Goran Ivanisevic Interview

1997 NEWSWEEK CHAMPIONS CUP
Indian Wells, CA
March 12, 1997
J. STARK/G. Ivanisevic, 7-5, 6-3

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Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.

JOE LYNCH: We have a quorum. First question for Goran, who was a semifinalist here last year.

Can you explain to us what happened? What was the cause of that loss?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He played good; I played bad. He served too good. I didn't have any chance on his serve. Played a bad game at 6-5 on my serve, another bad one where he broke me in the second set. I couldn't get return on his serve. I won a couple points on his serve. When he serves like this, it's tough to break and tough to win. These balls are flying everywhere.

Pete was just saying a little earlier, the same thing, that he doesn't feel comfortable when he plays here. Do you feel the same way? You've had a bad record, apart from last year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Last year I finally started to win a few matches here. Last year the balls were not so fast like this year. I don't know what they trying to do, every time they trying to change something. One year slow, next year fast. These balls are very tough to control. This court is so huge, it's big. Can put five courts in the stadium. The ball boy gives you the ball, bounces five times to get to you (laughter). You miss the first serve, the ball boy bounces it five times, you get a double-fault. It's okay, the place is nice, it's sunny. Just lost to a guy who played good tennis today.

Would you rather be playing out of the sun and indoors where you keep winning tournaments?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was happy to come here after all this indoor tournaments every day. We wake up, we don't see the sun for one month, indoor. Here is very nice. At least we have sun. I don't win the matches, but I have sun and nice weather.

What was he telling you about this tournament and what was his expectation, your coach?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Telling me nothing. Expectation just to play good, try to do better than last year. I didn't have this feeling with a couple days of practice. It was tough to control these balls. I just didn't have feeling. Today I was just serving well. When he returned my serve, I hit -- I made mistakes. I didn't expect too much from this tournament, hope that I can prepare myself for the Lipton.

Your game actually matured much more since you're with him. What can you point out that he changed in your game?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Nobody change anything. I just getting older, getting more experienced on the Tour, having fun. I learn a couple of things. Eight years on the Tour, you learn something. If you don't learn, then you better go.

Goran, you maybe have four days now that you didn't expect to have. What will you do?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm going to improve my golf probably. Nothing. Practice probably.

Was it a problem for you to adjust your game to these conditions, not only the balls but to the sun, the heat?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's not any different. I did the same thing this here coming from two tournaments indoor, I came to Dubai, which was also outdoor, hardcourt. I felt much better there. The balls were slower. I felt the game. But this three days, I just didn't feel like it. Today on the court, I didn't feel it, I wasn't pumped. I throw the racquet once. I was not pissed, I just throw because I'm used to throwing something, so I just throw the racquet. I wasn't motivated 100 percent. I don't know why. It was two nice days, couldn't motivate myself.

Would that be perhaps a reaction because of all the matches you played? You played a lot of matches this year.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, again, I play a lot of matches. I want to play, but my body telling me you have to break a little bit. Maybe in my mind I cannot pump myself a hundred percent. Maybe it's good that I lost today, have a couple days off, try to motivate myself in the practice, try to be more pumped at the Lipton because it's another big tournament. I did well last year. I'm in good form. I'm playing good tennis. No reason to panic. I need good motivation. Hopefully can I get that with a couple days' rest.

There are still expectations maybe it's going to be your best season. What's your goal?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Same goal, try to win a Grand Slam. It's going to be always my goal till I don't win. If I don't win, then I can have some other goals in my life.

Maybe win a USA tournament, one in the United States?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It would be also nice. First if I can win a Grand Slam. This year I achieved, I won the same tournament twice, which is something I never did, it's one thing I did. Hopefully I can do the second one and then retire (laughter).

Goran, everybody talks about you winning Wimbledon. I like to play the back court a bit. Any reason why you couldn't win Roland Garros?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I could win the US Open last year. I had a good chance. Two sets to one down, a break in the fourth. I was close. Nobody expect me to win that tournament. I feel very good from the back, when I play good tennis, especially on the hardcourts I'm not a guy who likes to come in on the hardcourts. I don't know why. I just feel good from the back. I know I can stay from the back. Also Roland Garros, but I think maybe US Open I have a better chance.

The fact that Roland Garros is in Europe, does that make you feel better?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Doesn't matter. I like States. Before I didn't like, now I got used.

Goran, have you been to any of the local restaurants?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes.

Which one did you like the most?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: More younger people. You don't see these things in Europe, especially in my country, you don't see old people going all nice dressed up going to the restaurant or out. It's tradition, they have this mentality to do this. This is nice. They're living. Especially in Croatia, the people they stay home, especially old people, they stay home. They don't do anything. It's nice to see them happy, eating, in love probably. After 60 years of marriage, 50, whatever.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Goran?

Would you like to play more doubles?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I play doubles whenever I can.

When you are getting old, would you like to retire in a place like this one with your wife?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Oh, no, thanks. I stay in Croatia.

JOE LYNCH: Anything else for Goran? Thank you.