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Quotable Quotes: Talk From The Terre Battue

Who smells the new tennis balls, who doesn't feel fulfilled, reactions to the Serena stunner...

Published June 12, 2012 12:00

Quotable Quotes: Talk From The Terre Battue
Virginie Razzano

PARIS, France - The French Open fortnight wasn't just exciting on the court, it was also fascinating in the press room - below is the first batch of best quotes from Roland Garros, this one focusing on the on-court side of things...

Maria Sharapova on her rituals between points...
"I've always had my own little routines during matches since I was very young, and I've kind of stuck to them, win or lose. The moments I take before each point are to have a moment within myself, zone in and think about what I want to do, what I want to keep doing - just to concentrate and focus. Over the time of a match it's tough to keep a high level of focus at times; you're going to have a few dips here and there. Sometimes if you feel like things are rushed a little bit, it gives you time to be in your own little world and stay at a high level."

Aravane Rezai on the support from her French home crowd...
"It always feels good when the crowd supports you - for 365 days a year I think about Roland Garros, how I want to come back and play Roland Garros and give it my all. I want to show the crowd, my crowd, that I'm here and that I'm fighting. It's a very special tournament for me and to see the crowd support me is obviously a bonus. Win or lose, they support you. I'm so grateful for it."

Dominika Cibulkova on smelling the tennis balls...
"I really like the smell of the tennis balls, the new ones. I don't need to do it, but it's just my habit, what I do on the court when we change for the new tennis balls. I just smell them. Maybe it's for luck. I've been doing it all my life."

Yaroslava Shvedova on her mindset against top players...
"I always have nice matches against top players because it's easier. I have no pressure and I don't need to defend anything, which is how it is when I'm playing with lower-ranked players. Against top players, I just come to beat them."

Kimiko Date-Krumm on looking forward...
"I already had a good career the first time, so it's difficult to find out a target goal, but I'm still enjoying playing tennis and I like the challenge. I don't know how many years I'll continue to play - it could be my last time here, maybe two more years, maybe three more years. Nobody knows. I don't even know. But since I started my second career I've really liked playing the Grand Slams - it's always difficult, but it's also very special. I hope to keep playing them."

Ana Ivanovic on being fulfilled with her tennis career...
"I've thought about that question many times, and the answer is I'm probably not happy yet, even though I've achieved some of my dreams. I have hunger for more. That's what drives me. That's what inspires me to get up in the morning and work hard. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't be here. So, to answer the question, I wouldn't be happy. That's why I want to win another Grand Slam."

Sloane Stephens on comparing Chatrier to Ashe...
"Nothing will compare to playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium at nighttime in front of Americans, in front of your home. Nothing is better than that, because I'm American. It was awesome for me to play on Court Philippe Chatrier, but nothing will ever compare to playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium at night."

Varvara Lepchenko on her on-court demeanor...
"My dad said, 'You seem like you're not interested in the match. You're not jumping around. All the girls are jumping around, and you're just walking from one side to the other. Show a little bit of interest.' And in my matches here I really wanted the victory, so I've been showing more emotion than before."

Virginie Razzano on her first round stunner over Serena...
"I already beat Top 10 players, and I know I can beat anyone on a good day. I had to think about Serena's game. I haven't slept very well the past three days. I never fell asleep before 1 o'clock in the morning. I was really anxious.

"When you play a champion like Serena, or Venus too, if you want to win, you have to spend a lot of time on the court. With my kind of game it's not possible to beat them in one hour and a half. You need to be ready physically and tennis-wise - you have to put up a big fight to beat them, because they have won so many Grand Slam tournaments and are champions in their own minds.

"It's happiness, pure happiness. It's the most beautiful victory of my career, especially on the Philippe Chatrier court in front of the whole crowd."

Serena Williams on putting her first round loss in perspective...
"You know, I've been through so much in my life. I'm not here saying I'm happy by any means, but I just always think things can be worse."

Victoria Azarenka on Serena's first round loss...
"It's part sympathy. The first round is never easy, but you have to give a lot of credit to Virginie - she showed some exceptional tennis, that's for sure. I think in the women's game you have to be really ready to fight from the first match - that's how I've felt the last few years; that every match is going to be difficult right from the beginning. There aren't going to be any easy ones."

Venus Williams on Serena's first round loss...
"It's hard for me because all my hopes were on her for this tournament. I wanted her to win. I wasn't sure that I could - I wasn't sure what my destiny was at this tournament - but I really wanted her to win. She's been playing so well on the clay. But there are days when someone comes out and they have nothing to lose, so they go for it. It's bad luck. I think if she had gotten through that match, this tournament would have been a whole lot different for her.

"Thankfully she has like 20-something majors to keep her warm at night."

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