100 Best Tennis Quotes That Are Really Ace

Srija Chanda
Dec 12, 2023 By Srija Chanda
Originally Published on Jan 27, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
A tennis player prepares to serve a tennis ball during a match.

Tennis is a sport that is popular throughout the world.

The modern version of tennis is different to the one that was first played in the late 19th century and the 20th century. Historically, the word 'tennis' originated from the French word 'tenez', meaning "hold", "receive" or "take".

The glamour and popularity of a tennis match have increased fourfold over time, and so have the financial benefits of playing tennis, with modern tennis great Roger Federer (as the richest tennis player in the world) being one of the richest sportspeople on the planet, with a net worth of above $400 million.

The game has become even more popular in the last few decades with the emergence of many high profile players, both male and female.

So, without any delay, allow us to serve you these great quotes about tennis.

For more tennis quotes, check out these Serena Williams quotes and Roger Federer quotes.

Famous Tennis Quotes

Take a look at these famous quotes about tennis and the intricacies of the game.

1. "Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind."

- Andre Agassi, 'Open', 2009.

2. "One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision."

- Billie Jean King.

3. "Tennis is, more than most sports, a sport of the mind."

- Rafael Nadal.

4. "Tennis is a tough sport – there are no draws."

- Roger Federer.

5. "I just try to play tennis and don't find excuses. You know, I just lost because I lost, not because my arm was sore."

- Goran Ivanisevic.

6. "Tennis has given me soul."

- Martina Navratilova.

7. "If you don't lose, you cannot enjoy the victories. So I have to accept both things."

- Rafael Nadal.

8. "I'll let the racket do the talking."

- John McEnroe.

9. "I want my tennis to speak for everything."

- Maria Sharapova.

10. "I play each point like my life depends on it."

- Rafael Nadal.

11. "You'll hear a lot of applause in your life, fellas, but none will mean more to you than that applause from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end."

- Andre Agassi.

12. "I'm really trying to focus myself on playing tennis, and I think that's really important."

- Stefan Edberg.

13. "When I was serving for the match, there was a sense of how big a moment that is in British tennis history. It's great to have finally done it."

- Andy Murray.

14. "I think, for me, I just really want to have fun with every match that I play because tennis is a game."

- Naomi Osaka.

15. "Tennis is a fine balance between determination and tiredness."

- Virginia Wade.

16. "The fifth set is not about tennis, it's about nerves."

- Boris Becker.

17. "When the last point is done, we are humans. Give your opponent a hug and say, 'great fight,' and that's all."

- Novak Djokovic.

18. "The ball is round, the game is long."

- Bjorn Borg.

19. "I don't think, that you can ever get your game to perfection, you know. Only if you're Federer."

- Novak Djokovic.

20. "Tennis is a psychological sport, you have to keep a clear head. That is why I stopped playing."

- Boris Becker.

21. "It's shocking how little there is to do with tennis when you're just thinking about nothing except winning every point."

- Andre Agassi

22. "It's easier when you play. You get your emotion out. You scream. You yell. You do whatever you want. You play. But it's tough to sit."

- Goran Ivanisevic.

23. "You have to want to play it all day, every day to get to the top."

- Monica Seles.

24. "Tennis was always sort of... a learning. It was a vehicle for me to discover a lot about myself."

- Andre Agassi.

Motivational Tennis Quotes

Here is a list of some motivational quotes about winning and playing tennis. Take a look.

25. "Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill but you can't play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there."

- Venus Williams.

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

- Arthur Ashe.

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

- John McEnroe

28. "I have no sense of humor about losing"

- Rafael Nadal.

29. "Whoever said, 'It's not whether you win or lose that counts,' probably lost."

- Martina Navratilova.

30. "Every time I hit the ball on the wall I used to pretend I was there [Wimbledon]. When I went to sleep I used to pretend I was there."

- Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

31. "In sports, you simply aren't considered a real champion until you have defended your title successfully. Winning it once can be a fluke; winning it twice proves you are the best."

- Althea Gibson.

32. "I always believe if you're stuck in a hole and maybe things aren't going well you will come out stronger. Everything in life is this way."

- Roger Federer.

33. "Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome."

- Arthur Ashe.

34. "I hate to lose more than I love to win."

- Jimmy Connors.

35. "I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger."

- Serena Williams.

36. "Spectacular performances are preceded by spectacular preparation."

- Frank Giampaolo.

37. "I never look back, I look forward."

- Steffi Graf.

38. "Ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again, fail again. Fail better."

- Stan Wawrinka.

39. "Success is walking out of here with the title, and anything less is not good enough in my book."

- Pete Sampras.

40. "I've been in a lot of trouble and come out of it. I think it shows a lot of good character."

- Stefan Edberg.

41. "If you're a champion, you have to have it in your heart."

- Chris Evert.

42. "If you're afraid of losing, then you daren't win."

- Bjorn Borg.

43. "Fame and success and titles stay with you, but they wear out eventually. In the end, all that you are left with is your character."

- Ana Ivanovic.

44. "I didn't have the same fitness or ability as the other girls, so I had to beat them with my mind."

- Martina Hingis.

45. "I don't play in any tournaments to come second best."

- Andy Murray.

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

- Rafael Nadal.

47. "If you're not a competitor, you've just got to go home."

- Venus Williams.

48. "I've grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God's reward, then losing is how He teaches us."

- Serena Williams.

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

- Steffi Graf.

50. "The next point - that's all you must think about."

- Rod Laver.

The Best Tennis Quotes

Think you could play a tennis match? Get ready for your tennis match with this unique range of quotes about tennis.

51. "When you do something best in life, you don't really want to give that up – and for me it's tennis."

- Roger Federer.

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

- Pete Sampras.

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

- Mitch Hedberg.

54. "Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down."

- Robert Frost.

55. "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.

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

- Billie Jean King.

57. "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.

58. "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.

59. "The Williams sisters had something else: each other, and their absolute dominance."

- Anne Helen Petersen.

60. "It is never too late to get into tennis!"

- Sam Stosur.

61. "I am the best tennis player who cannot play tennis."

- Ion Tiriac.

62. "In tennis, there is the forehand, the backhand, the overhead smash, and the drop volley, all with a different grip."

- John Updike.

63. "When I play, I feel like in a theatre, why should I look ugly then, because I'm a tennis player?"

- Anna Kournikova.

64. "I must be the only player in the world who ever injured himself for a tournament by stepping on a shell on the beach."

- Goran Ivanisevic.

65. "Tennis is like marrying for money. Love means nothing."

- Phyllis Diller.

66. "No matter what you study, the thing that you know best is what you grew up with."

- Maria Sharapova.

67. "Played tennis for years. But you can't improve at tennis after you're 50. You get to be in your 40s, and suddenly you're a doubles player."

- Jack Nicholson.

68. "Tennis is a young man's game... I won't tell you exactly how old I am, but when I played, there were 28 men on the court - just on my side of the net."

- George Burns.

69. "Life is like tennis. Those who serve best usually win."

- David Foster Wallace.

70. "I call tennis the McDonald's of sport - you go in, they make a quick buck out of you, and you're out."

- Pat Cash.

71. "... is only a tennis match. At the end, that's life. There is much more important things."

- Rafael Nadal.

72. "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 Black.

73. "Tennis is an addiction that once it has truly hooked a man will not let him go."

- Russell Lynes.

74. "Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world."

- Jacques Barzun.

Awesome Quotes From Tennis Players

Read on for some tennis player quotes from the most brilliant personalities of this game, including Billie Jean King tennis quotes and famous Serena Williams tennis quotes.

75. "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.

76. "In tennis, you're on an island. Of all the games men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement."

- Andre Agassi, 'Open', 2009.

77. "There is a syndrome in sports called paralysis by analysis. The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight."

- Arthur Ashe.

78. "Champions keep playing until they get it right."

- Billie Jean King.

79. "It's no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life."

- Andre Agassi.

80. "You have to find it. No one else can find it for you."

- Bjorn Borg.

81. "The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst."

- Martina Navratilova.

82. "If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that's a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life, and there's going to be a life after tennis that's a lot longer than your tennis life."

- Chris Evert.

83. "I fear no one but respect everyone."

- Roger Federer.

84." Everything comes at a cost. Just what are you willing to pay for it?"

- Serena Williams.

85. "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.

86. "Since I don't look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good."

- Serena Williams.

87. "My motto is: I'm alive, so that means I can do anything."

- Venus Williams.

88. "And for me, I know I get insane guilt if I go home at the end of the day and don't feel I've done everything I can."

- Andy Roddick.

89. "I have two lives, and all the problems I might have, I feel like I drop them once I step on to the match court."

- Roger Federer.

90. "Every good tennis player has to have a short memory. Good or bad."

- Alexander Zverev.

91. "I never wanted to be the great guy or the colorful guy or the interesting guy. I wanted to be the guy who won titles."

- Pete Sampras.

92. "Sometimes I wish I could have been a bit more relaxed, but then I wouldn't have been the same player."

- Steffi Graf.

93. "A smile is a curve that can straighten out a lot of problems."

- Ana Ivanovic.

94. "Contrary to my image, I do have a sense of humour."

- Andy Murray.

95. "I'm always trying to show my personality outside of the court."

- Tomas Berdych.

96. "I want to be different. If everyone is wearing black, I want to be wearing red."

- Maria Sharapova.

97." You don't have to hate your opponents to beat them."

- Kim Clijsters.

98. "I'm not the next anyone, I'm the first Maria Sharapova."

- Maria Sharapova.

99. "An otherwise happily married couple may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'!"

- Rod Laver.

100. "You lose some, you win some. Nothing wrong with that at all."

- Stefan Edberg.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for tennis Quotes, then why not take a look at these Billie Jean King quotes, or these Arthur Ashe quotes for more?

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Written by Srija Chanda

Master of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

Srija Chanda picture

Srija ChandaMaster of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.

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