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They Said It!!: 2017 US Open Quotebook

September 5, 2017 - Venus Williams reacts to winning a women's singles quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova at the 2017 US Open.

Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal have departed with trophies in hand, but the 2017 US Open – Stephens’ first major; Nadal’s 16th – will reverberate for years to come.

USOpen.org looks back on the Flushing fortnight in the words of those who made it all happen:

“It's my favorite tournament of the year.” – Caroline Wozniacki on the US Open

“There is no better way to finish the Grand Slam season.” – US Open titlist Rafael Nadal

“I cannot be without tennis.” – Andrey Rublev

“I don't accept limitations.” – Venus Williams

“I just don't want anyone to ever ask me about the state of American tennis ever again.” – Sloane Stephens, on being one of four American women to reach the semifinals

“He never goes away.” – Men’s finalist Kevin Anderson on Rafael Nadal

“Baby girl? Well, I hope she doesn't play tennis!” – Garbiñe Muguruza on Serena Williams’ newborn daughter

“I feel this is a dream. Like, am I just going to wake up and be, like, it didn't happen?” – Sloane Stephens

“Tennis is for everyone. Is not just for the tall guys.” – 5-foot-7 Diego Schwartzman

“We don't use a lot of emojis at all. We actually use the English language.” – Venus Williams on her texting habits with her sister Serena

“We’re in an era where some players are doing some incredible things in this sport.” – Rafael Nadal

“This sport is about victory. This is not about defeats. At the end of your career, nobody remember your defeats, your losses. People remember the victories.” – Rafael Nadal

“If anyone wants to know, I'm actually going to fail my last semester of college because I'm here.” – Sloane Stephens

“Over time I've learned that I can push myself a lot further than I thought I could.” – Venus Williams

“I play my best when I'm not too emotional.” – Sam Querrey

“It’s true that I’m31, I’m not 25. But I still have a passion and love for the game. I still want to compete and still feel the nerves every time that I go on court.” – Rafael Nadal

“I'm still living my dream, and it's amazing.” – Venus Williams

“Maybe it's like some Jedi mind trick.” – CoCo Vandeweghe on the newfound focus she has achieved under new coach Pat Cash

“Usually I feel like I'm the good net player, but she showed that she's got some skills, like, Ninja Warrior, chip chop, and that's the work.” – Martina Hingis on partner Chan Yung-Jan, with whom she captured the women’s doubles title

“I feel like wrist surgery is all the rage right now.” – Madison Keys

“Being injured gave me a whole new perspective on tennis, on life.” – Sloane Stephens

“I love that feeling when you hit the ball perfectly and it comes off of your racquet.” – Madison Keys

“I think everyone is beatable.” – Denis Shapovalov

“My goal's to win every match. That's all I can do.” – Venus Williams

“You live for these kind of moments when you want to show people that you are there, you are a good player, you are good enough to beat not only a tennis player who is on the other side, but everyone who is against you.” – Elina Svitolina

“I think sport is a little microcosm of life, and it shows the human spirit – just being out there on the court, fighting against all odds. If you're down, you keep going. Great champions come back from injuries or circumstances they could never have planned for. It's very encouraging for people to watch. You never know whose life you'll touch just by being your best.” – Venus Williams

“I know that ranking and draw is irrelevant. What's important is who you're facing in the next round.” – Mischa Zverev

“It's hard to beat a New York crowd when they're for you.” – CoCo Vandeweghe

“There is so much heart and determination and preparation that goes into it that you don't think about the numbers. You think about the process.” – Venus Williams

“I'm not in the first row of the favorites. Maybe in the second.” – Dominic Thiem

“I'm definitely a player that likes and prefers to play with instinct. I like the moments where you have to figure it out on yourself.” – Maria Sharapova

“This year is a completely different year.” – Angelique Kerber, who became the first women’s defending champion since 2005 (Svetlana Kuznetsova) to fall in the opening round

“Tennis is a very important part of my life, but not everything. I have a lot of things that make me happy in this world.” – Rafael Nadal

“I'm just trusting my movement better. My serve is there. My mind is there. I can finally focus on playing tennis and not so much about the past. It's nice to be in the present in my mind, looking ahead.” – Roger Federer

“At the end of the day, I play for myself, for my team and for my country. Those three things I always take with me on the court. I play with my heart.” – Canada’s Denis Shapovalov

“I was actually getting my nails done.” – Maria Sharapova on when she found out that her opening-round opponent would be world No. 2 Simona Halep

“That's the most important thing as an athlete: that you can trust your body to do what you need it to do when push comes shove.” – Nicole Gibbs

“They are calling it Shapo-fashion.” – Denis Shapovalov on the unorthodox way in which he wears his hat

“It just shows how blessed he is, how hard he works, everything he puts into his craft. It's certainly amazing.” – John Isner on Roger Federer’s run at age 36

“I take every match as a final.” – Garbiñe Muguruza

“Tennis is a very individual sport. You feel like it's just you most of the time out there. Since I've come back, I feel like I'm on a team. I'm not just winning for myself, but I'm winning for everyone that has stood behind me. That is a very special feeling.” – Maria Sharapova

“Venus and Serena are Venus and Serena. They're two of the greatest tennis players ever. They always will be. So I think trying to measure up to them is basically impossible.” – Madison Keys

“Rafa, he's been such a wonderful champion and a good friend of mine on the tour, one of my big rivals for life, that it's just nice to be able to spend some time with him and support him. If I can help him, great. If he can help me, even better.” – Roger Federer on Rafael Nadal

“They wouldn't let me cancel my flight.” – University of Virginia’s J.C. Aragone, who unexpectedly advanced through qualifying to reach the main draw

“He's only going to learn from a match like this and become better.” – Roger Federer on Francis Tiafoe after dispatching the #NextGen American in five sets

“I don't think I've ever won a match at night here.” – John Isner, who fell to Mischa Zverev, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6, in a night-session match

“It has not been an easy year for me. Getting to a second week of a Slam means the world.” – Madison Keys

“Utter disappointment when you’re up two breaks in one set, a break in the fifth, to choke it all away.” – Jack Sock, who dropped his first-round match to Australian Jordan Thompson, 6-2, 7-6, 1-6, 5-7, 6-4

“If you told me I would be here at 31, being No. 1 of the world, especially, six, seven, 10 years ago, I would not believe you.” – Top-ranked Spaniard Rafael Nadal

“There's a point in your life or in your career where things click, and from there on it's, like, ‘OK, I think I know how to win matches, how to handle myself in situations.’ That motif continues.” – Venus Williams

“It’s always been my dad's dream to see me win a match at the US Open.” – Taylor Fritz, after advancing to the second round

“That's not anything that I ever wanted. But it was a good lesson for me.” – Sloane Stephens, who spent a year away from the court following foot surgery

“I don't feel fatigue. I feel positive. I feel hungry to keep playing.” – Rafael Nadal

“To save three match points, I think it was crazy.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, who outlasted Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 7-6

“The crowd is awesome. It's always packed when I play. I love playing here. They're usually always for me.” – Donald Young

“It's one of those matches you kind of want to forget about.” – Eugenie Bouchard, who dropped her opening-round match 7-6, 6-1 to Evgeniya Rodina

“I don't think I've ever volleyed that well in my life. Billie Jean [King] even texted me about my volley, so I'm feeling really high on myself.” – Madison Keys on her opening-round 6-3, 7-6 triumph over Elise Mertens

“It's starting to set in a little bit now. Going to be sore.” – Shelby Rogers, who topped Daria Gavrilova 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in three hours and 33 minutes – setting a record for the longest women’s singles match in US Open history

“Can't read his serve. Jumps on the return ball better than anyone. Doesn't give the baseline up. Takes time away. Best mover, by far. Just sees the game completely different than everybody else. I mean, he's unbelievable.” – Frances Tiafoe on Roger Federer

“I haven't been in the second week of a Slam in a long time. It's nice.” – Sloane Stephens

“It's great to have her back because tennis misses her.” – Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova on compatriot Maria Sharapova

“I'm pretty chill. I don't really put too much stress on myself off court. Life's pretty good.” – Jennifer Brady

“When I'm playing my best, I'm aggressive. When I see the shot I like, I take it. I go for it. I try to hit a winner. I try to hurt my opponent. I'm not the guy that's going to stay back and rally, rally, rally, wait for a miss. I wait for my chance. As soon as I see my chance, I go for it.” – Taylor Fritz

“I have had a diabolical year at these Slams. It doesn't surprise me. It's just the story of my career, really. I will have good weeks; I'll have bad weeks. It's just a rollercoaster.” – Nick Kyrgios

“I don't think they can deal with my hair.” – Naomi Osaka on whether she uses the salon in the players lounge at the US Open

“I think it's probably the closest I've ever been with a coach. I truly love just being around her.” – Madison Keys on her coach, Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport

“Life is still a little bit strange, but it's getting better.” – Petra Kvitova, who returned to the WTA tour earlier this summer after being injured in a knife attack

“That's exactly what I want – to play my best tennis at the Big Four.” – Venus Williams in the Grand Slams

“I have been spoiled my whole career having my family surrounding me. I don't think many players get that opportunity, so I'm more than blessed.” – Venus Williams

“I'm a very emotional person. Yes, I'm a hugger. I usually hug everyone after my match. Some people don't like it. Sorry.” – Shelby Rogers

“It's like lining up for a free throw. You visualize your free throw, go through your routine, you shoot it, because you can control all of that. It's the same with a serve.” – CoCo Vandeweghe, whose grandfather and uncle played for the New York Knicks

“If I had the opportunity to redo the whole process, I would go back to UCLA again.” – Jennifer Brady, who played collegiate tennis for two years before turning pro in 2015

“It's another life-changing event for me.” – Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time

“Even when I was young, ranking is just not something that I've focused on or paid attention to. Even when I hadn't been No. 1 in the world, it just wasn't really that big a goal of mine. The more matches you win, the more chances you have of getting a better ranking. That's my goal.” – Maria Sharapova

“When something gets taken away from you, you are forced to deal with your situation. I think having surgery, being on that peg leg, not being able to live my life the way I wanted to, it was a humbling experience.” – Sloane Stephens, who returned to the sport after sitting out 11 months with a foot injury

“The trophy's still in my bedroom. – CoCo Vandeweghe on her 2008 US Open Junior title

“My goal is to raise the level of Canadian tennis and just have more kids picking up a racquet instead of a hockey stick.” – Denis Shapovalov

“I think every player dreams to be No. 1 at some point. I didn't come to the US Open to be No. 1. I know from the first day that was a big thing everyone was talking about, but that wasn't really my goal.” – Garbiñe Muguruza, who fell in the fourth round but still rose to No. 1 following the tournament

“I love the feeling of playing tennis. As a woman, it's a very powerful feeling to feel like you're great at what I do and can be even better and improve. I was given a gift when I was a young girl, and with the help of a lot of people, a lot of different paths, I have the ability to keep doing that.” – Maria Sharapova

“He doesn't give you much rhythm. He can go games where he's serving huge, you don't get a ball in play. He takes big cuts from start to finish. If he's on and he’s dialed in, he's one of the toughest guys to play out there. You have to weather the storm.” – Sam Querrey on Kevin Anderson

“I'll take any advantage I can get, let's face it. But they're not going to give you any matches. In the case that they do, I will accept it, if they don't play as well as they want. I'm accepting all major credit cards and unforced errors.” – Venus Williams

“Being a professional athlete is a lifestyle. It's your life. Every decision you make is based on getting better out there. So there are sacrifices you make with your family, your loved ones, just doing normal things like sitting on your own couch that are taken for granted. You have to have the love to deal with the pressure, as well.” – Venus Williams

“C-minus.” – Anastasija Sevastova, grading her celebrity status in her native Latvia

“Favorite memory in the past 10 days? Honestly, I think it was the sound, the roar of the crowd when I put my bags down and I went to applaud them. They were all screaming. It was so loud, and it was a great moment for me. It really has a special place in my heart. New York will always have a special place for me.” – Denis Shapovalov

“I didn't think. I just went big all the time. That's fun, too. But over time you have to learn the time to go big and the time not to go big. It was a very beautiful moment for me. After that, I never looked back – I just went bigger. It was awesome.” – Venus Williams reflecting on her early days on the WTA tour

“Tried to enjoy my life as much as possible because I knew I probably wouldn't get that time back again, wouldn't be able to do the things I wanted to.” – Sloane Stephenson on her time away from the court recovering from surgery

“Our sport's been dominated by such a select group of people for so long. It feels a little bit different.” – Kevin Anderson on the wide open men’s draw

“Most guys don't have their best year 11 years into a career.” – Sam Querrey, on his breakout 2017 season

“I played one of the epic matches of my career here at the US Open, which is my favorite tournament, in front of a great crowd.” – Juan Martin del Potro, who stormed back from a two-set deficit to defeat Dominic Thiem

“They like one guy who never gives up.” – Juan Martin del Potro on his rabid supporters in Flushing Meadows

“At the end of every tournament, there's only one winner. Most people have to deal with a loss at some point and reset themselves.” – CoCo Vandeweghe

“I dreamed to be a great tennis player when I was very young. Well, I think now I am a great tennis player.” – US Open quarterfinalist Kaia Kanepi

“I would not really put me and her together. … We both play aggressive, but I think she's a little bit – not messy, but sometimes she's just going for her shots. Even if she misses, like, five meters out, she doesn't care. So it's different. It's not my game style.” – Karolina Pliskova on CoCo Vandeweghe

“Maybe I put too much expectation on myself.” – Karolina Pliskova, who lost her No. 1 ranking and her US Open quarterfinal against American CoCo Vandeweghe

“I felt like that I left that match with a lot of regrets.” – Roger Federer looking back on his five-set loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 US Open final

“I always go on court respecting my opponents. I’m not worried about what happened in the past or not. I just think about what can happen now.” – Rafael Nadal

“I don't want to get older.” – Rafael Nadal, 31

“He's so professional. He tries to do everything perfect. That's why he's No. 1, one of the best guys in history.” – Andrey Rublev on Rafael Nadal

“You improve a lot in the beginning stages of your career. If you have a weakness, they'll go there day and night. They make you improve it fast because they remind you how bad you are on your backhand side or your footwork, whatever it may be.” – Roger Federer

“This is a little insane – going to bed at 4 a.m. every morning and waking up at 11. It's not totally natural and normal. But now I'm afraid to play in the sun because I haven't done it in two weeks. So I'm fine with playing at night.” – Madison Keys

“She's a champion. I think those are the words which describe everything.” – Petra Kvitova on Venus Williams

“Doesn't matter whether you're playing well or not playing well. It's about figuring out how to win.” – Venus Williams

“My biggest hope is that I'm able to inspire kids to play the sport. It's very tough coming from South Africa, far from the scene. It makes me feel good that I can hopefully fly a flag and show kids, especially, that if you work hard you can get there. … I just heard I'm the first South African in the Open era to get to the semis here. My first sort of South African record. I feel pretty proud about that.” – Kevin Anderson

“Venus is just our leader. As a whole, she's just what everyone looks up to. She's a great player, a great person, great leader…I'm happy she's still playing. She means a lot to the game.” – Sloane Stephens on semifinal opponent Venus Williams

“As a small girl I was also playing a lot of dropshots because I was too small and I couldn't do anything else. So I think it's coming from there – a drop shot country.” – Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova

“It was incredible. I couldn't hear anything. It was so loud in there. But I think that's what tennis players play for. As an American, playing at your home Slam, to have the crowd like that behind you, is incredible. I don't think there is any better feeling or better moment you'll get out of playing tennis. It was pretty awesome.” – Sloane Stephens

“All I have known all my life was great American players. So it's great to see this resurgence.” – Venus Williams

“Juan Martin deserves it more. I feel I have no place in the semis. The way I’m playing right now, it's not good enough in my opinion to win this tournament.” – Roger Federer

“Smashing certain stuff in the net that I normally wouldn't, smashing forehand volleys into the back fence, I mean, that stuff sucked. Honestly, it was terrible.” – Roger Federer on his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro

“I didn't have anything to lose against Federer, so I played my best match of the tournament.” – Juan Martin del Potro on his upset of Roger Federer

“USA all the way.” – Madison Keys, who clinched an all-American Final Four at the US Open

“It's a big honor for me to hear this from him. Now I have to prove that he's maybe right.” – Andrey Rublev on Rafael Nadal, who tabbed the Russian among a shortlist of future stars

“I'm a pretty positive person, so I don't really look too much at the negatives of my life. I try to move forward as best I can, and I've always done that. I've always been more of a glass half full. I don't really take too much in previous bad experiences. I take more in the positives and learning curve that you can learn from losses; you can learn from wins.” – CoCo Vandeweghe

“The tennis court brings out the best in her.” – Madison Keys on Venus Williams

“The most important thing is that you have the passion to improve every day.” – Rafael Nadal

“I think most every junior player dreams of holding the big Grand Slam trophies at the end of a tournament. I think the dream still holds. I'm still searching for that trophy at the end of the week.” – CoCo Vandeweghe

“Oh, my God, it feels so good. We have so many Americans to talk about in the last days of the US Open. I can't tell you how many times I have sat in this chair and had to hear how horrible tennis is in America.” – Madison Keys

“In a strange way, it was probably one of the best things to happen to all of us, just to remind us how much we love it and it just makes you realize how lucky you are to be able to do this for your job.” – Madison Keys on the health setbacks experienced by herself, Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams

“I kind of lost sight of how much I actually loved the game, because it was just every week, it was just chasing points. That's all I could focus on.” – Madison Keys

“I'm definitely here to win my matches, not for consolations.” – Venus Williams

“I think once you realize that it's not life or death out there, you can turn a tennis match around.” – Sloane Stephens

“We are following in her footsteps. She's been here. She's represented the game so well as an African-American woman.” – Sloane Stephens on Venus Williams

“I think it's a little bit of an opportunity lost for me, but at the same time, there's going to be more Grand Slams. Hopefully, I set myself up for more opportunities.” – CoCo Vandeweghe, who fell to fellow American Madison Keys in the semis

“I felt deep inside I always had a chance.” – Kevin Anderson on reaching his first Grand Slam final

“I'm going to totally put this in my bio: ‘US Open champion.’ I think when anyone has Grand Slam champion in front of their name, it changes things a little bit. So I don't know if I have arrived or already arrived, been arrived, I don't know, but I do know I'm a US Open champion.” – Sloane Stephens

“She's such a great player, a huge champion of the game.” – Jamie Murray on Martina Hingis, with whom he captured the US Open mixed doubles title

“I'm really disappointed. But if you told me as I was getting on a plane to go have my second surgery that I could have a Grand Slam finalist trophy in my hands at the end of the year, I think I'd be really happy.” – Madison Keys

“She can buy me drinks, all of the drinks.” – Runner-up Madison Keys on Sloane Stephens, with whom she celebrated following the US Open women’s final

“Serena Williams. She's my favorite player, and she's my idol.” – US Open junior girls champion Coco Gauff

“I do ninth grade math.” – Eighth-grader Coco Gauff, the US Open junior girls titlist

“One day I'm going to be able to show my kids that I won the US Open. That's cool. Like, how many people can say that? Not very many. And they already engraved my name on the locker. Like, hello. This is awesome.” – Sloane Stephens

“It's not the time to try to sort through my emotions, because I don't even know where I am.” – Madison Keys after coming up short in the final

“There are no words to describe how I got here, the process it took or anything like that, because if you told someone this story, they'd be, like, ‘That's insane.’” – Sloane Stephens

“Winning a tournament is extremely special, but winning the US Open, being an American player, is even more incredible.” – Sloane Stephens

“Shut the front door! I don't think that's ever happened to me before. Oh, my God. That's a stat. Snaps for me.” – Sloane Stephens, who totaled just six errors in the women’s final

“I would want to win every single one of them but if it was one, then I would want to win this one.” – US Open junior girls’ champion Amanda Anisimova

“Of course, Girl. Did you see that check that lady handed me? Like, yes. Man, if that doesn't make you want to play tennis, I don't know what will.” – Sloane Stephens, who pocketed $3.7 million, on whether she plans to win another Slam in the future

“Everybody's free to say and to do whatever. We are in a world that everybody can say whatever.” – Rafael Nadal