Goran Ivanisevic Interview

Interview with Goran Ivanisevic
1992 COMPAQ GRAND SLAM CUP
MUNICH, GERMANY
10 December 1992
G. IVANISEVIC/J. McEnroe
3-6, 6-4, 6-2

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Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.

Goran, was it difficult to go out knowing that it could be his last match, he might be all pumped up, and --
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, a little bit, but I was not in the match until third set, I mean, I played -- I let him play so easy because I didn't put any pressure on his serve. I didn't play at all. I was just standing there fighting with everybody. But not with him. Then when I broke him, first time and I won a set, then I knew he is finished. I was playing much better. I start to hit my returns and he didn't have any chance. I start to serve better. I was concentrating better and that was my game there. Then I had every game almost break points or something like that.

John came in here and said he still considers himself a top player, that he proved to himself that he can beat top guys on any given day. He may not do it consistently. Do you consider him one of the top players despite his ranking?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, sure, because he is always capable to beat everybody, first top ten players because if he is playing good -- today, he played good, but can be very dangerous because he is giving you a soft ball, he is a little bit -- I mean, he is like retiring and sometimes you do not take him serious, you would take him that he is playing normal. I mean, like five years ago and then he just beats you 6-2, 6-2. Then you think what has happened here? But now I realize that -- from the first time that I lost to him in Basel, I was taking serious every game. I am trying to beat him. I think he is still going to be-- if he is still going to still play tennis, he is going to be dangerous still for a lot of top 10 guys.

Do you remember the first time you saw him play and what your reaction was and how you felt about him when you were younger and just coming up?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: He was like kind of idol for me because he had the same way of playing like temperament on the court. That was my dream to play him once or meet him once. This match is going to be always in my memories because maybe after this match, he is leaving tennis and I beat him, so I mean that is what I was dreaming when I was young. Finally, I met him and now I know that he is a great person and he is going to be really bad if he is going to leave the tennis because he is -- he is such a great champion and person and he is leaving tennis. He is great for tennis. I hope he is going to stay in tennis to help the players because he knows a lot about tennis and he can help players.

At the beginning of the match, there was the funny volley from you when you hit it between your legs. Do you remember that? Was it because you were not in the match or you want to -- you were in a funny mood or what?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, this is my best shot. I never miss that one and I always get the point. So that is normal for me. It doesn't matter.

Goran, I think you have 992 aces. Is it a signal that the surface is too fast or Agassi, yesterday night, said that he worries about the future of tennis because there were so many aces and so less rallies.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I mean he is the kind of guy who likes to play from the back. I like to play serve and volley. But this court is pretty fast. But it is not my fault that I have a lot of aces and not him. He won Wimbledon so why is he complaining?

You have been on the court about three hours and you have made some $500,000. Do you feel overpaid?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Why? It is nice. I mean, Christmas is coming.

Well, if you consider some people who are lesser than you are, especially in your country, maybe the question is not totally unjustified.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I choose this sport and it is not my fault they are putting so much money in this sport. I mean, so what is happening in my country is also bad. It is war, so I can't help it. I can help the people giving some money, but it is not my fault that they putting a lot of money in this sport. I just playing and taking the money.

With your coach, do you feel that working with a coach like him helps you in a way to be more mentally tough throughout the whole year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: That question I already answered 100,000 times. I mean, I said I am going to tell you another time that he helped me a lot and I mean he is a great coach and I change a lot because of that war in Croatia. Now I am mentally, I am okay. Three years ago, this is past for me now. Now I am the new player, new person, so that is it.

Do you prefer Chang or Korda?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. But I prefer Chang. I think Chang is going to beat him today because Chang is always solid and Korda has to play great tennis to beat Chang today. Chang is going to be always solid, so -- you never know with Korda, he can be up and down in the game, so --