Melbourne, Australia | AFP | “Even though I always believe I can play this way, visualize myself playing this way. At this level, as I said, under the circumstances, it was truly a perfect match.”
— Novak Djokovic after his rout of Rafael Nadal to win a record seventh Australian Open.
“I felt like I was in a state of shock through the entire trophy presentation.”
— Naomi Osaka after winning her first Australian Open title.
“Probably physically I was not able. Five months without competing, having that big challenge in front of me, I needed something else. That something else probably today I don’t have it yet… to compete at this super high level.”
— An honest Rafael Nadal assesses why he was demolished by Novak Djokovic in the final.
“I felt like I had been hit by a train in the first set, everything was too fast.”
— Simona Halep after American great Serena Williams ousted her in the fourth round to end the Romanian’s reign as world number one.
“Yeah, sure. He’s in front of the mic a lot. He’s always going to say stuff. I’ve heard that story the last 10 years. From that standpoint, nothing new there.”
— Roger Federer reacts to John McEnroe saying his defeat to Tsitsipas was a changing of the old guard.
“I can’t say that I choked on those match points. She just played lights out, literally hitting lines. Just went for it, just went crazy on match point.”
— Serena Williams after Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova survived four match points then stormed home in the quarter-finals to end the American’s latest bid for a record-equalling 24th major.
“I knew if he got hold of a forehand, it was going to be barbecued chicken”
— Frances Tiafoe after facing Rafael Nadal’s biggest weapon in the quarter-final
“I don’t agree with athletes having to physically exert themselves in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t think it is healthy — in fact it is quite dangerous.”
— An exhausted Johanna Konta after the Briton’s second-round clash with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza ended at 3:12 am after a scheduling logjam meant they didn’t get on court until 12:30 am.
“Go away. Like, literally. If you’ve retired, why are you still in tennis? I’m going to say it honestly — no one likes him any more.”
— Firebrand Bernard Tomic has words of advice for Australia Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt
“I was giving the referee a hard time about the new rule the WTA made about how you can only take one bathroom break. I kind of needed to go to the bathroom, but I hesitated. I was trying to strategically plan out when I was going to urinate.”
— American Danielle Collins after routing world number two Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 on her way to the semi-finals in a dream debut at Melbourne Park.
“I was trying to stay alive. I was downing pickle juice, having that like Kool-Aid. Tasted terrible.”
— Frances Tiafoe on how he beat cramp against Grigor Dimitrov
“No way! I feel old. Wow, that’s kind of crazy… It’s weird. For me, when I play, like, Venus (Williams) or someone, I’m star struck too. It’s a bit weird when you tell me there’s someone I’m playing that feels that way.”
— Naomi Osaka after the 21-year-old was told one of her opponents, Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek, was awestruck to be playing the Japanese star at Melbourne Park.
“He gives you no rhythm. He plays just a different game style than the rest of the players. I’ve never seen a player have this. He makes you play bad. I don’t know, I would call that a talent.”
— Stefanos Tsitsipas after being thumped by Rafael Nadal in the semi-final