French Open : Tennis Talk from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer Et Al

Linus Fernandes@mktimeforsportsAnalyst IIJune 1, 2011

French Open : Tennis Talk from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer Et Al

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    Roger FedererClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    We love our tennis stars.

    They slide, they run, they yell, they grunt, they shriek and they pull off breath-taking shots such that we lesser mortals feel or believe that we are in the presence of demi-Gods.

    However, the players reveal an all too human side when forced to field questions in their after-match press conferences.

    Take away the racquet, though, and they can be fidgety, snappy or even frivolous.

    Presenting some quotes at this year's French Openwhat they said, really meant and definitely didn't.

Stephane Robert Is One with Mother Nature

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    Stephane Robert: Me Tarzan, No Jane, The Ape Man ComethClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    What he said:

    “It’s just to say thank you to mother nature for being so nice to me and allowing me to produce such good shots. In those moments you have the feeling that you live in perfect harmony with the nature.”

    Stephane Robert explains the ecstatic kisses he blew to the sky during his shock victory over sixth seed Tomas Berdych.

    What he really meant:

    “I have to thank someone and I couldn’t blow kisses to just anyone in the stands. My girl-friend won’t understand.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Next match, it’s the Tarzan costume for me.”

Roger Federer Is Snazzier with His Words

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    Roger Federer loves making a fashion statementPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    What he said:

    "It was jogging shoes with jeans and a practice shirt, now I dress more accordingly to where I’m going and have started taking a joy in putting on suits. Maybe I have 25 or 35 [suits], I’m not sure. I think it’s important to offer something different to the fans and important you enjoy it, and I do."

    Roger Federer lets us know that his fashion sense has matured over the years together with his game and 16 majors.

    What he really meant:

    “Come on, folks, I have to spend all those dollars somewhere and why not on nice clothes? 35? Are those too many for a multi-millionaire?”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “The stuff I wear on court are all gratis, anyway.”

Novak Tweets His Way to the Semis

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    Novak Djokovic strolls into semisMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What he said:

    “Walkover from Fognini. Bad luck for him, hope he recovers fast. Today I get to enjoy Paris in a different way 


    Djokovic marks his progress to the quarterfinals with a celebratory tweet.

    What he really meant:

    “Party time, pals!”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Let’s pay old Foggy a visit with some flowers.”

Rafael Nadal Has More Doubts Than His Doubters

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    Rafael Nadal is unsure despite five French Open titlesMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What he said:

    “I’m not playing well enough to win this tournament.” 

    Defending champion Rafael Nadal feels a bit off-key as gets into the final stretch of the French Open.

    What he really meant:

    “But then, so are six others. It’s all relative.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Oh what’s winning got to do, got to do with it
    What’s winning but a second hand emotion
    What’s winning got to do, got to do with it
    Who needs one more French Open
    When my legs are creaky and broken.”

    (A modified version of Tina Turner's iconic song.)

Daniela Walks Through Wozniacki Fire

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    Daniela Hantuchova, Stronger On the DayMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What she said:

    “I was really unlucky—I always had to face the Williams sisters."

    Daniela Hantuchova feels that she was hard done by the draw in her previous majors.

    What she really meant:

    “I wasn’t good enough on those days to beat the Williams.”

    What she definitely didn’t:

    “Caroline’s as good or better than the Williams.”

Michael Berrer Is Murray's Guardian Angel?

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    Michael Berrer does not equate sinister to ruthlessMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What he said:

    “I have to work on that, definitely, I need to be tougher. Like in Germany, we have a saying that an injured deer has to fall. So that was what I should have done today.” 

    Michael Berrer, explaining his less-than-ruthless attitude towards Andy Murray in his third round match at the French Open.

    What he really meant:

    “Andy’s getting injured should not have stopped me going for the kill.Unfortunately, it did.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “I’ve seen the movie Ruthless People like a zillion times.”

Roger Federer's Pockets Can Do with Some More Majors

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    Roger Federer, those majors, jangling in his pockets, cause jangling nerves for opponentsClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    What he said:

    "I don’t have a Grand Slam in my pocket (this year), but if I win one, it changes everything."

    Roger Federeron his chances at the French Open.

    What he really meant:

    “I have large pockets and I can definitely fit in a major or two—this year.

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Majors are loose change jangling in my pockets."

Azarenka's Noisome Progress Is Noted

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    Victoria Azarenka shrieking her way through the drawClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    What he said:

    “She’s the noisiest player we’ve ever heard, so to say she’s ‘quietly’ sneaking through the draw would be absolutely crazy." 

     Chris McKendry complaining about Victoria Azarenka’s noisiness on court.

     What he really meant:

    “Azarenka’s a fog-horn on court. Definitely not going through the draw silently.

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “I can play better than Victoria.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands Is Different

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    Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Socking it To her OpponentsMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What she said:

    "You see two girls, blonde hair, wearing the exact same thing head to toe. If I can’t tell them apart, no way a fan’s going to tell them apart. It just brings, you know, something unique to the game."

    Bethanie Mattek-Sandsmaking a case for her unique on-court look.

    What she really meant:

    “If socks right to the knees help fans differentiate between me and other players, then, hell, yes, I’m going to wear some.

    What she definitely didn’t:

    Next year, it’s stockings, one for the left leg, none for the other.

Francesca Schiavone Relaxes on Court, Feels Right at Home

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    Francesca Schiavone: Mom's the word, on-court.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    What she said:

    “It’s like when you go home and your mum does everything for you and you feel comfortable. I felt like this, but with a lot of adrenaline.”

    Italian Francesca Schiavone describing her love affair with Court Philippe Chatrier.

    What she really meant:

    “Whoosh! Comfortable with high-octane rocket fuel. That’s me on court.

    What she definitely didn’t:

    I have to do nothing out there.”

Li Na Is Least Baffled by Unknown Quality

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    Li Na Needs a ScoutClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    What she said:

    It’s tough. It was an opponent who I had never seen before. Also, I asked many players for information, but got back zero. Nobody knew what this player looked like. So at the beginning of the match, I was a little bit surprised.”

    Chinese women’s tennis player,Li Na, talking about her second round opponent, Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

    What she really meant:

    “Who is Silvia Soler-Espinosa? Tell me, please.

    What she definitely didn’t:

    Silvia Soler-Espinosa? We’re going shopping together after our second-round match.”

Maria Sharapova Dreams in Russian of French Open Win

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    Maria Sharapova: Dreamy?Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    What she said:

    “I dream more in Russian than I do in English.But I think in English sometimes more than Russian.

    Maria Sharapova clarifies that she dreams in her native tongue but thinks mostly in the world’s premier lingua franca.

    What she really meant:

    “I experience REM in Russian.

    What she definitely didn’t:

    “I dream of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.