Goran Ivanisevic Interview

G. IVANISEVIC/B. Black, 6-3, 6-3
An interview with GORAN IVANISEVIC
21 March 1997

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JOE LYNCH: Goran Ivanisevic is into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Byron Black. First question for Goran, who has the most wins on Tour with 25 this year, just like last year at this time.

You had a very good start last year, too. Is there any difference this time in what you're doing?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: More pressure in the beginning of the year. After Australian Open, I knew at Key Biscayne I have to defend two thousand something points. That's a lot. Good thing happen that I defend my first title in Zagreb. I never did that in my career, so that helped me, I got more confident, played good in Dubai, Milan, Rotterdam. I mean, I just playing good tennis. Indian Wells I was a little too tired. I just came here, try to do well. I try to do maybe better than last year, if it's possible.

JOE LYNCH: Be careful how you sleep this year.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Hopefully I can. I'm not still sleeping good, but I'm getting there.

Did you ever find out what caused that? Was it the sleeping that caused that last year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think it was from all this playing and all the stress what I had. I was too tight. I don't know. I think I was too tight, too many matches, thinking how I could win, I didn't sleep well, maybe did a movement in my sleep.

Nothing like that ever since?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I mean, I never had that in my life. Just happens.

Goran, have you been assessed any code violation warnings this year thus far?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I had actually a couple.

Have you ever thought about setting a goal for not having any for the entire year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I don't thinking about it. I can do it, but it's just not my priority goal (laughter). Doesn't do me well. I think I be okay. Actually I just had one penalty point. Last year I never had a penalty point. A warning here or there is not too big thing. It depends what kind of warning you get. Sometimes they give me warning for nothing, you know. Maybe they look me differently than the other guys because I have like reputation, then everything what I do, what I say is warning for me. But I never thought about setting a goal that I don't get a warning.

Goran, for a couple years, you've been very close, knocking on the door at the big tournaments. You keep your enthusiasm for the Grand Slams? Do you make them any more important as time goes on? Do you have a different attitude?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Sure. Always this is my priority, my goal in my career, try to win a Grand Slam. I have three more this year to go, next year another four. I going to try to do it, if it's possible. I mean, I was twice very close in Wimbledon last year, very close in the US Open. I was maybe a chance. I mean, I try. I mean, I'm not going to now think, "Can I win Wimbledon now?" I'm going to get too crazy till Wimbledon comes. I just going to try. It would be nice if I can finish my career with one Grand Slam tournament.

You started so young and you've had good opportunities. Are you yourself a little surprised that even if you were maybe not lucky one time and had one little break that maybe would have given you the title, does it surprise you you haven't won a title?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It surprise me. Sometimes I think I won '92 Wimbledon, but then I see it's not me (laughter). Maybe not. Maybe I was not -- maybe I still didn't produce my best tennis in the finals. Have to be also lucky. You have -- Grand Slam is a two-week tournament, like two tournaments. The first week is one tournament, the second week another tournament. You have to be very concentrated. You see Pete, you know, he's always struggling first week. Then second week, it's very tough to beat him, almost impossible. Hopefully I can manage to do that.

Do you feel you're getting better with your concentration in that way?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think I'm getting better. I think I can play -- I mean, I proved it last year with this run of a couple months, I played unbelievable. This year I defended almost all my points. I can play. I'm much more concentrated. I'm getting older. I'm getting like one of the oldest guy on the Tour, you see all these young guys 19, 20, I'm already eight, nine years on the Tour. I think I learned a lot of things.

Why is it that Pete is able to do that in the second week of Slams? Has he just figured out how to time his concentration?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Ask him. I don't know. He had that problem in early rounds, almost lost the match, then was finished. He just puts himself into the tenth gear. You have to play unbelievable, hope he misses a couple points. He doesn't give you anything free. When he's on the top, you're out.

JOE LYNCH: One or two more questions for Goran.

Goran, this is a question for the official program of the French Open. If you had not been able to become a tennis player, physically able to become a sportsman, what kind of job would you have liked to do?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe be a journalist (laughter).

Which is the Grand Slam you have the best chance of winning, do you think? Would it still be Wimbledon?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I would like to win Wimbledon, it's a special Grand Slam. Centre court, everything around Wimbledon. I would like to win. Maybe I have a best chance if I concentrate, if I playing well, then I will have a chance.

JOE LYNCH: Thank you.

How is your elbow?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's still here.

How is it feeling?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: All right