What they said, what they really meant and what they definitely didn’t.
Our beloved tennis players are eminently quotable. They can rise to the occasion and serve up wonderful sound bytes – some terrific , some terrible – when accosted at their press conferences and when grilled at interviews.
A sampling from the articulate geniuses.
"I’d buy high." – Fish when asked what he would do if US men’s tennis were a stock.
What he really meant: Oh, come on guys, you know that Roddick’s the last Grand Slam champion we’ve had. Give us a break.
What he definitely didn’t : I’m going to put my last million on the future of US men’s tennis. I’m going long, chaps.
"Um, I mean, to be honest, I get asked this question every single Grand Slam. We’re in Australia, you get asked about the Australians. No. You really have to worry about your own results, to be honest." — Sharapova, after being asked if she was surprised that just one American woman was left in the main draw.
What she really meant: Do you really think I’ve forgotten about Venus Williams?
What she definitely didn’t : You mean to say, I’m not American?
“I’m booked in for the long haul this time." — Samantha Stosur, on her New York hotel reservations for the 2010 US Open.
What she really meant: You folks may consider my last two French Open campaigns flukes. I do not.
What she definitely didn’t : I’m staying here till Christmas.
"No. I mean, when I’m playing great, regardless of who’s in my player box, I can beat anybody, you know. It’s about being consistent and being confident in the way I play." — Roger Federer, on whether hiring hitting coach Paul Annacone has changed his outlook.
What he really meant: It’s good to have some validation. Besides, Paul can take the heat for me now. I need to concentrate on my game.
What he definitely didn’t : Paul’s just my glorified ball boy. Call it anything you like.
“People tell me that I only look 5’5" and a half. I’m going with 5’6. That’s what the doctor said." — Melanie Oudin, answering a question about how tall she is.
What she really meant: I’m a growing girl. You folks need better eye glasses.
What she definitely didn’t : And to prove that, from now on I’m going to wear pumps.
“No, definitely not. I am not as good as he is in that. I’d like to be very careful with my racquet (smiling). You know what I mean." — Novak Djokovic, talking about Roger Federer’s famous "tweener" shot and why he rarely attempts it himself.
What he really meant: I haven’t practiced that shot yet.
What he definitely didn’t : I give up. I’m not going to mimic my fellow tennis players anymore.
“For me, it’s important to feel good on court and of course to look good. Then I can focus on my tennis at 100%. I definitely am sure I’ll get a lot of male fans now.” – Wozniacki on being asked if her dress is, maybe , a bit short
What she really meant: Now that I have the male fans feeling the heat at well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit , can the organizers take a not so subtle hint and cover the roof?
What she definitely didn’t : I’m going to be draped in curtains the next time I play.
“He kicked my butt.” – Mardy Fish after being knocked out by third seed Novak Djokovic.
What he really meant: He played so much better tennis than me. And, thank God, my butt is a so much smaller now.
What he definitely didn’t : Kick my butt again, Novak. I’m a masochist.
“I was in a van of the picture of Roger, both sides of the van, like 15 times these two weeks.” – Rafael Nadal denying the allegations that he refused to travel in Federer-branded vehicles whilst at the tournament.
What he really meant: I’ve been counting, Roger, and that’s how many times I’m going to whip you at the Grand Slams.
What he definitely didn’t : Who’s Roger Federer?
“I have no idea whether I’ll win a Grand Slam or not. I want to. But if I never win one, then what? If I give 100%, try my best, physically work as hard as I can, practise as much as I can, then that’s all I can do.” – Andy Murray after yet another disappointing Grand Slam outing.
What he really meant: I feel like crying – why don’t you guys leave me alone and bug Roddick instead? At least, he has a Slam to his credit.
What he definitely didn’t : I’m going to SOS Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski to help me win my first major.
“No. I didn’t test with my lips, but I can. I think I will do something, but the ways is long. So it will be a secret.” —Schiavone , when asked whether she had tasted the US Open court.
What she really meant: OK, if you guys want me to do something oddball, I’ll do it.
What she definitely didn’t : Somebody correct my grammar , please!
“He knows I’m impatient to see my baby. He knows that I’m not really sad today, even if I lost.” – Gilles Simon comments after his loss to Rafael Nadal
What he really meant: You honestly didn’t think I would beat Rafa, did you?
What he definitely didn’t : I’m going to ask Nadal to be the godfather!
Acknowledgments: USOpen.org, The Hindustan Times