us open interviews

They said what?! Quotes from Day One of the US Open from Sharapova, Isner, Murray and others

By Romi Cvitkovic

Tennis players are vocal by nature due to always being interviewed and probed by media, commentators and fans. So they make a lot of funny, quirky, quizzical and sometimes insightful comments. Here’s the roundup of the best player quotes from Day One of the U.S. Open.

MARIA SHARAPOVA, on her stomach bug that kept her out of Montreal and Cincinnati:

“I had some tests done, some blood-work, some ultrasound stuff… It was really weird. They told me I was fine, not pregnant. I’m like, ‘Can I get my money back?'”

JOHN ISNER, on his open draw: 

“I believe I can beat anyone, but I also know anybody can beat anybody out here.  I’m not looking past anyone.  I’m not good enough to do that.”

JOHN ISNER, on the margins in tennis:

“[The margin] is so thin. Just a couple days ago [in Winston-Salem] I was down a match point and my opponent had a volley that he probably makes nine times out of ten and he didn’t make it.  So I realize how lucky I was or how fortunate I was to win that event.  I’m coming up here riding a five‑match winning streak instead of a one‑match losing streak.  I know that Djokovic, that forehand he hit last year against Roger sort of went for broke and he made it.  The margins are so thin. ”

JOHN ISNER, on his appreciation of Roger Federer and his 17 Slams: 

“That’s unbelievable.  The closest I’ve come to winning a Grand Slam is one quarterfinal, and he’s won 17 of them.  It’s hard to even put into context how great he is.  His consistency is ‑‑ we might not ever see it again.  In my opinion, he’s the greatest of all time, and he’s still doing it now.  I don’t see him slowing down any time soon, either.  He’s very gifted, that’s for sure.”

ANDY MURRAY, on the challenge of adjusting his strokes based on windy weather conditions:

“The breeze is a lot stronger than it has been.  From one of the ends you had to do a lot of defending, a fair amount of running.  That was probably the hardest thing rather than the heat. It’s just quite challenging … when you’re playing down at the far end you’re trying to hit the ball flatter to get it through the wind.  And then when you have the wind with you, you’re trying to play with more spin and therefore you’re changing your strokes a little bit.  It can be tough to stay in a rhythm.”

ANDY MURRAY, on how he felt after winning the Olympic gold medal:

“I knew after that match that everything you’ve kind of gone through as a player was worth it because it was the biggest win of my career by far.  I’ve had many tough losses. … I’ve had a lot of doubts after losing.  Even after the Wimbledon final a few weeks previously, you have a lot of doubts about yourself.  But after winning a match like that you kind of forget about all of those things.”

JACK SOCK, on how good his serve was on a scale of 1 to 10:

“I think my second serve was a 9.63.”

SAM STOSUR, on realizing how close she was to a golden set against Petra Martic: 

“I knew at 4‑Love, 40‑Love that I hadn’t missed a point and the match had been going pretty quick and obviously in my favor.  It did pop into my head for a split second.  Then I hit the double fault and it was erased and I was quickly on with the next point.”

JAMES BLAKE, on being one of the older American players and getting the “grandpa” jokes dished at him: 

“I knew I was going to get [the old guy jokes], because when I was a kid starting out around here I dished them out.  So I knew they would come back to haunt me.  I remember I used to make fun of Todd Martin… for taking so long to warm up, for his gray hair, for all that kind of stuff, for just in general being old.  He said, ‘Just wait, just wait.  You will be, too.’  Now I’m getting it from everyone.  I deserve it, because if I dish it out, I’ve got to be able to take it.  I’m getting the old jokes, the grandpa jokes, and I’m okay with that.”

JAMES BLAKE, on Federer: 

“The guy’s a freak.  He’s so good.  It’s really incredible.  I could spend another hour talking about the things I’m impressed with by him… It’s so easy to go out and roll your ankle or tear up your knee or for your back to be sore.  For him not to do that is amazing.  I think it shows how much work he probably puts in stretching, getting his body strong enough and physically ready to play all these slams.”

JAMES BLAKE, on Serena Williams’ dominance on the WTA Tour: 

“You know what’s impressed me most about her is her mind… her will to win. You don’t want to be playing against her.  She’s mentally the toughest person I know out there on the WTA Tour by far.  She wants to win every single match.  Doesn’t just want to win, she wants to beat you badly… She’s a superstar that moves the needle when it comes to selling product and getting tennis on TV, to selling ads.  She’s unbelievable.  If I ever get a chance to play mixed doubles, she’s the one I want as my partner.”