1998 PILOT PEN INTERNATIONAL
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
August 23, 1998
K. KUCERA/G. Ivanisevic, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
How was the view? (Goran climbed into the umpire chair after the match.)
Beautiful. Very nice chair. It is very nice to sit, you know, that is why he makes so many mistakes
Is it too comfortable up there?
Very comfortable. They should put him in tougher chairs, that way they are going to be concentrated. They have very soft chairs and they are not concentrated.
What is it going to take to win an American title?
I don't know what it is going to take. To play better than I played today.
What made the difference today in your mind?
I didn't have four shots today. Second serve bad. No forhand down the line. Bad return and backhand to risky. And I did a lot of running. I hit only forehand crosscourt, he stand there and made me left right, left right, I was running like an idiot. After I was tired. I hit a lot of forhands because my backhand was like roulette. I didn't know where it is going. It is like my golf, I never know where the ball goes. I hit three backhands today. I didn't have a clue where the ball is going. So he was just standing there and making me run. With that I have to hit some down the lines which I didn't hit. I tried on match points and I miss hit . My second serve was not there, a lot of double faults.
He is tough to play, isn't he, with the patience, style tough to play?
No, I have patience. I can play with him all day there. But twice I lost my serve, first set and third set and twice with the overrules, with the bad calls and it happens. Instead of 15-all, Love-30, it happend twice and it is a big difference. Then he hits a good return, then it is love-40 and it is a big come back. It is not easy. I came to 30-40; then I made doublefault, but those linespeople are terrible. I thought it was going to be better, but it is always on my side. One point, two bad calls on one point. I hit ace and the guy said, okay, replay the point. Then I hit another ace. Then it is long. Bad. I don't know, but that is two games I lost the match and I lost my serve and that is it.
On that missed call in the 9th game in the 1st set did you get those thoughts of Wimby again?
No, I didn't just-just bad calls, bad calls. But a couple of bad calls cost me the match.
How did your shoulder feel today?
In the beginning it was hurting and then not on the 1st serve, like on the 2nd serve, that is why I start to hit wome different second serves. I hit a lot of doublefaults and then I lost my rhythm completely. When I lost my rhythm, I am not there, it is again roulette. Just going in everywhere. The 1st serve was working fine, but second serve I lost my confidence completely.
Shoulder ever loosen up and get better?
Shoulder was better after, but my serve was not better.
What do you think can be done? I mean, you guys talk about the lines men and bad calls things like that. It happens in tourneys all over the place, What do you think could be done to alleviate that, that way you guys can concentrate on playing?
I don't think anything can be done. Also a lot of times the umpire mistakes, he loses sometimes the complete control of the game and then he starts to overrule stupidly, starts to make mistakes, and-but they have to bring in more young people, like i said the other day, there is too many old lines men here in the States. I don't know why. It is tough to react. It is tough for me to see sometimes, especially for the ladies, 60, 70 yrs old, what are you going to see. Nothing. Just stand there like his ( he made the "ball is good" sign) and I don't know if she is alive or dead. She is there I have to check her if she is alive. Move here, it is too heavy. That is the problem
Is it just a problem in the States?
Indoor is also tough because it is fast, but I never had so many problems with the linespeople like here in the States. That is only here, anywhere you play in the States, it is a question of they just not concentrate-it is tough to keep concentrated. Especially when it is hot. You have to sit or stand for one hour. The balls are flying, you have to always be there and you lose a couple of times concentration and that can cost you the match, or set, or-it is tough.
Are the linespeople younger in Europe?
Yes. But it is also mistakes a lot of times of the umpires, the main guy up there because he has to look more carefully especially after i went up and he has a nice view up there and he can see, but he didn't see good today.
What did you like about Karol's game?
He is playing very simple, nice game. Same like his coach, Mecir, same game, just he takes the ball very early makes you run left and right, don't lose too much energy. He doesn't have the big shot, but just makes you run so much and makes you make mistakes. Then you have to try to hit here. I cannot always see the winners. Then I have to make mistakes. And he was serving suprisingly good today. He served very good and I thought he might make more doublefaults and more first serves mistakes, but very deep first serves and I couldn't do too much.
Compared to other years, as far as yourself is concerned going into the US Open, how do you feel?
I feel good. I made the final, which is nice I played good tennis. I have to feel good, just hope my shoulder is going to be fine because US Open is-you have to win 3 sets and if you lose one of two then you have to win-it can be five sets and it is not easy to play. But, my form is fine. I am felling fine and we will see. Maybe I take too serious these losses and I just have to-just have to have fun. See what happens.
Pat Rafter said the other day that he considers you one of the outstanding dark horses for the title. Where would you place yourself among the other competitors?
I don't think anybody is the favorite. You cannot pick one guy who can win the Open. Sampras is playing not so good already all year. Rios is not playing well. Rafter is not in good form, but he has to defend the points and he is going to be tight and nervous. So, me unpredictable. Nobody knows. It is only-I go there and i can play, I can beat anybody. I can lose to some strange guy there, but it is pretty interesting Open this year. I cannot pick one guy who can-that I can say is going to reach second week easily.
Speaking of unpredicatable, when you missed that shot in the 3rd set when you were down 3-2, does that happen often?
The backhand miss-hit. (When Goran whiffed the ball) Yeah it is like golf. I didn't know. I wanted to hit and I saw the ball it is still there. The guy said, Okay, I don't know-sometimes I don't know what i am thinking. I wanted to hit the ball and everything was fine, position was fine, but ball didn't go anywhere. Why? I don't know why. It happens.
Do you also amuse yourself at times on court and try hard not to start laughing with some of the things you do?
I have fun. I start to laugh because I feel like laughing. Better to laugh then cry.
Have you ripped any shirts before??
I never. Jeez, that was- I didn't know why i did it. I just was wide open and- I didn't know what I was doing
When you ripped your shirt on the changeover I saw a tatoo? Can you talk about it?
Yeah. Cross is cross and rose, I have a rose, which means love. And shark is pretty mean, mean enemy, so altogether, it is me.
You said you haven't gotten over Wimby yet, but you seem to be getting over this pretty soon. Do you think the pain from this loss will go over fairly quickly?
I have 2 options, you know, to think again or start to laugh and I mean, I didn't get over it. It is not going to be easy. But I have better things to do next week and I have Open coming, so if I just now think about Wimbledon and and this,then I am going to become crazy, so better laugh and have fun. Maybe it is going to help. I try new strategy from now.