"You're never gonna find three tennis balls in a Pringles can."

Agreed. Or, wait—come again?

Talk about forethought. Playing the long game, ATP and WTA stars came together for a Tonight Show segment stretching from Cincinnati shoots to US Open scenes. Therein, each was enabled to insert some subtly bizarre lines of their choice into one-on-one interviews or full-blown press conferences.

As coaxed by Jimmy Fallon and his writing team at NBC, the pros in play for these verbal follies delivered across the board.

Quick-strike performance reviews here: Andy Murray (deadpan), Maria Sharapova (likewise), Madison Keys (nearly breaking, a la Fallon himself in his SNL daze), Ashleigh Barty (breezily delivered), Stefanos Tsitsipas (wow), and Karolina Pliskova (hilarity).

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka chose the same phrase, variations on "When the score is deuce, the juice gets loose."

For the Djoker, the saying seemed apropos—something he would weave into conversation regularly.

For Osaka, well, she might need some poker-face skills—but we knew that.

Fallon's own favorite seemed obvious at the end: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ever the character, inserting "Thish ish tennish" into an on-camera conversation with CoCo Vandeweghe.

In closing: "Game, set, match—do the cabbage patch."


Wake up every morning with Tennis Channel Live at the US Open, starting at 8 a.m. ET. For three hours leading up to the start of play, Tennis Channel's team will break down upcoming matches, review tournament storylines and focus on everything Flushing Meadows.

Tennis Channel's encore, all-night match coverage will begin every evening at 11 p.m. ET, with the exception of earlier starts on Saturday and Sunday of championship weekend.