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Say what? The best quotes of AO 2024

  • Jackson Mansell

Every January, tennis players and fans from around the globe descend upon Melbourne for the Australian Open. Marking the beginning of a new season, the tournament plays host to emphatic triumphs, agonising setbacks and fresh starts.

As the first Grand Slam concludes for another year, let’s look back at some of the quotes that captured the emotions of Australian Open 2024.


“It takes me so much time to kind of like become who I am right now on court, to have this control (of) myself, and to understand myself better. Yeah, it's been a long journey and way to go.”
AO 2024 women’s champion Aryna Sabalenka on the steely competitive persona that contrasts with her bubbly nature off the court. 

“There is always pressure, but the pressure is something good. You have to take it in a good way … I like to dance in the pressure storm … because that's where, most of the time, I bring out my best tennis.”
Jannik Sinner, the newly crowned Australian Open champion, explains how he thrives on a big stage.

“There is lot of difficult matches for me on the way, and I'm able to hold that difficult moment and trying to win the match even I wasn't play(ing) my best tennis … actually, I think I can learn more with the loss today, and then I just hope next time I can come back as a better tennis player.” 
Amid the disappointment of a difficult loss in the AO 2024 final, Zheng Qinwen finds the positives of her career-best Grand Slam campaign. 

Zheng Qinwen learned plenty from her first run to a major final

“The No. 1 thought which comes to my head is to not really have limitations. We set ourselves those limitations. You know, as human beings, we have goals. Then when we don't achieve that quickly or at a time frame, we think that's the end of that journey.” 
Rohan Bopanna, who almost quit tennis in the years before claiming a first Grand Slam title and the world No.1 men’s doubles ranking, on the advice he’d offer others experiencing similarly testing times.

"I want them to go seven hours, 30-28 tiebreak in the fifth [set] and then maybe let’s see if they are a little but tired on Sunday.”
Daniil Medvedev on who he would want to face in the final out of Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner.

“The funny thing, if my life was without media, I would not be aware, but because there's so much media, because there's social media, because there are so many other people looking at those records, it's impossible to not know.” 
Diede de Groot, the AO 2024 women’s wheelchair champion, who set new records with her 13th consecutive Grand Slam singles title and 21st Grand Slam title overall.

“It’s nice to make history. It’s something new from me and for my generation because the last time it happened was a long time ago. I wasn’t born yet.” 
Dayana Yastremska on becoming the second qualifier since Christine Dorey at AO 1978 to make the final four at the Australian Open. 

Yastremska made a history-making run from qualifying in Melbourne

“Better not to be inside my head at this time. It’s like a scary movie.” 
Andrey Rublev on his thought process during his five-set epic with Alex de Minaur in the AO 2024 fourth round.

“You’ve got to take off your shoes, climb the tree to its highest point and hang upside down on the highest branch for 33 minutes and three seconds and you’re going to win a Slam.” 
Ten-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic tells Nick Kyrgios his secret to success at Melbourne Park.

“I had a lot of motivation to win this match. One of my motivations was to stay here [in Australia]. Before going on court, I was telling myself that I will fight to stay here longer at the Australian Open in the best atmosphere in the world.”
Anna Blinkova after she defeated Australian Open 2023 runner-up Elena Rybakina in the longest tiebreak in women’s Grand Slam history. 

“I’m happy I played with Ons (Jabeur). It was one of my dreams to play against her because I really like the way she plays … I’m inspired by her, so today it meant a lot, this match that I won.”
Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva after her upset win over childhood idol Ons Jabeur in the second round.

“I was more stressed than in other tournaments, especially the first two rounds. But I think some things just didn’t work as they did before, even though I was working the same way. I feel like I did everything I could in pre-season to improve some stuff I wanted to. Then I came here, and I wasn’t playing kind of natural anymore.” 
Iga Swiatek after her shock loss to teenager Linda Noskova.

Swiatek didn't duck the questions after her shock loss to Noskova

“I wish I could have got it done easier, but I’ve got the mental focus of a three-year-old so [it’s] however I can get it done. You guys are amazing. Without you, I’m no chance of winning.”
Thanasi Kokkinakis following his five-set thriller against Austrian Sebastian Ofner in front of a packed crowd at John Cain Arena. 

"Probably losing in the final is better than losing before it."
After four of his matches went the full five-set distance, Daniil Medvedev can be proud of his overall AO 2024 success.