NEW YORK -- Serena Williams was the focus on the court and in the interview room during Week 1 at the US Open. WTA Insider rounds up the best quips and insights from a week no one will ever forget.
"It's pretty funny because I don't think a couple weeks ago, couple months ago, they were not thinking about me at all."
- Caroline Garcia, on being labeled a tournament favorite
"Well, it's a different situation obviously from last year. I know I could be safer than other players, for sure. But you never know. You could have six or five Anetts come up after at the end of the season."
- Ons Jabeur, who sits at No.2 on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard, on trying to qualify for her first WTA Finals this year.
"The more tournaments I play, I feel like the more I can belong out there. That's a tough feeling to have, and to leave knowing the more you do it, the more you can shine. But it's time for me, you know, to evolve to the next thing."
- Serena Williams, after winning her opening round.
"I experienced loss to Ashleigh Barty in Melbourne 6-Love, 6-Love. I was like, It cannot be worse than that, even against Serena."
- Danka Kovinic, who lost 6-3, 6-3 in the first round to Serena Williams.
Q. In the first set, there was a serve, which was 128 miles an hour.
Coco Gauff: Wow (whistling).
"I also feel that not every player would handle that kind of fuss around your first match of the tournament. She's handling it pretty well, as usual. So that's just confirmation of how great she is.
"And the outfit also, pretty cool."
- Iga Swiatek on Serena Williams' opening round win.
"Three letters is W-I-N. That's it. Very simple."
- Venus Williams on what drives her at this stage of her career."
I didn't even remember what I was thinking, to be honest. I think I was just, 'Oh, crap.'"
- Danielle Collins' reaction when she saw she drew Naomi Osaka in the first round.
Andrea Petkovic: "I was glad that it ended like this, with Belinda, somebody I love and respect so much.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 30, 2022
"Also that I could bring to the last match everything that I brought to my career, which was grit and tenacity, and just respect for the game and for my opponents."#USOpen
"I mean, it's Serena. I think once you get to that status, you can do whatever you want. It's just up to us to look at something else, not at the montage."
- Ajla Tomljanovic on the montage that plays in the stadium before Serena Williams takes the court.
"I have heard that noise. Believe me, yep."
- Victoria Azarenka, who has faced Serena Williams in two US Open finals, on the noise on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Zhang Shuai has now made the 2nd week at all four majors.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 4, 2022
Remember when she was 0-14 at the Slams?
"No one was badder than me."
Now she readies to face Coco Gauff, who said "I'm just happy that tennis has someone like her in the sport."
Read: https://t.co/cFuffEpMzJ pic.twitter.com/JIyvUeJ8Q7
"Well, you can call me whatever you like, yes. I know some people they call me 'Kingwen,' some people call me 'Queenwen,' 'Zheng Qinwen.' You call me whatever you feel comfortable, and if I know it's me, it's fine."
- Zheng Qinwen when asked how she would like people to address her.
"When I see those picture, I feel really happy because when we play tennis, especially me, I know I make strange faces sometimes. I mean, not everybody can play like Roger with really calm face. I wish I can, but is so tough to be like that.
"When I see this picture and compared to tennis, of course you see is much more beautiful, absolutely, yes. But also in tennis, I enjoy the way how I am and to be a competitor on court is different beauty. Both are really good."
- Zheng Qinwen's reaction to her photo shoot in Harper's Bazaar China.
Serena: " I just feel like I have had a big red X on my back since I won the US Open in '99. It's been there my entire career, because I won my first Grand Slam early in my career.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 1, 2022
But here it's different. I feel like I've already won, figuratively, mentally."#USOpen
"I'm zero surprised. I think she's playing like Serena plays: Strong and solid, just her game. I'm zero surprised. She's putting it together at the right moment. This is a last push, and I think we all see it that this is a last push because she's giving it all."
- Garbine Muguruza on Serena Williams' run through the first week.
"I think really it's helped me because I'm playing usually tournaments in all types of situations. You're playing every week. You're playing when you're tired. You're playing when you're feeling great. You're playing when maybe mentally something happened. I think it prepares you for every situation in a Slam."
- Coco Gauff on how the tour has prepared her for winning a Slam.
"Yeah, it's to shut my mouth. That's it. Yeah, when I start to speak on court, it's not going well."
- Caroline Garcia on the work she's doing with her team.
Collins: "I think as everybody knows, I've idolized Serena and Venus my whole life, they've been people I've really looked up to.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 31, 2022
"This is such a big moment in our tennis history. I love how our sport celebrates our champions of the game."
"I think I'm definitely probably going to be karaoke-ing tomorrow."
- Serena Williams after her final match at the US Open.
"I mean, no one's going to pronounce my name right. That's going to suck."
- Ajla Tomljanovic when told she's now going to be the answer to a trivia question for years to come.
"I just can't believe like the era of Serena is kind of on the tennis court is over. I mean, it's just hard to picture tennis without her. Because all the achievements she had, she's paved the way for a lot of women, women of color, coming from Compton, there are just so many things she kind of checks off the boxes.
"Yeah, it's crazy that she's -- I don't know, it's just sad. Happy sad, but it's sad."
- Jessica Pegula on Serena Williams
"I mean, there's so many things to be remembered by. Like the fight. I'm such a fighter. I feel like I really brought something, and bring something, to tennis. The different looks, the fist pumps, the just crazy intensity. I think that obviously the passion I think is a really good word. Just continuing through ups and downs.
"I could go on and on. But I just honestly am so grateful that I had this moment and that I'm Serena."
- Serena Williams' last words in her final press conference.