24 October 2001
Interview With Goran Ivanisevic
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
The first thing I want to do is take you back to match point on that day in July at Wimbledon. What do you remember?
I remember match point ... choked badly, everything was heavy, arm and everything. I just hoped I could serve ace but I couldn't on three of them and then on the fourth one I just said 'man come on do something.' I was hoping he (Pat Rafter) would do something and he missed the forehand and I was like Jesus, great.
When the match was over it seemed to everyone that you were hugging the court.
I was hugging anything that came there, I was the happiest man at that moment in the world. It was great, great and I could not believe I had just won Wimbledon. Everything in those couple of seconds went through my mind, all my career, all my life and finally I achieved something that I always dreamed about.
Goran with all the injuries and the frustrations you have been experienced, how close were you to quitting?
I gave myself this year to try to do my best till the end of the year and see what happens and then I was going to decide and I come in and win Wimbledon so I am not thinking about it. But I was close, I was close because it is just frustrating sometimes to go on the court and lose easy. I didn't feel fun anymore on the court.
It's almost like you have been born again.
Something like that when you win Wimbledon. It was like God was testing me if I was going to quit or not and I didn't want to quit. I lost first round in qualies at Australian Open and after that I went and played Challengers and I didn't want to quit. I was hanging there believing I could do it, and if I could get one more shot ... and I took it.
And now your sights are on the Tennis Masters Cup.
I am very close. If somebody else screws me I can get a wild card but also I can qualify playing good in the last few events. I would rather do that and qualify playing good. it will be nice to be there. It's like a present playing well all the year. It will be great to be with the seven other great players in Sydney, plus I like Australia, it's a great country and I will have great support there because like 100,000 Croatians live in Sydney. It will be a great atmosphere.
You have played the ATP World Championship, you have played the Grand Slam Cup, those events came together to create the Tennis Masters Cup, so tell us what it is like playing an event as big as that?
It's after the Grand Slams, nothing is bigger than that. Eight best guys there, two groups. Sometimes when you play Grand Slams you get one easy match or somebody you don't know in the first round, but at the Tennis Masters Cup you have two groups, four guys in each group and you can't choose the group. If I could choose the group I don't know which one I would choose because they are all tough and the courts are suited for everybody - you can stay back, you can come in. It's great, it's a great honor to be there and whatever you do it's great.
If you had to tell someone what the Tennis Masters Cup is all about, how would you describe it?
It's a present for the great year you had and you go there as part of the eight best guys in two groups. You can't leave the Tennis Masters Cup as a loser because nobody is a loser there because you are a winner already by qualifying there and you leave there as a winner, even if you don't win. You know you have had a great season and you look forward to returning the next year.
You've got the best of the best.
You have the best of the best that's why you can't leave there as a loser.
You were just mentioning about the Croatian community in Sydney, we know what sort of support they have given you in the past. What sort of attention will you get this time around as the Wimbledon champion?
I think it's going to be great. I heard that a lot of Croatians watched my match with Rafter and all the Croatians clubs were full of people. They are really going to be pumped. It's going to be great, it will be the greatest atmosphere ever. I remember 1992 when I won Sydney Indoor, there were a couple of thousand Croatian supporters but this time it's going to be even bigger I think.
And finally ... we keep on hearing about Goran 1, Goran 2 and Goran 3, entertainment wise, will all three turn up in Sydney?
Always, they always come. It's a three Goran package so you can't bring one and not bring the other two. When one goes, then all three go.