Tennis Quotes & Sayings

The top tennis players are truly awesome athletes and competitors. And the level of skill they display is incredible. This collection of tennis quotes sums up all that is great about the sport and what it takes to be a champion in it. If you’ll excuse the pun, there’s some real aces served up here, as well as some funny quotes about tennis too.

Tennis Quotes

Whoever said, “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,” probably lost.

Martina Navratilova

You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.

Arthur Ashe

Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.

Billie Jean King

I hate to lose more than I love to win.

Jimmy Connors

Getting your first serve in is a great way to avoid double faults.

John Fitzgerald

Tennis is the loneliest sport.

Andre Agassi

An otherwise happily married couple may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Rod Laver

I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.

Yannick Noah

As Boris Becker sits there, his eyes staring out in front of him, I wonder what he’s thinking. I think he’s thinking, “I am Boris Becker.” At least I hope that’s what he’s thinking.

John Barrett

I have no sense of humor about losing.

Rafael Nadal

Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.

Andre Agassi

Tennis taught me so many lessons in life. One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision. I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball.

Billie Jean King

Lleyton Hewitt… his two greatest strengths are his legs, his speed, his agility and his competitiveness.

Pat Cash

It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball.

Pete Sampras

In tennis, it is not the opponent you fear, it is the failure itself, knowing how near you were but just out of reach.

Andy Murray

The fifth set is not about tennis, it’s about nerves.

Boris Becker

When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn’t play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.

Hugo L. Black

Everybody loves success, but they hate successful people.

John McEnroe

Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever.

Billie Jean King

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

Arthur Ashe

As a tennis player, you have to get used to losing every week. Unless you win the tournament, you always go home as a loser. But you have to take the positive out of a defeat and go back to work. Improve to fail better.

Stanislas Warwinka

To be a tennis champion, you have to be inflexible. You have to be stubborn. You have to be arrogant. You have to be selfish and self-absorbed. Kind of tunnel vision almost.

Chris Evert

Tennis is mostly mental. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.

Venus Williams

Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.

Rafael Nadal

That’s what you do all the hard work for, to play in situations that put your body through gruelling times. If you’re not up to it, pull out.

Lleyton Hewitt

Tennis has to become everything to you if you’re going to make it to the top. You have to live it.

Monica Seles

The next point – that’s all you must think about.

Rod Laver

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.

Mitch Hedberg

Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.

Novak Djokovic

Tennis: the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style, and wit. A beautiful game, but one so remorselessly travestied by the passage of time.

Martin Amis

I still break rackets, but now I do it in a positive way.

Goran Ivanisevic

As tennis players, we work and we sacrifice many things. To lose, that’s not a happy thing – I mean sure, I was disappointed. You have to come back strong. But to win the last point in a grand slam tournament, that’s the most beautiful and most satisfying feeling you can get as a tennis player. It’s worth it.

I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.

Boris Becker

Being number two sucks.

Andre Agassi

Greatest thing in life: Winning a tennis match. Second greatest thing in life: Losing a tennis match.

Jimmy Connors

Spectacular performances are preceded by spectacular preparation.

Franco Giampaolo

In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe.

Elliot Chaze

When you lose a couple of times, it makes you realize how difficult it is to win.

Steffi Graf

What a polite game tennis is. The chief word in it seems to be “sorry” and admiration of each other’s play crosses the net as frequently as the ball.

J. M. Barrie

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.

Pete Sampras

What matters isn’t how well you play when you’re playing well. What matters is how well you play when you’re playing badly.

Martina Navratilova

I call tennis the McDonalds of sport – you go in, they make a quick buck out of you, and you’re out.

Pat Cash

Tennis has given me soul.

Martina Navratilova

Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you’re too damned old to do anything about it.

Jimmy Connors

You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.

Chris Evert

It’s difficult for most people to imagine the creative process in tennis. Seemingly, it’s just an athletic manner of hitting the ball consistently well within the boundaries of the court. That analysis is just as specious as thinking that the difficulty in portraying King Lear on stage is learning all the lines.

Virginia Wade

You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.

Arthur Ashe

Freed from the thoughts of winning, I instantly play better. I stop thinking, start feeling. My shots become a half-second quicker, my decisions become the product of instinct rather than logic.

Andre Agassi

New Yorkers love it when you spill your guts out there. Spill your guts at Wimbledon and they make you stop and clean it up.

Jimmy Connors

I play each point like my life depends on it.

Rafael Nadal

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.

Maria Sharapova

The primary conception of tennis is to get the ball over the net and at the same time to keep it within bounds of the court; failing this, within the borders of the neighborhood.

Elliot Chaze

What is the single most important quality in a tennis champion? I would have to say desire, staying in there and winning matches when you are not playing that well.

John McEnroe

Tennis takes care of everything. It requires agility and quickness to get to the ball, core strength to get power into your shorts and stamina to last for an entire match. In addition to toning your arms and shoulders, it’s a total body workout for your legs and abs, and works your heart and core unlike any other sport.

Samantha Stosur

Speed in tennis is a strange mixture of intuition, guesswork, footwork and hair-trigger reflexes. Many of the players famed for quickness on court would finish dead last in a field of schoolgirls in a race over any distance more than ten yards.

Eugene Scott

As a tennis player you can win and you can lose, and you have to be ready for both. I practised self-control as a kid. But as you get older they both – winning and losing – get easier.

Rafael Nadal

Tennis was always sort of a learning tool. It was a vehicle for me to discover a lot about myself. And the things that I sort of discovered at times I not only didn’t want to see it for myself but I certainly didn’t want millions of people to see it.

Andre Agassi

Why has slamming a ball with a racquet become so obsessive a pleasure for so many of us?  It seems clear to me that a primary attraction of the sport is the opportunity it gives to release aggression physically without being arrested for felonious assault.

Nat Hentoff

I would honestly rather lose to the same guy twice than lose to two different guys. I think if I lost to two different players I would think I wasn’t playing well, but with one guy I can think “OK, this guy is on a roll”. It’s just easier to digest.

Roger Federer

Tennis is not a gentle game.  Psychologically, it is vicious.  That people are only just beginning to come to terms with this fact illustrates just how big a con trick has been perpetrated on the non-playing tennis public – and even a few players, usually losing players – for decades.

Richard Evans

Quotes About Tennis

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