Memorable moments of 2011 with Federer, Nadal, Fish and more

Marianne Bevis takes a look back at some of 2011's most memorable quotes from the ATP and WTA tours

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis
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Roger Federer won his sixth World Tour Finals title in November Photo: Marianne Bevis

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From the clay of Rome to the grass of Wimbledon and Queen’s, from the hot and hard vibrancy of Flushing Meadows to the indoor thrills of the O2, there have been many memorable moments in 2011.

With the best matches, the finest performances and the greatest prospects for the coming season all covered, it’s time to wind up the tennis year with snapshots, in quotes and pictures gathered from all those tournaments, of some of the impressions that abide from 12-months on the tennis merry-go-round.

French Open women’s finalists, on age

Francesca Schiavone: “The years can help a lot…it’s like wine, if it stays in the bottle more it’s much, much better.”

Na Li: “Some people say I’m getting old—so the old woman had the dream come true.”

Despair versus triumph at Wimbledon: contrasting voices after a fifth final goes the way of Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal: “Find solutions is what I have to try and what I’m going to try. I am going to be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment to beat him another time.”

Djokovic: “It is the best day of my life.”

Nadal, at Indian Wells, about his friendship with Roger Federer

“We have a good connection together, and that’s why we are always open to do events for our foundations or anything together. I think Roger is a good person but at the same time he’s a good friend of mine. For sure, our relationship is getting closer and closer all the time, and I think we are feeling comfortable together.”

Janko Tipsarevic about the British crowd at the World Tour Finals

“If the referee says ‘Quiet, please,’ I can hear the other guy breathe on the other side of the net. They love this sport, they respect the values and they respect the players.”

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Novak Djokovic sought noise from the crowd after taking the first set tie break, 16-14 against Dolgopolov at the US Open

Federer, on reaching 30 at Montreal’s Rogers Cup

“Do you listen to your body more? Yes, you do. Are you more wise? Yes, you are. Are you more experienced? Yes. Do you have a 1,000 matches in your body? Yes, you do. You just go with what you have.”

Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open, on suggestions that she needs a big shot to win a Grand Slam

“They can say what they want. I’m the type of player I am. I’ve won lots of tournaments, I’m No1 in the world and of course I can still improve. I just go out there and I play the way I do, and hopefully that’s good enough.”

Mardy Fish, on waiting out Hurricane Irene ahead of the US Open

“Stacey [his wife] went to shop quite a bit, got a bunch of magazines and flashlights. She was preparing for Armageddon, I think.”

Li on losing in the first round of the US Open for two straight years

“I think it’s terrible feeling. I mean, two years in a row, first round here, first round Indian Wells, Miami. I mean, normally I like hard courts a lot. But I think these two years I just doing sh*t.

Nadal on the referee’s decision to play in the rain at the US Open

“Grand Slams are about a lot of money. We’re part of the show. They’re just working for that, not for us. They know it’s still raining and call us onto the court. That’s not possible. I understand the fans want to see tennis but the health of the players is the most important and we do not feel protected.”

Sam Stosur, on playing her semi-final on Grandstand despite not having a single match on Arthur Ashe before the US Open final

“I wasn’t too impressed with the scheduling. I understand it’s a tricky situation, but I think things could have been done a little bit differently.”

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David Ferrer, often with tongue on show in concentration at the WTFs, climbed to No5 for the first time in more than three years and scored a five-set victory over Juan Martin del Potro to help Spain to Davis Cup victory

Federer, after the quickest completed men’s match at the US Open, 1hr 17min against Juan Monaco

“There are many times where it takes way too long between points. I think it’s a bit of a waste of time, to be quite honest, this whole pre-warm-up and stuff.”

Andy Murray’s one-word answer after the “rain” debate took off at the US Open

“Do you think commercial interests trump player well-being?”

“Yeah.”

Alexandr Dolgopolov’s pleasure in playing, even after losing a first-set tie-break 14-16 and subsequently the match to Djokovic in New York

“I was having fun just stepping on the court: so much people, playing Novak…just happy to play tennis.”

Heather Watson, after taking Maria Sharapova to three sets on Arthur Ashe

“I absolutely loved the atmosphere today. I thought everyone was going to be supporting Maria…and just when they were chanting my name, I kind of got the goosebumps.”

Two views of an hour-and-20 minute semi-final win by Roger Federer at the Paris Masters

Tomas Berdych: “I would say, and I’m pretty confident to say, that that’s the old Roger.”

Federer: “The one who used to win 80 matches and only lose four? I liked him.”

David Ferrer, facing the Davis Cup final after losing his semi-final at the WTFs

“I am tired. I am tired, sure. I’m very tired…I want to stop but I can’t because I have the Davis Cup. But I’m really tired.”

Tomas Berdych, after conceding a set and a break advantage and then match-point against Djokovic in the WTFs

“I was expecting this question. But how can you ask that? How can I feel after a match like that? I’m feeling really disappointed, and that’s it.”

Fish at the WTFs for the first time and relishing every moment

“I know there’s a chance I won’t ever come back to this event so I wanted to take it all in. I’ve taken like 10 towels already, lots of pictures, the shower door, the mirror…no, I’m kidding. But I’ve taken a lot of towels!”

Janko Tipsarevic after beating friend Djokovic for the first time at the WTFs

“I’m giving credit to me because I managed to beat the world No1—maybe not at his best, but still I feel that’s a victory no one can take away from me.”

Petra Kvitova after beating Victoria Azarenka at the WTA Championships

“We both played some of our best here in Istanbul today: It was a final, so why not?”

Federer on being asked why he’s successful even when he’s playing at night with lights and noise

“Why am I successful? I guess because I’m a pretty good player.”

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