Say what? The best quotes from AO2020

  • Reem Abulleil

The Australian Open has delivered yet another epic event to start the year, so here's a collection of the best quotes from the stars of the show:

“I've always had that. I knew I needed to establish myself to get to where I am. All the confidence has come with all the matches that I've had, the success I've had in 2019. WTA Most Improved Player of the Year, so ... FYI. Yeah, I've always had that. Match play has really helped me. All the confidence that I'm getting is because of that. I see that things are happening for me. Everything is just falling into place.”

-- Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin reminds everyone of her great success on the WTA tour last year.

“Honestly, I'm leaving with no regrets at all because I've worked so hard my whole life, my whole career. I've given it literally everything that I have to reach where I got. In the end of the day, every single day I showed up, in practice and in matches, and I gave it my all. That's why I can look back at my career and say I'm very proud of everything that I've achieved, very proud of the ups and the downs. But especially to be able to just continually push myself to be a better player, I feel like I've given a lot to the sport that I can be very proud of.”

-- Lovely words from Caroline Wozniacki who bid farewell to the sport at this year’s Australian Open.

Caroline Wozniacki waves goodbye to the Australian Open fans

"He's the coach of the year for a reason and he carries his trophy around in his backpack just because he loves to look at it. But Tyzz does everything to the Nth degree. He's extremely disciplined with how he looks out for other players and everything. He sends me about a 1000 word paragraph every night to wrap my head around.”

-- Ashleigh Barty with some banter for her coach Craig Tyzzer during an on-court interview with her former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua.

Q. Almost two years ago Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros said if Zverev doesn't win a slam in two years, you can come to me and say I don't understand tennis.

Alexander Zverev: No, no, he did not say that. He said do well at a slam, he didn't say win a slam.

-- Nothing gets by Zverev. If you ask him a question, you’d better make sure it’s accurate.

Alexander Zverev knows his Rafa quotes

“They don't always listen to me. I play with them sometimes. I do like to play with them, yeah. But I am not the biggest fan of the dad giving them all the advice. For that I think they got to listen to the coach. I've had that problem before, where I told them some things, and they said, ‘Well, my coach told me differently’. I told them, ‘There you go. Listen to the coach. Don't listen to me. But at least listen to one of us’.”

-- Roger Federer on whether his kids listen to his advice when he plays tennis with them.

“It’s unbelievable, twice in Roland Garros finals, twice facing Rafa. Now facing Novak here, he’s the king of Australia; so I’m always facing the kings of the Grand Slams in these finals.”

-- Dominic Thiem is learning the hard way, that to be the best, you have to take down the best.

Dominic Thiem is always taking on the kings

Q. A lot of people talked about you and Garbine as this obvious pair who should be working together. Have you heard that same conversation, feels like fate?

Conchita Martinez: Well, yeah, you do hear. It's like couples, we all want Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to get back together, right?

-- Martinez and Muguruza have made many fans happy by reuniting as coach and player it seems.

Q. Your good friend, Meghan Markle, who attended your last two slams, and Harry, have taken a move, a stance that many people think is extraordinary and historic. What are your feelings about that? Have you spoken to her?

Serena Williams: Yeah. I have absolutely no comments on anything with that. But good try. You tried. You did good.

-- Serena’s very first question and response, in her first press conference in Melbourne was a memorable one.

Serena Williams in action at AO2020

“I think it's normal. It's part of the job, of the success of any sportsman in any sport. But especially, of course, in New York like the next day, I had to wear a hoodie, sunglasses, still people recognised me. I would look at myself in the mirror, ‘How can you recognise me? I cannot recognise me’.”

-- Daniil Medvedev needs to work on his disguise if he plans on making more Grand Slam finals.

“Never thought I’d say this, but I like the GB tennis team, you’re all lovely.”

-- Six-time Australian Open quad wheelchair singles champion Dylan Alcott enjoys some banter as he congratulates his British opponent Andy Lapthorne after their final.

Dylan Alcott embraces Andy Lapthorne

“I’ve been coming here for years watching Andy Murray and hearing ‘C’mon, Andy’ on this court. And for that to be me today, that will live with me forever. If there’s one disabled person watching this around the world, we are proof that you should go for your dreams. Just go for it. I was sitting up there the other night cheering on Nick Kyrgios and now I’m down here on court.”

-- Inspiring words from wheelchair singles runner-up Andy Lapthorne during the trophy ceremony after the final.

Q. Do you feel like there's anyone who is a rival for you at this point in your career?

Naomi Osaka: Honestly I feel like I'm figuring that out. I think having a rival is something that is kind of rare, though. It's someone that you've played consecutive times, and it's been super tough. You win some, you lose some. I think I'm honestly just so new. Like, I haven't played anyone more than four or five times. So I feel like having a rival right now would be a blessing. But I don't think there's anyone that I've played that many times.

Q. You still feel new even though this is your fifth time here?

Naomi Osaka: Please stop exposing me (laughter). I'm just trying to live my life out here.

-- Never a dull moment in a Naomi Osaka press conference.

Naomi Osaka is full of laughs

Q. Haven't been making her do your washing?

Joe Salisbury: I can't say I haven't (smiling). I wouldn't say I've been making her. She has volunteered a few times.

Rajeev Ram: You didn't turn it down?

Joe Salisbury: I didn't turn it down, no.

-- Doubles champion Salisbury has enjoyed having his mother around this Australian Open for multiple reasons, including the fact she has helped out with his laundry.

“On the court I was definitely, ‘What is my life?’ All these people clapping for me. Every time I think people think, I guess, you get used to it. I'm still new to this, but I'm sure I'm not used to it and I'm sure some of the players who have kind of already won a bunch of slams, I'm sure every time that post-match walkout when you wave to the crowd, I'm sure they feel, like, unbelievable in that moment. That's definitely the mood for today, like, ‘What is my life?’”

-- Coco Gauff describes her reaction after upsetting defending champion Naomi Osaka.

Coco Gauff after defeating Naomi Osaka

Maria Sakkari: Maybe another dish, maybe we leave that [the souvlaki] for Stefanos, and we say, ‘Sakkari moussaka’ or something.

Journalist: Moussakkari?

Maria Sakkari: Oh my God, yes, Moussakkari. Good one, Ben!

-- Greek player Maria Sakkari doesn’t want to steal Stefanos Tsitsipas’ thunder, and will settle for a signature moussaka, instead of getting her own souvlaki like he did last year.

“I'm trying. I mean, quarterfinals for the first time, trying to inspire many young generation back home either in Tunisia or the Arabic world, especially in Africa, which is amazing. It's not impossible. I made it. Like I said before, I've been practicing in Tunisia from the age of 3 through 16 or 17. I'm 100% Tunisian product.”

-- Tunisian Ons Jabeur is proud to be making history for her region.

Ons Jabeur made history at AO2020

“Obviously Australia is a country that is home for us for over a month’s time every single year and we heard what is going on with the bushfires, we heard what is going on with the animals and the people who are losing their homes. So I will donate A$10,000 for every match that I win here. I know I’m not the favourite to win this event, but if I win this event I’m going to donate every single cent to the bushfires.”

-- Alexander Zverev surprised everyone by making a generous pledge after his first-round victory on Margaret Court Arena.

“If anything, it motivated me. If you look at the things he stood for, what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight. When I was down a break in the fourth, I was definitely thinking about it. I fought back.”

-- Nick Kyrgios paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant the best way he knows how – by fighting with everything he had against Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

Aussie star Nick Kyrgios

“I said, ‘Come and get a photo, mate’. And he did. You know what I actually said to him? He's won seven, correct? I always say to him, ‘Mate, I'm only one behind you’. But then guess what he does? He then wins. We'll see what happens coming up in the next night. How good is he on Rod Laver Arena? I think it's both of our favourite slams. You can definitely tell that.”

-- Dylan Alcott reveals the ongoing rivalry he has with Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.  

“I always dream about him. I think he can see what I play today. He will proud of me. I really hope he can be here watch I play. Yes, I miss him.”

-- Wang Qiang pays tribute to her late coach Peter McNamara after her stunning upset of Serena Williams.

Wang Qiang celebrates her massive upset win

"There was some devastating things that started 2020, with huge bushfires here in Australia, conflicts some parts of the world, people dying everyday - obviously one person I considered close in my life and was a mentor to me, Kobe Bryant passed away as well with his daughter; I would just like to say that this is a reminder to all of us that we should stick together more than ever, be with our families, stay close to the people that love you, that care about you. Of course we are part of professional sport, we compete and try our best but obviously there are more important things in life and it's important to be conscience and humble about things that are happening around you."

-- Moving words from Novak Djokovic during his victory speech on Sunday night.

Australian Open 2020 champion Novak Djokovic