101 Best Tennis Quotes Of All Time

Tennis Quotes

Hello, fellow tennis lovers out there! If you love playing tennis, watching tennis, and supporting tennis, you’re at the right place.

Tennis is a fascinating sport. Away from its glitz and glam allure that it is supported by and played only by the wealthy, tennis is actually an exhilarating and technical sport loved by millions worldwide.

Tennis is played from the young to the old, allowing players to enjoy a lifetime of playing and learning. According to data collected in 2019, 87 million play tennis worldwide, which is approx. 1.17% of the global population.

Here’s a list of the very best tennis quotes of all time. Quotes on training, mental strength, fun, lifestyle, and adversity. From Roger Federer to Pete Sampras, discover the greatest tennis quotes from the icons themselves.

101 Best Tennis Quotes Of All Time

Inspiring Tennis Quotes

Tennis and golf are best played, not watched. ―Roger Kahn

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

Tennis players, we’re always playing in center courts that feel like arenas. And when we get on the court and the crowd cheers your name or salutes you – it’s like you’re a gladiator in the arena. And everyone is cheering – and you’re fighting, you’re screaming, during your strokes – it feels like you’re an animal, fighting for your life. ―Novak Djokovic

If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration. ―Serena Williams 

I made it look so easy on court all those years. No one realized how hard I had to work. No one realized how much I had to put into it. They underestimated my intensity. ―Pete Sampras

When you start from nothing, when you come from nothing, it makes you hungry. I am proud of where I came from and I know what I want. I want to win. ―Maria Sharapova

Funny Tennis Quotes

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall. ―Mitch Hedberg 

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 Ivanišević

I’m not afraid of anyone, but sometimes I’m afraid of myself. ―Justine Henin

What rivalry? I win all the matches. ―Martina Hingis

Andy Murray Quotes

Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it. Andy Murray

Staying more controlled mentally stemmed from taking my fitness more seriously. When you’re doing track work, sprints and so on, it’s pretty painful, but that does make you feel better prepared and therefore mentally stronger when you’re going into a match. You know, without a doubt, that you are strong enough to last. Andy Murray

I just enjoy watching tennis. And there’s things that you can learn from the men’s and the women’s game. Andy Murray

Jimmy Connors Quotes

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

Tennis was never work for me, tennis was fun. And the tougher the battle and the longer the match, the more fun I had. Jimmy Connors

Nothing is like being out there and playing and performing and winning – nothing. But to have an interest in the player? The nerves and everything that goes with it? Seeing what he’s learned and how he’s done it? That’s the second best thing to playing. I think. Jimmy Connors

There was never anything I wanted to do more than play tennis. Never once walked out there and thought, ‘I wish I was doing something else.’ Not once. Jimmy Connors

John McEnroe Quotes

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

But these guys learn so fast now, they sort of soak up the information, they’re fearless. Those are the guys who learn from their mistakes and come back strong the next time. ―John McEnroe

No one cares about the Davis Cup. How many people know I won five Davis Cups and seven majors, but that I rarely played the Australian Open? ―John McEnroe

There’s too much money and too many nice guys around. ―John McEnroe 

Roger Federer Quotes

When you do something best in life, you don’t really want to give that up – and for me it’s tennis.
―Roger Federer

Boris Becker Quotes

I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.
―Boris Becker

Girls had never been important. I’d had a girlfriend or two and had liked them a lot but it wasn’t love, because my first love was tennis.
―Boris Becker

Winning is a way of expressing yourself.
―Boris Becker

Martina Navratilova Quotes

Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost.
―Martina Navratilova

The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst.
―Martina Navratilova

The tennis ball doesn’t know how old I am. The ball doesn’t know if I’m a man or a woman or if I come from a communist country or not. Sport has always broken down these barriers.
―Martina Navratilova

Just go out there and do what you have to do.
―Martina Navratilova

Tennis has given me soul.
―Martina Navratilova

You don’t have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman.
―Martina Navratilova

Serena Williams Quotes

I can’t become satisfied, because if I get satisfied, I’ll be like, “Oh, I’ve won Wimbledon, I’ve won the U.S. Open. Now can I relax.” But now people are really going to be fighting to beat me.
―Serena Williams

I’m a perfectionist. I’m pretty much insatiable. I feel there’s so many things I can improve on.
―Serena Williams

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

If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration.
―Serena Williams

Steffi Graf Quotes

I want to reach absolute perfection. And I think I can reach it.
―Steffi Graf

I never look back, I look forward.
―Steffi Graf

Sometimes I wish I could have been a bit more relaxed, but then I wouldn’t have been the same player.
―Steffi Graf

Pete Sampras Quotes

It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball.
―Pete Sampras

I made it look so easy on court all those years. No one realized how hard I had to work. No one realized how much I had to put into it. They underestimated my intensity.
―Pete Sampras

Venus Williams Quotes

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

The thing about tennis is if you stay off for two weeks, or just for three days, you can lose your rhythm quickly. So it’s just a question of constant diligence and vigilance.
―Venus Williams

My motto is: I’m alive, so that means I can do anything.
―Venus Williams

I just try to stay positive and focused on the tennis, not let anything get to me, like crazy questions. But I’m tough, let me tell you, tough as nails.
―Venus Williams

It is very important not to think about losing.
―Venus Williams

Tennis is mostly mental. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.
―Venus Williams

Billie Jean King Quotes

A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.
―Billie Jean King

Champions keep playing until they get it right.
―Billie Jean King

Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.
―Billie Jean King

Bjorn Borg Quotes

You have to find it. No one else can find it for you.
―Bjorn Borg

The ball is round, the game is long.
―Bjorn Borg

As tennis players, we work and we sacrifice many things. To lose, that’s not a happy thing – I mean sure, I was disappointed. You have to come back strong. But to win the last point in a grand slam tournament, that’s the most beautiful and most satisfying feeling you can get as a tennis player. It’s worth it.
―Bjorn Borg

Arthur Ashe Quotes

Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner.
―Arthur Ashe

Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome.
―Arthur Ashe

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
―Arthur Ashe

You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.
―Arthur Ashe

Rafael Nadal Quotes

I’m not the best player in the history of tennis. I think I’m amongst the best. That’s true. That’s enough for me.
―Rafael Nadal

Is only a tennis match. At the end, that’s life. There is much more important things.
―Rafael Nadal

Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.
―Rafael Nadal

I’m only superstitious on the tennis court.
―Rafael Nadal

Tennis is a hard sport. There is a lot of competition all year and you play alone.
―Rafael Nadal

Andre Agassi Quotes

Being number two sucks.
―Andre Agassi

The great part about tennis is you can’t run out the clock…. As long as we were still playing, I had a chance.
―Andre Agassi

Freed from the thoughts of winning, I instantly play better. I stop thinking, start feeling. My shots become a half-second quicker, my decisions become the product of instinct rather than logic.
―Andre Agassi

Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love – the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.
―Andre Agassi

You’ll hear a lot of applause in your life, 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

What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.
―Andre Agassi

Maria Sharapova Quotes

I want my tennis to speak for everything.
―Maria Sharapova

I’ve been playing against older and stronger competition my whole life. It has made me a better tennis player and able to play against this kind of level despite their strength and experience.
―Maria Sharapova

When you start from nothing, when you come from nothing, it makes you hungry. I am proud of where I came from and I know what I want. I want to win.
―Maria Sharapova

Stefanos Tsitsipas 

I had plenty of interviews that I did on big channels in Greece for big media centers. It got people’s attention… It makes me motivated to do even better in the future, and become even more popular… I hope to inspire more people to play tennis in Greece. – Stefanos Tsitsipas 

I feel like some of them have preferences when they are on the court. – Stefanos Tsitsipas 

That’s a really difficult task to do for players, for us, for the young guys, it’s all about time. I don’t know. We will have to beat them or wait for them. – Stefanos Tsitsipas

I think I deserved the match at the end. I was playing really well, feeling really comfortable on the court, when you feel like this, you can do miracles. – Stefanos Tsitsipas 

It’s not very pleasant when you have the umpire give you warnings and time violations and coaching violations during a match. It can affect your thinking. It can affect your decision making, i don’t know what this chair umpire has in specific against my team but he’s been complaining and telling me that my team talks all the time when I’m out on the court playing. – Stefanos Tsitsipas 

Chris Evert Quotes

If you’re a champion, you have to have it in your heart.
―Chris Evert

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

Patrick Mouratoglou Quotes

I think a tennis match is a marathon. You have to sit down and have food for the next three hours, if not more. And to ask a 15 or 20 or even 25 or 30-year-old to do that, this is not gonna happen. Patrick Mouratoglou

The game of tennis is incredible. The show of tennis, I think, is very old fashioned. Patrick Mouratoglou

My reality was that I would become a tennis player. I never had any doubt about it. It was my life. Patrick Mouratoglou

Tennis is fake. We have real characters, but they don’t dare to be themselves, and the code of conduct has a lot to do with that. Patrick Mouratoglou

When you watch the top guys, you know there will be no drama all match. They’re gonna wipe their face between points, they’re gonna ask for balls, they’re gonna choose the ball, they’re gonna bounce the ball 200 times, they’re gonna hit the ball, and that’s it. That’s the whole story. Patrick Mouratoglou

Martina Hingis Quotes

I have good anticipation, and good reaction to the the ball because I’ve played so many matches in my life. Martina Hingis

I grew up on the tennis court with lots of other kids. There were like 40 kids all afternoon and I was one of the youngest ones, so I always had to chase everybody to keep up. Martina Hingis

Why do you love tennis?

There can be an ocean of reasons you love tennis. For me, I love that it brings a challenge every time. Whether it is with my technique, or trying to play a tougher opponent, I love the different scenarios I’m faced with on the court. I hope these tennis quotes inspired you to play more and enjoy the journey through its ups and downs.

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