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The Best Quotes From The 2019 Nitto ATP Tennis Finals – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, And More

By Ricky Dimon

It was an entertaining year-end championship both on and off the court. The players consistently delivered the goods between the lines and quite often did the same in the press room, as well. Ricky recaps the most entertaining quotes from the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

Roger Federer: “I think my opponents are pretty happy when they play against me.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, on Daniil Medvedev: “Our chemistry definitely isn’t the best that you can find on the tour. It just happens with people that it’s not that you can just like everyone. It’s not that I hate him. As he said, we will not go to dinner together.”

Tsitsipas, on who is the toughest to play of the Big 3: “Rafa Nadal. That’s what everybody says.”

Medvedev, on recent Italian success in tennis: “I’m not working in the Italian Tennis Federation to explain why suddenly it’s like this.”

Nadal, after his loss to Alexander Zverev: “Sascha, well played. And me, bad played.”

Nadal, when asked if hitting too many short balls was a result of getting married: “Honestly, are you asking me this? Is a serious question or is a joke?… Doesn’t matter if you put a ring on your finger or not…. We move to Spanish, because that’s bullshit. Thank you very much.”

Federer: “It’s very hard nowadays to predict who is going to be good and who not so good. I didn’t predict Medvedev to have the year that he had. I didn’t predict (Matteo) Berrettini to have the year that he had.”

Federer, when asked about his strategy on break points against Berrettini: “Not to miss the serves like I did against (Dominic) Thiem.”

Novak Djokovic, after losing to Thiem: “He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball. He went for broke. The entire match he played same way he played the last point. I have to put my hat down and congratulate him, because he just played a great match. I don’t think I have experienced too many matches like this where my opponent just goes for every single shot. I mean, he was unbelievable. In some stages it was just incredible that he was just literally smacking the ball as hard as he can and he was going in. His level was super high; this today was unbelievable…. He was taking every opportunity to smack the ball as hard as he can…. It was amazing. I have played him before; I know his game; but what he did tonight was just out of ordinary. I know that he can play [at] a high level, but tonight was just phenomenal.”

Thiem, after beating Djokovic: “Probably it was maybe the best match I ever played. It was a real classic and epic match. It had everything what a match like this needs. He was up. I was up. He was playing amazing points. Me, I was playing amazing points. And then I think the match deserved an end in the third-set tiebreak.”

Nadal, after coming back from 1-5, 30-40 down in the third set to beat Medvedev: “Daniil is super tough mentally.”

Nadal, when asked what he was thinking down match point: “What you think is probably in five minutes you are in the locker room.”

Nadal, on if his comeback against Medvedev should an example for younger players: “No, examples are not for one day. Examples are every day. The example is not the comeback, because the comeback is…of course you need to be there and you need to keep fighting…but the example, in my opinion, is not break a racket when you are (down) 5-1 in the third or not be out of your self-control when the things are not going the right way. Just staying positive, staying on court, accepting that the opponent is playing a little bit better than you and accepting that you are not that good. That’s the only example, no? Because sometimes the frustration comes when you believe and you consider yourself too good and you don’t accept the mistakes that you are doing. I know I can have mistakes and I normally accept it. That’s the only example that I can try to tell the guys: don’t consider [yourself] too good; accept the mistakes, because everybody have mistakes and you need to keep going after the mistakes. That’s the only way.”

Reporter asking the first question of Medvedev’s press conference following his loss to Nadal: “Do you have a sports psychologist?”

Medvedev: “When I was young I was completely crazy on the court. I couldn’t let myself miss one ball. I would throw the racket over the fence straightaway.”

Tsitsipas, during a discussion about semifinal qualification scenarios: “So math wasn’t my favorite subject at school. I struggled. I’ll be honest. Geography is my favorite one. I like traveling….”

Zverev, prior to his match against Medvedev: “Is he out? He’s out, right? No, he’s not out. He’s not out. If he wins in two….”

Reporter addressing Zverev: “Stefanos….”

Zverev, in response: “Did you just call me Stefanos?”

Zverev, on what he was doing when it looked like he was pushing buttons on something in his tennis bag during a changeover: “My phone was in the locker room, actually. I always leave it there. I don’t know what they saw, but it was definitely not a phone. Empty water bottle maybe?”

Marat Safin, captain of Russia’s ATP Cup team: “Hopefully we’re going to kick some ass.”

Thomas Muster, after Safin said he had nothing to add following a long answer by Muster: “Just don’t say anything.”

Djokovic, on Federer playing like he is at 38 years old: “Well, it motivates me; it shows me it’s possible (smiling). I have utmost admiration for him and everything he’s doing on the court. What he has achieved over the years and what he’s still showing on the court is phenomenal. He’s a role model even for me; I’m one of his rivals and (he is) one of the toughest opponents I had in my career. Looking at his career and what he still is doing, it just inspires you.”

Federer, on if his win over Djokovic erased Wimbledon demons: “They were never really there. There was some press guys that made that up.”

Federer, after clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking for Nadal by beating Djokovic: “I know he was there.”

Tim Henman, on the ATP Cup being his first kind of captaincy: “It might be my last, as well.”

Tsitsipas, after losing to Nadal but having already clinched a semifinal spot: “I would say I did leave something in the tank. I didn’t really go full, full. I could have gone even more full than that.”

Tsitsipas, on having no break points against Nadal: “I will need some advice from this guy over there (motions to Marcos Baghdatis). Best returner of all times.”

Medvedev, after losing to Zverev on what Zverev did differently from their match in Shanghai (which Medvedev won easily): “Yeah, he chose a different court probably 20 times faster.”

Zverev, on not playing Davis Cup: “I don’t think the format is Davis Cup anymore. I think Davis Cup is the most historic event that we have in tennis, which is over 100 years old. Davis Cup is the home-and-away ties. Davis Cup is the whole atmosphere, the play over three days to play five sets and play those tough matches. That’s Davis Cup for me; not playing it at one venue for one week and deciding it all. That’s not Davis Cup. Davis Cup is going to South America; Davis Cup is going to Australia, like I did when it was the proper Davis Cup. Yeah, I hope people realize that Davis Cup is more than just money and all that like they are offering us now. It’s history; it’s tennis history.”

Zverev, after being asked an extremely long question: “By the way, I’m playing tomorrow night. I still have to make (it to) the match.”

Zverev, on social media: “I’m not a massive social media guy. I kind of talk to people.”

Federer, on Tsitsipas’ mental toughness on break points: “Spinning it into the body and then getting an error…. Hmmm. I don’t know if that’s mental toughness.”

Tsitsipas, on Federer and Thiem: “Dominic has inspired me a lot to be a better version of myself when I’m out on the court. I see a lot of things that he does on the court and I try to do the same. Because, I have mentioned this before: what Roger does, only Roger does. It’s really difficult to copy what you see. So to me Dominic is more something normal, normal in a way that something that’s possible. Roger is an exceptional talent. We all know that. He has a very difficult game style to copy. So for me, Dominic has always been someone that I looked up to and wanted to…wanted always to play with the same intensity and the same will that he puts in the court. He puts a lot of effort and a lot of…I would just describe him as an intense player.”

Zverev, to a reporter who asked him about his mental strength: “I missed two overheads one meter away from the net. Honestly, I don’t know how much you play tennis, but I think you would have made those shots.”

Zverev: “I think next year will bring a new Grand Slam champion. We’ll see who that will be, because I think the young guys are playing incredible tennis.”

Thiem: “I still think so, that we see a new Grand Slam champion next year. It’s not 100 percent sure, of course, because the Big 3 are going to be still the favorites. But I think that in one or two events younger players will make a breakthrough.”

Thiem, on finishing the year No. 4 in the world: “It’s way nicer to go into a Grand Slam as a fourth seed than as a fifth seed, because…everybody knows why.”

Thiem, on tennis: “It’s probably mentally the most brutal sport existing.”

Tsitsipas: “Now that I’m a champion, I don’t know how to explain it. I honestly don’t feel anything, because it’s too many emotions to feel something. So it’s horrific, in a way, to be holding this trophy.”

Tsitsipas, on how he found inspiration again after losing it this summer: “That’s a question you’re going to see probably next week. I’ll v-log this thing.”

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

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