Quotable Quotes: Legends In Paris
Published February 19, 2012 11:56
PARIS, France - Last Sunday, Angelique Kerber secured the first of what she hopes will be many WTA tournament victories at the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris. However, the talented German has some catching up to do if she wants to reach the title tallies of any of the four players who preceded her on court at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
That is because the exhibition doubles match that served as the hors d'oeuvre for the final featured Martina Hingis, Amélie Mauresmo, Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles, a legendary quartet whose combined trophy haul stands at a staggering 288. And that's just in singles.
After the match, the four players sat down with the press to discuss everything from their own era-defining rivalries to the state of the modern game. Here's what they said:
On being back in Paris...
MS: I couldn't wait to come back to Paris, although, I tried to erase the memory of losing to Martina in a third set tie-breaker back in 1993! But I always enjoy playing in Paris. My last time playing here was 10 years ago to the day in 2002 and to be back now and playing with such legends is great for me and the fans.
MH: For me also I felt very flattered to be on the same court with Martina, Monica and Amélie because, first, we don't really get to see each other very much and it's nice to have some memories brought back, plus either way it's my second home here now that I'm married to a Parisian so I feel very good about being here.
MN: You don't get a chance to be on court with these guys very often, like never, so for me it's a treat. It's always nice to come here - I've been spending a lot of time here also.
On the WTA's emerging talent...
MH: "I think now we're seeing the young generation coming up like Azarenka. I played her when she was 18 or 19 and it was a very hard match and she killed me. I thought four or five years when I still played, that this girl was going to win a Grand Slam, maybe even earlier. I love Kvitova's game and Wozniacki's too and it's great to see this new generation of players."
On new rivalries...
MN: "I think it takes a while to develop a rivalry, but I think there is a possibility of a great one between Azarenka and Kvitova; I think those are very talented players, they have a really intense personality and are very professional about how they go about it and if they stay healthy, I think that's the rivalry to come."
MS: "It's great also not to maybe have a rivalry. Now that we really don't know when the tournament starts who's going to be in the final, I think it's really exciting for the fans. Right now, everybody's fighting to be that No.1 or to win the most Grand Slams. But the competition is pretty even. I think it's pretty exciting for fans to watch."
On turning back the clock...
MS: If I could change one match it would be when I lost to Arantxa in 1998 French Open final, because I had so many chances but she was much better but that was a tough loss for me. I would replay that one, yes. I would challenge that call today!
MN: For me, it would be the final at Wimbledon '94 because I didn't play that well and that would have been a nice way to finish my career, but the match that eats at me more is the Australian Open final losing to Sukova [in 1984] in the semifinals and that would have been the seventh Grand Slam, the calendar year grand slam.
AM: For me was the final of the Olympics in Athens. Silver is good, gold is probably better!