Goran Ivanisevic Interview

TENNIS MASTERS SERIES STUTTGART
G. IVANISEVIC/M. Philippoussis, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3
16 October 2001

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Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.

MODERATOR: Questions for Goran.

We were talking to Philippoussis yesterday. He told us some stories about how he's come back. He's back again; thinks he can do extremely well. Were there signs today that he can be as good a player as he was in the past?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think he's going to be, no doubt about that. He's dangerous always. But you can see he didn't play for five months. You know, he still misses some. Okay, the breakpoint in the third set, easy volley. But he's still dangerous player. He serving big. You play one short ball, he hits a winner. It's tough to play against him. I think next year is going to be very dangerous, like he was before.

How do you feel about your own game?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Good. Last week, court was very slow. This week is much faster. Playing much better. You know, serving well. From the back, is fine, you know. But, no, everything is fine. Everything is under control.

You're No. 14 right now. To place 7 or 8, about 60 points. Are you looking forward to Sydney?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have to stay in Top 20. I don't have to be seventh or eighth. If I'm in Top 20, I have wildcard. I think I shouldn't go out of Top 20. I should be okay. If I win one more round here, I'm hundred percent sure in. I'm looking forward. It would be nice to be there, end of the season. Is a present for playing good at Wimbledon. Would be great to be with these seven guys.

First game in the final set, was that vitally important?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It was. You know, Love-40. But then I came up with some good serves. Then I had my chances. But it was a very important game. Against him, you can't do anything, you know, careless. I lost my serve in the second set, careless game, two double-faults, two easy games, that's it. He serves unbelievable. That was maybe most important game of the match.

What is your main source of motivation at the moment? What do you want to prove?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't want to prove. I have nothing to prove. I just want to go to Sydney, to play there. Nothing to prove. I prove everything what I have to prove to myself. Playing tennis, having fun, breaking racquets, enjoying. Everything is there, you know. Just having fun.

Do you play sometimes the ball with your feet or head. Are you training for Split football?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm not training yet, but I'm going to have to. If I have to play this game this year, end of this year, next year, I have to train.

Where do you want to play?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm playing in the attack. If you play defense, if you screw something, you get a goal. Is not good. In front, is better.

Are you going to play World Cup?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: For who?

Soccer.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Are you joking or what? No. I going to watch. We qualify, it's a great effort for the team. Now hopefully we can do better than '98. This means final or win, you know.

Did you ever think tennis could be this much fun again for you?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not last two years was so much fun. Was more struggling. I don't know what I was doing. I was just trying to find that. Now I found it again. Now is fun again. I had fun for nine, ten years before. Then I lost it for two years. Now I have fun again. It's great.

If you hadn't won Wimbledon, do you think you'd still be playing now?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Probably would be one of the last tournaments, you know.

You would have hung up the racquet at the end of the year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, that's what I said in the beginning of the year. I going to hang for the rest of the year, see what happens, happens. Probably get a wildcard, ranked around 100, that would be it. Play here, maybe one more wildcard, maybe quallies in Paris, that's it, bye-bye. No Brighton (laughter). That's okay.

Having won Wimbledon, are you more relaxed as a person now?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Oh, yeah, I'm pleased with myself. Even when I stop playing tennis, now I know that I achieved something that I work all my life, that I wanted to achieve. I much more happy. I having fun off the court. I'm not taking the losses so badly like before. I didn't know the life is going to go so easier when you win something big. It's change. Everything change. Is more fun for me.

You were telling us before Wimbledon about airplanes. It's a long flight down to Sydney.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Now it's even worse in the airplanes. You have these guys, they go straight to the buildings. You never know what can happen. The world is getting crazy, you know. But I don't mind these big planes. I still don't like when the plane taking off. But that's life - I have to go to Sydney. After one month, I going again back to Australia.

What I was trying to say, now a great big cloud has been lifted off your head, it's all sunshine. Do you still have this fear of flying?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, yeah, doesn't matter. Doesn't have to do anything I won. Has to do with my fear of taking off. As soon as the plane reach the up, then I'm okay, then I'm satisfied. I'm still sweating. I can't talk to anybody. These ten minutes, I'm in my own world, you know, for ten minutes.

What do you think about your next match? I think we are expecting Kuerten for you.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Is going to be a tough match. I don't think he's going to win so easy against Mirnyi. Had a tough time with him at US Open. Is 50/50 today. Whoever wins, I mean, Kuerten I lost twice already this year. Mirnyi, I beat him this year in Rosmalen. Whoever I play is going to be interesting match.