Quotable Quotes: Aces & Torches

Why did Maria Sharapova really start playing tennis? What one shot in her career does Petra Kvitova remember the most? Here they are in their own words...

Published March 09, 2014 12:15

Quotable Quotes: Aces & Torches
Li Na

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova - they're all Grand Slam champions, and they all met the press during All Access Hour at the BNP Paribas Open this week...

Maria Sharapova
On how carrying the torch in Sochi compared to carrying the flag in London...
"They're tough to compare. Carrying the torch was probably the biggest honor I could have received. It was one of those moments that happened so fast, but I was so happy, even in the lead-up of running into the stadium, the whole atmosphere before in the green room, to see everyone so excited for each other - we were creating a little part of history. It was also the first time I've had all my family in the stadium watching me - my grandparents, both of my parents as well. That never really happens."

On working as a correspondent for NBC during the Olympics...
"It was exhausting! Tennis is physical and challenging, but you're so used to taking care of your body, making sure you sleep, eating right - everything that week was shattered. You're not sleeping, you're eating terribly and you're drinking caffeine all the time to stay up and look like you're awake."

On why she really started playing tennis...
"I think I started playing because I was so bored of watching my father play. He was playing on the next court, and I picked up a racquet - it happened to be Yevgeny Kafelnikov's racquet, because my father would play with his racquets. So I took one of those and would go and play against the wall. I kept doing it and doing it and did it as many times as he went to hit out there, and little by little I started playing with other kids, and it became more competitive, and that's how it all really started."

Li Na
On the event IMG and the WTA threw for her in Beijing...
"I was very happy to have the celebration event from IMG and the WTA in Beijing. I signed a lot of autographs there, but not contracts - so I'm looking forward to signing a lot of contracts!"

On the work that goes into becoming a Grand Slam champion...
"When you win a Grand Slam, people only see the two weeks of the tournament, but they don't know how hard we've been working before these two weeks. You can prepare for these moments for years."

On doubles...
"The doubles court is too small for me! Last time I played doubles was 2007 - or I played the Olympics too - but when I stood on the court I didn't know what to do. Even when I was returning, it felt like the court was too small. Everywhere there's people - I cannot do it! I'll focus on my singles for now."

Petra Kvitova
On whether she feels like most of the matches she plays are on her racquet...

"When I'm playing, I do feel like it's about me a lot of the time. I play very aggressively, so a lot of times I'm in control. Unfortunately, it's not a happy ending every time. The mistakes are there, and I know they're there, and I'm working to keep improving. I need to work on keeping the errors down."

On whether there's one shot in her career she remembers the most...
"It would be the ace on match point in the final of Wimbledon. I knew I had three match points in a row, so I had quite a good chance to do it. I remember from the ad side I was always serving wide, so that time I served up the T. I was quite glad I didn't have to play the point out there, though!"

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