“If we all trained our minds as much as we are training our muscles and physical body, I think we would achieve and maximise our potential. We don’t know how much we can really achieve until we have this kind of mindset of wanting always to evolve and improve. I believe in the power of the mind and visualisation, which is a big part of my everyday life”.
“I remember as a kid, I was improvising and making little trophies out of different materials and going in front of the mirror, lifting the trophies and saying ‘Nole was the champion!'”
You live during the match, and you have strong emotions, but you don’t want to get too overexcited. My body’s totally flat now. I cannot move anymore. I’m totally exhausted, just because of the tension out there.
On visualization – “I pictured myself on the court, playing tennis, having the same feelings, feeling the shots. All of that. There’s studies that show imagery works just as well, if you do it correctly, as you being on the court. That’s huge.”
Losing is not my enemy..fear of losing is my enemy.
“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.”
“All of a sudden, it just goes by itself. You don’t ask yourself any more questions. There’s no explanation. It just happens.”
“It’s the zone, where everything flow so effortlessly and you are executing automatically everything you are intending to execute. You don’t need to think too much.”
“It really helps you to stay calm. Today, in this modern world, that is obviously very fast. We are always playing, always out, we have thousands informations coming from phones, from computers, televisions. We are surrounded by a lot of noise, and meditation is really important in my opinion as it helps to meet, to be present, to have a reset, as a person, as a tennis player, as an athlete. We alway alone on the court , so I think it is a fundamental thing to do. I have been doing it for ten years now, and it has obviously helped me a lot on the court but also outside of it, for normal life”
“At the end of the day, you battle yourself the most.”
“The mental side is an important part of the tennis puzzle. If you are able to master all areas of being aprofessional athlete, you can be successful. My mental coach has taught me very simple things, such as creating a system and a routine in your daily life that helps you to work”.
“If you want to be different to other players, take a different approach. If you want to be just like any other player, do what every other player does. The choice is easy”.
Craig Townsend – mental trainer
“You’ve just got to get over that mental hurdle and those battles in your own head during matches when things aren’t going so well. It takes time. It’s probably all things I already knew, but for someone to talk about it maybe in a different way makes you realise things.”
I’m not afraid of anyone, but sometimes I’m afraid of myself. The mental part is very important.
This time last year I would have said Federer would beat Sampras’s record. Now I’m not so sure. His aura has gone. He’s not as dominant as he was, and since I beat him in Australia he’s looked frustrated. Players are beginning to challenge him now, especially myself and Rafa. He’s got 12 Grand Slams to his name and maybe he will beat Sampras, but now I’m here it will be tough for him.
Almost everybody’s here doing the same thing. Who am I to come up with an excuse when there’s 64 other players here doing the same thing? 63 others, sorry.
I’m a perfectionist. I’m pretty much insatiable. I feel there’s so many things I can improve on.
You have to find it. No one else can find it for you.
That’s when you’ve got to grit your teeth and hang in there and try and find a way to win when you’re not playing your best tennis – that’s what I can be proud of
Both Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King used these phrases (“playing out of one’s mind,” or “over one’s head”) to describe their performances while winning the finals at Wimbledon in 1975. . . . The player loses himself in the action, continually breaking the false limits placed on is potential. Awareness becomes acutely heightened, while analysis, anxiety and self-conscious thought are completely forgotten. Enjoyment is at a peak – pure and unspoiled.
W. Timothy Gallwey, “The Inner Game of Tennis”
As you know, I was one of the original grunters. But Jimmy Connors used to grunt way before I was born. I never knew I was grunting, it was just part of my strokes.
“I tried to use everything that I’ve trained, as in forgetting about the past and focusing on the present. And that’s helped me a lot. I’ve done a lot of mental training since I was very young and it’s paying off now.”
Leylah Annie Fernandez
I’m not lucky. If I play another player, even if I don’t play really good, I think I can win.
It is very important not to think about losing.
Everything is possible in this life…
It’s like love. When you look too hard, you don’t find it. When you let it happen naturally, it comes.
Marat Safin Article – The Zone
You don’t think about anything because you just try to playevery game, every point. If you get some chance, you try to take this chance.
You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.
I can’t say that I was my happiest on court, but I felt completely free. Free from family obligations, free from my own torment. In a real sense I was a different person. It was a place where I could not tolerate the idea of being beaten. I psyched myself up into a state where I felt something close to hatred towards my opponent, a state where I detested the idea of someone making his name at the expense of Jimmy Connors. I was in my element on court, measuring myself against someone else. I was not competitive for show. It came from deep within.
I never look back, I look forward.
“Control the things you can control .”
I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.
A smile is a curve that can straighten out a lot of problems.
He’ll go down as one of the guys who changed our sport in a lot of ways, not only the way he played the game, but also the way that he conducted himself on and off the court.
I don’t care now if I ever win a match in my life again. Whatever I do in my life, wherever I go, I’m going to be always Wimbledon champion.
There were many occasions in my career where I could have given up, where I asked myself whether I would ever make it.
The difference of great players is at a certain point in a match they raise their level of play and maintain it. Lesser players play great for a set, but then less.
I’m the sort of person who keeps a lot to myself.
When you start from nothing, when you come from nothing, it makes you hungry. I am proud of where I came from and I know what I want. I want to win.
The great part about tennis is you can’t run out the clock…. As long as we were still playing, I had a chance.
“Winning for your country gives you a high that lasts two or three days. You can’t go to K-Mart and pick that up.
“Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn’t allowed in a photo because I wasn’t wearing a tennis skirt, I knew that I wanted to change the sport”.
Billie Jean King
The roughest thing I ever said to an umpire was, ‘Are you sure?’
He’s a haircut and a forehand.
I think when you start to do well and get your confidence back, everything becomes more fun. When you’re playing with not your full capacity of confidence, I think things get a little tough. I knew I could be doing better than what I was doing. Even though I was ranked 5 or 4 or whatever it was, I wanted to get back to the level I thought I could play at.
I’ll let the racket do the talking.
The ball is round, the game is long.
You don’t have to hate your opponents to beat them.
I felt better being in the background. That’s the way I like it.
I just try to concentrate on concentrating.
“I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.”
I made it look so easy on court all those years. No one realized how hard I had to work. No one realized how much I had to put into it. They underestimated my intensity.
So there was a fire inside me. And that fire inside you, it can be turned into a negative form or a positive form. And I gradually realised that I had this fire and that it had to be used in a positive way.
What rivalry? I win all the matches.
I’m never going to win a match against him playing really conservative.
Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquillity.
Billie Jean King
Tennis has given me soul.
Sometimes I wish I could have been a bit more relaxed, but then I wouldn’t have been the same player.
Every time I hit the ball on the wall I uses to pretend I was there (Wimbledon). When I went to sleep I used to pretend I was there.