TENNIS10SBALLS’ FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE NITTO ATP FINALS IN LONDON, INCLUDING FEDERER, DJOKOVIC, ZVEREV, AND MORE

Written by: on 18th November 2018
ATP Tour Finals Tennis
TENNIS10SBALLS' FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE NITTO ATP FINALS IN LONDON, INCLUDING FEDERER, DJOKOVIC, ZVEREV, AND MORE

epa07175886 Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates with his trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in their final match at the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, 18 November 2018. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER  |
Germany’s Alexander Zverev celebrates with his trophy after beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in their final match at the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament  at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, 18 November 2018.  EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

The eight days of the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals have come and gone, so it’s time to reflect back on the most memorable quotes the players (and a few others) had to offer–either in the press room or on the court.

 

Ricky compiles his list of favorites:

 

Kei Nishikori, after Dominic Thiem asked him what his season highlights were: “I played Challengers.”

 

Bruno Soares, when asked if he is trying to break the record for most logos on a shirt: “I hope; I really hope so. Got to pay the bills. I have two kids, family, expensive life.”

 

Soares, after Jamie Murray said that he did not know if Andy would come watch him play this week: “They don’t talk.”

 

Kevin Anderson, apparently suggesting that even his dog (Katie) is aware of being more famous because of Anderson’s recent success: “It comes with the territory. Obviously the more success you have, I guess the more in the public eye you get recognized a little bit more. I think between us–Kelsey and Katie, as well–I think we’ve always had a good perspective on it.”

 

Roger Federer, on getting a ball-abuse warning by chair umpire Damian Steiner: “He thought I was angry. I wasn’t. Now I’m angry because I lost. But I wasn’t.”

 

Mate Pavic, on Nicolas Mahut’s injury during their doubles match: “Some moments he was maybe more acting than actually he felt pain.”

 

Marin Cilic, on his 1-9 record at the O2 Arena: “It’s not the best thing that I’m doing.”

 

Novak Djokovic, when asked to give advice to the crowd on how to return John Isner’s serve: “Don’t.”

 

Djokovic, on Julien Benneteau’s comments that Federer gets preferential scheduling treatment at the Australian Open: “In a way he deserves the special treatment because he’s six-time champion of Australian Open and arguably the best player ever. If he doesn’t have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the center court and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night in Rod Laver Arena…. Julien and guys like him are also benefitting from tennis because of Roger–because of what he has done for the sport.”

 

Isner, when asked to rank Djokovic among the best returners he has faced: “He is No.1 and No.2 and No.3. He’s the best returner I’ve ever faced, for sure.”

 

Isner, when asked if top players get preferential treatment: “The top players, they sell the most tickets therefore they should get the most…. If anything, they may be should get more special treatment because those guys–the top players–have made other players below them a lot of money. It is like the Tiger Woods effect in golf. So that is how you can look at a guy like Roger. He is men’s tennis, in my opinion. So he deserves everything and more that he’s ever had.”

 

Nishikori, after losing to Anderson 6-0, 6-1: “Today was a terrible match.”

 

Federer, reflecting on his match against Nishikori: “It was 4-all in the first set and we were both playing very, very badly. We can’t play much worse than that.”

 

Federer, on what he expects from his match against Anderson–after Anderson beat Nishikori 6-0, 6-1: “Well I hope not one like this afternoon that Kevin played.”

 

Unknown journalist to Federer, after Federer improved to 1-1 in round-robin with his win over Thiem: “Any favorite for the final as an opponent?”

 

Federer, when asked if he sometimes get favorable scheduling at tournaments: “A lot of the facts are not right.”

 

Thiem, following his loss to Federer when asked what improvements he will make in 2019: “My goal is to get more consistent and to delete matches like today.”

 

Djokovic, during his on-court interview after beating Alexander Zverev, when told by Annabel Croft that he played some “breathtaking” tennis: “I don’t think it was breathtaking tennis, to be honest.”

 

Zverev, following his round-robin loss to Djokovic after being told that Djokovic wasn’t feeling 100 percent: “I haven’t felt my best in like two months, to be honest.”

 

Zverev, when asked if coach Ivan Lendl is strict: “No. If you’re going to be strict with me with rules and stuff, the relationship is not going to last very long.”

 

Thiem, on needing help from Anderson to qualify for the semifinal: “I’m not hoping for it because it’s not very realistic. I think both [Anderson and Federer] really deserve to go. That’s how it’s going to be at the end.”

 

Thiem, reflecting on his match against Federer: “There were some balls I didn’t hit into the court two days ago which a player of my class could never miss.”

 

Thiem, on the grueling tennis schedule: “I think we cannot complain about it because we have a very nice life.”

 

Federer, on how he manages to stay motivated: “Look, I’m a big believer in vacation.”

 

Federer, after a question that was so long the reporter had to write it down and was reading it: “I like to listen. It’s like a goodnight story. Beautiful voice. Afterwards you have to repeat the second question, it was long and I missed the beginning because I couldn’t believe you were reading. But I get it. You had to be very precise…. [Gives more of an answer....] The other one? You have to remind me. It was so long. I need to answer precisely as your question was so precise you had to write it down.”

 

Zverev, after reaching the semifinals of a tournament that included only top 10 players to begin with: “I am in the semifinals. There’s only good opponents left.”

 

Zverev, on now wanting a strict training schedule: “I come late to things sometimes. To non-important things; I come late to dinner or I come five minutes late to the car when it leaves…. But I am very, very disciplined.”

 

Zverev, on his forehand needing improvement: “All of you guys keep thinking that my forehand is absolute crap.”

 

Federer, when asked if he was affected by the let call at 3-4 in the second-set tiebreaker against Zverev: “I mean, what do you mean, ‘it affected me?’ Of course it did. It got replayed. I got aced. So, yes, it did affect me.”

 

Federer, when asked if he talked to the ballboy during or after the match: “No. Maybe he’s coming to dinner; I don’t know.”

 

Federer, when asked if he needs to get to 100 titles in his career: “I don’t need it. I will breathe air also if I don’t.”

 

Zverev, on converting match point against Federer with a volley: “It was just a shorter distance to walk to the net afterwards to shake hands.”

 

Zverev, on what he will do differently against Djokovic in the final than in round-robin: “I’ll try to hit more winners and less unforced errors.”

 

Carlos Bernades, after a phone rang in the crowd during the doubles final: “Turn it off…or answer.”

 

Jack Sock, after being told that he did not have a very good year in singles: “Really?”

 

Zverev, to Djokovic during the trophy ceremony: “We had some many talks, not only about tennis but about other stuff. About life… about all different kind of subjects. I’m not going to mention the ones we talked about.”

 

Zverev, to Djokovic: “You’re also a very good sharer of this world. Obviously you could win any match you want, but I appreciate you letting me win one today.”

 

Zverev, after the music cut him off and he was handed his victory bottle of champagne–before he was allowed to keep talking: “I mean I wasn’t done yet, but thanks for the champagne. I wasn’t going to get drunk just yet.”

 

Zverev, after being told that players who lose to the same opponent in round-robin have won nine of 18 rematches in the final: “I guess I’ll have that in the back of my mind and I’ll try to lose one match in the group stage. That’s what I’ll try to do.”

 

Zverev, on getting broken by Djokovic in the second set of the final: “I broke him right back after he broke me, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m actually not worried about anything right now. You guys can ask me whatever you want.”

 

Djokovic, on Zverev: “Hopefully he can surpass me. I mean, I sincerely wish him that.”

 

Zverev: on potentially surpassing Djokovic in career accomplishments: “Oh Jesus. Oh my God…. He’s won, I don’t know what, 148 titles more than me…. I hope I can be great, but just chill out a little bit.”

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

 

Ricky’s ride to work for 8 days. A boat up the Thames.

 

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