PARIS, France - How does being a writer compare to playing tennis? What goes through the mind of a teenager phenom? And how does Bono feel about all this?
WTA Insider takes you inside the interview room at Roland Garros for some of the lighter moments from the first 10 days of the tournament. For more words of wisdom, read Part I.
"I don't know. Maybe now (smiling)."
- 19-year-old Czech Marketa Vondrousova, after advancing to her first Slam semifinal, on the moment she realized she was a good player.
"Or like every single week? (Laughing.) Well, that would be nothing new to me. Just the usual second-round match."
- Victoria Azarenka, on having to play No.1 Naomi Osaka in the second round and her history of tough draws.
"It's a good experience for me. And I'll remember that match. I'll learn from it even though it lasted, like, 40 minutes."
- 18-year-old Iga Swiatek, after her 6-1, 6-0 loss to Simona Halep in the Round of 16.
Q. You have never defended a Grand Slam before.
SIMONA HALEP: Because I have only one (smiling).
- Sofia Kenin, when asked if she could put her trip to Paris into one word.
"I don't think I have ever been booed. I mean, I've been cheered against, which if you've ever played Simona Halep in any country near Romania then you know what that's like. But I have never been, like, legit booed."
- Sloane Stephens, on whether she has ever been booed by the crowd.
"There are also similarities when it comes to discipline, but just I'm used to tennis to sweat and have adrenaline and all these things. And in writing you just kind of like feel everything inside you and it hurts your soul and your heart."
- Andrea Petkovic, on the similarities and differences between writing and playing tennis. Petkovic is currently working on a book of essays, which will be available in the fall of 2020.
"I complain a lot in Japanese (smiling). But I mutter it, so you guys probably don't hear it. But, yeah, usually when I'm complaining on the court, it's in Japanese because I don't want people to understand the English."
- Naomi Osaka, after her second-round win.
"I will get some food now and then just slowly wind down and go to bed, wake up, have breakfast. Probably listen to Smooth Radio. That's what I have been listening to in the mornings. That's been nice.
"Come here. Warm up. Play. Eat. Recover. Go home. Eat, sleep, play. That's basically it. It's really glamorous (smiling)."
- Johanna Konta, on her routine in Paris.
Q. Has anyone ever told you to hit fewer drop shots?
MARKETA VONDROUSOVA: No. (Laughing.)
"No, I can't afford it right now. It's too dehydrating for me. Right now I need to focus to stay hydrated and rests. But after this tournament, I'm going to have a few, I promise (smiling)."
- Petra Martic, after defeating Kaia Kanepi to advance to her first Slam quarterfinal, on whether she will celebrate with her traditional glass of wine.
"I think people are still joking when they say that (smiling). I definitely feel more comfortable on clay and I actually enjoy it so every year is a little bit better. But I think people are still joking when they say that."
- Charleston champion Madison Keys, who made the semifinals last year, on being tagged a clay-court specialist.
Q. Another good win today. Well played. I'd like to ask you about Bono.
JOHANNA KONTA: I love Bono questions. Ask away.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about his personality? Does it make a difference whether he's with or without you? And do you think Bono misses you, too?
JOHANNA KONTA: I know he does. I know he misses me (smiling).
"Well, I haven't really spoken to anyone at home. I called mum and dad just briefly. Their first question was, How's Bono? (Laughing.)"
- Johanna Konta, on the reaction back home in Britain after advancing to her first French Open semifinal. In case it wasn't clear, Bono is Konta's dog.
"We start very young, and we are very invested in our career, and we really take this seriously. So it doesn't surprise me to see so many girls coming in here and making a name for themselves. It says a lot about their maturity at such a young age and what they're believing in themselves to do.
"I mean, you see Naomi at such a young age being world No. 1 and winning two Grand Slams. That in itself is impressive. And it gives me goosebumps even to talk about it because I know her, she's a great girl, and I'm so happy to see what she's doing."
- Monica Puig, on the rise of the younger players this season.
"She's a good girl, and I really take to all the young girls out there that are doing well. I was heartbroken when she walked into that locker room, and I wanted to be there for her, because I have been there. And it's an interesting position, because it's just like no one ever says anything, even though I feel like a lot of people want to.
"I just decided, I'm not gonna do that anymore. I've always wanted to. I'm just gonna go for it now and do what my emotions want me to do and not do the "professional thing," because maybe that's not professional. I just got to do what I feel and act how I feel."
- Serena Williams, on consoling Amanda Anisimova in the locker room after a tough loss in Miami last year.
Q. You were down triple set point in the first set and it was kind of insane to watch you.
MARKETA VONDROUSOVA: I know (smiling).
Q. When you say that I just want to play my game, I just need to focus on playing my game, what is your game? Like, when you're playing well, when you're playing in a way that makes you happy, what are you doing well?
MARKETA VONDROUSOVA: Play drop shots.
"I have a really good, like, b******t radar, so if it doesn't sound right, it's probably not right (smiling)."
- Sloane Stephens, on how she determines whether a prospective coach knows what they're talking about or not.
"No. When you look at the draw, the eight people that are still in the tournament, there is a reason why they're still in the tournament. There's always opportunities in every single tournament to go further. Am I upset that I wasn't able to do that? Of course. But I wouldn't downplay any of the other eight people, because they're all great players.
"That question, I think, is not great because that kind of puts the other players down, which is, in this situation, in the last eight of a Grand Slam, is nowhere near where they should be put."
- Sloane Stephens, on whether she feels more "cross" that she lost to Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals given the remaining players in the draw.
"I was watching Simona before my match and then I was, like, Oh, my God, her backhand down the line is so good and she was taking her time, and then I think I was mimicking it in my match."
- Amanda Anisimova, on hitting "effortless" backhands down the line in her Round of 16 win over Spanish qualifier Aliona Bolsova.
Q. You played one 17-year-old today and next you're playing Anisimova, also 17.
SIMONA HALEP: I feel old.
Q. On that same subject, when you were that age, did you actually fear players? Or did you go out...
SIMONA HALEP: I was not on Chatrier at 17. I was in quallies here (smiling).
"Yeah, I would. I wanted to meet him for so long. I'm like, it's okay, I'm not that superstitious."
- Amanda Anisimova, asked if she would want to take a selfie with Drake if he were here, knowing the ongoing joke that he is bad luck to sports franchises.
"Yeah, I think our generation, it was a little bit more shy, I can say. Now, this generation, they have more courage, and they fight with any other player in the top. So they don't have thoughts that they are under them. So they have courage, and they go for it every match."
- Simona Halep, on the difference between the new generation of players and her generation.
"I think going from juniors to senior, I guess I wasn't that stressed. I just felt that I knew here I don't have to win anything, so that's why I could play my best.
"And it was quite, like, normal to me just to go to another level. I've done that all my life, so why would that be different."
- Iga Swiatek, on her rapid rise in her first full season on the WTA Tour.
"It's Amelie Mauresmo that taught me. I love it. I'm very happy to have a one-handed backhand. I'm one of the very few players to have one, so I stand out thanks to this."
- 16-year-old French wildcard Diane Parry, on her one-handed backhand.
"How Dutch? It's not like he's speaking Dutch to me (laughing). I don't know. I mean, like, I have known the guy for, like, a month.
"He's making sure that things get done and I don't have any worries. The only thing that I'm responsible for is playing tennis and having a good attitude, and everything else he takes care of and just makes sure I'm happy.
"Last night he brought me dates and almonds for my match today. I'm, like, God bless him. Like, it's a team effort."
- Sloane Stephens, when asked by a Dutch reporter "how Dutch" coach Sven Groeneveld is.