"Tennis is a game played not simply on a rectangle 27 by 78 feet," it was pointed out. "In baseball, there's the World Series. In football the Super Bowl. Basketball has its championship series and hockey the Stanley Cup playoffs. But there is no clear cut championship tournament in tennis."
Roscoe Tanner believed, "Winning at Wimbledon is the biggest goal in the world. Anybody who can realistically win there has to think it is the No. 1 tournament in tennis. Every day there are 30,000 people watching the matches and everything is geared toward tennis. From 10 in the morning to 10 at night, there is nothing on television except tennis. You can't get away from it. The Wimbledon fans are knowledgable. When there is a good point, they go crazy. When there is nothing, they are so quiet you can hear a pin drop. The scene really gets your adrenalin going. You get so excited you choke. It's enough to make you shake."
Roscoe was 26-year-old in 1978. He made the observation at the time, "There wasn't such a thing as pro tennis when I was in college, not until my junior year. It started in 1968, but it was small then. Once pro tennis started getting money into it and a few wins started coming for me, I started thinking seriously about making it a career. If it wasn't for this, I'd probably be a lawyer like my father back home in Tennessee."
Jimmy Connors told the press in 1982, "When I first broke into tennis, everything was life or death. I never had any money of my own. I was different. Then the game went pro. I started making money. I didn’t have to go to my parents for 40 or 50 bucks to buy a jacket. I could even start helping them. The more you play, the more money you make. Your attitude changes."
Hank Pfister claimed, "Tennis is a rich man's game. Take somebody like Roscoe, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, or Bjorn Borg. With their talents, they can make a lot of money playing this game." Manuel Orantes observed, "Borg is faster than (Guillermo) Vilas, he doesn't get tired, and he doesn't slip in concentration...he is like a machine. There is nothing to do." However Brian Gottfried begged to differ, "Even the great players have to be at the top of their game if they expect to win."
In defense, Bjorn countered, "It is, perhaps, a combination of my style of play and my mind. First, I think you have to have talent. Then when you're on the court, you have to be a little smarter than the other player. In the end, how your personality is, maybe that's the difference. I'm not a machine. Really, I'm a human being...It is tough to be strong up here (pointing to his temple). To go to bed early, wake up, practice, play tournaments, catch a plane, check into another hotel, practice again. Day after day, year after year. It comes a time where most players can't pack another suitcase. They finally say, 'This is enough'. It is very hard to take."
John McEnroe confessed in 1984, "The problem with me is I never like to do things easy. As soon as I see myself winning easily, I immediately lower my game down to the level of other people. I have to get angry at some linesmen or myself. If I could stay away from that, I’d be overjoyed. It’s me fighting myself more than anything. I’m trying to stay away from it…"
Ion Tiriac insisted, "When you play against Bjorn Borg, you don't play a man, you play an institution. He is not invincible – Borg. There just seems to be no one with the steel, the stamina and patience to take him. Tanner has the big service – a fast court helps him, but he is no John Newcombe. (Vitas) Gerulaitis? Very quick and a fighter but tell me what single great shot does he have? McEnroe, now that's something else. He can beat anybody. He has all the tools – quickness, instinct, great service, confidence."
On reflection, Roscoe remarked, "What I lack that Jimmy has is consistency, mental toughness...There is a mental discipline you must have to win in this game. You can't let anything bother you and expect to win consistently. Borg is a classic example of a player with mental toughness. There can be a lot of noise around him, but when he gets ready to serve, stillness prevails. I'm different. I let things bother me. I like to watch the crowd." Chris Evert said after playing Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980, "When she puts it all together, Evonne is unbeatable. But she is so up-and-down, so unpredictable, you never know when she'll get one of her lapses."
"Tennis is in kind of a lull," John made the observation in 1984. "There seems to be a gap and it not necessarily has to be. There’s potentially some good players around, but no one seems to have come about. I guess it's only every 10 years that you get a really great player. It's 3 years since Borg retired and we're still talking about him. That’s not right. A guy like (Yannick) Noah – I think a lot more was expected out of him. Maybe he’ll come back (from a thigh injury). Until last week (in September 1984) (Mats) Wilander really hadn't had a good year." Roscoe made the point, "A lot of people work on forehands and backhands while playing with somebody. But the only way to develop a serve is by hitting buckets of balls to nobody. I work at it."