Jak Beardsworth Tennis logo
e-mail Jak

Quote of the Month Archives

June 2024

On the Rafa Nadal legend at the French: "The court is bigger. There is more space, which affects visually the play a lot and the feeling of the player on the court. He likes to stand quite far back to return. Sometimes when he’s really in the zone and in the groove, not making many errors, you feel like he’s impenetrable. He’s like a wall."

~ Novak Djokovic

April 2024

"It cuts down opponent's angles and jams them and reduces their options, and that frees up your partner at the net to poach. Also, when you go for a body serve, you're not going to miss the serve wide so that ups your serving percentage."

~ The Bryan Brothers on the Double's Body Serve

MARCH 2024

"The thing is that I wasn't really thinking a lot of things. Nothing was going through my head. How would I describe it? Nirvana. Just, like, there. Playing not thinking. I was thinking a little bit, but I was mainly thinking of each single serve, each single shot. I brainstormed and said: 'What is going wrong, why is it not working my way?' But then it just took off by itself. I didn't really have too much to think of. I played more flawless. I really didn't care, honestly. I played with no care and that increased the level of tennis that I put out there."

~ Stephanos Tsitsipas on his experience in once beating Rafa Nadal in a 5 set match after losing the first 2 sets

February 2024

"Typically as people get closer to achieving their goals, it's common to have an increase in negative, self-sabotaging thoughts, and need to replace those with mental images of their desired outcome."

~ Joanna Grover, Mastering Your Mental Images Can Make Your Day, Wall Street Journal

January 2024

"...Pete and Roger both were guys that were okay with losing matches if they try to do what they do best..."

~ Paul Annacone, former coach of both Sampras and Federer

december 2023

On Carlos Alcaraz: "Alcaraz does not rattle. He frolics in high-pressure situations. On his inner right arm is a tattoo with the letters CCC – a tribute to a blunt motto his Grandfather Carlos instilled in him: Cabeza, Corazon, Cojones."

~ Jason Gay, WSJ Magazine

November 2023

"…he thought his team focused too much last season on the ultimate goal – returning to the NBA finals and winning the championship – at the expense of the day-to-day process of improvement."

~ Joe Mazulla, professional basketball coach

October 2023

"She still has to continue fixing. There were old habits and you have to keep cleaning these up every single day, continuing working because it was a long time doing it that way. But she corrects really well."

~ Pere Riba, Coco Gauff's primary coach
after winning the U.S. Open


"I think people forget how strenuous this sport is, how physical it is. I dare someone to go out there and play four hours with Novak and see how they feel afterward."

~Nick Kyrgios, currently off the tour with a wrist injury


"This mental skills are different from everybody else's. He smells blood early and then raises his level. You can't teach that skill."

~Cam Norrie's (top twenty player) coach Facundo Lugones on Norrie's special ability

JULY 2023

"The more things that I know, the more I can apply what I know. The smarter I am about those subjects, the better it is for my performance."

~ Aitana Bonmati, Spanish Soccer star

JUNE 2023

"When you play Roland Garros 14 times you tell yourself you had a good career. When you win 14 matches there, that’s not too bad at all. When you get to the second week 14 times you are one of the great players. And when you win the title 14 times, there is no way to comprehend that. There are no words."

~ French veteran Nicolas Mahut on the impending end of Rafa Nadal’s career
on getting back into form after being
away from the game.

May 2023

"I play my best when I’m having fun. I just need to bring it back to that every time."

~ Irish World Cup Soccer star Sinead Farrelly
on getting back into form after being
away from the game.

APRIL 2023

"Simplicity is the greatest sophistication"

~ Mark Twain

MARCH 2023

"Playing doubles is more difficult than singles, because you don't always get into a rhythm... "

~ Martina Navratolova


"He's made numerous small improvements in his entire game and he's reaping the benefit. "

~ - Andy Roddick on Casper Ruud's rise into the top 5 on tour

jANUARY 2023

"I made him run, made him play"

~ Novak Djokovic on winning ATP year end finals over Casper Ruud


"Playing doubles is more difficult than singles, because you don't always get into a rhythm, but he's done very well. It's easier to come back when you have such good technique, and there's not really anything to go "

~ Martina Navratilova commenting on Roger Federer's last competitive match, a doubles match at the recent Laver Cup, playing with Rafa vs Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, in which he played amazingly well after a two year layoff.


"I was able to get my head out of the way of what my body can do."

~ Winning Track and Field athlete at recent World Championships in Eugene, Oregon


"The great players measure their steps well, seeking a good position, and from there, try to hit a good shot and increase chances of victory. Tennis is a sport of repetition, rather than the spectacular."

~ Toni Nadal commenting on the recent Djokovic-Kyrgios Wimbledon final

JULY 2022

"Lots of people think incorrectly that slow conditions are better for clay court specialists. People think it's positive for us, but it's quite the contrary. Slower conditions [high moisture content courts is his reference] and heavier balls [that pick that moisture up] favor the guy who hits it flatter with the more direct strokes. It also makes it more comfortable for the opponent [think Swede Robin Soderling] dealing with my shots"

~ Rafa Nadal

JUNE 2022:

"To increase Swiatek’s ability to play in the zone, they (led by full-time performance psychologist Daria Abramowicz) use various brain-training tools and technology. But they have also have used more classic methods: visualization and breathing exercises, which Swiatek sometimes does on changeovers with a towel draped over her head.” "

~ - Christopher Clarey on #1 Iga Swiatek’s Intangibles

MAY 2022:

"Just couldn't really stay in the rally with him. I mean if you cannot stay in the rally…it's mission impossible on clay."

~ Novak Djokovic on losing his 1st round match at Monte Carlo

APRIL 2022:

"These guys, even on the challenger tour, their level is extremely high, and as you well know the difference between being 150 or being 50 in the world, there's not a huge difference in tennis level. Most of it is mental and luck."

~ Daniel Vallverdu, Stan Wawrinka's coach
commenting on the dual comebacks of
Wawrinka and fellow Austrian Dominic Thiem,
both of whom, trying to come back from injuries,
lost in a challenger event first round in Spain this week.

March 2022:

"...I felt so much pressure to perform – to make the team, to win a race, to qualify, to prove I had what it took. Every race felt like it was do or die, and the buzzwords [stay focused / move forward] helped me stay focused on the skiing instead of the results."

~ - Lindsey Vonn, American Ski legend, from her new autobiography Rise

February 2022:

I think his average level has gotten way better, and I think that's going to help him a lot this year. To me, that's what it takes to go from one level to the next

~ Paul Annacone on Taylor Fritz's big improvement at AO 2022

March 2022:

…I felt so much pressure to perform – to make the team, to win a race, to qualify, to prove I had what it took. Every race felt like it was do or die, and the buzzwords [stay focused / move forward] helped me stay focused on the skiing instead of the results

~ Lindsey Vonn, American Ski legend, from her new autobiography Rise

February 2022:

I think his average level has gotten way better, and I think that’s going to help him a lot this year. To me, that’s what it takes to go from one level to the next

~ Paul Annacone on Taylor Fritz’s big improvement at AO 2022

January 2022:

Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise and the weather should be little regarded. If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.

~ Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President

December 2021:

You miss some shots. Be kind to yourself, and look forward to the next point.

~ Maria Sakkari, WTA Top Player

November 2021:

If man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life

~ "The Apology of Socrates," Plato

October 2021:

My philosophy is I know nothing. I learn the person and I learn the player. A lot of coaches start with their method. There is one method per player, and I need to find it.

~ Patrick Mouratoglou, Coach of Serena Williams,
Stephanos Tsitsipas and other top pro players.

September 2021:

NY Times contributor Scott Cacciola on Athlete Support

"Olympians need help. They need physical therapists and strength coaches and sports psychologists. They need specialists to mend their bodies and heal their minds.”"

August 2021:

Quote of the Month

In Life and in Tennis Too

"There is nothing so wretched and foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness to expect evil before it arrives."

~ Seneca

July 2021:

On Playing the Game at Any Level

"It's not really about winning or losing or how much money I make or things like that – I just want to go out there and compete and have fun doing it. It's something that I love, so every single day I'm just happy to be out there competing."

~ Jen Brady, breakout WTA American star

June 2021:

On The Volley

"Practice your volley from all parts of the court. Sometimes a bit behind the service line, or a little in front of it, or really close so you can work on those volleys too. The shot is very much about movement."

~ Martine Navratolova


May 2021:

"At the tender age of 66, my game doesn't revolve around metronomic ground strokes and unshakable concentration anymore. Like many club players, I've grown fond of competing and socializing on the doubles court. As such, I've come up with an expanded list of playing truths: I believe that having both players at the net, rather than one up and one back, is still the most advantageous positioning. If you're going to poach, it has to be done with full commitment, and best off a serve down the T. And whether returning serve, hitting a passing shot or simply when getting out of trouble, nothing beats a dependable lob."

~ Chris Evert, Tennis Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021


April 2021:

"That perfect sound, when the ball meets the sweet spot? That's what we want. How we get there is determined by many factors, including what's in your hand."

~ TENNIS Magazine, April 2021, Swing Music


March 2021:

"At times today I had the right balls: I just overplayed. I pressed a little bit too much and gave up too many cheap errors at some pretty critical times."

~ Top-seeded Ash Barty on her Quarter-Final loss

"He does not give you any points, even on my serve, long rallies."

~ Upstart Aslan Karatsev after losing in straights in semis to Novak Djokovic

"I don't expect to win all my matches this year. I don't think it's possible. Tennis players, we go through ups and downs."

~ Champion Naomi Osaka on winning


February 2021:

"Anytime you go up against the best and you succeed – you prove yourself – you're just putting money in your confidence bank. It's a memory you have, that you were successful. You just carry that with you." "

~ Sue Bird, WNBA Legend


January 2021:

"Focus on the task at hand and trust that the rest will follow. Because after all, if you keep looking [focusing] at how far away you are, You'll never get there."

~ Alexander Carlisle, Long Distance Swimmer


December 2020:

"I can see the difference when I'm mentally, like prepared, and I'm ready to handle the stress, the pressure. I can see the difference where I can't. That's why I'm losing in the first round and sometimes I can win a tournament."

~ Iga Swiatek, 2020 French Open Champion on the mental side of tennis


November 2020:

"You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is not weakness. It's an opportunity for high reward. "

~ Former U.S. World Cup Soccer Star Brandi Chastain on competing fearlessly


September 2020:

Quote of the Month:

"Fitness is not about being better than someone else… it's about being better than you used to be."

~ www.livebetter.org.uk


August 2020:

"He is a sensitive player [tactile]. He needs to feel the ball. If everything starts to get too mechanical and he loses his feeling, he drops. Nico (new coach Nikolas Massu) has given him this opportunity to find his own ways. "

~ - Tennis.com on Dominic Thiem's ascendancy to the top of the game.


May 2020:

"Playing a good tennis match gives you an overwhelming feeling of elation. Nothing else in the world matters at that time. All the stress and strain of the mundane, the housework, the nine-to-five-job, are buried and forgotten as you concentrate on the game at hand"

~ Lisa Scully-O'Grady


May 2020:

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

~ Rafa Nadal after a loss


April, 2020

"Just being in your body and feeling enough as you are; trying to get out of the headiness of it all.

Lots of athletes get out of their own way and let their bodies perform. I love watching tennis.

It's like a multidirectional game, where you have to be quite gentle but it's also gladiatorial. The ones who really give themselves over to it in the moment relax, in a way. Like Serena and Roger Federer."

~ Long Distance Horse Racing Champion Lara Prior-Palmer on athletic performance


March, 2020

Quote of the Month:

"Mr. Grafton shows how even our simplest actions depend on levels of awareness and adroitness that robot engineers can only dream of emulating. Under the hood we use a lot of very fancy machinery to…navigate the environment and generally keep track of what our bodies are doing"

~ David Papineau in a WSJ review of
Scott Grafton's book Physical Intelligence


February, 2020

"I was not really swinging freely, and she was."

~ Naomi Osaka on losing to Coco Gauff at the AO

"Seventy-five percent of her first serves went in, and she took 76 % of those points."

~NY Times Kurt Streeter

"I'm just thinking about playing ball. I just always have that belief I can win, regardless of the opponent."

~ Coco Gauff



"...in reality, the idea that there can be a 'greatest player of all time' is a fantasy. It is quite impossible to compare Rod Laver with Roger Federer or Nadal with Lacoste in any meaningful way. In practice the tale of endless progress [the modern game] only succeeds in devaluing the past."

~ Elizabeth Wilson, Love Game (2014)



"Nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



"You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation"

~ Plato



"Our imaginations, when allied with the faculties of sense perception, have given us a deep vein of psychic riches."

~ Andrew Stark interpreting Felipe Fernandez-Armesto's Out of Our Minds


September, 2019

"If your results are too good in practice, the practice is probably too easy, and you're not learning something new."

~ Jeff Albert, Major League Baseball Hitting Coach on Hitting Practice Regimens


August, 2019

"Gauff does not just have precocious power. She has uncommon court sense for a player of any age, a grasp of when to attack, when to defend and when to improvise."

~ NY Times tennis columnist Christopher Clarey, on 15 year old phenom Coco Gauff


July, 2019

"IThere is always something to improve, even for them. You think Novak's return cannot be better, and he is working on it. Rafa, we've been working on his serve. Roger became much more aggressive starting in 2017. So it's good…to see that even the best ever still want to improve, still want to evolve.""

~ Carlos Moya (Nada's Coach) on how the Big Three still remain on top of the young guns.


June, 2019

"I know that with them I have to be twice more focused and not give points away. They don't overplay, don't do crazy things. But they play so right and they always actually are confident with themselves with anything they are doing."

~ World #7 Stephanos Tsitsipas, on why playing Federer, Nadal, Djokovic is different


May, 2019

"He worked longer and harder and more obsessively than anyone else. I wanted people to understand that genius doesn't come fully formed"

~ David Hare on Ballet Legend Rudolph Nureyev


April, 2019

"I just try my best. I'm not thinking about the victory or anything else during the match. I try not to think about who is on the other side of the court."

~ Belinda Bencic. World #20 after her
success at Indian Wells 2019


March, 2019

"The key to winning doubles is picking a good partner."

~ Tom Gullikson


February, 2019

"If he hadn't lived, Michael and I might still be out there playing." "

~ Stephan Edberg, after losing the '91 Wimbledon
final to Michael Stich, 4-6,7-6,7-6,7-6, without
dropping serve, after learning of Van Alen's passing


January, 2019

"The fear of failure overcame the desire for success."

~ Former USA Olympic Ski Coach, Marjan Cernigoj, on an underachieving athlete


december, 2018

"We pretend that tennis is all about winning, but if that were true, why don't you just play someone you can beat every time? What we really want is a challenge, and tennis teaches how to overcome doubts and fears.."

~ Timothy Gallwey, Author of The Inner Game of Tennis


November, 2018

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony."

~ - Albert Einstein: Three Rules of Work


September, 2018

"Sometimes, a defeat can be more beautiful and satisfying than certain victories. The English have a point in insisting that it matters not who won or lost, but how you played the game."

~ Arthur Ashe from Days of Grace