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Friday, December 17, 2010
Updated: December 28, 9:59 PM ET
Verbal volleys: Quotes of the year

By Kamakshi Tandon
Special to ESPN.com

Francesca Schiavone
Francesca Schiavone did some of her best work on the court -- and while holding court -- in 2010.

Funny quips and memorable observations from the players this season:

1. "I've got the quarterfinals streak going, I guess."
-- Roger Federer, after having his record of 23 straight Grand Slam semifinals broken by Robin Soderling at the French Open.

2. "I had hit too many aces."
-- Serena Williams, on the cause of her rumored shoulder niggles at Wimbledon.

3. "I've seen it live, last year, passing next to me."
-- Novak Djokovic, on whether he had watched replays of Roger Federer's between-the-legs winner at the U.S. Open this year. Federer hit the same shot against Djokovic to set up match point in their U.S. Open semifinal a year earlier.

4. "It didn't happen since Borg. Now, last three years, it happen. So how crazy is the life?"
-- Rafael Nadal, on the French Open-Wimbledon double being completed three straight times since 2008, after no one had done it since Bjorn Borg in 1980.

5. "... feels like a million bucks!!!!"
-- John Isner, updating his Twitter status after the second day of his record-breaking 70-68 fifth-set match against Nicolas Mahut.

6. "My trainer took me to the entrance to Centre Court to see the little poem by Kipling. I hope I'll someday have the strength to be able to appreciate that."
-- Mahut, after losing to Isner. The inscription reads, "If you can deal with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same."

7. "If I win, it'll be fabulous. If I lose, it'll be even more fabulous."
-- Gilles Simon, on winning another round at the U.S. Open versus going home to see his newborn son.

8. "I think that was some kind of a therapeutical group psychoanalysis."
-- Marion Bartoli, recalling a long and involved news conference.

9. "I'm sure I'll get a lot of male fans now."
-- Caroline Wozniacki, on her shorter-than-expected dresses for the U.S. Open.

10. "She said she loved me in the 'American Pie' movies."
-- Andy Roddick, who bears a strong resemblance to actor Seann William Scott, on what the Queen of England said upon meeting him.

11. "The doctor told me that she didn't think I was going to grow much more. It was a pretty sad day." -- Melanie Oudin, resigning herself to her 5-foot-5 height.

12. "Maybe I have a twin brother. I won six Slams and he won eight Slams."
-- Federer, joking about the possible link between his dominance and twins running in the family. Both Federer and his sister are the parents of twins.

13. "It's like a penalty."
-- Nadal, comparing facing Ivo Karlovic's giant serve to being a soccer goalie.

14. "I was getting calls from my publicist in the middle of the night. ... The last time this happened there were rumors I was married."
-- Venus Williams, on causing a sensation by wearing "nude" shorts under her dress.

15. "I think every person should go to jail once."
-- Ernests Gulbis, looking back on his night behind bars in Sweden for (unknowingly, he says) soliciting a prostitute.

Passing shots

Slings, arrows and good-humored ribbing.

1. When did you first notice he had a problem? "About three years ago."
-- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on Djokovic suffering one of his frequent maladies during their Australian Open match.

2. "I know Andy would like to win this first title for British tennis in, what is it -- 150,000 years?"
-- Federer, on the pressure Andy Murray would face in their Australian Open final meeting.

3. "I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can't play like him."
-- Murray, after losing the Australian Open final and tearing up like Federer did a year ago.

4. "You know how they say -- sport doesn't build character, it shows it."
-- Ana Ivanovic, on Jelena Jankovic imitating her fist pump after the two played each other in Madrid.

5. "I don't think it's nice to put the fist in their face."
-- Jankovic, on why she did it.

"I have nothing against her or fist pumps."
-- Jankovic, recanting, not entirely convincingly.

6. "A tournament is not managed on ambition. ... There is no ambition. The player who has ambition is the player you mentioned before."
-- Bartoli, referring to Aravane Rezai.

7. "Marion is a difficult girl."
-- Rezai, responding.

"I have absolutely no animosity whatsoever against Aravane, and I'm delighted she won Madrid. The further she goes, the happier I am."
-- Bartoli, recanting, even less convincingly.

8. "He uses it a lot to be against it."
-- Serena Williams, on Federer and Hawk-Eye.

9. "I just hope it's not $92,000."
-- Serena Williams, on facing a fine for not doing a postmatch news conference. She was fined $92,000 for her infamous U.S. Open outburst last year.

10. "I understand the rules of football so well that apparently when two Slovenian guys mug an American guy, the American guy gets called for a foul."
-- Roddick, on officiating mishaps at the World Cup.

11. "I see a lot of tweets just like, 'I'm having breakfast and the omelet is great.' Who cares, man?"
-- Janko Tipsarevic, critiquing his colleagues' Twitter use.

12. "Some of the tennis girls, they're sluts."
-- Teen phenom Laura Robson, still learning the art of giving magazine interviews.

"I would just like to say a big 'Sorry' to anyone that I may have offended in an interview published recently."
-- Robson, recanting.

13. "I honestly think everyone's kind of rough on him. They make him sound like he was just fat before this year and that they're surprised he could play."
-- Sam Querrey, on the reaction to Mardy Fish's summer success after losing 30 pounds.

14. "I'd vote for him, so that Independiente falls to the B Division."
-- Jose Acasuso, supporter of a rival soccer team, on Gaston Gaudio running for president of the Independiente soccer club.

15. "I am not Paris Hilton."
-- Nikolay Davydenko, on his low public profile.

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