Originally Posted by Fee
I usually say... 'hey little boy, want some candy?' and then wiggle my eyebrows at them. Works every time.
Can I borrow that line?
Lines I've used to begin conversations...
"Good luck in your match against (insert next opponent here). I'll be rooting for you."
"That was a great match against (insert opponent's name here). You were serving really well." (Obviously don't say this to someone who lost that match, and don't compliment part of their game unless you actually know enough to follow it up.)
"I'm so glad you're playing doubles with (insert partner's name here). I can't wait to see you guys play."
"You're such a brat!" (Okay, this one is risky, and only works if the brat in question is in a good mood, but it's worked for me twice. Once, the player stopped, cocked his head, and said, "What is 'brat'?" It was cute as hell.)
I've also gotten players to stop and talk just by greeting them in their native language. It's not hard to learn a few words, and none of them have ever seemed put off by the fact that I don't speak it fluently. They appreciate the effort.
Of course, some players just don't want or have time to talk. If you say something and they don't seem to want to stop, let them go.