Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world.
I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.
Love is nothing in tennis, but in life it's everything.
Tennis is an addiction that once it has truly hooked a man will not let him go.
Ladies, here's a hint. If you're up against a girl with big boobs, bring her to the net and make her hit backhand volleys. That's the hardest shot for the well-endowed.
~Billie Jean King
Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified.
~Virginia Graham, Say Please, 1949
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
An otherwise happily married couple may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
The serve was invented so that the net could play.
Though your game is hardly the bestYou can fray your opponent's nervesBy methodically bouncing the ballAt least ten times before your serves.
~Arnold J. Zarett
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.
But that won't give me a free hand to hold the beer.
~Billy Carter, while being taught a two-handed backhand shot
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.
A perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.
~Billie Jean King, about tennis
Tennis begins with love.
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.
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.
The cunning competitor plays on the other party's guilt. Continuously praise your opponent's shots, and you'll notice how he begins to press. Self-beratement also serves to balance a guilty conscience for being successful and makes your opponent disturbed for upsetting you so. If on occasion you call one of your opponent's "out" shots "in," then later on you can innocently call an "in" shot "out" on a crucial play. Practice saying "Good try," sincerely; then you can call a lot of close shots "out" and get away with it.
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.
In tennis the addict moves about a hard rectangle and seeks to ambush a fuzzy ball with a modified snow-shoe.
It's difficult for most people to imagine the creative process in tennis. Seemingly it's just an athletic matter 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.
It's one-on-one out there, man. There ain't no hiding. I can't pass the ball.