Sky News - William Shakespeare & Henry V 2012 - Yannick Noah - Hall of Fame TV - Sporting Greats TV - Jimmy Connors & Crowd - Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! 2006 - George Bernard Shaw - Monica Seles - Chris Evert - Pat Cash - Arthur Ashe - Serena Williams - James Kenneth Stephen - Pete Sampras - Spitting Image TV - Storyville: Citizen Ashe TV - Amol Rajan Interviews: Billie Jean King TV - Novak Djokovic
She [Serena Williams] definitely likes grass. Sky News, Jacquie Beltrao, 14 May 2019
Tennis balls, my liege. The Hollow Crown: Henry V 2012 starring Tim Hiddleston & Geraldine Chaplin & Paul Freeman & Julie Walters & John Hurt & Tom Georgeson & Richard Griffiths & Paterson Joseph & James Laurenson et al, director Thea Sharrock
When we have matched our rackets to these balls,
We will in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard. William Shakespeare, Henry V I ii 261
Arthur Ashe had been the first black athlete to play Johannesburg at the time of apartheid. Yannick Noah
Back in 1975 the hottest thing in tennis was the brilliant brash Jimmy Conners. So brilliant in fact that when he faced Arthur Ashe in the 1975 Wimbledon Final most observers were simply hoping the old-timer Ashe wasn’t humiliated. Hall of Fame: The Upsets
Arthur Ashe woke up next morning with a plan. He decided to completely alter his game [soft returns]. ibid.
[Arthur] Ash tragically died of AIDS in 1993, but he left us with the memory of arguably the greatest Wimbledon upset of all time. ibid.
Goran Ivanisevic was one of those players who really really wanted to win. The trouble was he never ever did ... A wild-card as a gesture of good-will ... Ivanisevic had been saved [by the rain against Henman] ... Amazingly he found himself serving for a place in the Final [against Rafter] ... After three hours of tennis Goran found himself serving for the match. ibid.
In 1980 two of the greatest tennis players of all time – Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe – met in the Wimbledon final. It will be remembered as one of the greatest sporting clashes of all time ... The tie-breaker went on for an epic thirty-three points before McEnroe eventually sealed the set. After over three hours on court the match was all square with one final set to play. Hall of Fame: Clash of the Titans
One of the saddest sights in sport is watching someone who is infinitely capable of winning, but now contriving to pull defeat from the jaws of victory ... There is perhaps no finer example of a Choke than what happened at Wimbledon in 1993. Jana Novotna came into the tournament already established as a talented tennis player, albeit with one crucial flaw. But in 1993 she looked as if this would finally be her year. Hall of Fame: Tearjerkers
Maria Sharapova: aged just seventeen, it wasn’t just her ability to scream that was making headlines ... The hard work had paid off. Sharapova, at the age of seventeen, had claimed her first Wimbledon title. Hall of Fame: Do You Remember the First Time?
In 1996 Richard Krajicek wasn’t seeded ... But Krajicek had a secret weapon – his incredible serve. But 1996 was a strange year from the start – perhaps even more bizarre than Cliff’s singing, five seeds went out in the first round ... Sampras simply couldn’t cope. Hall of Fame: One-Hit Wonders
Tennis has a habit of producing great rollercoasters ... 1992 between two guys who would become Wimbledon legends ... In the 1992 final Agassi would come up against another big-hitter. It was the super-serve against the style ... Ivanisevic ... Goran’s serve could never be dismissed ... Andre Agassi had won Wimbledon. ibid.
In the early nineties two individuals came together who would shape doubles tennis for ever, and who quickly became one of the most feared tennis partnerships in history: soon to be known as the Woodies, neither Todd Woodbridge nor Mark Woodford had set the world alight on the singles circuit ... They appeared to be playing flawless doubles tennis ... Five consecutive Wimbledon finals. ibid.
They’d done it: a remarkable sixth Wimbledon won in straight sets marked the end of the partnership. ibid.
In a golden age of tennis where the game has reached new levels of physicality and speed one man has taken his sport into new territory. Sporting Greats – Rafael Nadal
In 2006 Nadal reached his first Wimbledon final. ibid.
In 2008 Nadal met Federer in their sixth Grand Slam final. ibid.
Arguably the greatest match of tennis ever seen ... 4 hours 48 minutes of tennis. ibid.
His second Wimbledon crown in 2010. ibid.
Member of crowd: Come on, Jimmy.
Jimmy Conners: I’m trying for Christ’s sake. 1975 Wimbledon Final
Contortionist Captain Frodo, a member of the Circus Oz, dislocates certain bones in his body to enable him to pass his body through a tennis racket as part of his performance! Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! 2006
You cannot be serious. John McEnroe
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
Anyone for tennis? Typical of drawing-room comedies; possibly from George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Anybody on for a game of tennis?’
Tennis has to become everything to you if you’re going to make it to the top. You have to live it. Monica Seles
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
Women’s tennis is two sets of rubbish that lasts only half an hour. Pat Cash
I don’t want to be remembered for my tennis accomplishments. Arthur Ashe
I am here to play women’s tennis. I’m a lady. Predominantly, most of the time I always like to play ladies. Serena Williams
To see Good Tennis! What divine joy
Can fill our leisure, or our minds employ?
Let other people play at other things;
The King of Games is still the Game of Kings. James Kenneth Stephen, Parker's Piece
I never wanted to be the great guy or the colourful guy or the interesting guy. I wanted to be the guy who won titles. Pete Sampras
Er, well I feel now it’s time for me to retire soon as I’ve licked everyone in women’s tennis. Spitting Image s17e3, Martina Navratilova, ITV 1994
You try to put your entire being, mentally and physically, on automatic pilot while you’re playing tennis. Storyville: Citizen Ashe, BBC 2022
Still he says, That’s not my way. ibid. black activist
I consider that you have to start somewhere, and it would at least be a crack in the Apartheid world if I did play. ibid.
Tennis Hall-of-Famer Arthur Ashe revealed that he has AIDS. ibid. Dan Rather news
Arthur died from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6 1993. ibid.
Disturb the Comfortable and Comfort the Disturbed. ibid. book inscription to wife
Billie Jean King as she would come to be known changed the world for women in America and far beyond. She did it by her tennis. She was arguably the first female sports superstar winning 39 gram slams and completely dominating her sport. Amol Rajan Interviews: Billie Jean King, BBC 2022
Billie Jean King won her first grand slam title at the age of 17 as an unseeded player on her first visit to Wimbledon, becoming the youngest person to win the women’s doubles at the championships. ibid.
Well, I do feel that I carry the responsibility of representing my country wherever I am, and this responsibility came with the success that I had in the last couple of years, not just myself but the whole group of tennis players that comes from Serbia. And athletes in general are, in this moment, the biggest ambassadors that our country has. Novak Djokovic