The interview room at the Australian Open has been a busy place over the first week, a zone for introspection and good humor. Here's the best of the first week at the Australian Open in quotes:
After scoring the upset of the first week over No.3 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, Cornet reflected on the ups and downs of her career and what's kept her going as she plays her 60th consecutive main draw at a Slam.
"First of all, I really enjoyed it today, which doesn't mean I will enjoy it tomorrow [laughter]. That's why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you're going to feel the next match.
"There were definitely some tough times during my career, but I think it's the same for everybody. Like everybody, I wanted to quit tennis many times because sometimes it's just too painful to work and not to be rewarded for your work, to have some tough losses. Sometimes you lose with match point. You go back to your hotel room and you go, What's the point of doing all that?
"This is not an easy job. You're on the road basically 10 months out of 12 so you never see your family, it's really hard to have a love life. I mean, all these things around tennis make it complicated. But the love of the game has always been stronger.
"I think today the key was that I'm telling myself that I'm playing probably my last year. I'm not sure yet. When I stepped on the court, I was like, You know what, just enjoy the moment because you don't know if you're going to come back. I think that's what made the difference."
The defending champion was a point away from advancing to the fourth round, but Osaka sounded secure, confident and ready to continue her charge back up the rankings.
"I'm not quite worried about my ranking. I think that it will go up to where it needs to go up to if I keep playing like this throughout the year. And honestly, if I'm not ranked at Slams, I think the other people that I'm playing against would be more worried about it than I am. You know what I mean?
"So for me I'm just going to keep my head down and keep working hard. I think I'll get to where I need to get to."
After her steely tactical masterclass to withstand the powerful barrage from Camila Giorgi in the third round, Barty reflected on the challenges of being a versatile World No.1.
"You can get a racquet now that is extremely powerful, allows you to swing through a lot of the ball and gives you this flat shape that just gets through the court. Not too many girls would say no to getting kind of extra power and free power from technology. I think the technology and the way the game has moved has been incredible.
"And for me, it's just been the challenge of trying to navigate my way through that. I was never the biggest girl growing up, so I had to find different ways to win matches. I was never the strongest or the most powerful, so that gave me more tools to be able to try and nullify that.
"As I have gotten a bit older and stronger, I'm able to be a bit more assertive when I need to be, but I know the girls out there can hit a lot bigger than I can. I can accept that and just try and work a way around and make them feel uncomfortable with the tools that I have, because everyone does have unique tools."
Keys: "I was laughing tallying up matches from Berlin through the end of last year. I’ve played the same amount matches in the 1st 3 weeks. You know, that’s just how tennis works.”— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 21, 2022
Q: You had 11 wins last year. You have 9 now.
Keys: Look, we can only go up from that (laughs).
The 20-year-old American reflected on her tough road back after her father's death in 2019.
"Last year was a huge struggle for me. Honestly, I didn't think that I would -- I mean, it's not that I didn't think, but I really wanted to be having these moments again. Sometimes you doubt it, like what if I get injured and I'll never be able to play in a Grand Slam again?
"Those thoughts try to creep up in my head sometimes. Last year was just not great, all my results I wasn't happy with. I'm just really happy that I had a great preseason with my team. They've done incredible work with me in the preseason. I'm just incredibly thankful and grateful that I have such an amazing support system around me and a team.
"So I think that without them, this probably wouldn't have been possible. It's also really important, the people that you surround yourself with, and that's what really helped me after this past year to get back to the level that I can play."
Pegula hitting the tables to relax: "It sounds silly, but it was good for me, because it kind of relaxes you but you have to think a little bit in blackjack what to play. I'm not losing a ton of money or anything. That's what I have been doing, which is kind of sad (smiling)."— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 21, 2022
Undone by a deep blister in her right hand, Raducanu was still able to make a match of it, thanks to her newly-discovered forehand slice, against Danka Kovinic in the second round.
"The start of the year, I still think I can take some positives out of it. I did discover elements of my game I didn't know I had before, and I can use that going forward.
"I just know that I've got that fight in me, even if I have got, like, one shot, I know that I can pull myself out of deep situations. Whereas, because I'm still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some sort of tactics, but it's quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So I'm quite proud of that."
The two-time champion introduced son Leo to the dais after her third-round win. Just like his mother, he was a natural under the lights.
"It's definitely not a distraction, I will never say that. Being a parent is not easy. He's full of personality. I don't know where he gets it from obviously [laughter].
"But I always feel privileged that I'm able to have him here. These kind of moments are really priceless for me. To be able for me to share that with my son is pretty incredible."
Stosur: “I’ve done more than I ever thought possible. I dreamed of winning a Grand Slam and doing close to what I did. To do what I’ve done, dreaming as a little kid, is phenomenal. Couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been amazing.”#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/8cHi5iXIRT— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 20, 2022