Along with wall-to-wall tennis matches, a Slam also brings us more press conferences than you can shake a stick at. Here are our favorite quotes from the first week:
Serena Williams, on her state of mind:
Q. The [EPIX documentary about Serena Williams] showed just how difficult it is week in, week out to be a tennis pro, to go through the grind. Do you feel fresh and eager? Is there a joy in your game now? Do you feel a little career fatigue?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would be lying if I said I feel fresh, but I don’t feel fatigue. I don’t think I feel fresh, but I feel real hungry, super motivated, extremely ready to do the best.
Novak Djokovic, avoiding the existential crisis:
Q. If you were on the other side of the net right now, facing Novak Djokovic, what would you see right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s impossible for me to answer that question honestly. I like that side of staying with myself. I don’t want to go on the other side (smiling).
Laura Robson, explaining the obvious:
Q. You seem quite down.
LAURA ROBSON: I seem quite down? Probably because I lost. It tends to do it.
Venus Williams, on her curious court assignment:
Q. You’re a five time champion here, yet you were out on Court 18, the smallest of the show courts. Martina Navratilova tweeted that it stinks. Did you feel it was disrespectful?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m not so much into disrespect. I’m willing to play anywhere, any time. Of course, I was happy to be on the schedule. I think if all players have to play outside, all players should have to play outside. There shouldn’t be exceptions or any inequality to it. For me, no problems playing anywhere. Anyone should play anywhere.
Q. Are you frustrated that they have taken a step back getting more women’s matches on main courts?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s not the ideal schedule for the women. We’d like to see equal amount of matches. We don’t want more, just the same amount, that’s all.
Q. Could you imagine a five time male champion being on an outside court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven’t seen that in the scheduling yet (smiling).
Q. On the court, when you’re walking out to Court 18, a court you might not be entirely happy to play on, is it tough to focus on that? Any sense of frustration at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To make it crystal clear, like I said, I wasn’t unhappy to play on Court 11 [sic]. I just want equality for men’s and women’s matches. That’s what I’m unhappy about. I have no problem where I play. I’ll play on the practice courts if I need to. I have no problem with that.
Roger Federer, the host with the most:
Q. [Marcus Willis] walked out ahead of you onto the court. Did you indicate to him he should do that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, how shall I say? It starts all the way in the back where you walk from the locker room. He was already waiting when I came. When I came, he went to the toilet, so then I was there first. Then I wasn’t sure if he wanted to go first or second. I had to wait for him.
I don’t know if he wanted me to go first. I said, You have the choice. I don’t know what you want to do.
I guess whoever goes first from that moment on goes also first on court. I wanted the cooler experience for him. I don’t know what the cooler experience was, if it’s walking ahead of me or behind me, going out first on Centre Court or not.
I thought it was cool that he got out first because it’s his moment, in my opinion. I wanted him to have a great time.
Marcus Willis, on his surreal run:
Q. Was there one specific point where you suddenly thought, Goodness, this is all a bit surreal?
MARCUS WILLIS: I did look up twice as I bounced the ball and saw Roger Federer, and thought, Oh, haven’t seen this before.
Yeah, it was surreal. Yeah, he got on me quick. I had to get used to it and play.
Eugenie Bouchard, on Wimbledon towels:
Q. The other day you tweeted about the towels here. What impresses you most about them, if they are impressive to you? Why do you think they are so coveted?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, yeah, everyone wants a towel. We always kind of grab them off the court. And a secret is if you get rain delayed, you get another two towels when you go on the court the next time. One match, four towels. I think I’m doing good so far.
Yeah, but especially for me, especially the towels I use on the court and play with are, you know, obviously more significant than one I would buy in the gift shop because I played with it at Wimbledon. I don’t know. They are unique. I don’t know. Everyone seems to want one.
So I just take as many as I can because I know everyone wants one.
Q. How big is your personal collection?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, over the years it’s definitely gotten pretty big (smiling).
Venus Williams, on towels:
Q. You were talking about Wimbledon traditions. Two players earlier today were talking about the towels, how popular they are, so many people want them to bring them back. What has been your experience?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I’ve got a lot at home. Got some since ’97. Got some men’s towels, too. You can do a barter program, trade ’em up. Black market on towels. No.
But they’re very popular. They are very popular. There’s something special about the towels. But they’re also available in the gift shop. If you’re not a player, you can’t miss out, you can still get a towel.
Marcus Willis, getting in on the towel action:
Q. Were you able to take a towel or anything else that says Wimbledon or anything specific?
MARCUS WILLIS: Yeah, I’ve got a towel in my bag, yeah.
Milos Raonic, on Milos Raonic Tennis’ policy on coaches commentating on his matches (i.e. it’s fine?!):
Q. Are you aware of where the BBC television booth is? Do you know who was in there today?
MILOS RAONIC: I know John was commentating the match. I’m not aware of where the booth was. I know where it should be. I think some of them have glass that you can’t see through.
Madison Keys on normal weekends:
Q. [Sam Querrey] lives his life with backup dancers and horse masks? That’s a weekend?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. That’s a pretty normal weekend. You don’t do that?
Q. Not much.
MADISON KEYS: You should try it.
Nick Kyrgios is Not. Having. It.:
Q. When you have those moments when you disagree with the umpire, there’s a distraction in the crowd or whatever, do you find that you can feed off that? Sometimes it makes you angry and it helps your game or it can disrupt your concentration?
NICK KYRGIOS: It can do both. I don’t know why you guys always ask me these questions. There’s plenty of players that ask the umpire questions. I’m not necessarily arguing with the umpire, I just want to hear what he thinks. I just want to tell him my opinion. I’m not necessarily getting angry at the umpire, I’m just having a conversation with him.
It can either bring negative energy… If I’m asking a question, it’s just a question.
Q. You know Dustin very well obviously. Are you concerned with players you don’t know so well that your language with the umpire might put them off, might have an effect on their game?
NICK KYRGIOS: What did I say to the umpire today?
Q. You got a code violation, didn’t you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not for swearing at him.
Q. You said he did a horrendous job.
NICK KYRGIOS: Is that bad language? Have you never said a swear word before? Have you never said a swear word in your life?
NICK KYRGIOS: Can you answer my question?
NICK KYRGIOS: So you’ve never sworn in your life?
Q. It’s your job to answer mine.
NICK KYRGIOS: No, it’s not. He actually asked me the question. It’s his question, mate. It’s his question.
Q. So you didn’t swear? You’re saying you didn’t swear?
NICK KYRGIOS: What did I say to the umpire today?
Q. I just said what you said.
NICK KYRGIOS: So I didn’t swear. So how is that going to affect another player by saying ‘horrendous job’? I think you can figure that out, champ.
Q. I wonder about the banter you had with the umpire.
NICK KYRGIOS: Did you see Dustin arguing with the umpire as well? Did anyone see that? Did you see Dustin arguing with him, too, or just me?
NICK KYRGIOS: All right, great.
THE MODERATOR: Next question, please.
NICK KYRGIOS: Great questions, guys. You got a question?
NICK KYRGIOS: Okay, good.
Andy Murray agrees:
Q. If it is Nick [Kyrgios] that you play next, I know you’re friends with him, and there have been a few negative headlines around him.
ANDY MURRAY: You guys try and wind him up the whole time. Every time he’s in here you’re trying to wind him up the whole time. It’s not really fair on him, to be honest.