ITALIAN OPEN 1997
Round 3: Defeated Boris Becker, 7-6(7), 6-3
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
What did you think when Boris had three set points in the first set?
I didnít think about anything. We were 6-3 and I had two serves. I hadnít been serving well in the tie-break. Suddenly I hit two great serves and then I played a few unbelievable passing shots and since then my game changed completely. I started playing well from the back and didnít make many mistakes
Do you think youíve been lucky to have got injured so you had time to rest?
Yes, my injury helped me. I was very tired after playing a busy indoor season. I was sick of tennis. I had been playing lots of tournaments and then came Key Biscayne and the Davis Cup. Luckily I got injured in a very stupid way and took 5 weeks off. I didnít play tennis for 20 days. I came here hungry to win. I didnít expect much but things are going fine
Can you describe how you hurt your hand?
I went to my apartment to get something but as I walked in I forgot what I was looking for. I stepped out and suddenly remembered I had to take my rackets. I went back in and while shutting the door I forgot to take my hand off. I broke my finger in three places but didnít have to undergo surgery.
You seem to use the English adjective Ďunbelievableí for everything you do. Do you do it because you donít believe in what you can actually do?
Sometimes I believe, sometimes I donít. At 6-5 in the tie-break I just closed my eyes and played the shot. Maybe I was lucky.
How did you spend your 5 weeks off right in the middle of the season when you normally play several tournaments?
I had a great time. I watched all soccer and basketball matches on tv. I went to the gym too. Then I wanted to play in Hamburg but the doctor said I was not ready yet. So I stayed home 8 more days. I practiced four days before coming here. I was very happy not to break my finger but to have spent some time at home.
Wouldnít it be good for you to take a week off even if you are not injured?
Maybe it would be good for me. God sent that door to make me rest before the French Open!
You said you played well from the baseline in the second set. How much do you rely on your serve?
I donít have to rely on my serve. In the first set I wanted to play too much. I always make that mistake when Iím faced with a top ten player. I couldnít put 3 consecutive balls in the court. Then I started serving better and became more confident from the back.