Here are a few of theÂ â€œnotes and quotesâ€ from player news conferences for the first day of Wimbledon – Monday, June 25, 2012
Golf clubs and racquet bags
Novak Djokovic carried a junior-sized golf club in his racquet bag which seemed to double as a tripod to Centre Court before his straight set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero:
It was a little joke we wanted to do with my sponsor, Head.Â They provided me with a junior golf club.Â They have, I don’t know if you noticed, but all the Head players, they have the bags which look like golf bags because you can place them the way the golf bag is standing, you know.
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So it was a little funny thing.Â Being creative, that’s all.Â But fans corrected me right away.Â They said, This is not a golf course.Â I said, Okay.
It’s too short for me.Â We do play golf.Â There are a lot of golf courses here.Â Royal Wimbledon Golf Course is really nice.Â We do get to play on off days.Â Not really good at it, but enjoying the walk in the park.
It was kind of mutual.Â Obviously they came up with the design of the bag.Â So if I remember, I proposed to have a golf club just to fit into that creative idea of theirs.
How does Djokovic relax?
We have a little dog with us.Â So we are staying at the house.Â It’s a little fluffy toy poodle.Â It’s four years old and cute as candy.
Â It’s Pierre, a French name, bought in Germany, and we consider him Serbian.Â He has a little bit of everything.Â Has three passports
As for being gluten-free: He definitely is.Â He has to go along with his daddy.
Mama, do I have to wear white?
Kim Clijsters spoke about her daughter Jada after her her first round win over the No. 18 seed Jelena Jankovic:
She asked me this morning, Mama, do I also have to wear white?Â I was like, Oh, that was a first.Â Everybody in the house, we got our clothes and everybody was walking around in white at the house.
She was like, Mama, do I have to wear white, too?Â That was pretty funny this morning.Â She’s at an age, four now, where she understands when we’re all wearing white.Â I explained the tradition of Wimbledon, that it’s mandatory to wear white.Â A few minutes later I explained for the Olympics it’s not necessary.
I have a lot of nostalgic kind of emotions and feelings.Â When I get off the train station and I go to Wimbledon, it’s a very special, special place for me.Â I live now with my own family, but I used to come here with my dad.Â It was just a very unique experience to live that with my dad, with my family back then.Â My sister came.Â My mom came when I was a junior.
I think, yeah, it’s fun.Â It’s a part of my childhood.Â It’s nice to look back at those emotions again.
Biggest win in career
Elena Vesnina after her win over Venus Williams:
Well, I think that’s the biggest win in my career. Beat Venus in Wimbledon is just something amazing.
Actually, I really wanted to play against her ’cause I have so much respect to both Serena and Venus. It’s always really tough to play against them. They’re great champions.
Today I was just enjoying my time on that court. I was really believing in my win today, that I could really win that match, and I think that really helped me today.
I think (Venus Williams) she’s one of the greatest athletes, first of all, in the whole sport.Â And she’s a great champion.Â She won Wimbledon so many times.Â Like on the court, you can see that she has really great attitude on the court.
Even now, I mean, she’s not in the top 10, but you can still feel she will get few more matches and she can be back again.Â Williams sisters, they have this power.Â They have this ability to come back from nowhere.Â They know how to do that.Â They know how to play Grand Slams.Â They know how to win Grand Slams.Â I think that’s the most important thing from them.
Tough as nails
Venus Williams discussed the Olympics after her loss to Vesnina:
Well, that’s all I’ve fought for this whole year, so I hope that I can play well there.Â For me it will just be an honor to be there, and try to capitalize on that moment.
Oh, they’re the time of my life, especially when I got to win.Â Let’s be honest.
But also being able to get to that point in my career has been amazing for me.
I feel like I am a great player.Â I am a great player.Â Unfortunately, I had a deal with circumstances that people don’t normally have to deal with in this sport.
But I can’t be discouraged by that, so I’m up for challenges.Â I have great tennis in me.Â I just need the opportunity.
There’s no way I’m just going to sit down and give up just because I have a hard time the first five or six freakin’Â tournaments back.
You know, that’s just not me.
Of course Serena Williams has been inspirational.Â She’s fought back nearâ€‘death experiences â€‘ several.Â I’m very motivated by her and nothing getting her down and everything that she’s been through that no one even knows about.Â That’s definitely inspirational, that in itself.
There’s been a lot of people in this world that fought back from the brink.Â I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself because of everything that’s going on.Â I have to be positive.
I love this sport.Â I feel like I can play well and I’m not going to give up on that.
I don’t have time to be negative.Â I don’t know if you’ve had any negative experience, but it’s not fun.Â I like to use the same time to be positive because it feels a whole lot better.Â And also it’s easier to be productive when you’re positive, so that’s what I work on.
I’m not talking about practice
Ernests Gulbis talked to media after his upset victory over sixth seed Tomas Berdych. he was asked if he had been enjoying practice more than he used to:
(Smiling.)Â Soâ€‘so.Â I don’t enjoy it, no.Â But if there is a right person who can push me, you know, and I understand why I need to do it, you know, and the results come, then slowly I start to understand what’s necessary.
Yeah, I have been spending a really more time than ever on court and in the gym during this last month.Â The game shows it, you know, so maybe a click is going to happen.
I have been playing really well in the practices.Â In the practices I beat everybody.Â Really, whoever I practiced with, he was out.Â Yeah, it gives me some confidence, you know.Â Even the practices give you some confidence.
I was a bit nervous in the beginning of the match, but then the way I served, it opened me up, and starting from second set I just got more relaxed.
It’s really simple:Â you practice, results will come.Â You don’t practice, results will not come.Â Also you have to practice in the right way which suits you.Â Everybody has their own way of practicing.
Â One likes to play one hour a day and go five hours in the gym.Â One likes to play a lot and don’t go to gym.Â So you have to find your own balance, and you have your own formula and you go for it.Â Then it’s easy.
Â If you find your formula, if you practice good enough and a lot, the results will come.
You know, if I hit the ball well, I hit stronger than everybody else.Â It is like this, you know.Â Maybe only couple guys hit the ball as strong as I do.Â Maybe only thing is just to stay in this level of game.
You know, for me, it was tough.Â Today it was great that I kept all three sets, you know, the concentration up and the game up.Â That’s what made the difference today.
Before I played one set like this and then one set bad and then one set, like I just got broken once and that’s it.Â I’m two sets to one down.Â Today I really kept going.