RG19 quotes: Love, idols and ancient Greeks

 - rolandgarros.com

Rafa, Ash, Roger, Serena and many others reveal all in our quotes of the Roland-Garros fortnight.

Roland-Garros Serena Williams © Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

“He stepped on me. I’ve come from heaven [beating No.1 seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-final] to hell. You have to beat seven good players at this tournament, and one or two legends. That's a unique and also brutal thing. Beating Novak was one of my biggest victories in my career. I beat one of the biggest legends of our game. Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another amazing legend of our game. I was feeling so happy, and now of course I lost. I failed to make my biggest dream in my tennis life come true.”

- Dominic Thiem explains what it’s like to lose his second Roland-Garros final to Rafael Nadal.

 "I said to my team at the start of the year I was just worried about falling over. And I can successfully say that we got to the end of the clay-court season and I did not fall over once. So I'm pretty pumped with that.”

- Champion Ashleigh Barty on her original big goals.

 “I have to say thank you to my partner, my sister, my best friend Kiki because with her, every day is like playing a final. I love you so much.”

“My Timea… Spending every day by your side is like being at a Grand Slam final and I’m very happy to have you as my best friend alongside me every day. Thank you for everything you give me on and off court. It’s a privilege to experience these moments – this moment is inscribed on my heart.”

- Mutual love and respect between Kiki Mladenovic and Timea Babos after winning the doubles.

 "I was living for this win, for these emotions, for these moments. I'm going to do everything to live it through again and again and again. When you step in on the court and you know you play your idol, you just gotta show your best.”

- Anastasia Potapova on being inspired to beat her idol  Kerber.

 "I think my favourite court is Chatrier, because every time I go there, my skin turns like chicken skin because I have beautiful memories."

- Garbine Muguruza's version of goosebumps.

 "I saw Yannick play last year in Munich against Zverev. So I remember a little bit that. And then today with YouTube you can find things. I saw some highlights of his matches, and you have an idea. Of course is different when you never played before. You can create an idea about what he does, no?”

- Nadal on researching his second round opponent Yannick Maden.

"The outfit has words… it's in French, and it says ‘Queen’, it says ‘Champion’, and it says ‘Mom’. And those are things that mean a lot to me and are reminders for me and for everyone that wants to wear it that they can be champions and are queens. So I love that about it.”

- Serena Williams on the messaging incorporated in her Virgil Abloh-designed RG kit

 "I probably will [receive a bill from Roland-Garros]. The damage was pretty big, I must say (smiling). You know, huge muscles that I possess, it's kind of expected I make the big hole like that."

- Djokovic blames his muscles for making a hole in the RG gym floor while training with a medicine ball.

"Everybody keeps on saying I had a tough year. I mean, I'm still No.5 in the world. Any of you guys know what I am on the race to London? I'm top 10. So it's not that bad (smiling).”

- Alex Zverev puts his 'slump' into perspective after battling past John Millman in five sets.

 "I know probably more about his dad than about him.”

- The reality of being 37: Federer on his 20-year-old third-round opponent Caspar Ruud, whose father Christian coincided with the Swiss on Tour.

"As I always say, if I could lose against Nadal or Djokovic every week, I think it's a good sign.”

- David Goffin ahead of his third round against Rafael Nadal...where he lost.

"If I had to look at it as an effort level, I think today was the best clay-court match I have played this year, because I didn't stop trying at all. Like, every point was kind of, like, pedal to the metal. Metal to the - whatever, which one. What was I going to say? I had something really intelligent to say, but then I forgot (smiling). Now it's going to bother me.” 

- Naomi Osaka loses her train of thought.

"When I had a tough loss at Miami Open, it was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room, Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat. That was really nice of her, and I'll remember it forever.”

- Amanda Anisimova reveals comfort from an inspirational chat with compatriot Serena Williams.

I think the main mental problem yesterday was that I had a birthday, and I'm now 30, and I had so many things in my head that I would say it was one of the worst days of my life. I thought I will feel good, but actually I was not feeling well since the two days ago. I start to think about that I'm 30, and I don't have much time left to play on tour and all this bad things. And it was really tough mentally to play, and at the end my body was just not listening to me. And the only thing that I wanted to do is to finish and quit that match. But you know always being a tennis player, at some point you think no, no, no. I'm going to fight. And this is exactly what happened.

- Lesia Tsurenko opens up after a challenging birthday, saving match point during her gruelling 5-7, 7-5, 11-9 two-day victory over Aleksandra Krunic.

Reporter: “If I have it right, you just tweeted out an interesting saying: ‘Earth and water have always been as they are’. Could you reflect on that? What does that mean to you?”

Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I have no clue what that means, because that's an ancient Greek quote, and I don't speak ancient Greek. All of these quotes that I write are all in ancient Greek. It is something about water and Earth combined together. There are some interesting ones online you can find. I have been doing it in Australia, as well. I have been posting in ancient Greek. It seems cool to me. I don't know why.”

- Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas draws inspiration from his forebears.

"I won a sort of a championship. I feel sort of like a champion, because on such a large court, I played very well against Nadal.” 

- Juan Ignacio Londero after mustering just eight games against the Spanish legend.

“I don't think I have ever been booed. I mean, I've been cheered against, which if you've ever played Simona Halep in any country near Romania then you know what that's like. But I have never been, like, legit booed."

- Sloane Stephens on the nuances of booing.

"Eighty players have met Djokovic at least four times and only one has a winning record (Andy Roddick 5-4). If Alexander Zverev defeats Djokovic in the Roland-Garros quarter-finals on Wednesday, he will join that elite club with a 3-2 head-to-head record.”

- The ATP stats crew posted this interesting fact about Novak Djokovic.

“I retired in order to preserve this stat :) Couldn’t risk it hahaha.

- Former world No.1 Andy Roddick took to Twitter to express his pride in that statistic

"[Everybody] knows it's going to be tough. But you just never know. He might have a problem. He might be sick or for some reason he's struggling. Maybe there's incredible wind, rain, 10 rain delays. You just don't know. That's why you need to put yourself in that position. For me to get to Rafa is not simple. It took five matches here for me to win to get there. That's why I'm very happy to play Rafa, because if you want to do or achieve something on the clay, inevitably, at some stage, you will go through Rafa, because he's that strong and he will be there.”

- Federer on facing Rafa on clay.

"It was an honour to play here as defending champion. I wasn't good enough here, but I will come back stronger. Paris, you will always have my heart.”

- Simona Halep on surrendering her Roland-Garros title. We know how she feels.