1998 GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE ATP CHAMPIONSHIP
August 12, 1998
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
Seemed like your serve was right on top of it?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I served every time that I needed. It was great. Especially last time it was Love-40 I came up with three big serves. I serve much better -- I serve much better than him and I return better because I didn't -- before what I did against him, I tried to hit his first serves as hard as I could. Today, I just hit back and let him play, finish the point which both of the times I came up as a winner.
Has he been -- has he beat you in the past?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah I never beat him before.
You never beat him? How many ties have you played him?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Two times but he beat me badly on one. No, we played all this year, from Rome. We are good friends and he is a nice guy, very fun to play with him. I mean, we had accident last week.
Tell us what happened with that?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: What happened was 4-2 for the other guy's first point. Point is over; ball bounces and I see ball boy running so I wanted to go like this, hit him with the head and pass him the ball but I didn't see him, that he wanted to do the same thing. And I just felt unbelievable pain. I don't remember -- and then I just saw the blood and I knew it was bad. So just -- how many stitches I need. And he came on the court, he give me five, six, stitch me up. Just hit a little bit here, this. Just a little cut, a bump.
Does that make you have an appreciation for some of the athletes that play like football and basketball players, cutting themselves and running into each other?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think more hockey players get hurt. (laughter) I think basketball -- but football, this isn't -- another story you know. Stitches is okay for them, if it's not broken leg or back or something else. In tennis court, yes. But I had a fall this year in Australian Open, on the players part, actually. I was boxing and he hit me with elbow and he cut me here, so I had four. So it was trying to get it all together this year.
Where were your stitches at?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just next to this.
Does that mean maybe you won't want to mess around any more on the court, fool around?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'll probably do the same thing next time, but I'm going to find somebody shorter. So when he hits me, he hits me here. I play a guy for like 155, 170, so he cannot hit me in the head.
Talk about your next match. Have you played him recently?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not recently, but since we always have good matches. I think I have a better record than him and he's a lefty. But he plays good. He can blow me away. I can blow him away off the court, so I don't know what's going to happen. It's going to be interesting match.
Goran, have you played on that court yet?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not this year.
I was just going to ask you about the new camera thing. It's something that goes behind the player when they are serving.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I didn't make it to the center court today.
One question unrelated to this tournament. The U.S. Open is coming soon. It's a special tournament and people hate it people love it and that's a tournament that you say you play. What do you feel about that?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think it's a great tournament. The city's unbelievable, New York -- for two weeks it's enough. Enough for me. But you have to love it, you know. It's tough, those New York people are very tough. If they don't like you, you are in big trouble. So you'd better be nice there. But there's so many different things. The airplanes and before there was the hamburger smell of the cheeseburgers. So you play a set and this smell comes in. But it's different. Tournament it's huge. It's different and it's going to be fun to play that. Now I enjoy.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just go out there in Manhattan and it's fun. Very strange place, it's great, 24 hours entertainment there, so it's fun. Never stops.
By the way, when you came in, do you run into Pete leaving?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No.
He was here just before you?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I know.
Did you watch his match or did you get a chance to see him play?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't think -- I was playing, but even if I wasn't playing, I don't think I watch his match. I think I watch him enough.
You had a pretty close-up view at Wimbledon. Has your outlook on tennis changed since that? Had to be a disappointing last day at Wimbledon. You played really well there.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it was very close. It was one, two points. If I win the second set, I win the match. And I didn't do anything wrong in that match. It was, you know, I took some weeks off and now I'm fighting to try to find -- find my motivation back. It's not easy and it's going to be tough. I need to win matches and then it's going to be there.
You say you're trying to find your motivation back. How do you try to do this?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I didn't find it.
You haven't found it yet?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I mean I've been on the court. I'm trying to have fun, you know. It's just probably the practice. It just hurts a lot, you know, every time -- a lot of times now -- in Toronto, in the middle of the match I start to think about Wimbledon and those things, it always comes back, these returns. But it's going to go away. Slowly I'm getting more fun on the court. Last week, not so much, but this week having more fun and I just need maybe one good result, big result and then it's going to come back.
So it doesn't help to have a newspaper reporter ask you about it. How long will it take you take get past it?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think it took me four years to forget this '94 final and you're asking me -- this final going to take even more. Maybe next year I forget it if I win it. But I still wake up in the night, holding the racket.
Is it because you lost the women or is it because you lost to Pete?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, it doesn't matter. It could be anyone in that final. But, you know he was never so nervous in the final before and I had my chance. I didn't take it and it hurt. You know, what can I say?
Do you feel you could have beaten anybody else?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know, maybe, maybe not. But it's just the final. You know, when you get the final, it's nobody's favor. May be on the paper he was favorite but not in my head. I said it was my final and nobody can stop me. But again, I couldn't fix that -- I had a tough match against Krajicek two days before, which again, my mistake. But it's past, you know, I try to put that that way. It's not going to be easy and tomorrow is a new day. Now I have quarter now to think about.
How big do you think your chances are to winning the U.S. Open?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: With me, you never know. I am the guy who comes after six months from nowhere and play finals at Wimbledon. I mean, Wimbledon comes this year, I think nobody put one pound on me that I'm going to -- reach the quarters after losing five times in a row in the first round of Grand Slams. So I'm like -- even I don't know what's going to happen. So nobody knows. If I play good, anybody can beat anybody on the tournament and I can win any tournament.
Do you feel bad about that?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, it's just the way I play. It's my life. I wake up, it's a nice day today. Today I'm going to beat anybody and nobody can beat me. And that happens. But then to win a Grand Slam, you have to be two weeks like that and you always have to -- you have to go through this moment if you don't play well. But I can win. I can win any tournament if I'm -- if I play good. And I can lose like five times first round Grand Slams and lose to a guy 500 in the world is no problem. It's horror. Me, I was born, probably my father and mother were watching some horror movie when they made me and then I am horror. (laughter).
Did you ask them about that? (laughter) Do you know the name of it?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, but I tell you when I find out.
ATP TOUR REP: Anything else?
Back to the Australian Open, who did you hit heads with?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: , it was like a boxing ring what huge glove and nobody got injured. It's tough to hear the guy but he hit me with the elbow, you know, and sure he broke me and I was stitches again and -- nobody can get hurt. I come and I get hurt. That's me. See, that's my life.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not the horror, it's me.
How many stitches?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Total stitches on my head, I have 28.
All this year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, thank you, please. (laughter).
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Career stitches but every time I have stitches s I win the tournament. This year I have stitches in Australian Open, I won split. Two years ago I have stitches s and I won tournament. So last week I had stitches and I'm still in.
ATP TOUR REP: Thank you.