Goran Ivanisevic Interview - Day 1
Monday, June 25, 2001
G. IVANISEVIC/F. Jonsson, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
How special is it to be back here and play on a court with the crowd behind you?
It's nice. You know, I got a wildcard, which is nice. They really feel for me. They behind me. They want me to do well. I'm struggling, you know, last two years. This is maybe the breakthrough. You know, I play very good today. I felt great. Is nice to be on the court. You know, I felt great on the court today.
How special or how difficult is it to play with the shoulder?
Is tough, you know, because you never know how is going to respond. You know, today was fine. But, you know, I have a pain, so I try not to think during I play. I just pray every night, like doctor told me, "You have to pray so to be better, without pain." I just, you know, try to toss the ball, hit the serve, don't feel, you know, don't feel the pain. I just go there and try. Today was great. Serving well. I hit a lot of aces. I wish I can serve every day like this and it's going to be fine.
Does it mean that you play more relaxed?
I am. I don't have any more pressure, big pressure, like before, you know, I have to do this or that. I don't have to do anything. I just have to give hundred percent and have fun on the court. Today I had fun, I gave my hundred percent, I won a match. That's how I going to go on the court on Wednesday and do the same thing.
Did you mention that the doctor told you you should "play" for your shoulder to be better?
For sure I should not play. I should have operation. I should have operation. But I'm escaping slowly, you know. If I want to play tennis next year, I can hide and escape a couple more months. It's no fun, you know. I can't practice more than one and a half hours. If I have to play here a five-set match, then after two days another five-set match, I don't know how is going to take it, you know. A lot of Advils and pain killers. But this is no solution, you know. I have to have operation. As soon as it's going to be better.
How much is it connected, do you think, with your heavy serve?
It is. When I serve good and everything, it's connected well. My game is picking. As long as I don't serve well, I start to force, I start to be nervous, then everything else, all my game is falling apart. Today when I serve well, everything else is working fine. So my serve is my biggest weapon, and it's connected. You know, it's like a chain, so everything is connecting well. When the serve working, my game is working.
And for how long exactly have you been having problem with your shoulder?
A long time, you know. I don't remember last time when I hit my first serve and I didn't have pain. Maybe a couple of years. I don't know the feeling how is to hit the first serve and without pain. Hopefully one day, if I have operation, when I hit my first serve without pain, I going to be happy man. But doesn't matter, you know. I play and I don't complain. When I lose, I don't lose because of shoulder, I lost because I lost. I just play till one day this falls off and then I have to stop. But is still okay (touching shoulder).
Do you think you still have something to prove in tennis?
I don't know. I don't think so. I was twice No. 2. I was three times finalist, two times semis. I don't know why I didn't win, you know. Everybody ask me that for last nine years, "Why you didn't win?" I don't know why. I didn't. That's life. But I should. Maybe '98 I have a chance. If I win '92, maybe I could win another two, three, because be less pressure on me. But, you know, maybe this is last one for me. I just want to leave here proud of myself. Last year I didn't leave proud from Wimbledon because I play badly. But this year I want to leave proud and I can say, "Okay, I got a wildcard, I proudly play tennis here, I play good. If somebody want to beat me, they have to play better." No pressure.
What will be your second career when your tennis days are over?
I don't know. I didn't think what I going to do, you know. Maybe be Davis Cup captain, playing professional football indoor for sure. This I want to play. Have my team and play football. And do nothing, I mean, in the first part. Then after I going to find something to do. I can not stay in one place for too long, so I have to do something. But I not going to think about this. I not going to be journalist, for sure (laughter). But I do something.
You said you don't have any more pressure, but it's a lot of pressure to play a Grand Slam tournament, especially like you, you have been three times finalist. What keeps you going? What keeps you asking for wildcards? Does it hurt your pride to ask for a wildcard?
No. I mean, I feel that I belong better than wildcard, but what can I do now? The position is I have to ask for wildcard. If they wouldn't give me wildcard, by play quallies. But I see a lot of players in front of me which I don't think they should be there, but they are there at the moment. I still believe, I didn't forgot how to play tennis. I just believe I can still be pretty high. I'm playing much relaxed this year, like I say. I played the quallies in Australia. I played the challenger this year. I didn't hurt my pride. I had fun, you know. I had fun to be here. I have fun if I have to play quallies anywhere.
I just said in the beginning of the year, if this is my last year, I want to just try everything. If doesn't go, doesn't go. You can't do anything.
What would decide you to call it a career and stop here?
Probably see how the things progress here. After here, I will sit with myself and have a little talk with myself. You know, it's going to be long, interesting talk (smiling). I don't know. Hope I going to find a decision, me and whatever, and me.
You arrived very early I think in London this year, like the second week of Roland Garros. Was it because you had special motivation?
No. I didn't play for one month tennis. I was home. I didn't play. On clay, I can't play. It was too much for my shoulder. I came here, try to prepare, and didn't help so much. In Queen's, I played pretty badly. But now, this is different, you know. You can play so bad, and as soon as you step into the Wimbledon on Monday, this is like something is changed. I don't know. I can't explain that, but it changes. So I just step today and play good tennis. It's ten days different. But on grass, more you play on grass, worst you play, you know. Is strange surface. Doesn't bounce, bounce. I play Queen's, which is very nice court. Then I went to Rosmalen, which are terrible courts, you know, doesn't bounce. I came here, another perfect court. You have so many different kind of grass. More you play, you play worst. So next year I come three days before Wimbledon probably, if I play.