Quotable Quotes: Patriot Games
Published August 01, 2012 06:58
LONDON, England - The Olympic Games is a tennis tournament unlike any other. For a start, it only comes around once every four years, then there is the fact that gold medals, not trophies, are handed out to the winners and there is also that whole bronze medal playoff thing.
But different does not necessarily mean bad. And to get an inside view on life as an Olympian, wtatennis.com got a player's take on London 2012.
On the opening ceremony
"I just loved it. I think the best part was the Queen and James Bond, apart from the helicopter bit - I thought that was a little bit too much. I love the Queen, though, she's really cool."
Monarchist and Great Britain team member Elena Baltacha
"I was sleeping!"
Tunisia's Ons Jabuer
On carrying the flag
"It was a huge honor for me. Obviously I grew up with the Olympics being such a huge part of the Russian culture. I always loved the parades and envisioned myself one day being part of that although I never knew I would be carrying the flag and being the first female to do so in our history, it's pretty special. I think it's a moment I'll cherish for the rest of my life."
Russia's opening ceremony flag bearer, Maria Sharapova
On being part of an Olympic team
"It's obviously overwhelming having all these great players around you. Having them supporting me is an amazing feeling and getting to know girls like Serena and Venus means a lot. I am so lucky to be part of this team."
New US team member Varvara Lepchenko
"You kind of feel like you are going on a school trip, when we took the train and we were all dressed the same and had our backpacks. It was fun and it was exciting, having been on tour for 15 years, to have a new experience. I look forward to just getting to feel what the Olympic atmosphere is like."
School-trip-loving Kim Clijsters
"It felt really good on the court. It was different from playing a Grand Slam or a WTA tournament. You're playing for your country and it's a privilege. I was so excited to be here at my first Olympics."
Olympic debutante Aleksandra Wozniak
On the Olympics' more relaxed dress code
"Obviously you have the tradition of Wimbledon where everyone wears white. This is completely different. Even in the locker room, everyone is supporting their country, wearing the warm-ups in all the different colors. It creates a great atmosphere."
Sharapova gets all warm and fuzzy inside
On the crowd
"The crowd here is so different. They started singing God Save the Queen in my warm-up. You definitely wouldn't have had that at Wimbledon, but it was very funny! This is more like a US Open-type atmosphere."
Great Britain's Laura Robson
"It was a great feeling to have so many Italians supporting us. It is an amazing atmosphere. When it was tough in the last set, they were singing "I-tal-ia, I-tal-ia, I-tal-ia," and it made me try even harder.
Sara Errani gets caught up in the patriotism
On tennis' new craze of collecting pins
"I'm one of the more relaxed ones on the pins. Everyone seems to go doing it and asking me to swap. I have a few pins, the Papua New Guinea one and some of the other smaller countries. They are the best ones to get because they're the rarer ones."
New British No.1 Heather Watson
"My pin collection is insane."
A typically understated Serena Williams
On following the other sports
"I've especially gotten into archery here in London, it's amazing. Maybe I can get out there and do it for recreation. That would be cool."
Sydney gold medalist Venus Williams