The US Open
31 Ausgust 2001
G. IVANISEVIC/J. Gimelstob, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
Did the planes bother you a little bit?
No. Is good when plane come, you can scream, and nobody can hear.
Can you elaborate a little more on the differences of living here and working in the US Open as opposed to Wimbledon?
What do you mean?
The differences from your take on living in New York for two weeks as opposed to living in London, playing here as opposed to playing at Wimbledon.
Actually, it's more quiet when you play Wimbledon. You rent apartment or house close there. You finish your practice, you walk for five minutes, you're there watching movies. Here you have to drive every day, if you lucky 45 minutes, if you not, one hour and a half. They put like six people in the bus. They don't even give you the car alone. Then they take two people in this hotel, two in this. You come to the hotel, it takes you two hours.
But actually New York is nice. I like New York. This is the last Grand Slam. You have to deal with anything, everything. If you start to make problems, then this comes on the court. I don't try to make any problems. I do whatever I have to do. Drive two hours, three hours, whatever. When I win the matches, you don't complain too much.
What do you like about New York?
It's action city. It never sleeps. Like 300 kilometers an hour every day, everything is so quick. But is good for three weeks. After, is too much, you know. You just get into that rhythm and you find yourself hitting the wall. You have to take off and leave.
But it's fun. You know, it's fun. It's fun to walk around, fun people, is really nice.
You kept your temper under control losing the first game of the third set. You felt there was no problem?
I actually felt great today on the court, much better than first round. I really enjoy myself there, I have fun more. Even when I lost that serve, I didn't feel like I lose the match. I was really feeling well and I knew he's going to give me something, you know, sooner or later. Was good for me. I broke him straightaway back. Really felt nice. Was nice to play. With a little wind, but was nice.
What did you think of your service motion?
Was great. Sometimes I was 40-Love up, I play a couple of stupid points like 4-2. 40-Love, deuce, breakpoint. But then I serve three aces. I think my serve was much better than first day. Motion and rhythm was much better.
Do you feel you brought the momentum that you generated at Wimbledon, Cincinnati before here, the momentum in your game remains pretty high?
It's high. I play good in Cincinnati, even better in Indianapolis. Really hitting the ball well. When I have to hit, I hit. When I have a push, I push. I can do whatever, come in. Is great. Like I say, if I pass the first week, it's great thing, then anything is possible. I have one more match, but this one is going to be tough. I never beat Costa. Is going to be tough for me.
You are in the position of coming here as Wimbledon Champion. Has that given you a different kind of feeling?
It does, it does. Now when I'm 15-40 or 30-40 down, I produce ace first serve or I hit a good shot. Before, I was too scared to make a double-fault. Now I'm more confident. When you're more confident, then you have more variety of shots. I can come in. I can stay back. Before I was maybe rushing too much. Now I can do more things on the court.
The other guys maybe look at you slightly different.
That's true, more respect. They know I'm playing good. They know they can expect from me anything. It's nicer to play like that.
Off the court, the fact that you won Wimbledon, does that sort of relax you?
It is some. When I'm in bad mood, it just gives me so much pleasure. When I walk, when I go somewhere, just give me so much pleasure that I won, that I remove that stone from my back. I don't walk anymore heavy. Now I'm lighter, more fun. Is just great feeling.
Do you think since it was so important to you, you were sort of punishing yourself all these years?
Maybe, maybe. I didn't punish, but looked like I was punishing myself because I want it so bad. When you want something so bad, is opposite reaction, is not going. You can't get loose. When a Grand Slam come, was the same question, "Are you ready, Goran? When you going to win? Is this your year?"
Me again, "Yes, I know. I don't know. Yes, maybe." Now I don't have to answer anymore those questions. I'm very happy about it.
Did you ever feel, "I'm completely unready and want to lose the next Slam"?
No, because I don't mean that. When I come on the Slam, I believe I can do well, especially Wimbledon, especially this year I felt I can do well. I don't know for what reason. My confidence didn't give me that. I just felt that's it. And that happen.
When I look forward -- actually back one year here, I lost 1-Love-1 to Hrbaty. Was disgusting. Even you tank, but you try. You lose 1-Love-1. When I won Wimbledon, I just so happy. Everything on the court, I'm happy off the court. Everything seems easy.
Are you still talking about the need for surgery?
I need, you know, because on clay I have tough time. A lot of matches, I have tough time. Lucky I'm winning in three sets. When I play more sets, my neck gets stiff, all this gets stiff (pointing to shoulder). I can't pray every night. I can, but I can hope everything going to be fine. Hopefully when I clean this, everything is going to be easier for me.
150,000 came out in Split after you won. If you win here again, do you think the people of Split will come out like that again?
Can't happen again. This is once in your life. Maybe 20,000. That kind of thing, a city of 350,000 people, almost 200,000 people came out, it's unbelievable. They said everybody who was not dead came there.
What were the other 100,000 doing?
I don't know. That was just a great feeling. I think especially because all these three finals and everything out of nowhere, I win. Everything was just so nice like in the dreams, this fairytale story, it's just great.
We Americans are thrilled that Andy Roddick is a rap singer. Can you sing a bar or two of "I'm Dalmatian," the big song they were singing at your celebration.
(In Croatian) it's called. We were singing a lot of songs. That day was the happiest day of my life. A lot of songs they were singing there. It's just fun. When you don't care, you can sing whatever you want. I just won Wimbledon. I could do there what I wanted. I even stripped. I don't think nobody stripped in front of 150,000 people. I'm the only guy there.
Getting on-court massages around the tour, does that help get you in the mindset to strip in front of 150,000?
Actually, I never strip in front of everybody. In front of my girlfriend, yeah. In front of so many people.
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