WTA Insider takes you inside the press room for the best quotes from Week 1 at Roland Garros, where early upsets ruled the headlines.
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen
June 2, 2019

PARIS, France - From the early exits of Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens due to injury and illness, to the same-day exits from No.1 Naomi Osaka and 23-time major champion Serena Williams, Week 1 at Roland Garros was not short of drama. 

Here are some of the best soundbites from the interview room: 

"It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams."

Serena Williams, on her custom Nike kit which bears the words "Champion", "Queen", "Mother", and "Goddess" in French. 

"I hope so. Well, they said for now two to three weeks off, which means no tennis, of course, because it's my left forearm. Maybe I can play righty (smiling)."

- Petra Kvitova, on whether she'll be ready for Wimbledon after being forced to withdraw from Roland Garros with injury ahead of her first-round match. 

"It takes lots of willpower, I think. It's amazing what she does and how she still keeps going and still motivated to play. It's amazing. Even today, I was playing against her and thinking, you know, I'm not sure I will be here playing at that age. But she's a great player. Still can challenge everyone on tour."

- Elina Svitolina on Venus Williams. 

"I was really looking forward to this match, because Kerber, I like her very much. She's actually one of my idols, and when I was young I was looking for her game, how she's playing. When you step in on the court and you know you play your, I would say idol, you just gotta show your best."

- 18-year-old Anastasia Potapova, after her 6-4, 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber in the first round. 

"It was definitely sarcastic. I was kind of thinking, Do you guys see this amazing tennis I'm playing right here (smiling)? Thumbs up.

"I don't even know what I wanted them to do. I felt kind of bad after I did it. It was more like I had to put my emotions somewhere.

"Yeah, for me today was a bit tough, because, like, it's one of those matches where you're not playing well but you have to find a way to win. For me, I've just begun learning how to do that."

- Naomi Osaka, on her sarcastic 'thumbs up' to her box during her opening round against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

"It's not easy to win against No.1. I guess I felt it, and I didn't make it to the finish, I guess. It's not easy for my head and to beat her, you know."

- Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, after failing to serve out the match twice and losing  0-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 to Naomi Osaka in the first round. 

"I've never practiced with her. I texted Patrick during preseason [to see if] Serena wanted to hit. I was so happy when he answered me. I was, like, Oh, my God, Patrick texted me. And he said, She said we'll keep in touch.

"Yeah, I tried to hit with her. It wasn't possible, but I'll take that. I'll take the win over the hitting."

- Sofia Kenin, after her third round win over Serena Williams. 

"No, I didn't care at that point. I was, like, I'm going to check the mark. I thought it was out. I wasn't trying to do anything.

"But, yeah, I didn't really care. I knew I just had to show the crowd, like, Listen, Sonya Kenin is in the house."

- Sofia Kenin, on getting booed by the crowd for checking marks during her win over Serena. 

Q. You said that you turned the crowd around in the end. What do you want the crowd to remember from seeing Sofia Kenin in the house?

SOFIA KENIN: That I'm a fighter and that I just beat Serena Williams. So of course they're going to remember that. I'll remember that.

"It's literally irrelevant. Draws are meant to fall apart."

- Sloane Stephens, on being the relevance of being the highest seed remaining in the bottom half of the draw. 

Q. If somebody told you, given the two matches that you had to pull out in the lead-up that you'd come this far, would you have taken it or are you still very disappointed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I would have thought they were lying, because I wouldn't expect to have gotten only to the third round, so I would have been, like, That's not true. Hey, it is what it is.

"In the end, we both didn't deserve to lose, I think. And, yeah, you saw some lines. And in the end you think, yeah, was she a worser player? No. 

"It's just a millimeter. It doesn't make you better or worse player. In the end, it's a bit of luck."

- Anastasia Sevastova, after saving five match points to defeat Elise Mertens 6-7(4), 6-4, 11-9 in the third round.

"I don't have that much of a relationship with him. He has a wife (laughing)."

- Anastasija Sevastova on her relationship with Thomas Muster, who she said talks to her coach and offers occasional advice. 

"Who doesn't love drop shots?"

- Anastasija Sevastova, on how she came to love the drop shot.

"It hasn't been the happiest of times. You guys are kind of more used to it because you're tennis journalists. But other people outside of tennis they look at the rankings, like, Oh, she's supposed to win this match because the other girl is ranked 5 million hundred or whatever.

"These people, you know, they're really good but they have ups and downs. I wasn't ranked 1 last year. I was ranked 70. There's people that can play really good but not consistently and there are times they shine, and there is nothing I can really do about it."

"There are situations that you're supposed to fight out of that I didn't fight out of today, and that's why I lost."

- Naomi Osaka after her third round loss to Katerina Siniakova

"From 1 to 10 and I'm like at a 100 right now. Yeah."

- Naomi Osaka, on her disappointment level after losing to Katerina Siniakova in the third round. 

"I think the main mental problem yesterday was that I had a birthday, and I'm now 30, and I had so many things in my head that I would say it was one of the worst days of my life.

"I thought I will feel good, but actually I was not feeling well since the two days ago. I start to think about that I'm 30, and I don't have much time left to play on tour and all this bad things. Were not really bad, but just some not very good for match things probably was running into my head.

"And it was really tough mentally to play, and at the end my body was just not listening to me. And the only thing that I wanted to do is to finish and quit that match. But you know always being a tennis player, at some point you think no, no, no. I'm going to fight. And this is exactly what happened.

"A really tough day yesterday playing with some rain, playing in the darkness. Just, yeah, saving match point, but actually with the line umpire called out and it was in, and just so many things.

"And the funny thing that I broke my racket yesterday almost. Like I played with that racket because I thought it's okay but actually it's -- there is like a fracture in it.

"And it was my first racket in my life that -- yeah. So yesterday many new things for me."

- Lesia Tsurenko, after her dramatic 5-7, 7-5, 11-9 win over Aleksandra Krunic in the second round. 

"When I started working with her, everybody was doubting my decision. People underestimated it, people even laughed at it, said I did a crazy thing, what am I doing? I'm not serious about my career because she's so young and inexperienced. But I always knew, I heard this girl talking about tennis and I knew she knows what she's doing.

"So it was not easy for me to make that move. It was a pretty bold move, and I was a bit shaky at the beginning, because I also wanted to prove that I did the right thing.

"But after a month or two, I really kind of just let go of this thought and I just kept on playing my tennis, and I was just improving, I think, from week to another and, yeah, here I am. I think there is no better reward."

- Petra Martic on her decision to hire Sandra Zaniewska as her coach. 

"Coming to Roland Garros, I felt a bit of pressure just because I played so well on clay, and I had so many wins. I would lie if I said I didn't have ambition to go far here."

- Petra Martic, who has 15 clay court wins after defeating No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova in the third round and Kaia Kanepi in the Round of 16, the most on tour this season.