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Verbal volleys: Most memorable quotes of 2008

12/19/2008 - Tennis
Roddick wasn't buying Novak Djokovic's perceived litany of injuries before their U.S. Open encounter. Nick Laham/Getty Images

Editor's note: The 2008 tennis season left us with indelible memories. ESPN.com recounts the top 10 highs and lows from Monday through Friday this week.

Who says there's no trash-talking in tennis? Here are the highlights from a season with plenty of verbal sparring:

Fighting words

1. "I've got to feel good, he's got about 16 injuries right now … back and hip … cramp … bird flu … anthrax, SARS."
-- Andy Roddick, adding insult to Novak Djokovic's injuries before their quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open.

2. "Andy was saying I have 16 injuries last match, so obviously I don't, right?"
-- Djokovic returns fire after his U.S. Open quarterfinal win over Roddick.


3. "I just despise her to the maximum level, right below hate. I think she falls into the Marcelo Rios scumbag category."
-- Justin Gimelstob, getting himself into hot water talking about Anna Kournikova on a Washington, D.C., radio show. Gimelstob, who also made sexual remarks about Kournikova and some current Sony Ericsson WTA players, later issued a written apology.

4. "I don't like her outfit. … It was one of the motivations to beat her."
-- Alla Kudryavtseva, after defeating Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon. Not used to the limelight, Kudryavtseva later said she was "surprised" by the headlines she generated.

5. "They just do whatever they want and tell us what to do and how to do it. And on top of that walk around like they're the stars."
-- Sharapova on WTA officials, protesting her required appearance at a WTA photo shoot at Rome in May.

6. "I don't have nothing to speak with this man."
-- Rafael Nadal, signaling his exasperation with departing ATP executive chairman Etienne de Villiers over this year's crowded clay season.


7. "The king is dead."
-- Djokovic's mother, Dijana, speaking to a tennis reporter after her son's Australian Open victory, which included a win over Roger Federer in the semifinals.

8. "My world ranking of No. 13 may not be my best of all time, but it's nothing compared to your world ranking of No. 1 in lying and swindling."
-- Carlos Moya, in the midst of a bitter text-message war with Spanish tennis federation president Pedro Munoz. The incident was part of a wider battle between Munoz and the Spanish players, triggered by conflict over the location chosen for the Davis Cup semifinal against the United States.

9. "Roddick is not here at Roland Garros, but we know the reason why. I mean, clay is not his best surface, so he just wanted to buy time and to be ready for Wimbledon. That's my personal comment. That's all."
-- French federation doctor Bernard Montalvan, nonchalantly accusing Roddick of skipping the French Open with an exaggerated injury. By his own account, Roddick was particularly disappointed to miss the tournament this year after posting some encouraging wins during the clay season.

10. "You want to speak about my mum again? Huh?"
-- Andy Murray, bristling during a heated exchange with Juan Martin del Potro during a changeover in their first-round match in Rome. After Murray accused del Potro of deliberately aiming the ball at him in the previous game, del Potro said Murray and his mother, Judy, were "always the same."

Cute quips

1. "It's a little disappointing that we're behind a sport that you turn left for four hours."
-- Andy Roddick, on NASCAR's greater popularity in the United States.

2. "Of course it's fair. We're waiting for the men to finish five sets. God, we should get paid more for waiting around all day long."
-- Maria Sharapova, on equal prize money.

3. "I've created a monster."
-- Roger Federer, on being expected to win every tournament.

4. "I [got] a pretty big cut on my hand when I was celebrating with my team. I was bleeding during the ceremony, I didn't know what to do. I called the trainer a couple of times. I wanted to retire."
-- Novak Djokovic, showing he can have a sense of humor when it comes to his penchant for medical timeouts and retirements.

5. "I thought, 'White girls can't play.'"
-- Jelena Jankovic, playing a roller-coaster final against Serena Williams in Miami, on noticing that actor Woody Harrelson was sitting courtside. Harrelson's credits include the film "White Men Can't Jump."

6. "A second accident."
-- Gilles Simon, asked how he would describe his second victory over Roger Federer this year given that some people described his first win as an accident.

7. "Before we left to come to Germany, we had a bit of a fight because he said I was doing everything wrong. … But look, brother -- I'm on the right path."
-- Dinara Safina, after winning the Berlin title the same day that big brother Marat Safin was playing in Hamburg qualifying.

8. "His height."
-- 6-foot-10 Ivo Karlovic, on what he found most difficult about 6-6 Sam Querrey's serve. A week earlier, Karlovic played 6-9 John Isner and reported, "Now I know how everybody else feels when they play me."

9. "That's not my goal, to be the best in Luxembourg."
-- Gilles Muller at the U.S. Open, playing down his achievement of being the first player from Luxembourg to reach the second week of a Grand Slam. The country has a population of just more than 480,000, and after No. 95 Muller, its second-highest-ranked ATP player is No. 1,395.

10. "I've got a big mattress."
-- Roger Federer, on how he's coping with the financial crisis.

Kamakshi Tandon is a freelance tennis writer for ESPN.com.