Rob Steen selects the quotes that track the week’s sporting events
“In the final, Sharapova turned in a nearly flawless performance. The win had a glacial and ponderous majesty, and who doesn’t like to see the tortoise prevail over the hare every once in while? The message she sent: hard work, discipline and patience pay off. Is that so bad? Sharapova had been to five semi-finals, only to stall there, since she won her lone Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2004. But she never gave up hope, and she never quit on her game. Now, nobody can call her a One Slam Wonder anymore” – Peter Bodo, of Tennis Magazine, on Maria Sharapova’s victory at the US Open.
“It seemed to me there was no point in just hanging on, and maybe taking away the future of a young and talented driver like Felipe [Massa, his team mate]. I’d already talked about the future with Corinna, my wife, and after Indianapolis I told the team I’d made up my mind: I was going to stop” Michael Schumacher, announcing his retirement from F1.
Christopher Martin-Jenkins, in The Times, on the choice of Andrew Flintoff as England captain for the coming Ashes cricket tour of Australia
Looking fit and genuinely delighted to be given the chance to lead England in the most high-profile Ashes series since the 1930s, he avoided saying that his ankle would definitely stand the potential strain of that. However, he has been running in the hills of Lancashire this week and was confident that he would be fit to bowl again by the start of the tour after playing in India, primarily at least, as a batsman. “I keep reading I’ve become a celebrity,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned I’m a cricketer”
“It’s a funny old game… one day you’re a statue, the next you’re a pigeon” – BBC television’s Peter Alliss on Tiger Woods’ first-round exit from the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth, beaten by little-fancied Shaun Micheels.
Whoops, there goes another one
“We believe the player has signed for Gloucester but no one has told us. The player has been uncommunicative except to say that Bradford Bulls are the only rugby league club he is ever interested in playing for” – World champions Bradford acknowledging the loss of Karl Pryce to rugby union side Gloucester, meaning that the Bulls have lost 13 of last season’s championship-winning squad in 12 months
“We had one or two disagreements but once he realised that he was wrong and I was right we moved on” – Surrey coach Alan Butcher reveals his Clough-like approach to working with his son, Test batsman and county captain Mark
“Everyone is trying to work out how this integrated world works. We need to work out what journalists on the web do and what journalists on the newspaper do and how different they are” – Guardian managing editor Chris Elliott explaining why his web staff earn on average £10,000 less than their newspaper counterparts. Alan Rushbridger earned £489,000 last year, including bonuses.
“The almost universal feeling here is that we are not slaves to the company, who can be forced to do whatever it likes. People have other lives outside work – families, homes, social lives – all of which will be drastically affected by these proposals” – Telegraph NUJ chapel spokesman John Carey. The Barclay brothers’ wealth is extimated at £750 million.
The known unknowns
“From my viewpoint, sat on the inside of that room with Peter Kenyon and Jose Mourinho, I know what weren’t said” – Ashley ‘Cashley’ Cole’s ghostwriter overdoes the authenticity.
“The most infamous football meeting of all time” – The Times goes ever-so-slightly OTT in standfirst puffing Cole book extracts.
“Sven has had enough. He thinks people have been saying what a shit he is and how incompetent he is, and that just because England have now won a match people are now saying how bad he was” Lennart Johansson, president of UEFA, on his fellow Swede and former England manager’s sudden low profile.
“I think cricket is a boring game to watch” – Sunil Gavaskar
“They are foul-mouthed. They speak rot” – Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, complains of England’s conduct in their recent Test series
Jim White, in the Daily Telegraph, clearly underwhelmed with one modern development in sports coverage:
Once upon a time, to reveal a touring party, it was reckoned sufficient to fax a list of names to various sports desks. Now it is deemed necessary to employ several former England captains to spend the afternoon ensconced in a studio telling us that it was a mistake not to pick Jon Lewis. The difference between then and now is, of course, a three-letter word: Sky. Tuesday’s announcement was a Sky production. Cricket is now in cahoots not just with a broadcaster, but a commercial partner whose own financial well-being is predicated on hyping the product beyond all known constraint
“No disrespect to Swindon, but Bath playing there would be a desperate last option” – Bath rugby’s chief executive, Bob Calleja, contemplates his club’s move from the Rec.
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