Goran Ivanisevic Interview

Indian Wells Revisited - 1998


Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.

The 27-year-old Croat won the Croatian Indoors this year and now has a total 21 career ATP Tour singles titles: "It's unbelievable for me to win here. I had so much pressure to win in my hometown. It was like having a bomb ready to explode in my head all week," said Ivanisevic after he had won the event.

The following interview was given by Goran Ivanisevic before Indian Wells 1997.

Would you rather be playing out of the sun and indoors where you keep winning tournaments?

I was happy to come to Indian Wells after all these indoor tournaments every day. We normally wake up and don't see the sun for a month, being indoors. Here it is very nice. At least we have sunshine. I didn't win the matches, but I enjoyed the sun and nice weather.

On the subject of climate, do you think some players have advantages over others in that respect?
It's difficult to say. If you are good, you make it pretty soon. If you're not, you end up staying back home and watching TV (laughter).

Do you think a person from a third world country can overcome the lack of facilities and make the circuit?
It doesn't necessarily matter where you come from. If you are good, you are good. I come from Croatia. Nobody helped me. I had a coach, a father. No wildcards, no money, nothing. Lendl came from the Czech Republic. Zero to No. 1. If you are good, nothing can stop you.

If you hadn't become a tennis player, what kind of job would you have liked to do?
Maybe I would be a journalist (laughter).

What's your goal in life?
Same goal as always, trying to win a Grand Slam tournament. Until I win one, that's always going to be my goal. If I don't win, then I'll have to look for other ambitions.

But do you intend becoming No. 1 and staying there?
I never think about that.

Trying to win a Grand Slam, yes. But being No. 1. That isn't a priority in my life.

Maybe winning a tournament in the United States?
That would be also nice. But first, I'd like to win one of the Grand Slam tournaments. Hopefully I can win one and then retire (laughter)!

You started so young and you've had good opportunities. Are you a little surprised you haven't won a title yet?
It does surprise me. Sometimes I think I won Wimbledon in '92, but then I remember it wasn't me (laughter). Maybe I still didn't produce my best tennis in the finals there. You need luck as well.
You see Pete, you know, he always struggles during the first week. Then the second week he's very tough to beat, almost impossible. Hopefully I'll manage that.
I could have won the US Open last year. I had a good chance. Roland Garros too, but I think I have a better chance in the US Open.

Roland Garros is in Europe. Does that make you feel better?
Doesn't matter. I like the States. I used to dislike it now I've got used it and it's ok.

Have you been to any of the local restaurants here in Indian Wells?

What was your reaction?
There are lots of elderly people. You don't see these things in Europe, especially in my country. You don't see old people dressing up and going out or eating at the restaurant. It's tradition, they have the right mentality for this here. Where I come from, Croatia, people stay at home, especially the old folk. They don't do anything. It's nice to see them here - happy, eating, probably in love. After 60 years of marriage, 50, whatever.

When you get old, would you like to retire with your wife in a place like this?
Oh, no, thanks. I'm staying in Croatia

~1998 ATP Tour