February 21, 2003, Newsletter Issue #62: Tennis Quotations

Tip of the Week

"Tennis has truthfully given me everything, brought me everything; the people I`ve met, travel, work, bad times, good times, emotions...I adore this sport: it`s technical, physical and mental all at the same time. Tennis is extraordinary because it is played just about everywhere in the world with the same enthusiasm, and by an astonishing variety of individuals; form the very young to the very old, the most clumsy to the most talented...
--Yannick Noah

"I found myself immersed in tennis...there was no experience that did not relate to tennis, no conversation that did not come back to tennis. Tennis was used as a parable for life. If something went wrong, there was a tennis lesson to be found in the occurrence. Tennis and life were one and the same."
--Lori McNeil

"Why has slamming a ball with a racquet become so obsessive a pleasure for so many of us? It seems clear to me that a primary attraction of the sport is the opportunity it gives to release aggression physically without being arrested for felonious assault."
--Nat Hentoff

"But how do you learn? The way a tennis player learns to play tennis, by making a fool of yourself, by falling on your face, by rushing the net and missing the ball, and finally by practice."
--May Sarton

"Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in tennis."
-Virginia Graham

"I think about it sometimes--learning to play in a parking lot: stringing nets between cars...I learned to play by hitting against a brick wall, not a ball machine or other players. And my father was my coach--teaching me from a twenty-year-old book, and a new system he developed. I was lucky my dad was so creative and capable. When I hear people say that you can`t make it in tennis if you don`t have a lot of money, I know they`re wrong...we didn`t have much money. But I loved the sport, and that was enough.
--Monica Seles

"The child who enjoys playing tennis may be alone and, to a certain extent, this can be seen as either selfish or brave, but the child has to learn to win and lose gracefully, alone. This is a character building experience."
--Lisa Scully-O`Grady

"Here was a game that would finally make real demands on my boundless energy. I got to run and hit a ball besides. I loved the quick and visible results when the ball and racquet connected and I was tantalised by the idea that there was something very exact about it."
--Virginia Wade

"Speed in tennis is a strange mixture of intuition, guesswork, footwork, and hair-trigger reflexes. Many of the players famed for quickness on court would finish dead last in a field of school girls in a race over any distance more than ten yards."
--Eugene Scott

"People think this is all about the top players hitting tenins balls and they talk about technique and strategy and how important that is. But they don`t understand the essence of competition. This is one-on-one, two players out there fighting each other with everything they have, trying to bring the best out of themselves. And the difference at this level of the game is all in the head and in the heart."
--John Newcombe

"Tennis is a battle of the minds, just as much as it is a battle of playing ability. Trying to expose your opponent`s weaknesses is one of the most vital and fascinating facets of tennis."
--Sue Barker

"I don`t know why, but I love the dog eat dog nature of tennis. It`s real, it`s brutal and there`s no hiding place--it`s like a one to one street fight. I love the intensity that comes with knowing you walk off court either a winner or a loser. It`s daunting but very exciting. There is no one to blame except yourself, no one cares who comes second."
--Pete Sampras

"I was always a believer in stamping on my opponent if I got him down, at Wimbledon or anywhere else. I never wanted to give him the chance to get up."
--Fred Perry

"Sometimes, a defeat can be more beautiful and satisfying than certain victories. The English have a point in insisting that it matters not who won or lost, but how you played the game."
--Arthur Ashe

"It`s about good long rallies and fun, not about thrashing your opponent."
--Lisa Scully O`Grady

"After a desperate fight, to know to congratulate your opponent, if he has beaten you, to shake his hand and go for a drink with him, in my eyes these things are particularly important."
--Yannick Noah

"Winning is about taking your opponent`s heart out and squeezing it until all the blood has come out, even the very last drop. There are no prizes for a funny loser."
--Pete Sampras

"Whoever said, `It`s not whether you win or lose that counts` probably lost."
--Martina Navratilova

"Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of tranquility."
--Billie Jean King

"Your are the pits of the world! Vultures! Trash!"
--John McEnroe

"Nastase rarely grinned and bore it. More commonly, he grinned, groaned, shrugged, slumped, spun around, shaked his head, puffed out his cheeks, and rolled on the ground. Even more common, he did all that and never bore it."
--Clive James

"I don`t know that my behavior has improved that much with age. They just found somebody worse."
--Jimmy Connors

"It takes far more than just hitting a ball to be the very best and to reach your own highest point, not only in sports but in life."
--Nick Bollettieri

"More than anything, winning the Grand Slam is a battle within yourself. It really gets down to how you handle pressure more than how you handle anybody else."
--Margaret Court

"Sport strips away personality, letting the white bone of character shine through. Sport gives players an opportunity to know and test themselves."
--Rita Mae Brown

"People don`t seem to understand that it`s a damn war out there."
--Jimmy Connors

"You know, when you lose like that, you are like naked in front of the whole world."
--Ilie Nastase

"I have seriously thought about retiring, but that was on a good day. On a bad day I`ve thought about killing myself."
--Ivan Lendl

"Losing still hurts, but that`s good. When it stops hurting, that`s when I stop playing."
--Martina Navratilova

"I haven`t lost a war. No one got killed. I just lost a tennis match."
--Boris Becker

"If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that`s a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life, and there`s going to be a life after tennis that`s a lot longer than your tennis life."
--Chris Evert

"I`m looking forward to life after tennis very much. I think it beats the hell out of life after death, that`s for sure."
--Martina Navratilova

"When I was forty, my doctor advised me that a man in his forties shouldn`t play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached fifty to start again."
--Justice Hugo Black

"Tennis adds years to your life, and life to your years."
--Roy Wilder

"The only possible regret I have is the feeling that I will die without having played enough tennis."
--Jean Borotra

"Ask Nureyev to stop dancing, Sinatra to stop singing--then you can ask me to stop playing tennis."
--Billie Jean King

"We all aspire to win the Grand Slams of our unique lives. Although our victories seem to be isolated acts, perhaps they are a gift we are given when we remain faithful to the process, the long, laborious process of conquering our most formidable opponent, ourselves."
--Lori McNeil

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