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Quotes of the week: 6Jul2007

Wimbledon dominates this week’s pick of the quotes, through Maria Sharapova, Tim Henman and Jamie Murray (how else would the Brits get into the second week?). Plus BBC bias (allegedly), Greg Dyke, Greg LeMond… and Tatiana Golovin’s knickers

“It’s like someone took off the torch from the Statue of Liberty. It’s like they took the arc from the Arc de Triomphe” — Maria Sharapova is less than impressed with Wimbledon’s roofless Centre Court

“It was a shitty match, a really shitty third set” — Amelie Mauresmo after her disappointing exit

“If we rented a house near Wimbledon it would have been a total bore. There’s absolutely nothing to do besides tennis” – world No4 Nikolas Davydenko rails against “the world’s most boring tournament”

“It’s ludicrous that Five Live are doing so little to encourage female commentators. Tennis, with so many females participating and spectating, is the obvious sport where women should be sharing the ball-by-ball microphone with the men. The national radio station not having any female tennis callers at Wimbledon is a disgrace” – Rupert Bell, one of the main commentators on Radio Wimbledon, voices the concern that the BBC is failing women

“If nostalgia is an illness, the BBC is a terminal patient” – Martin Kelner

“We have much sympathy for Sheffield United’s grievances. This tribunal would have given much more weight to the deliberate deceit by West Ham officials which concealed the existence of the third-party arrangements” — Sir Philip Otton, chair of the panel which nonetheless confirmed Sheffield United’s relegation

“He was nice. He spoke French—he never speaks French. He spoke English—he never speaks English” – Jean-Claude Killy, the former Olympic skiing champion, explains how Vladimir Putin helped to win the 2014 Winter Olympics for Sochi in Russia

“I asked him whether he hit those 30-yard shots on the rise, with the inside of his foot, the outside of his foot and he couldn’t answer a single question. I could see the panic in the whites of his eyes. He was thinking, ‘What do I say to this nutcase?’ In the end he said, ‘I just hit it'” – Adrian Chiles recalls the horror of interviewing Portsmouth footballer Matt Taylor

Greg Dyke, the former BBC Director General, assesses Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell’s reign at the DCMS
“Like everything else in Blair’s Britain, the major decisions about the media were not made by her but in Downing Street. During the Dr Kelly affair I thought Tessa was absolutely 100% being told what to do by Alastair Campbell. She wasn’t exactly brave. In the end she was just a sycophantic Blairite”

“I think for years we’ve been far too accepting of mediocrity and some of the players need a little bit of a wake-up call” — Tim Henman

“People in this country… love the losers, all those players who became national heroes for losing five-setters in the first round of Wimbledon and built good television careers on the back of it” – Jamie Murray. Who might he have in mind?

“Apart from tennis, do you have any special abilities or party tricks you’re able to pull out when you’re not on the court?” – one question asked of Justine Henin, in all seriousness, at a post-match Wimbledon press conference

“I thought they were lovely and I’d quite like a pair, are you going to keep on wearing them?” – one of 10 questions about her knickers put to Tatiana Golovin

“They have to ask all those questions – how else would The Guardian‘s very own Marina Hyde get her material?” – Guardian Unlimited reader comments on piece about inane questioning at Wimbledon press conferences

“Racing is a very selfish, self-centred, self-glorifying thing. My wife’s life for 14 years was centred around me. It was all about me. It was all for my ego . . . I read somewhere recently that Claudio Chiappucci lived with his mom until he was 30 and I thought, ‘God! When are we going to grow up?’ Okay, so you can look at what we did and say, ‘Well, that’s what it takes to be successful’, but is it healthy? Is it really healthy?” – three times Tour de France winner Greg LeMond on cycling

“In my next life I want to come back as LeMond. I want to be born in California with legs like Eddie Merckx and looks like Robert Redford” – a recollection from 20 years ago by Paul Kimmage, who in fact came back as a Sunday Times sportswriter

Brian Viner, in The Independent, pays tribute to Derek Dougan
“For football fans of my generation, the name of the late Derek Dougan is evocative like few others. I never met him, but I mourned his passing all the same, and could picture vividly the bubblegum football card I used to have with him in Wolves’ old gold and black wearing his Viva Zapata moustache. The only other name that brings my football cards into quite such sharp focus is Jim McCalliog, then of Sheffield Wednesday. I am fairly sure he had a Viva Zapata moustache as well”

“Lance still plans the training programmes for myself and the rest of our group. I just got the schedules in the mail this week for when we go over to compete in Europe” – Tyson Gay, the new American star sprinter, explains how his coach, Lance Brauman, manages to supervise his athletes’ training while serving a one-year jail sentence

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