Goran Ivanisevic Interview

Interview with Goran Ivanisevic
1994 ATP TOUR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
November 16, 1994
S. EDBERG/ G. Ivanisevic, 6-3, 6-4

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Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.

Goran, when you had a Love-40 lead in the second set, close to tying it, did you think you were going to pull it off?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was hoping, but he hit every first serve in and it is tough. I mean, I had perfect return because with these balls, which are the worst that I ever played in my life, you have to hit like crazy. You cannot play dropshots or anything. This is just a ball to hit. So you have to hit perfect, otherwise the ball doesn't go anywhere. So, you have to hit perfect to do something with these balls. But you just -- he served pretty good serves and I couldn't do anything.

The reason he has so much trouble with the returns with the balls --
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is tough to return, especially with the second serve. It is tough to serve and volley all the time because you have to hit perfect second serves, and you have to risk a lot because second serves stays nice with these balls, it doesn't go anywhere. Then you just hit like crazy and it doesn't go anywhere again. So it is pretty -- I don't know why they play with these balls. It is the second time this year we are playing with these balls; Paris and here. But that is ATP, they do whatever they want to.

Still, it didn't look like you were yourself today on the court. You looked uncomfortable.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is tough. I had a match yesterday which is -- I was really flat today because, you know, when you lose 7-6 in the third, you had your chances. It is not physically. It is mentally, I was a little empty, and first of all, we shouldn't play today this match because I think today should be Pete against Stefan, but again, ATP -- it is again ATP doing whatever they want, so you cannot beat it. You cannot beat the system. It is like communism, they just -- (laughter) -- that is it. But you can't cry now. I was flat today, completely. I mean, I was there, but not there. I mean, mentally it is tough because yesterday, that match, if I would win and play today's match easier because I won 7-6, it gives me confidence, but that match hurt me a lot yesterday, and is tough to come up today. It is not like today I played against some guy who is ranked 200 in the world. It is another guy who is ranked No. 8, Stefan, so it is not that I can take it easy. So it is -- that is a tough thing.

Is the system so bad, you think?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know why they didn't play Pete and Stefan today. I really, I don't know why. Everybody who ask me they couldn't believe that I play today against Stefan, so, but, you know, you can't -- I don't know, you can't fight it.

Did you get an explanation from anybody about why?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: You can't have explanation. You just have to go and play.

How do you see your chances now?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have another match and Friday I go and I play I am going to try to beat Pete if it is possible. I don't want to -- I mean, I have still little chances. It can be everything -- it can be a little mixed up situation, but I have one more match; I want to finish this year in a good way. I want to give my best match on Friday. If I win, I win. If I don't, what can I do? So I want to finish the year in a good way because I did good this year. I fight good this year and I did a lot of good things this year. I don't want to blow it. I mean, I didn't win these two matches, but I won more and I want to be happy when I leave Frankfurt.

Goran, Edberg's volleys were so crisp and yours just lacked zip. Were you intimidated?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Edberg is maybe the best volleyer of the game and I know I have to -- every time I play him I know I have to return great because he has -- especially his backhand volley, he is never missing the volley, so you always have to play unbelievable returns so he misses the volley. So I know that from the beginning that I have to play good tennis, good returns to make his volley -- to make him miss the volleys, but mine, I didn't make so many volleys, also yesterday, I mean, I was missing a lot of volleys. They were not going like I wanted to go. Like they were pretty slow, so he had time to pass me pretty easy.

If Berasategui had not played today because he was hurt, they were supposed to put Stich in his place and he would have played for the points and everything. What do you think about that? Do you think it is fair to put a new player in the game?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Why not? Oh, he is nice, so if he had a chance to play and qualify, why not. But he didn't have a chance, Berasategui went to the court and played.

Did you follow the Becker/Sampras match a bit on TV?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I saw it a little bit. Boris played very good, played much better than yesterday, which is normal, you know, because it is the same -- because he won 7-6, gave him confidence. He was very good, you know, very confident; all the crowd with him, you know. And it is opposite with me today. I was pretty flat, mentally very flat, and it is tough to -- it is tough to push, you know, and Stefan was playing very good.

Are you writing yourself off for this tournament or --
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I have one more match to play and --

How optimistic are you really?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am always optimistic. I want to win that match. It doesn't matter if I don't have any chance, I am going to try. I am going to go on the the court to win that match, not to just play that match. So, Friday I am going to go on the court and try to win; try to play my good tennis and we see what is going to happen.