the semi in Delray Beach. Sultry? Is he giving a post-match conference or writing a freaking novel?

"I feel like when I'm match tough and match hard and played a lot of matches I got that competitive winning spirit going and I can get on some rolls like I did last year. I won San Jose, Indian Wells and made the semifinals in Miami so it can happen for me." -- Lleyton Hewitt on his plan for dominating the spring hardcourt circuit.

"The farewell tour almost always devolves into a string of uninteresting performances against uninspired "rivals," adorned by gifts of classic cars and rocking chairs. If I want to see some old dudes waving from the stage, I'll catch a Kansas concert on the next fairgrounds tour." -- Mark Kreidler, ESPN.com.

"We are going to try to get maybe a committee of the most prominent sort of players from each country. Who will be on sort of a committee that will make these decision. I'm not going to be making any of these decisions. I've just been asked to help, to ask the players how they feel if they are interested in doing something like this. That's my extent of it all." -- Wayne Ferreira on organizing the International Men's Tennis Association.

"It would have been very easy at that point to fall apart. The less experienced Jan-Michael Gambill would have fallen apart." -- The more experienced Jan-Michael Gambill referring to himself in the third person at Delray Beach.

"The difference between me and them is that I bring it week in and week out. They get a big win, then lose to somebody they shouldn't. But they're starting to move up. It would be nice to have some company." -- The shy Andy Roddick on why he is better than the other American up-and-comers.

"French players don't really have a political agenda. They're more into their Playstations and reading L'Equipe (the national sports newspaper)." -- American player/coach Jeff Tarango weighing in on the U.S. versus France war tension on tour.

"I figure J-Lo does all these movies and all these videos and all this other stuff...I know I can play tennis and act and do photo shoots and model. I know I can do all that." -- Serena Williams. As John F. Kennedy said, "Miss, I know J-Lo, and you are no J-Lo."

"Yet there is an inconsistency, and a glaring one. Not only have past appeal results been revealed to ATP staff, key officials have been permitted to sit in on appeals committee deliberations. But not this time. Guilty or not guilty? The original fine or a reduced penalty, as previously flagged by ATP chief executive Mark Miles? Who knows? Is the avoidance of legal action the motivation? Don't ask. No one will say." -- Linda Pearce, writing for Australia's The Age, about the settlement between the ATP and Lleyton Hewitt regarding his fine from the 2002 Cincinnati event.

"He goes crazy on court and does his thing. I respect a guy who competes and gives 110 percent every match. Justin does that. He wears his heart on his sleeve." -- Jan-Michael Gambill on playing Justin Gimelstob in Delray Beach.

"I'm motivated much more now. I'm hitting balls cleaner and I'm enjoying playing more...Sometimes I think, 'Man, I was too good.' But I try not to compare my game today to how I played back then. Right now I just try to play day-by-day. I'm just going to enjoy every day." -- No. 30 Marcelo Rios this week in Delray Beach, Florida, thinking back to his days at No. 1.

"I ran into Pete Sampras at Jamba Juice the other day. We both love Jamba Juice. Sampras tells me he hasn't decided whether he'll ever play tennis again. Nor has he decided what he's going to do career-wise. Dollars he doesn't need." -- Television interviewer Larry King. Jamba Juice, nice.

"I'm very pleased with what I'm doing. I'm hungry now and I'm really finding my game. I'm putting a lot of heart into my game and that's paying off right now." -- Felix Mantilla after beating top seed Carlos Moya at Acapulco.

"It's pretty high up there on the list. Being able to return a serve at that speed is one of the biggest things that separates the professionals from the recreational players." -- Andy Roddick on returning a 130mph serve in USA Today's "10 Hardest Things to do In Sports" full-page feature on Tuesday. The feat was ranked No. 5.

"That's why I'm playing very good this year and I'm lucky. In Chennai a bird was pooping on my head during my match, so I think that's a good sign and why the year has started pretty well." -- Rainer Schuettler, after a flock of seagulls flew over the stadium during his marathon three-set victory against Max Mirnyi in Dubai. The court had to be cleaned because of their droppings.

"I was running at 15-40, and I said to myself 'Don't run, don't slide' because I thought it was too far but then in the end, stuff it, I did it. And my knee just topped it, then I heard a click and I don't know if it's a strain or broken. Now I go to see...The shoulder was hurting but I was happy the way I served, happy the way I played. It was a really good match for me. I did some double faults but that's normal for me. You can see I didn't play for 11 months, some things can't just come overnight. But I hit the ball very clean. I served at 193 which I think is OK. I think the shoulder is not a problem, now just the knee." -- Goran Ivanisevic, who injured himself again in Dubai.

"As someone recently said to me, the structure of professional tennis is so incestuous that Jerry Springer should be the commissioner." -- John Wertheim, Sports Illustrated.

"What didn't he do well today? I hit a second serve at 129 mph he chipped and charged off of. He hasn't broken into the Top 20 yet but it's coming. I think he should definitely be up there." -- Andy Roddick after winning five games off of Taylor Dent in the Memphis final.

"That first set was a joke. If I could do that every match, it would be something special. My returns were working very well and I backed that up with some great volleys and great second serves again...I think the fitness work with (coach) Brad Stine has really paid off this week. My movement around the court has been 10 times better than it has been in the past and that's unbelievable. We've been doing cardio work on the bike, which is an absolute nightmare. My reward if I won the tournament was to have a day off from the gym -- and to have pizza. I haven't had pizza since Newport probably. I'm having everything on it -- except anchovies." -- Taylor Dent, on winning the first set 6-1 off Andy Roddick in the Memphis final.

"Unfortunately, I did feel a little bit sick. I didn't get to sleep until about 6:30 this morning and still woke up feeling nauseous and sick. When I got to the court, I tried to stall it with some Pepsi and Tylenol and tried different ways to get some sugar in me. It worked in the beginning of the match, and then for some reason or another, I had some trouble with my depth perception and started to feel nauseous. At the end of the match, I knew I was going to be sick and threw up as soon as it ended." -- Brian Vahaly after losing to Andy Roddick in Memphis.

"Brian didn't have much to lose. We practice together so we know each other well. I started to loosen up a bit and started to play better. I do better when I don't like someone!" -- Andy Roddick after beating Brian Vahaly in Memphis.

"I'm not too worried about the final against Coria tomorrow. Even though the crowd will be with him, I have eight years of experience with this and I hope the crowd will be a little bit with me too, because I love Buenos Aires and Argentina." -- Carlos Moya, talking smack and looking to pound Guillermo Coria in the Buenos Aires final.

"I don't play doubles often, but when I do, I tend to win a lot." -- The humble Roger Federer in Rotterdam, where he reached his third consecutive Rotterdam doubles final.

"My backhand is definitely a lot more solid and consistent. There were times when I couldn't hit it into the ocean." -- Andy Roddick in Memphis.

"One or two years ago, I didn't know who I was on court and I used to swear a lot. But now I've learned how to cope and can therefore win 10 matches in a row. I want to be remembered as a good player rather than an idiot on court." -- Roger Federer in Rotterdam after beating homecountry favorite Sjeng Schalken.

"In my academy in Spain, I have built an indoor court and play a lot there. I now have more experience on the surface and quite enjoy it, especially as I had the good results last year. Reaching the Tennis Masters Cup final in Shanghai has definitely given me a lot of confidence on this surface." -- Top seed Juan Carlo Ferrero in Rotterdam.

"The one thing that I've noticed is I feel like I'm not quite in good enough condition right now. Having these knee problems or shin problems for a while, I haven't been able to do enough cardio. I've had to deal with the pain all year. There's no griping about it, but the reality is it hurts pretty bad to do long-distance running." -- Jan-Michael Gambill in Memphis. Guess nice abs don't make you run faster.

"My aim over the next few months is that I have a lot of points to defend in Miami and Hamburg, after that I can set my sights on No. 1." -- Roger Federer talking tough in Rotterdam.

"It's frustrating when you want to play but can't. I didn't touch a racket for three weeks and when I started playing again last week, I still felt some pain in my wrist." -- Marat Safin in Rotterdam.

"I think when you're in Europe, you really appreciate your country. The people here are nicer. In Europe, they don't really like Americans right now. It's really bad now. They treat you pretty badly. England is still nice, but the other European countries are not so good. They're really against (president George W.) Bush. Some people here are, too, but it's even more so there. It's amazing the difference." -- Alexandra Stevenson in Memphis.

"No matter what I have done for the country, they are never thankful for what I do...I don't pay much attention to Russian papers because they always find a way of criticizing me even after all these years...I volunteered not to play (Davis Cup singles) because I felt I was physically not fit enough to play best of five set matches. Whatever decision was made, it was mine...If I feel I cannot give 100 percent, then I'll take that responsibility and step down and let someone else play...Even in the final, I took that responsibility on myself not to play (the fifth rubber)...It is a team competition and we are all in it together trying to accomplish one goal hence we will all do what is best for the team." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov on getting hammered this week in the Russian press for not giving 100% in the last two Davis Cup ties.

"I think Mardy Fish is funny, but Robby Ginepri makes me laugh my butt off. That guy's so funny it's ridiculous. It's just what he says. I come from southern California, a surfer neighborhood where everybody is laid-back and there's not too much slang. Robby comes from Atlanta, Ga., and he is listening to rap all the time, making up these slang words while we're talking. I can't keep a straight face for five minutes around the guy." -- Taylor Dent on the funniest guys on tour. "That guy's so funny it's ridiculous," I've heard people say that about Ginepri after watching him play.

"...and then he's coming at you all the time. There are not many people on Tour who play like that any more." -- Wayne Ferreira, after being upset by American Jeff Morrison.

"He served phenomenally well. It felt most of the time he was hitting two first serves which I guess happens when you grow up watching (Goran) Ivanisevic." --Tim Henman on Croatian Ivan Ljubicic.

"I feel I am the best server in the world right now -- really. I understand how well I am playing. Mentally I have changed my second serve, I am really going for the points on my second serve, but I have not altered the action technically." -- The humble Ivan Ljubicic.

"I've become better at the net. I've got a 135 mph serve so I'd be stupid not to follow that in. Overall I'm a better player than I was last year." -- Andy Roddick in Memphis.

"I feel motivated to win tournaments. As players, we always step on court to win. Each match is a different story, and logic doesn't exist in tennis" -- Franco Squillari on the mystery that is tennis.

"We've (the WTA) never had superior execution. It's almost irresponsible when you think of the popularity of women's tennis." -- WTA Tour CEO-on-the-outs Kevin Wulff. Yup, you guys don't have a clue.

"We should work with the men where it makes sense. There's no question all the money is with the four Grand Slam tournaments. The men should contribute to a marketing fund for the sport." -- Ilana Kloss, former WTA board member, doubles specialist, and CEO of World Team Tennis, sounding like an extra from the movie Amazon Women on the Moon: "We should work with the men...we will enslave them."

"It's taken me a long time to figure out how to deal with the pressures and emotions of competing every week. I'm definitely more relaxed out there and dealing with my emotions better." -- Justin Gimelstob, who lists Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi among his practice partners, on reaching his first ATP semifinal in nearly three years.

"It happens in all sports. Players get hurt, and kids get disappointed...in this case, adults get disappointed." -- Tommy Buford, WTA Memphis tournament director, on the no-show of injured Tennis Barbie Anna Kournikova.

"Virtually no channel has ever launched when they first said they were going to launch. It's very much like building a house ó- you plan for an eight month remodel and it takes 29 months. There are so many variables involved and it takes time to build." -- Tennis Channel President Steve Bellamy.

"I have a feeling I'm going to win the tournament. I know it's early but I have this feeling. Normally I play at night here but I played at 4 p.m. today and the conditions were good. I would love to win in Chile, because I've never won here." -- Three-time Vina del Mar runner-up and home-country choker Marcelo Rios.

"I think Andre knew tonight that if I had the opportunity to beat him I would. Never once did he let his guard down." -- Michael Chang, pumping himself up after getting rolled by Andre Agassi at San Jose.

"I didn't have any confidence at the start of the match. I have to work on that. Although it took me three or four match points to close out that match, hopefully it will give my confidence a boost." -- Agustin Calleri, who entered Vina del Mar with an 0-2 record on the year, after winning his first match. Yeah, probably would be good to work on that confidence thing.

"It was sensational what those guys can pull off on stage." -- Tommy Haas after going to a Scorpions concert in Tampa. Tommy, the 21st century is here, join it.

"I was as low as possible. I felt like I wasn't going to play Davis Cup anymore. The feeling at the time was: 'I don't need this.'" -- Ivan Ljubicic on almost giving up Davis Cup play for Croatia after losing three matches in his debut in 1997 at Finland. "I don't need this," sounds like Jan-Michael Gambill.

"You can't beat without Pete." -- Sign waved by a courtside fan in Croatia during the U.S. vs. Coatia Davis Cup tie, which Croatia went on to win. At one point Blake shouted at the fan "Put the sign down!" and another fan answered "Go home James!" Tough crowd.

"This was the first time in my life I was lost, when you don't know what you're doing on the court. I was nervous, heavy...no idea what to do. I had great pain in my elbow, biceps, everywhere. But I said: 'It doesn't matter what happens, you have to finish this match.'" -- Goran Ivanisevic after giving Croatia a 2-1 lead in the tie by beating the U.S. in doubles with Ivan Ljubicic.

"I have five more titles to go to become the winningest individual of all time. (Todd has 74 career doubles titles, just four behind the Open Era record held by Tom Okker and three behind John McEnroe.) So thatís one goal. My other goal is that, as an Australian Davis Cup player, I have three more ties to compete in to have played as many as Adrian Quist and four more to pass him to represent Australia in more Davis Cup ties than anyone else. These two big goals are the reason I'd like to play the next 12 to 18 months." -- Australian doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge on his goals.

"Fortunately for us, it's Mardy Fish. It's not Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras or (Andy) Roddick or (Jan-Michael) Gambill. With this team, it's easier for us." -- Ivan Ljubicic, after beating Mardy Fish to give Croatia a 1-0 lead over the U.S.

"I have five more titles to go to become the winningest individual of all time. (Todd has 74 career doubles titles, just four behind the Open Era record held by Tom Okker and three behind John McEnroe.) So thatís one goal. My other goal is that, as an Australian Davis Cup player, I have three more ties to compete in to have played as many as Adrian Quist and four more to pass him to represent Australia in more Davis Cup ties than anyone else. These two big goals are the reason I'd like to play the next 12 to 18 months." -- Australian doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge on his goals.

"Stop talking about a comeback. You have to understand I really appreciate my new way of life...I am 22 years old and I have my whole life ahead of me. The only thing I can no longer do is to train in a way as to remain competitive." -- The testy Martina Hingis on retiring from tennis.

"Cries of too much power and too few rallies, especially from uneducated segments of the tennis media, persuaded tennis leaders to slow the game down considerably. Balls have changed significantly in size, pressure and thickness of the cover (and) surfaces have also been altered. When Wimbledon changes the blend of grass to provide a surface that bounces higher and slower, we know we have trouble. When you consider that for the first time in history, not one serve-and-volley point was played in the (2002) Wimbledon menís final, you realize how quickly this change has happened and how disastrous it is." -- Todd Woodbridge on the extinction of serve and volley tennis.

"He's still searching for reasons to come back...At the end of the day, playing well at the French Open or trying to win Wimbledon again might not be enough to get him back...But I haven't got the feeling that he is ready to retire tomorrow...He told (me) he's just not ready now...He's been working out a lot off court and doing some hitting, but he hasn't been playing enough sets and doesn't feel match tough...It's hard to get going at the beginning of the year, especially when you haven't played in so long. But in a month or so, I'm sure hoping he'll be ready to play here." -- Pete Sampras' brother Gus, who is the tournament director at the ATP Scottsdale event.

"The guy has earned his right to play the game on his terms, whether he wants to play or not play...I sit back like everybody else waiting for that decision. It will be a said day for tennis when he stops, but ultimately, it has to happen for all of us...I can't help but feel that something's gone that I may never have back again, another opportunity to play some of the kind of matches we've had...But there's a lot of challenges out there. Its not something that's going to affect my motivation." -- Andre Agassi on Pete Sampras.

"I won't say I'm not disappointed, because I am. We signed a contract with Pete 10 days before the US Open and I'm the type of person who honors contracts, but maybe that's just me." -- San Jose tournament director Bill Rapp on Pete Sampras pulling out of his event next week.

"Outside of apparel, shoes and racquets, I'm not convinced the Williams sisters help companies sell their product." -- Ryan Schinman, president of Platinum Rye Entertainment, a sports and entertainment marketing firm.

"It's gone from her looking at me with daggers to 'I'm just going to ignore you for a while.' We've made progress, and somewhere along the line I'm going to get her over the hump." -- Andre Agassi on getting wife Steffi Graf to play mixed doubles at the French Open.

"Pete is still vexed by the big picture of his career. I think it's a combination of him not feeling prepared physically to come back and play at a high level and him not being 100 percent mentally committed to returning. Pete told me, 'I'm just not ready to play yet.'" -- San Jose organizer Barry MacKay.

"All I want is to have fun in what I'm doing every day. I don't want to break records. To become the greatest player ever could take me like...10 more years and I don't think I'll still be playing at 31." -- Serena Williams on pressure to become the greatest.

"I think Ljubicic is going to be a key player for us. Heís going to have to carry a lot of pressure and expectation. Itís not easy when you have to win and a lot of people are counting on you, but itís an open match and we have nothing to lose. I think weíre going to have great support from the crowd. If I can help at least in the doubles, that would be great. If not, I am going to sit there and support the team." -- Goran Ivanisevic on taking on the U.S. in Davis Cup

"We have the great fortune of having the best two players in the world with Serena and Venus. As they demonstrated with some tremendous wins at the Australian Open, they are both playing top-level tennis." -- Billie Jean King, happy to have the Williams sisters playing Fed Cup in April.

"I'm happy with the way I played this week. I'm slowly taking it step by step to try and come back to where I was." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov after losing in the Milan final.

"Before I was saying that clay was my best surface but it would be stupid to say it now." -- Dutchman Martin Verkerk after winning Milan.

"It was funny, I remember a few things. It was a bit of a surprise to see Johan [Kriek] beat John McEnroe in the semis. To win there in 1988 was my first professional title. Those kinds of things stick with me and it was my rookie year. I always get a tremendous amount of support in the Bay Area." -- Michael Chang on winning his first title at the upcoming San Jose (then San Francisco) tournament in 1988

"I've had a little problem with my confidence lately. It's been a while since I won a few of matches in a row." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov, wondering why he hasn't retired

"I like to play tennis and that's the reason why I am playing. The (vein in the leg) operation went well and I am healthy again, that's also the reason why I am playing again." -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov, with no further career plans besides no motivation.

"It was more of a look. Looks can speak volumes." -- Andre Agassi on wife Steffi Graf's reaction to having to play mixed doubles at the French Open.

"I'm serving unbelievable well this week. I worked hard on my serve and also to stay loose during matches. I hope I can keep it up. This is probably my best week on the ATP circuit even if I had reached the quarterfinals in Indianapolis last year. To beat Voinea and Enqvist indoors is a pretty good accomplishment. I had never played well indoors before this week...clay used to be my favorite surface." -- Martin Verkerk, in his second career ATP quarterfinal at Milan.

"I had never played well in Milan except the year when I beat Thomas (Muster) in the first round. I played aggressively tonight and this is possibly my best indoor match ever. I'm happy, I got the wild card to play here so I proved I deserved it." -- Andrea Gaudenzi after beating Younes El Aynaoui in Milan. Hey Andrea, you only beat Muster back then because you were his travelling practice partner. If I practiced with Tommy every day I could figure out a way to beat him too.

"The motivation comes from the fact that I have been away for two last years and I feel that the game hasn't outgrown me. If I can stay healthy and play a few tournaments I believe I could do some good things and get back into the Top 30." -- Richard Krajicek on kicking ass since coming back from injury.

"I feel like I'm at about 75 percent. For sure, I'm playing catch-up. I'm still just searching to kind of get me over the hump and get confident again." -- Lindsey Davenport, who missed much of 2002 with a knee injury.

"C'mon, Rainer, are you gonna kick his ass?" -- John McEnroe, interviewing Rainer Schuettler before the Aussie Open final, working for Australian broadcasting.

"I don't know if he's in a class by himself, but it sure don't take long to call roll." -- The clever trainer and Sanatana look-alike Gil Reyes on his protege Andre Agassi.

"I played good tennis in Australia and it's continuing here. Maybe I am not playing my best tennis but feel that my level is going up each time." -- Xavier Malisse, feeling his way into 2003.

"I am studying law at the university in Holland. When I was away from the circuit I was really focused, I passed a couple of exams last year. I'm really motivated to finish, it's a real challenge for me." -- Richard Krajicek, who will sue your ass if he gets injured at your tournament, in Milan.

"I don't know if heís taken tennis to a new level, but heís definitely the best player in the world at the moment." -- Rainer Schuettler on Andre Agassi, who handed him his ass in the Aussie Open final

"She's not too pleased about that, but hopefully I'll have 50 years with her to be mad at me about more things...It's going to be my responsibility to make it happen. I'm the one that said it, so Iíve got to make it up to her somehow. Count on me to work on it...We have a lot to talk about before we get to the conversation of which side of the court she's going to be playing. I don't think anybody appreciates how hard this is going to be for me to get her out there." -Ė Andre Agassi, who said during the Australian Open that if he wins the title, he will play with wife Stephanie Graf in the mixed doubles at Roland Garros

"We were actually joking about it in the locker room yesterday. She goes `Oh I'm so sick of all these questions'. I said `Well so am I, why don't we just boycott it all." -- Kim Clijsters, on her and Serena Williams tiring of media questions about their rivalry

"Everyone in my group has committed something. My coach (Darren Cahill) has to shave his head, (trainer) Gil (Reyes) has to finally drink a margarita that I make and Stef has to play mixed doubles at the French." -- Andre Agassi on collecting bets if he wins the Australian Open

"These kids, they still struggle to teach him. It is a sporting marvel. Agassi isn't passing the torch as much as he's swinging it upside the head on them." -- Adrian Wojnarowski, writing for ESPN.com

"Grow a spine!" -- Andy Roddick shouting at the chair umpire during his quarterfinal win

"This is just fantastic. Most of the other countries where I play, you would get boo, maybe when you want to serve, some people will try to bother you. Here, the people are really coming to see tennis matches, and that's the most important. They don't even really care who's from where, they just want to see a good match. If you perform well, they'll be behind you." -- Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui on the Aussie Open crowds

"She always wins. The problem is I can't always keep my eyes on the ball." -- Andre Agassi on playing with wife and former No. 1 player Steffi Graf

"No, if I wore a sleeveless shirt, people would try to feed me after the match. If you got the guns, go for it. I got two breadsticks sticking out of my sleeve. I'll stick with sleeves." -- Andy Roddick, when asked if he would be going with the sleeveless look made popular by James Blake at the Australian Open

"I'm just glad to see that Pete (Sampras) shut everyone up last year. That was satisfying. You can't bag on guys like Pete or Tiger (Woods) or Michael Jordan. They can play as long as they want, they can do whatever they want. Nobody should be able to tell them differently." -- Andy Roddick

"I'm pretty frustrated at the moment. I'm not a happy camper at the moment. I just don't feel a hundred percent comfortable. I'm trying to make it happen, and it's just not happening. It's bothering me. I'm showing my frustration too much. Some of the things I'm thinking are not very pleasant." -- Scott Draper after losing to Albert Costa

"I think in general my game has gotten better. Before I was hitting the ball hard, now I am playing smarter." -- Huh? Anna Kournikova, after being beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Justine Henin-Hardenne

"It was a very slow serve, and a lot of double faults. Sometimes it was amazing. I just tried to stay focused on myself." -- Justine Henin-Hardenne, holding back laughter, on the Anna Kournikova serve

"I think it gives me the opportunity to rest my mind in some pretty special ways. Whether you've had a good day or bad day doesn't really matter when you see your little boy." -- Andre Agassi on touring with wife Steffi and son Jaden Gil

"Today's been better than the last days. I did treatment yesterday, and it looks like it work out pretty well. Still, I wasn't able to serve 100 percent but the way I been serving was I didn't feel any pain so that's good. It's also good to win in straight sets, because I have to force my elbow a lot. So I have a treatment tomorrow again and hopefully it's gonna be fine for Wednesday." -- Carlos Moya on his elbow injury

"Yeah, I had the procedure done a week after I played in L.A., and I had pterygiums removed in both eyes and I had stitches in both eyes. For two weeks, I mean, basically I was in the dark because I couldn't be in the sunlight because my eyes were too sensitive...You know, they felt okay out there. But, I mean, I would have to say the recovery time wasn't enough, and I feel like I just didn't give myself enough chance to fully prepare. Probably if I wasn't the defending champion, I wouldn't have showed up, and I probably should have considered that." -- Jennifer Capriati on her eyes and eye surgery, and wishing she would have ditched the Aussie Open this year after losing in the opening round

"I don't think about my knee, I don't think, you know, 'I don't know if I should move quickly for that, if something's going to happen.' I'm pretty committed. Even today, tonight, I had a jump smash and, you know, I just play in the moment. And I felt good. My body feels good." -- Feel-good Aussie Mark Philippoussis, discussing his knee following his first round win at the Australian Open

"Smashing a racket is no big deal. Hey, it's my racquet. I broke it, picked it up, then bent it in half and the fans seemed to like that. I liked breaking it in half. Are we that wussy a sport that we can't break a racket?" -- Manly-man Jan-Michael Gambill

"I asked Stefan Koubek how he played which helped me a little bit. One of the things Stefan told me, was I had to keep in the rallies with him. That's why I tried to make the long rallies. Then after a few rallies, he wanted to attack so much, he made mistakes." -- Dominik Hrbaty reveals the book on how to beat Jan-Michael Gambill: 'Keep the ball in play, wait for him to implode'

"For the first time I was playing with the sun and a bit of wind. But he started to play very well and he was leading 6-1, 4-1 and he was just playing excellent tennis. I didn't get a chance to do something for the better game. I just did it when I was 4-1 down in the second set when he was serving, he made pretty easy mistakes and everything was turned over. I don't think today I was the better player, I just had more luck." -- Jiri Novak, after American Robbie Ginepri choked away a 6-1, 4-1 lead in Auckland

"I've felt it (shoulder soreness) since the first day I came, but more so now. Yesterday in the doubles I felt like I couldn't serve at all. I had a lot of pain. I decided to stop because without the serve it doesn't make any sense. It's better to stop and try to recover. If you play, you play 100 percent, not to suffer on the court...Hopefully I'll be ready for the Australian Open. I'll ask for a late start and try to recover. I can playing forehand, backhand, anything except serve." -- Marat Safin after withdrawing from Sydney with a rotator cuff injury

"I'm disappointed because it was a winnable match for me. But it's no disgrace to lose a tight one to Rainer, who is a Top 30 player. But I was pleased to play five matches this week. Going into the Australian Open I didn't expect that I would have played five matches and had a win over a Top 5 player. That was one of the best wins of my life." -- American Mardy Fish, ousted by Rainer Schuettler after beating Richard Krajicek and Carlos Moya in Sydney

"We go for too much. First of all, we have to go for the urine testing, now we have to go to EPO -- I said to the ATP that I don't think it's correct, but they really didn't listen." -- Marat Safin, not real happy about EPO drug testing

"He has a lot of weapons, a lot of things he can count on when he is out there and he's a real good shot-maker. I think there's a lot of room for him to improve and I think for a long time he will see himself getting better every time he steps on the court." -- Andre Agassi on French teenager Richard Gasquet, who he "overwhelmed" (according to the Associated Press) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 at the Kooyang exhibition. More like "barely escaped an ass-kicking."

"I was out for seven months last year, I broke my hand and then had a fracture in my lower back. I've never practiced as much as I have the last couple of months and I've never been as well prepared for a new season. I want to reach my old ranking, then I can set some new goals. If I continue to play well I think I can get there pretty quick. I'll just continue to work hard. I think I can play even better than I am doing now." -Ė Swede Andreas Vinciguerra, coming back to form after lengthy injury layoff

"I'm very relieved to win a match like that. I've been in a position to win matches like that before and I haven't come through. I kept saying to myself that this is the year for me to win these type of matches." -- American Mardy Fish, after ousting Carlos Moya in Sydney

"Obviously since winning Wimbledon half way through the year, it was fantastic, and that was just a dream come true. And then, from there on I really wanted to consolidate my spot at number one and try and finish back-to-back years at number one. I put everything into that in the last two weeks of the year and I was able to play some of my best tennis. Obviously (now) the Australian Open is one of the closest to my heart, tournament-wise, and I feel like there's no reason why I can't do well there. I feel pretty fit at the moment. I've put in a lot of time on the practice court and a lot of time in the gym as well grinding it out in the last two-and-a-half weeks. I'm as hungry as anyone...I feel like I've been a bit unlucky the last couple of years. Obviously last year with chicken pox, and the year before I had an extremely tough draw the first three matches. You need a little bit of luck in grand slams, and if I get that I feel like I have a good chance of doing well." -- Lleyton Hewitt on being No. 1 approaching the Australian Open

"I arrived at 9 p.m. last night and I just tried to get to sleep. I woke up at 5 a.m. and then went back to bed at 7:30 a.m. It was good to play at night. Things are a lot different now. A lot of people stop to ask me for an autograph and I was even asked to speak to someone's family on the phone." -- Paradorn Srichaphan, answering the phone in Sydney

"I think I'm a better player than I was three years ago. My backhand has improved a lot. I know it's never going to be as good as my forehand, but I can play backhand to backhand with no problem." -- Carlos "Can't play my backhand anymore" Moya in Sydney

"I would love to peak at the Australian Open, that is my goal and on my mind every day. I've never won a match at the Australian Open. Pretty embarrassing really to be a in mind, a top pro, and not even win a match there." -- Jan-Michael Gambill, reminding himself he is a top pro

"I stay home, I practice very well. I had two nephews now. I enjoy their growing up, I stay with my family, surfing with my friends in Brazil. It was amazing. Maybe that's why I'm enthusiastic for this year. Getting my energy when I come back here." -- Gustavo Kuerten on how he spent his holiday

"You know, it's pretty one-dimensional now. Everyone's pretty much solid off the ground, so much power off the ground. Maybe you had more different styles of play (in the past)."
-- Jennifer Capriati on the current state of the women's game.


"Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility."

ó Billie Jean King

"In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe."

ó Elliot Chaze

"The fifth set is not about tennis, it's about nerves."

ó Boris Becker

A Great Gift for Sports Fans!

The Don't Quote Meģ - Sports Illustrated Edition board game has quotes and trivia questions covering over 50 different sports, sports topics and sports movies and TV shows. Enjoy sports highlights, today's stars, yesterday's heroes, plus great facts and stats. Learn more about the Sports Illustrated game Ľ

$24.95

Also available at:


"When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again."

ó Hugo Black

"Good shot, bad luck and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified."

ó Virginia Graham

"I'll let the racket do the talking."

ó John McEnroe

"Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you're too damned old to do anything about it."

ó Jimmy Connors

You might also enjoy...
All Quotes about Tennis
Quotes about Golf
Quotes about Baseball
Quotes about Basketball
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall."

ó Mitch Hedberg

"Tennis and golf are best played, not watched."

ó Roger Kahn

"Whoever said, 'It's not whether you win or lose that counts,' probably lost."

ó Martina Navratilova


It's a lot of bling to play with. You got to have the bling.
Serena Williams after playing with $40K diamond earrings

Simple version for me is, umm, started bad and finished bad basically...
Roger Federer

Ladies, here's a hint. If you're up against a girl with big boobs, bring her to the net and make her hit backhand volleys. That's the hardest shot for the well-endowed.
Billie Jean King

Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified.
Virginia Graham, "Say Please"

But that won't give me a free hand to hold the beer.
Billy Carter while being taught the two-handed backhand

In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe.
Elliot Chaze

It's one-on-one out there, man. There ain't no hiding. I can't pass the ball.
Pete Sampras

An otherwise happily married couple may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Rod Laver

The serve was invented so that the net could play.
Bill Cosby

Though your game is hardly the best you can fray your opponent's nerves by methodically bouncing the ball at least ten times before your serves.
Arnold J. Zarett