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Best quotes of the 2014 US Open

No. 1 seed Serena Williams is interviewed ahead of the 2014 US Open.
By Richard Osborn
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

US presentes the 2014 US Open in the words of those who made it all happen: a he said/she said compendium that says it all.   

Legendary? I don't know. I'm just Serena.” — Serena Williams 

“When you step out on the court, I don't think anybody thinks about age. Because if you're out on this tour, it means you deserve to be here. You've got the skill. It must mean you know how to play.” — Venus Williams, age 34

“I think she's just born for tennis.” — Ekaterina Makarova on Serena Williams

“I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet. Living in Compton, this never happened before.” — Serena Williams

“It just can't be more special.” — Marin Cilic on reaching his first Slam final

“Mentally, I'm not ever going to go away." — Roger Federer, who came back from two sets down against Gael Monfils

“Nobody will tell me what I can or I cannot do.” — Victoria Azarenka

“She's basically revolutionized the game.” — Roger Federer on Serena Williams

“He’s not throwing in any one of the towels that are all around his chair. — Broadcaster Mary Carillo on the never-say-die Kei Nishikori

“I have proven people wrong so many times. I was told when I was younger there is no chance I will make the top 100, top 50, top 30. Every time I have proven them wrong. It's kind of nice.” — Caroline Wozniacki

“I think in life you should work on yourself until the day you die.” — Serena Williams

“We don't mind playing five sets. We've offered to play five sets. The tournaments don't want us to play five sets. We're ready, willing, and able to play five sets.” — Serena Williams

“When she's on her game it's not fun to play her.” — Caroline Wozniacki on Serena Williams

“It's so great to have that opportunity with so many young American players coming up now. It's just so exciting. We have to root for the home country.” — Serena Williams

“He sees me with four, so with one it should be a piece of cake.” — Roger Federer on parent-to-be Novak Djokovic

“Where is my cake, then?” — Victoria Azarenka upon being informed that she had just won her 100th match

“I'll be in class this time tomorrow.” — UVA sophomore and NCAA titlist Danielle Rose Collins, who took a set off Simona Halep world No. 2 in the opening round

“It's insane.” — Newcomer Belinda Bencic on reaching the US Open quarterfinals

“I met Michael Jordan a few years ago randomly, unexpectedly, at an airport. Usually, I don't get very star-struck, but he's such a powerful person and athlete. He has that aura about him. It's very special. He's like, ‘Hey, you're that tennis player.’ I'm like, ‘Oh, my goodness, Michael Jordan knows who I am!’” — Maria Sharapova

“He was just my hero of all sports.” — Roger Federer on Michael Jordan

“It was my childhood dream to play in a Grand Slam and to play in the US Open. I got that off the bucket list.” — Danielle Rose Collins

“Sugar free? With the name Sugarpova I don't think I will be doing anything sugar free very soon.” — Maria Sharapova when asked if her line of candy includes any sugar free products

“My strokes just weren't there.” — Novak Djokovic on his upset loss to Kei Nishikori

“It’s never a good time to play Andy.” — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is 2-10 lifetime against Andy Murray

“I have too much focus on the court for him.” — Maria Sharapova when asked if she would consider partnering with John McEnroe in mixed doubles

“New York has their own character. I love the fans here. They are very honest, and I love that.” — Victoria Azarenka

“It's a privilege to be out there on the court with that amazing atmosphere.” — Caroline Wozniacki on playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium

“I'd probably start charging for medical timeouts. I think we'd all see who really uses them and who doesn't.” — Maria Sharapova when asked if she could change one thing in tennis

“I believe the best in people. I believe if you need a bathroom break you go to the bathroom. If you need treatment, you get treatment. I don't think any rules should be changed.” — Caroline Wozniacki

“Being down match point, it's just not fun.” — Roger Federer

“I need a bit of time to forget this.” — Gael Monfils after squandering two match points against Roger Federer

“The only explanation on what's happened today is my opponent was better than me.” — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after his fourth-round loss to Andy Murray

“Doubles teams come and go, but we stick together.” — Venus Williams on her longtime pairing with her sister Serena

“I see the US Open as glamorous. That's the word that comes to mind.” — Eugenie Bouchard

“I don't feel particularly proud right now.” — Andy Murray after his four-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals

“I don't feel 25 years old. Sometimes I feel I'm 12 years old. Sometimes I feel I'm 50 years old.” — Victoria Azarenka

“Policeman, he told me, ‘You are Simona Halep, no?’ ‘Yes, I am the only one.’” — Simona Halep on whether she has been recognized on the streets of New York

“We don't have a lot of money. So you need to be tough if you want to make it. We are not spoiled.” — Borna Coric on Croatian athletes

“I think we're the happiest when we’re around each other and sharing experiences, whether that's him being an uncle, playing music together, going to the Miami Heat games. I think twins always have that bond. They're always kind of drawn toward each other in a weird way.” — Bob Bryan on his relationship with his brother, Mike

“It was very hard to handle all the attention because I was very shy at the time. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I was very introverted. I liked to spend my time with the books. That's who I was. All of a sudden, there was so many requests and so many other things that came with it. No one prepared me for that.” — Ana Ivanovic looking back on her time at No. 1

“My mom fed us a million balls. Dad took us to tournaments. Couldn't have done it without them. We had a happy tennis family.” — Mike Bryan

“That's why he’s the greatest player — because he can do everything.” — Gael Monfils on Roger Federer

“I'm cuddly?” — Victoria Azarenka when told by a reporter that she was “so appealing and cuddly off the court”

“It’s more Goranic.” — Broadcaster Mary Carillo describing Marin Cilic’s serve, retooled by his coach, Goran Ivanisevic

“I think I have a newfound respect for what my parents did, to create two players — one who was really good and another who was pretty good.” — Patrick McEnroe

“There's no magic that he can tell me or do that will just all of a sudden I'll be top 10 or whatever. That's not how it works. You have to keep working hard and do better every day. That's all.” — Sloane Stephens on her new coach, Thomas Hogstedt

“She's an African-American woman from Compton, California, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles. Like who would have thought? Anything is possible. She's paved the way for me and not only African-American girls but girls in general.” — Taylor Townsend on Serena Williams

“A little bit surprised for me to play final.” — Kei Nishikori on becoming the first Japanese man ever to reach a Grand Slam final

“I'm my own toughest opponent. So I talk to myself. I curse at myself. I pump myself up. Whatever it takes to do.  I don't really give a damn how it looks really because when I'm in the moment I need to be me.” — Victoria Azarenka

“I never thought I would come out on top.” — CiCi Bellis, who upset No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the first round at the US Open

“I have to say accounting almost killed me.” — Venus Williams on the classes she’s taking though Indiana University

“We all started under the sun and finished under the lights.” — Maria Sharapova on her marathon three-set over Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round

“Unbelievable. Like, this whole experience has been unbelievable, like, mind-blowing. It's been crazy. It's been, like, the best couple days of my life.” — 15-year-old CiCi Bellis

“I can walk around screaming, ‘I have 17 Grand Slams. I have the record here or there.’ When you can play for history and you do it, that's what is so really cool, is that you can then be compared to other greats or you've passed another great, even though it doesn't mean you're better than him. But it's just like that moment you've gone into the unknown where nobody else has ever been before.” — Roger Federer

“Probably serve about the same speed.” — Roger Federer on the similarities between himself and fellow 17-time Slam champ Serena Williams

“I was having flashbacks to my whole career toward the end of that match. It was wild. I was thinking juniors, college. It was an incredible moment. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was impossible.” — Bob Bryan on the US Open men’s doubles final, win No. 100 for the Bryan Bros.

“I’ve been a professional for I think 13, 14 years. It's not easy hitting balls every day and staying really motivated throughout the whole period. It's normal [that] you're going to have ups and downs. But I found my way again. And I love the sport. I love competing. I love battling. I love being out there and playing in front of crowds. This is what I’ve been doing since I was a child. There's nothing else that I want to do.” — Jelena Jankovic

“Roger and I, we both have such a passion for the game. We've been playing for a really long time. We both just love the sport. You can tell when he plays that he loves the sport. I think that's something that we both have in common.” — Serena Williams on Roger Federer

“People from Dominican, I think they are in the party now. They are very happy.” — Victor Estrella Burgos, 34, of the Dominican Republic, who reached the third round

“I never suspected that we or any one person or program can create Serena Williams or John McEnroe or Pete Sampras.” — Patrick McEnroe

“We really embrace being role models. We think it's a great opportunity, and we almost feel honored and pleasured to have that label.” — Serena Williams on being a role model along with sister Venus

“My father believed in me many times more than I believed in myself.” — Novak Djokovic

“We all know Gael — when he's at his best, it's tough to play.” — Grigor Dimitrov on Gael Monfils

“I'll just let the hair speak for itself. It's got a Twitter account, so it actually does more speaking than I probably do on Twitter.” — Milos Raonic on how he manages to keep his hair so neatly coifed during matches

“Sometimes, you know, I just feel like I want a Coke, and I drink a Coke.” — Gael Monfils his mid-match beverage-of-choice

“Last time I rode a subway in New York I actually got hurt, so I avoid them. The turnstile hit me really hard in the knee.” — 6-foot-5 Milos Raonic

“He's better in any conditions than other players.” — Sam Querrey on Novak Djokovic

“I got married, going to become father soon, being No. 1 in the sport that I love with all my heart. I mean, it's pretty awesome.” — Novak Djokovic

“When you go up in the ranking, for sure you have more friends.” — Stan Wawrinka

“I love hitting aces. It's not easy, but it makes your life a lot easier.” — Serena Williams

“I never expected I could see him again this year.” — John Isner, who lost to Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round of the US Open for the third straight year

“We always have been friends, but it's definitely grown a lot. You know, we love each other, but at the same time we want to win. It's an interesting friendship and unique. I think it will last way past tennis.” — Serena Williams on Caroline Wozniacki

“I've never felt that much energy on any other tennis court in the world.” — Eugenie Bouchard on playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium

“I'm living proof here these last two weeks that it's never over.” — Qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 32, who 17 years after her first appearance at the US Open reached the fourth round

“One of my big, big strengths I think early on in my career was that I could learn very quickly. You wouldn't have to tell me the things 10 times or 50 times until I would understand them. You would only have to tell me two or three times.” — Roger Federer

“Not a billion dollars can compare to the feelings I felt in the last two weeks fighting back and beating [Simona] Halep and winning all my matches here, fighting from the dead basically.” — Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

“We need a little time apart. He's been annoying lately. He cries. I think he's talking to me and I don't quite understand him. It's really stressing me out a little bit.” — Serena Williams on her Yorkshire terrier, Chip

“I feel like I don't have to win anymore. I've had a wonderful career. Tennis has given me so much, things I would have never expected in my life. I feel honored to even be a part of such a wonderful sport.” — Serena Williams

Goran is everything, but not boring.” — Marin Cilic on his coach and boyhood idol, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic

“You're making it sound like I almost died and there was 10 sharks and I got attacked and I survived. And, you know, I saved a dolphin, as well. It's not that complicated.” — Victoria Azarenka when asked about her recent spate of injuries

“Very happy to see a lot of people even 2 o’clock at the night.” — Kei Nishikori after his five-set win over Milos Raonic, which lasted four hours and 19 minutes, finished at 2:26 a.m., and tied the record for latest finish at the US Open.

“It's dangerous when you have a tennis ball in your eye.” — Gilles Simon, who mistakenly hit a ballgirl in the eye

“I always ask my dad, ‘Why wasn't I a lefty?’ Even when I was younger I wanted to be lefty. I could have been really good.” — Serena Williams

“I won't lie to you — it's better to have someone to help you. I need it.” — Gael Monfils, who has been playing without a coach

“For me, tennis is a sport. It's not a job, it's a sport.” — Gael Monfils

“Very honored to make the history.” — Kei Nishikori after becoming first Japanese man to reach US Open semis since 1918

“Almost everything I know I know from her.” — Belinda Bencic on frequent practice partner and Hall of Famer Martina Hingis

“I just love leopard print.” — Serena Williams

“Her career says it all: 18 Grand Slam titles. You don't get that unless you're exceptional in what you do.” — Caroline Wozniacki on Serena Williams

“That's why we have journalists, for stats.” — Maria Sharapova