Google Down the Line!: 2013-06-23

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

HE SAID/SHE SAID: 2013 Wimbledon, Day One

Q. You've said that only an arrogant man would not have doubts. You've said that a couple of times now. Do you have some doubts on your play on grass? And are you proud of your legacy on grass for a person who was brought up on clay?

RAFAEL NADAL: Obviously I have doubts. I have doubts on grass. I have doubts on clay and hard, for sure in indoor.
If I don't have doubts is because I really don't feel the passion for this game. You don't see myself with doubts the first week of Roland Garros? Yes, with a lot of doubts. Today I play with doubts. I lost, yes.

Q. But you're proud of your grass court play?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I'm proud today?

Q. Not today. Over the years, what you have done on grass.

RAFAEL NADAL: What do you think? Five finals, two victories. I don't know how many players have that. I think for me is a lot. That don't mean I not going to keep trying to have success in this surface.

Q. How did you draw on your years of experience when a friend of yours suffered a tough defeat in the first round in a big tournament back in America? Did you give some nice advice to console him after that setback?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Sorry, who are you talking about?

Q. Redfoo.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, my God. I thought you were talking about real US Open tournament. He's happy with the match. I didn't see the match because was nighttime here. I mean, as long as he's happy ... I'm proud of him no matter what. 

To go out and have courage to do something like that, that's pretty remarkable. He's a champion in his heart. I mean, his forehand should get better, definitely. I mean, that's something that he has to work on.

Q. The win makes you the most successful British man in Grand Slams ever. Were you aware of that?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I didn't actually know that. Yeah, that's nice. You know, the Grand Slams are obviously the pinnacle of our sport. It's the tournaments I prepare extremely hard for, you know, 
where you want to try and play your best tennis.

Yeah, I guess that shows I've played some of my best tennis at the slams, and hopefully I can continue that.

Q. This week there's a commemoration of 40 years of the WTA. We have some of the best players ever playing right now. When you think of the sport, who do you consider the greatest woman player ever and why?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's an extremely tough question because I wasn't part of the generation which consisted of incredible players. I can only speak of the generation that I was part of.

I never played Steffi Graf. I never played Chris Evert. Never played Navratilova. So those are considered incredible champions.

So I think on many different levels, they all deserve a tremendous amount of respect. And I don't think one should be called greater than the other. There's no real reason for that.

Q. If you could play one player who you haven't played?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Probably Steffi.

Q. How do you think you'd play with her great forehand, her speed?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she'd chop me up (smiling).

Q. Last question from me. I'm from Switzerland, so can you talk a little bit more about Roger Federer's serve? Is it tough to read?

JERZY JANOWICZ: I played against Roger once in Rome, so I remember during the important points he was serving ace perfectly on the line. So this was quite annoying sometimes. But, yeah, it's not easy to read his serve. Second of all, he has unbelievable second serve. He has great kick.

Q. On grass, what do you think comes easy to you and what is challenging for you on this surface?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think you get to hit the ball as hard as you can and most of the time it's still going to go in. I think that's good, and that's the easiest part. You just, like, go for your shots on. Most of the ones on hardcourts are like going to go to the fence, and on grass for some reason it stays in.

Moving is the hardest part. You want to run, and when you think you're going to slide and do something cool you're on the floor. So I think movement is the hardest part.

Q. This is your sixth time out there on opening day as defending champion. Does it now feel familiar, or do you have a sense of excitement and nerves? Would you wish this were a longer match, to have longer on court for the first day?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the longer the match, the longer you spend on Centre Court, it's not a bad thing. That's what I was thinking today. It went by very quickly. But I guess at the end of the day you'd prefer to have it this way, walk away as a winner instead of being out there for five hours and losing in the first round.

It's been always a dream come true for me. In some ways, once I understood what it's all about, opening Monday, the defending champion gets the honor to open the court, ever since it's been an amazing day and match to be part of. And I see it also for the other players. They always think it's super exciting being a part of that match. I'm happy I won 'em all. So that's been a good thing, as well. That helps to enjoy it (smiling).

Q. Grass doesn't suck too badly.

ANDREA PETKOVIC: Well, it awkwardly has to do with the head a lot. Normally when I went into the grass season I was already pissed before I hit one ball. This time I was just in this whole mood of gratefulness for my second chance career. I just see it really as a second career. I was just like, Okay, you're just going to go for the grass and love it and try to start a romance with it.

If it didn't want you, you're going to force it to love back. So I'm just enjoying myself really. I'm never going to be ... it's never going to be my favorite surface, but as I said, I'm working at least on a romance.

Q. Can you tell us what was your very first thought on Friday when you saw the draw, Rafa in the first round?

STEVE DARCIS: Shit (laughter).

[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]

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