Quotable Quotes: Serena & No.1
Published February 15, 2013 12:00
DOHA, Qatar - Serena Williams' return to No.1 seemed inevitable given the results she has put together over the last year - here's what the WTA stars, including Williams herself, said about it all.
"It just shows you how the generations have shifted a bit. Five or 10 years ago you saw a lot of younger players achieving more success and winning Grand Slams. And now you see Li Na and Serena doing so well. I wouldn't say - I'm not going to use the word "old" because it's still quite young, but because they have been around for so many years, it's incredible. It just shows you how if you stay healthy and you're able to keep working hard, then you can still achieve all those things at that age. It's encouraging because I feel like I have so many more years ahead of me. I'm not sure until 32, but you never know."
"That was one of the best matches for me this season - so I'm glad how I played, but of course I'm disappointed I lost. But I'm really glad Serena is No.1 now. She played so well last season - she won almost everything - and it took some time for her to get to No.1, but she deserves it for sure."
"Regardless of how old she is, I think the way she's been playing the last year, especially the last what, six, seven months, I think she deserves to be No.1 at the moment. To go through winning a couple of Grand Slams, the WTA Championships, the Olympics and all that, you probably should be No.1 in the rankings. I think the way she's been able to come back and commit herself back to the tennis and play the way she can, it's obviously fantastic for her and I think it's obviously good for the sport."
On the dramatic win over Kvitova...
"I was just stuck in there, and I never gave up. I always feel like if I can just keep fighting and just try to do it... I definitely wasn't playing great, but with that being said, I think Petra played unbelievable. She was hitting shots I had no chance to get. I don't think anyone on this tour could have gotten them. I'm not slow at all, by any means, and I just couldn't even reach a lot of the shots she hit tonight.
"That's also encouraging, because I'm going to go home and work harder."
On whether she ever thought she wouldn't be able to get to No.1 again...
"A lot. A lot. There were times I never thought I'd even play again. Then I thought I'd never be able to win tournaments or Grand Slams again. No.1 was so far off. I mean, it was always a dream - I was No.1 when tragedy struck, and it was just an awful thing to happen. I'm so happy I'm back."
On keeping her emotions in check - until that fateful on-court interview...
"I didn't want to get into talking too much about No.1. I think I would have put too much pressure on myself, 'All you have to do is get to the semis.' But I had tough matches to play to get there.
"I didn't expect that reaction at all afterwards. I didn't expect that reaction. It was completely surprising to me, but it was nice. It was really genuine, and it felt good, and completely unexpected.
"I just thought I'd be happy and move onto the next round - my reaction was completely unexpected."
On her longevity...
"I don't know. I've never played every week - I've never played 30 tournaments in a year. I didn't play juniors, so I didn't travel the world and get burned out early. I went to school. I had a couple of unfortunate injuries that put me out for a year. Maybe that helped at the end of the day."
On hanging onto No.1 now...
"It's very important for me. I think it's important for everyone at the top. Everyone's trying and playing so well and so consistent, and no one is really losing early. I'm the only one that lost pretty early in Australia. There are two top players that are just playing so well, and so consistent.
"It's not as lonely as it looks at the top."