With the season’s first major tournament now in the rear-view, we’re coming up for air Down Under and presenting the most interesting statements players made at the 2016 Australian Open. Some of them are droll, while a few are downright mean. Still, others are introspective. The Spin takes all comers, and so do these comments. In no particular order …
1. ”My girlfriend’s sending me pictures. I’m trending on Twitter. I mean, that stuff is cool.” —Noah Rubin, upon upsetting Benoit Paire in the tournament’s opening round
2. “I played against a not-good player, but I was very bad today. So that’s it, I lost.” —Paire on Rubin, his first-round vanquisher, revealing more about himself than he did about the one to whom he was referring
3. “Yeah, well, he has his predictions. I think he’s also far away from [Novak] Djokovic, as well, if he wants to say that. If he believes I’m very far away from the Top 10, I also believe my prediction that he’s nowhere near Novak’s tennis right now.” —Bernard Tomic on Roger Federer
4. “I just would have liked Roger to say, ‘OK, look, he had an amazing 2015,’” Tomic said. “’Went from 70, 80 to being 16.’ He didn’t mention it. I just felt like maybe Roger said the wrong thing.” —Tomic again, after Federer clarified his remarks
5. “Actually I am a tri-citizen. I’ve got a Hungarian passport as well. Just add that into the mix, guys. I mean, I’m pretty much the female version of Jason Bourne.” —Johanna Konta, the first Aussie Open women’s singles semifinalist from Great Britain in about three decades
6. “I don’t really need my voice. If I use my voice, I talk too much s*** anyway.” —Stan Wawrinka, informed by an on-court reporter post-match that he seemed to have a raspy-voiced sickness
7. “Yeah, the one thing in tennis they tell me is I should … play on the lines. They think that’s a good thing. I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try that.’ The other one said that maybe you should look that way and play the other way. I said, ‘OK, I’ll try that, too. It’s not as easy as you think it is, but I’ll try.’” —Federer on his kids’ advice for his career
8. “Pressure for me, I think it’s part of where I came from. I always had pressure. I had one shot to get out of where I am, so that was way more pressure than I’m having right now. So I just embrace it.” —Victoria Azarenka, putting on her best Billie Jean King front
9. “I’m good from behind.” —Daria Gavrilova, who went on to play up her in-the-moment gaffe later in an Instagram post
10. “I don’t have idols, but Lleyton is my idol. I have a shirt signed by him seven years ago … It’s the only T-shirt of a tennis player I have.” —David Ferrer on Lleyton Hewitt
11. “I named one of my dogs after him. He was someone I loved growing up.” —Andy Murray on Hewitt
12. That time Andre Agassi and Hewitt exchanged not-so-backhanded compliments.
— Lleyton Hewitt (@lleytonhewitt) January 23, 2016
13. “My whole career, I’ve given 100 percent.” —Who else but Hewitt?
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 21, 2016
14. Milos Raonic was understandably crushed by his five-set semifinal exit at the hands of Murray: “It hurts like hell now at this moment.”
It hurts light hell now at this moment. The heartbreak and the disappoint. Regardless, I will not let this keep me down. That is not how I was raised and that is not the kind of person that I am. I thrive of challenges and of difficult moments that on the other side make me better and make me stronger. It’s infuriating for the tournament to end on this note and to have to face this knot in my stomach. But it’s not the end. Not by any means. I am better than that and I will overcome the challenges my body presents to me, I work far to damn hard and commit every waking moment to tennis, my ambitions and my goals, to not do that. I will grow from this and I will learn. I will give myself this opportunity again and I will move on in a better light. It may not be today or tomorrow but I am gonna do everything to make sure it’s someday! At the end of the day, it has been a very special January. I have showed great amounts of improvement and development in my tennis. I have played great and I have done a whole lot of winning. That feels great and I will keep pushing that forward. A huge thank you to the fans and supporters who show their love and passion, on court, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other way possible. You guys are great to me and I am forever grateful. I will much more to cheer for. With much love! Milos
15. Djokovic‘s “wolf” metaphor made the rounds after he claimed a record-tying sixth Aussie Open singles title.
Djokovic: “I heard a nice metaphor: the wolf running uphill is hungrier than the wolf standing on the hill. I need to work double as hard”
— Leigh Walsh (@LeighWalsh87) January 31, 2016
16. “Broken” —The Age‘s take on Murray’s five-times-a-groomsman showing in the Aussie final
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) February 1, 2016
17. Djokovic, apparently sensing no danger in getting the hype started, announced that if he wins the French Open, he will have captured the “Djoker Slam.”
18. “As much as I would like to be a robot, I’m not.” —Serena Williams
— Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9) January 30, 2016
19. NBA star Dirk Nowitzki saluted his countrywoman, Angelique Kerber, upon her upending of Serena.
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 30, 2016
20. Kerber: “If you’re just hoping, you can’t win against” Serena. Suffice it to say, “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” by Jack Johnson was not on her iTunes playlist ahead of her first-ever major final.
— Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9) January 30, 2016
Now sound off: What were your own “potent quotables” from the season’s kick-starting Slam?
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.