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But pain seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?

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I’m an intellectual Thatcherite, just as I was an intellectual Powellite, and I think it important that the Conservative party should be in good hands and that it should win elections.

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Man is a long time coming. Man will yet win. Brother may yet line up with brother: This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.There are men who can’t be bought.

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There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning. I think I’ve learned that lesson twice now. The essence of successful revolution, be it for an individual, a community of individuals, or a nation, depends on accepting that challenge.

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What I’ve noticed is that when people win huge and they have those huge, huge successes, sometimes they forget about the actual acting of it, and sometimes it’s hard to come down from their perch.

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It’s hard to be a celebrity nowadays. It’s not about your track record anymore. If you have a great movie, you’re good. If not, people are ready to write you off. I think the only ones who are really winning are people like Will Smith. People go, ‘Oh, it’s Will Smith. I’ve got to see him, whatever he’s in.’

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You’ve got to stand up and do your own battles. My daddy taught me that a long time ago, that you fight your own battles. The only way to shut everybody up is to win.

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When I finished the juniors I felt, perhaps for about a year and a half, that everything was going to be the same and that I would be able to go out there and win any match. But it wasnt the case. I struggled.

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When I finished the juniors I felt, perhaps for about a year and a half, that everything was going to be the same and that I would be able to go out there and win any match. But it wasn’t the case. I struggled. It took me time to adjust and to realise it was not going to happen like it did in the juniors. It was three years between the junior ranks and reaching the Australian Open, and even then, having reached the final against Hingis, I wasn’t really realising what it would take to go higher.

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Another factor is the education and culture in which you grow up. I didn’t grow up in the culture of victory, where you are expected to be or have to be, the best. It was not at all like that in my family. Tennis was really a hobby. If it led to something, great. If not, there were other things in life. I think that was something I was missing at some points in my career, because when I see Hingis or the Williamses, you see how they were educated for this: to win, to be the best, a bit the American mentality. Number one. Number one. Number one. I didn’t have this.

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Words borrowed of Antiquity do lend a kind of Majesty to style, and are not without their delight sometimes. For they have the authority of years, and out of their intermission do win to themselves a kind of grace-like newness. But the eldest of the present, and newest of the past Language, is the best.

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I felt the little beads of sweat pooling on my temple. Sit here and look nice…I could do that. But answer questions? I knew I wasn’t going to win this little game; that wasn’t the issue. I just really, really didn’t want to look like a moron in front of the entire country.