All I cared about in tennis was winning.
I let my racket do the talking. That's what I am all about, really. I just go out and win tennis matches.
In tennis, you can make a couple of mistakes and still win. Not in golf. I played three rounds in that Tahoe event, and I was drained. Mentally, not physically.
After I went through two years of not winning an event, what kept me going was winning one more major. Once I won that last U.S. Open, I spent the next six months trying to figure out what was next. Slowly my passion for the sport just vanished. I had nothing left to prove.
Choking is being in a position to win, and then experiencing some critical failure of nerve or spirit. That never happened to me. And I can't help but think it was because I was never afraid to lose.
By putting pressure on myself to develop a great game, I had less pressure to win. These days, I tell kids that the way I grew up, it wasn't about winning. It was about playing well, about playing the "right" way. That approach helped me enjoy the game and develop mine to its maximum potential.
My serve was there, everything was just clicking. Those are the days you dream about, especially in a final.
When you struggle winning matches all year and you don't really get into a groove or rhythm, you just can't expect to just come in here and have it click.
In tennis, you can make a couple of mistakes and still win. Not in golf.
For so long people have just taken what I do for granted. It is not easy to do year-in, year-out, to win Grand Slams and be No. 1.
Winning is about taking your opponent's heart out and squeezing it until all the blood has come out, even the very last drop. There are no prizes for a funny loser.
I hate to lose, and I do whatever I can to win, and if it is ugly, it is ugly.
As long as I feel like I can win majors and contend, I'll continue to play.
I feel much more respected in Europe than I do in the States from the press and from the people. Americans expect me to win every match I play.
If I win and play well, then the ranking will take care of itself. Defending points is really not a problem. Just go out and play and not worry about it.
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