THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
J. COURIER/G. Ivanisevic 6-2, 7-6(2)
Interview with Goran Ivanisevic
27 March 1997
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
JMIKI SINGH: First question for Goran.
Do you need some cheer from the people, that your play is influenced when you play in Europe or here?
You don't need encouragement?
It's nice, but it's okay. If I play good, then I don't need any.
Did you have problems getting your serve going in that first set?
A lot of problems today. I mean, today he just had to stand there with the ball back. I didn't put one forehand in the court. I tried to force too much. Break in the first game, and losing my serve. I was lucky to win the second game. He had a breakpoint. After that five games went, I didn't see the ball.Not that he hit any winners, I just gave him, it was a nice present. Really, I don't know why. Just didn't have any timing on my forehand, my serve. Very easy mistakes. Then second set I start to serve better, tried to put the speed a little down and try to hit the slice serves. It was working, but then again, comes tiebreak, two double-faults, two unbelievably easy return mistakes. You cannot win the match like that. This is a guy who was No. 1 in the world. I could beat somebody 50 or 100 with this game, but not him.
The last few times you've played, you've had trouble with him. Is there anything in particular in his game that bothers you?
I knew I had trouble before, but today I just felt okay. I came to the court, great first game. Not great because I play good, but great because he hit three bad shots. At 15-40 I played good passing shot. I don't know why. It just probably happen, a bad day like this. Bad luck happen in quarterfinals. I play three good matches here, everything was working fine. Today was a day that nothing was going on my own. Very easy mistakes. Nothing was going.
What are your long-term goals and your short-term goals?
I don't know. Try to forget this match and try to go on and play better than this.
But do you have the intention to be No. 1 and to stay there?
I don't think about that.
Try to win a Grand Slam, yes. But to be No. 1 is not a priority in my life.
Do you notice a difference in Jim's game these days?
I don't know. If I play like this, then I don't notice anything. He didn't play too much today; I just play for him and me and everybody else. He's always dangerous. Just have to put a couple more balls into the court today to beat me. He plays Thomas next round. He have to play better than he played today.
Going straight home now, or straight to grass?
Not to grass yet. I don't know when I come to grass, but still. Play next Friday.
Don't know when you come?
Don't know when I come. Not yet, for sure.
After what happened last year, what was your drive going into the tournament, after sort of the fluke that happened to you here last year?
I was happy that I came back. I was happy that I won a couple rounds. Especially I played good, I felt good, everything was working fine. I felt pretty much okay. Today everything was fine, but just when you have a day like this, what can you say? It's just try to forget. I mean, I cannot do anything else than try to forget this day that happens. You have to go on and wait for next year to come here again.
MIKI SINGH: Anything else for Goran?
I work for a journal in South America, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Do you see that some players have advantage over players that are trying to come, like Marcelo Rios, from Chile, does he have to overcome some luck, international contact? Was it hard for you to get to where you are?
It was hard. If you are good, you come pretty soon. If you're not, you stay back home and watch TV (laughter).
What you mean is that a person coming from a developing country, for example, can overcome the lack of facilities and they can be in the circuit? There's no disadvantage, versus Courier, for example?
Doesn't matter. If you good, you good. Doesn't matter where you coming from. I also come from Croatia. Nobody help me. I had a coach, a father. No wildcards, no money, nothing. If you good, doesn't matter where you coming.You have Lendl coming from Czech Republic. Zero to No. 1. If you good, nothing can stop you. Doesn't matter where you coming from.
MIKI SINGH: Anything else?
Grass and clay, big difference?
Davis Cup, it's going to be tough. Thomas is playing well here. I am playing well. Hopefully I'm not going to play like I played today.
Clay doesn't matter?
Clay doesn't matter. Anyway now, it's finished hard for me. Clay coming, so it's okay.
Are you practicing at home?
No, I don't practice now for a couple of days. I think I had enough tennis for a while.