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A woman in a white tank top and cap reaches to hit a tennis ball with her racket on an outdoor court.

50 Tennis Quotes That Will Make You Want to Hit the Court

Ready to boost your tennis game and your mood? These tennis quotes are just what you need to get inspired, laugh a little, and feel the love for the sport all over again. Whether you’re a casual player or a dedicated pro, these words will serve you well.

Tennis is more than just hitting a fuzzy ball over a net. It’s a delicate balance of mental focus and physical finesse. Every player knows the thrill of a rally where shots seem to flow like poetry in motion. And that heart-stopping moment when the final point is won or lost? Pure magic.

The game’s greats have a knack for capturing these unforgettable experiences in just a few words. Their quotes about tennis are filled with inspiration, humor, and hard-earned wisdom from years spent on the court. Whether you dream of center-court glory or enjoy a casual match, these tennis quotes will surely strike a chord.

Person holding a smartphone displaying an image of a tennis player serving, with the caption "You only live once, but you get to serve twice!" from sagescott.kc, under the category Tennis Quotes & Captions.

    

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Table of Contents

A blurry person in the background holds a yellow tennis ball towards the camera. Text on the image reads: "Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility." — Billie Jean King.

Famous Tennis Quotes

Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of tennis greats? These famous tennis quotes capture the essence of the sport and the spirit of its champions.

“I let my racquet do the talking. That’s what I am all about, really. I just go out and win tennis matches.”
— Pete Sampras, American tennis player

“To be a tennis champion, you have to be inflexible. You have to be stubborn. You have to be arrogant. You have to be selfish and self-absorbed. Kind of tunnel vision almost.”
— Chris Evert, American tennis player

“Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“Tennis is just a game, family is forever.”
— Serena Williams, American tennis player

“Everybody loves success, but they hate successful people.”
— John McEnroe, American tennis player

Person lying on a tennis court covering their face with a tennis racket and ball nearby; a quote by Andre Agassi reads, "Tennis is the loneliest sport.

Quotes About Tennis Being a Mentally Tough Sport

Tennis isn’t just about powerful serves and swift volleys—it’s a battlefield of the mind. These tennis quotes highlight the mental fortitude required to excel in this demanding sport.

“Tennis is not a gentle game. Psychologically, it is vicious.”
— Richard Evans, British historian

“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.”
— Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis player

“Tennis is the loneliest sport.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball.”
— Pete Sampras, American tennis player

“Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.”
—  Venus Williams, American tennis player

“Everything comes at a cost. Just what are you willing to pay for it?”
— Serena Williams, American tennis player

“I just try to concentrate on concentrating.”
— Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player

“Only boxers can understand the loneliness of tennis players — and yet boxers have their corner men and managers. Even a boxer’s opponent provides a kind of companionship, someone he can grapple with and grunt at. In tennis you stand face-to-face with the enemy, trade blows with him, but never touch him or talk to him, or anyone else. The rules forbid a tennis player from even talking to his coach while on the court.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker.”
— Venus Williams, American tennis player

“Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified.”
— Virginia Graham, American television host

“As tennis players, you are never satisfied. We are greedy as players, always want better results.”
— Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player

A tennis racket and ball lie on the court. The image features a quote: "I'll let the racket do the talking" — John McEnroe.

Motivational Quotes About Tennis

Need a boost to your tennis game or a dose of motivation for everyday life? These motivational quotes from tennis legends are here to push you to achieve your best, both on and off the court.

“When you start from nothing, when you come from nothing, it makes you hungry.”
— Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis player

“You play the ball. You don’t play the opponent. Be free in your head. Be free in your shots. Go for it.”
— Rodger Federer, Swiss tennis player

“My motto is: I’m alive, so that means I can do anything.”
— Venus Williams, American tennis player

“The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst.”
— Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player

“Spectacular performances are preceded by spectacular preparation.”
— Frank Giampaolo, award-winning coach and author

“I’ll let the racket do the talking”
— John Mcenroe, American tennis player

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“You don’t have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman.”
— Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player

“I just try to play tennis and don’t find excuses. You know, I just lost because I lost, not because my arm was sore.”
— Goran Ivanisevic, Croatian tennis player

“I used to think that losing made you more hungry and determined but after my success at the Olympics and the U.S. Open I realise that winning is the biggest motivation.”
— Andy Murray, British tennis player

A woman in athletic wear stands on a tennis court, smiling and clenching her fist. An inset quote reads: "The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst.

“You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.”
— Chris Evert, American tennis player

“I’ve been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.”
— Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“You have to continue working because everybody is. Once you stop, the others will overtake you.”
— Dominic Thiem, Austrian tennis player

“I just try to stay positive and focused on the tennis, not let anything get to me, like crazy questions. But I’m tough, let me tell you, tough as nails.”
— Venus Williams, American tennis player

“As a Tennis player, you have to get used to losing every week. Unless you win the tournament, you always go home a loser. But you have to take the positive out of a defeat and go back to work. Improve to fail better.”
— Stan Wawrinka, Swiss tennis player

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.”
— Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“I’ve said it lots of times before, I play for myself, so I’m not worried about other people’s expectations.”
— Taylor Fritz, American tennis player

Tennis racket and ball on clay court with quote by Arthur Ashe: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“For me losing a tennis match isn’t a failure, it’s research.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost.”
— Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player

“Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“There are no shortcuts in best of five set matches”
— Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player

“If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

A woman in a white outfit and cap plays tennis on a court. A quote by Andre Agassi reads, "The great part about tennis is you can't run out the clock." The quote is attributed to Quote Queendom.

Inspirational Tennis Quotes

Tennis isn’t just a game — it’s a metaphor for life. These inspirational tennis quotes reflect on the lessons learned from the court that apply to everyday challenges and triumphs. Let these words inspire your tennis game and life off the court.

“The next point — that’s all you must think about.”
— Rod Laver, Australian tennis player

“I want my tennis to speak for everything.”
— Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis player

“Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love — the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“One win, and you are on top of the world. Lose in the first round the next tournament, you are back to reality.”
— Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player

“I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.”
— Boris Becker, German tennis player

“The great part about tennis is you can’t run out the clock…”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“If I were to say, ”God, why me?” about the bad things, then I should have said, ”God, why me?” about the good things that happened in my life.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“You’ll hear a lot of applause in your life, but none will mean more to you than that applause from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“The important thing is to learn a lesson every time you lose.”
— John McEnroe, American tennis player

“Being champion is all well and good, but you can’t eat a crown.”
— Althea Gibson, American tennis player

A tennis player in white athletic attire lies on the court, covering their face with both hands. A tennis racquet and ball are beside them. The quote, "The important thing is to learn a lesson every time you lose." by John McEnroe, is displayed.

“If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that’s a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you for the rest of your life, and there’s going to be a life after tennis that’s a lot longer than your tennis life.”
— Chris Evert, American tennis player

“Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do…but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
— Venus Williams, American tennis player

“Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.”
— Jim Courier, American tennis player

“A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“No one remembers defeats. People remember victories.”
— Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player

“The winner is the one who believes in victory more.”
— Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis player

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

“I play each point like my life depends on it.”
— Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player

“I go out there because I love tennis and I love playing.”
— Bethanie Mattek-Sands, American tennis player

“In my case, I can sincerely say nothing is impossible.”
— Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis player

A tennis player in a white outfit holds a racket, with a quote by Rafael Nadal: "I have no sense of humor about losing." The image branding reads "Quote Queendom.

Funny Quotes About Tennis

Even in a sport as intense as tennis, there’s always room for a good laugh. These funny tennis quotes remind us to keep our sense of humor, even when (or maybe especially as) the competition heats up.

“I have no sense of humor about losing.”
— Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player

“Being number two sucks.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“The ball is round, the game is long.”
— Bjorn Borg, Swedish tennis player

“I dislike the gym, but I’ll chase a tennis ball all day.”
— Matt Kuchar, American golfer

“What rivalry? I win all the matches.”
— Martina Hingis, Swiss tennis player

“Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you’re too damned old to do anything about it.”
— Jimmy Connors, American tennis player

“The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.”
— Mitch Hedberg, American comedian

“I never knew I was grunting, it was just part of my strokes.”
— Monica Seles, Yugoslavian and American tennis player

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”
— Robert Frost, American poet

“I was sporty in high school. I played tennis and hockey, and was basketball captain. Then I went to university and stopped doing sport and started eating ice cream.”
— Rebel Wilson, Australian actress

“If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration.”
— Serena Williams, American tennis player

A person in a white outfit is reaching up to hit a tennis ball mid-air with a racket. A quote by Matt Kuchar on the right says, "I dislike the gym, but I'll chase a tennis ball all day.

“When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn’t play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.”
— Hugo L. Black, American senator

“Ladies, here’s a hint. If you’re up against a girl with big boobs, bring her to the net and make her hit backhand volleys. That’s the hardest shot for the well-endowed.”
— Billie Jean King, American tennis player

“Nobody — NOBODY — beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row!”
— Vitas Gerulaitis, American tennis player, after finally beating Jimmy Connors

“I listen to him most of the time, some of the time, I switch off.”
— Andy Murray, British tennis player, about coach Brad Gilbert

“Sex doesn’t interfere with your tennis — it’s staying out all night trying to find it that affects your tennis.”
— Andre Agassi, American tennis player

“She is woman . . . I am man.”
— Marat Safin, Russian tennis player, explaining the difference between him and Anna Kournikova

“He can’t cook.”
— Michael Chang, American tennis player, exposing Pete Sampras’s weakness

“Tennis is a psychological sport, you have to keep a clear head. That is why I stopped playing.”
— Boris Becker, German tennis player

“It’s not really a shorter skirt, I just have longer legs.”
— Anna Kournikova, Russian tennis player

“It’s called retail therapy.”
— Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis player, about going shopping after a loss

“Not yet. It’s my first day on the job. Give me some time.”
— Marat Safin, Russian tennis player, about not breaking a racket during his first match of 2002

“Tennis is a young man’s game. Until you’re 25, you can play singles. From 25 to 35, you should play doubles. I won’t tell you exactly how old I am, but when I played, there were 28 men on the court — just on my side of the net.”
— George Burns, American comedian and actor

A person in tennis attire holding a racket and tennis ball on a court, with a social media post caption reading, "Court is in session, and I'm ruling it!" by sagesscott.kc on Quote Queendom.

Tennis Captions for Instagram

Looking for the perfect caption for your tennis-themed Instagram post? Whether you’re sharing a triumphant win or just your love for the game, these captions will make your posts stand out.

  • A bad day of tennis is still better than a good day at work
  • Court is in session, and I’m ruling it!
  • Court queen
  • Game. Set. Match.
  • Having a ball
  • Hitting the court like a champion
  • It all starts with love
  • Just serve it
  • Life is better on the court
  • Life is like tennis — those who serve well seldom lose
  • Love all
  • Love is nothing in tennis, but in life it’s everything
  • Love. Passion. Tennis.
  • Making a racquet
  • Match point madness
  • Only looking back to see how far I’ve come
  • Queen of the court
  • Slice, slice, baby
  • Tennis: A racquet sport in which two players compete to see who has the shortest temper, the worst memory, the poorest eyesight, and the slowest watch
  • Tennis is my therapy
  • Tennis is not a sport — it’s a lifestyle 
  • To err is human. To put the blame on someone else is doubles.
  • Topspin for the win
  • When life gives you tennis, ace it!
  • You only live once, but you get to serve twice

Do You Have a Favorite Tennis Quote?

Which of these tennis quotes resonates most with you? Do you have a tennis quote to share that’s missing from this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  

Thank you for sharing!

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