Top Tennis Quotes: Victory, Humility, Championship, and Passion

Andre Agassi famously said, “In tennis, you’re on an island. Of all the games, men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement.”

Indeed, the top is a lonely place.

But, time and again, it is not always about the greatest tennis player of all time. Their words are all the more reason these men and women deserve respect.

Famous tennis quotes

Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you’re too damned old to do anything about it. ~ Jimmy Connors

Freed from the thoughts of winning, I instantly play better. I stop thinking; start feeling. My shots become a half-second quicker, my decisions become the product of instinct rather than logic. ~ Andre Agassi

I just try to play tennis and don’t find excuses. You know, I just lost because I lost, not because my arm was sore. ~ Goran Ivanisevic

I play each point like my life depends on it. ~ Rafael Nadal

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

If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration. ~ Serena Williams

I’m not afraid of anyone, but sometimes I’m afraid of myself. ~ Justine Henin

As a tennis player, you have to get used to losing every week. Unless you win the tournament, you always go home as a loser. But you have to take the positive out of a defeat and go back to work. Improve to fail better. ~ Stan Wawrinka

Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy. ~ Rafael Nadal

Tennis is mostly mental. You win or lose the match before you even go out there. ~ Venus Williams

Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love — the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. ~ Andre Agassi

If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win. ~ Andre Agassi

The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst. ~ Martina Navratilova

In tennis, it is not the opponent you fear, it is the failure itself, knowing how near you were but just out of reach. ~ Andy Murray

I enjoyed the position I was in as a tennis player. I was to blame when I lost. I was to blame when I won. And I really like that, because I played soccer a lot too, and I couldn’t stand it when I had to blame it on the goalkeeper. ~ Roger Federer

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. ~ Arthur Ashe

What is the single most important quality in a tennis champion? I would have to say desire, staying in there and winning matches when you are not playing that well. ~ John McEnroe

Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good. ~ Serena Williams

As a tennis player you can win and you can lose, and you have to be ready for both. I practised self-control as a kid. But as you get older they both – winning and losing – get easier. ~ Rafael Nadal

Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come. ~ Serena Williams

You don’t have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman. ~ Martina Navratilova

You’ll hear a lot of applause in your life, but none will mean more to you than that applause from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end. ~ Andre Agassi

I’ve been playing against older and stronger competition my whole life. It has made me a better tennis player and able to play against this kind of level despite their strength and experience. ~ Maria Sharapova

I don’t mind fans coming up in a friendly, respectful way. That’s all part of the fun of being a top tennis player. But if people take pictures without permission, particularly if my children are in the shot, I feel uncomfortable. ~ Roger Federer

 

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Player Feature: Novak Djokovic

Full Name: Novak Djokovic 

Birthdate: May 22, 1987

Birthplace: Belgrade, SR Serbia 

Years active: 2003 – present

ATP Rank: #1

Key facts and statistics

  • One of the Big Four of men’s tennis
  • Had the highest Elo rating
  • 16 Grand Slam titles
  • Held the 4 major titles at once
  • 5x ATP #1 tennis player in men’s singles
  • Has 75 singles titles

Novak Djokovic is dubbed as one of the best male tennis players of the Open era and of all-time. He ranks among the rosters of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, and Bjorn Borg.

An aggressive baseline player, there is something unique about Djokovic’s all-court (albeit modern) playing style. He is known for his deep and penetrating groundstrokes. But his backhand underspin is legendary with its consistent pace and precision – even considered as the best in this era. 

Djokovic is both a defensive and offensive player. He can easily convert positions on seemingly defensive positions. 

He turns to his serves as a weapon to win free points. The same goes with his return of serves; John McEnroe even said that Djokovic is the most outstanding returner in tennis history.

Together with Federer, Nadal, and Andy Murray, they formed the Big Four. The players dominate men’s tennis division in terms of ranking and victories. Djokovic has the highest Elo rating of the four, though, because of his records in winning against quality opponents. He was the only player to defeat the top three tennis players within one season.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) currently rank him as the #1 player in men’s singles. He was a five-time #1 player, grabbing the position in a total of 250 weeks. He was the only Serbian to achieve the ranking as well as win a Grand Slam singles title.

Djokovic has numerous titles under his belt; 75 titles. He has a total of 16 Grand Slam titles, reaching the Career Grand Slam title after winning the 2016 French Open. He was the eighth player to do so.

He was also the third tennis player who holds four major titles at once, on different surfaces. His major titles include seven Australian Opens, five Wimbledons, three US Opens, and one French Open.

He was consistently on tours since he started playing professionally as well. Djokovic has won 33 ATP Tour Masters, 12 ATP Tour 500s and five ATP Finals. He holds the record for being the only male player to win tournaments under Masters 1000.

With all these, he was always the consistent half on the best rivalries on the court. Not just against his Big Four contemporaries, but also Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and Juan Martin del Potro. In all their meetings, Djokovic prevailed.

One of the cited reasons for his court endurance and agility is his vegan diet. In 2010, his coaching team, which included Igor Četojević, a nutritionist, discovered that he has a gluten intolerance. Gluten was removed from his diet. He became stronger and quicker after the change.

Aside from playing tennis, he also devotes his time to his vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo that he opened in 2016.

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4 of the Greatest Men’s Tennis Rivalries of the Last Decade

If you’ve seen Borg vs. McEnroe, you’d ask yourself: if this is not the greatest tennis rivalry, then what is? Nothing, but perhaps one of these modern rivalries is a forthcoming, movie-screen worthy the tennis world is waiting.

Men’s tennis rivalries are as intense as that of the women’s. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Andy Murray, and 2019 Wimbledon men’s singles champion, Novak Djokovic are some of the greatest players in recent history. The Golden Era of Tennis is all thanks to these men.

Each has their fair share of momentous rivalries, though. The majority of which are ongoing rivalries and are listed below.

Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray

Djokovic and Murray had a storied rivalry that started in 2006 with Djokovic’s 14 Grand Slam singles titles as opposed to Murray with only 3. They had seven Grand Slam finals meeting. In the Open era, the Serb and Brit were seeded to meet in the Australian Open finals for four times. 

Nonetheless, their 2012 US Open Grand Slam matchup has been one for the books. The game ended after almost 5 hours, with Murray winning his first major title. In 2013, they met again at Wimbledon that Murray had also won. He was the first Brit to win the London major for the first time since 1936.

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer

Although Federer has more Grand Slam titles with 20 compared with Djokovic’s 13, Djokovic often prevailed during their head-to-head meetings. Djokovic and the Swiss had a total of 45 meetings.

Dubbed as the male version of the earlier rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, the two are the Open era’s hardcourt players. They were the only ones to beat each other in Grand Slam tournaments. Djokovic prevailed over Federer, however, at the 2014, 2015, and 2019 Wimbledon as well as 2011 and 2015 US Open. Federer defeated Djokovic in 2007 US Open, and also in 2008 during the semifinals, which is considered as another classic.

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

Interestingly, Djokovic leads their head-to-head career meeting with 27 against Nadal’s 25. On the other end of the court, however, Nadal leads Grand Slam tournaments meetings with 9 to 5, finals with 4 to 3 and singles titles with 17 to 13. Their meetings have been the hardest to predict, experts agreed.

Nadal had 14 more faceoffs with Djokovic than with Federer. Djokovic and Nadal were the two top tennis players to meet in four Grand Slam finals. Nadal won nine of their 14 meetings and four in seven meetings on Grand Salm finals. Their 2012 Australian Open finals was considered as one of the greatest Grand Slam finals at almost 6 hours. Djokovic won in five sets.

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer

Two of the most respected tennis players in the Open era, Nadal and Federer rivalry is an even matchup. Nadal leads Grand Slam tournaments head-to-head meetings and finals with 9 and 3, respectively, against Federer’s 3 and 3. However, Federer has more Grand Slam titles with 20 compared with that of Nadal’s with 17. They had a total of 38 meetings.

Their most epic game was the 2008 Wimbledon final–their third consecutive year. Federer was looking to win his sixth consecutive Centre Court finals trophy, but Nadal won’t let him. Nadal got the better of Federer in a five-set win. Their most recent duel was the 2017 Australian Open final, with which Federer has also won.

 

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