Wimbledon day 1: Who said what

Who said what at Wimbledon on Monday, the first day of the 2023 tournament at the All England Club:

“The holy grail, the temple of tennis.”

— Novak Djokovic after winning his 40th consecutive match on Centre Court.

 

“I was literally killing it, then I got killed by the grass.”

— Venus Williams, who suffered a nasty fall early in her defeat to Elina Svitolina.

 

“You do know I’m not from Russia, right?”

— Victoria Azarenka, who is most definitely from Belarus, when asked by a reporter to explain what “Wimbledon means to people in Russia”.

 

“I think it’s a very thoughtful addition because there are obvious situations that can be tricky and uncomfortable.”

— Azarenka on the decision to allow female players to wear dark-coloured underwear to alleviate period anxiety.

 

“We’re already playing in Dubai, playing in Doha, so I don’t see the real issue to go there honestly.”

— Casper Ruud has no issue with the ATP possibly staging tournaments in Saudi Arabia.

 

“There was better options. Not just to ban. Because in the end, it was no difference. They did only worse to themselves.”

— Russia’s Andrey Rublev reflecting on Wimbledon’s decision last year to ban all Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

 

“I say ‘hi’ to them. Some people, they reply, some not. Like others, I just say we are here as tennis players.”

— Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova on tensions with Ukraine players in the locker room.

 

“I remember walking into a bar last year. I went to show the guy my ID in Manchester. He said, You look about 35, you don’t need to show me your ID.”

— Britain’s Liam Broady, who is 29.

 

“I’m playing the No. 4 in the world, second round of Wimbledon. I’ll play him back up in Stockport if I have to. I don’t mind.”

— Broady on the possibility of facing fourth-ranked Casper Ruud on Centre Court or Court One.

 

“I feel like I’m just grateful, but I need to study. Sorry.”

— Iga Swiatek when asked to comment on the battle for equal prize money at Wimbledon, which was won in 2007 when she was only six years old.

 

“I’m like, ‘Relax, she’s 12, she’s good, she’ll be fine’.”

— Jessica Pegula on seeing pushy parents attempting to cajole their daughters into becoming better players.

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