Commentary

Serena, Safin never at a loss for words

Originally Published: December 21, 2009
By Kamakshi Tandon | Special to ESPN.com

Side-splitting or jaw-dropping, Serena Williams' words got everyone's attention this season. And in his final year on tour, Marat Safin gave us plenty of parting words to remember. They are our quotable players of the year:

WTA Quotable Player of the Year: Serena Williams

On the women's tour:

"I mean, it's way cattier, so it's way more exciting to watch."

On her place in the tour:

"We all know who the real No. 1 is. … Quite frankly, I'm the best in the world."

"I see myself as No. 2. That's where I am. I think Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1. She won Rome and Madrid," Williams said while rolling her eyes.

To French Open opponent Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who did not give up the point when the ball hit her arm:

"I'm going to get you in the locker room for that, you don't know me."

To a U.S. Open lineswoman who famously called a foot fault at a critical moment:

"I'm going to take this f------ ball and shove it down your f------ throat … you don't know me."

On being Serena Williams:

"I'm like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, like drama follows them. I don't want to be that girl."

On meeting President Barack Obama:

"He has such an unbelievable presence, and he seems to be so normal. And he noticed my shoes. I think that was the highlight of the whole day. … He asked me, 'Should [you] be wearing high heels?'"

On Kim Clijsters' impressive comeback as a mother:

"I was thinking that maybe I should have a baby and then I'll come back faster."

On trying to keep track of all the new players:

"I just know the standard: Everyone is from Russia. Sometimes I think I'm from Russia, too."

"There's like 12 Russians in the top 10."

On what she thought when a streaker ran on court:

"My eyes, my eyes, my innocent eyes."

On which trophy she uses to keep makeup brushes:

"My Indian Wells," said Williams, who has boycotted the tournament since 2001.

ATP Quotable Player of the Year: Marat Safin

After his last career match:

"Now I have no schedule, no practices, nothing. I belong to myself."

On his post-tennis plans:

"I'm different than another person who wants to lay back and do nothing for rest of the life and talk nonsense on ESPN, talk about my match against Sampras. I will not do that."

On whether he'll write an Andre Agassi-type memoir:

"I'm not writing a book, no chance. All my memories, all my secrets will stay with me."

On criticism of his sister Dinara Safina's No. 1 ranking:

"A lot of people, they giving her trouble, 'OK, she's No. 1 in the world but she never won a Grand Slam.' I'm really proud that she's holding up herself even though somebody can be really rough on her. She's there. I hope she can be No. 1 for a long time so she can prove to everybody that they can go f--- themselves."

On the prospect of coaching his sister:

"Oh, you want me to hang myself?"

On the repetitiveness of his farewell tour:

"It's too many questions about what I'm going to do, why I'm retiring, and this and that. So I answer the same question, I don't know, a thousand times. Just go on Google and you have the same answer."

On tennis really not being so bad:

"It happened, so miracles really happens. I won the lottery. … It's amazing. It's really amazing. I really can't describe it. It has no logic -- just everything fit perfectly together, and here I am. I'm really pleased the way the life treat me, it was pretty nice treatment. Tennis was really very nice to me."

On sports in general:

"I don't like any sports. For example, I would not play soccer. I would not play hockey. Basketball I hate. I never watch any sports on TV. It's amazing, and I'm a tennis player. … It's a miracle, huh?"

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