Goran Ivanisevic Interview - Day 7
G. IVANISEVIC/G. Rusedski, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4
Interviewers - black
Goran - sage.
Today who was playing, Goran number four or one of the first three?
Just these two Goran. Like I say, they are together here, playing together, living together, fighting together. And this is just perfect, you know. When these two, they are together, then you can expect anything, a lot of good things, which I'm proving right now that I'm playing maybe the best tennis ever I play in Wimbledon.
Are you walking on a zone?
I don't know where I'm walking, but I'm walking. Maybe is not on the ground. Maybe I'm flying at the moment. Hopefully I can continue like that.
Do you think you can sustain it for seven matches?
I don't know. But I going to try. You know, I give my best. I thought I cannot play better than against Roddick, and then today I come and play, again, a great match, very focused, very concentrated, serve well, volley well, return well. So I think I can play maybe even better again next match.
What went through your mind when he handed his racquet to the ball boy? Did you think that was game, set and match?
Yeah, that helped me, you know. I knew that he was not returning my serves well, and he was not picking my serve. I was mixing a lot, you know. Usually I was serving a lot to his backhand previous matches, but today I decide to serve on his forehand, which he maybe was surprised.
But when I hit that return at 1-0 in the tiebreaker, just picked the side, hit that, then I knew that's going to be my match, doesn't matter four, five sets, it's going to be my match.
Did you expect more of Mr. Rusedski today?
In the beginning I didn't understand the way he started to play. His tactic was strange for me. You know, he stayed back a lot. He was hitting the first serve, kick first serve, he stayed back a lot of times, which was okay for me. And then didn't work for him that. Then he was starting maybe to panicking too much. He was rushing his first serve. His percentage was 46, 48%. He didn't know what to do after. You know, he was rushing, was getting more nervous and nervous. I just said to myself to put more returns I can into play, and then he's going to make even more nervous, which I did on most important points. I put return in. I was a little bit lucky break in the third, two miss-hits. But, you know, that's tennis. You have to take anything, especially against Greg who is serving so big, you know. Even when you pick the right time, the right side, you know, the serve is going so, so quick.
He didn't seem really to be able to respond. He didn't know how to get back in the game, get a foothold in the game. Do you think this is something that you have over him or was it just the way the game was going?
Probably, you know, that's why I won eight matches and he didn't win one. That's why I think I'm better player than him overall, you know. I return better than him and I serve better than him. I think I'm better player. That's why I prove it so many years. That's why I have good results here. That's why I hoping today. But against him, you know, he's the one, he's the player that you never know. You know, he can also win Wimbledon with his game. But today, you know, maybe will be somebody else he wins that match. But he doesn't like to see me other side of the net, you know. He sees me, you know, he gets nervous, then he starts to do some stupid things, and I take it, you know.
Can you sense that out there?
Yeah, I said straight in the beginning I didn't understand what is he doing with these kick serves and staying back. But was perfect. I say, "Man, when he started that, is going to be another great day for me."
There was no need to call for the third Goran?
No, no, no. He was there. He was always ready to step in, but today everything was working fine.
Why did you not take off your shirt today?
Because I only have three shirts, you know. I can't afford to throw my shirts, you know. Tacchini send me three shirts. I have to keep every shirt. I can't change too often. I have to wait for two sets to finish, I can change. With three shirts, you can't do a lot of things.
Can you size up your quarterfinal match?
Is going to be tough, interesting match. He is a great player. He's the one that I like on the tour, you know. Unpredictable. He can play great tennis, can play bad tennis, something like me. Hopefully he's going to be this bad Safin on Wednesday, you know, who's playing. But he improved a lot on grass. I saw him in Queen's start to serve and volley. He can play back.
But I looking forward. Is a great match. A great opportunity for me to go even further.
You are friends?
Yeah, he's a good friend. We have a same manager, you know. But hopefully I'm older. He has enough time to do well in Wimbledon. You know, he should give it to me this time.
Tennis fans around the world the other day learned the astounding fact that there are three Gorans. The readers would like to know if the three Gorans were on an island playing the Survivor game, who is the nastiest Goran? Who would be voted off first?
I don't know. I don't know who. When is a question of surviving, then you can't have three Gorans there - you have to have one if you want to survive. But probably mixture between bad one, good one and this 911 emergency one.
Is the 911 Goran really the meanest one of the three?
He's a special one. It's tough to describe. That one is the brain one. He is the one there, emergency one, like all the emergency. You know, when it's tough, he comes in, steps in. Sometimes he cannot help, you know, because crazy Goran is too crazy to help him or good one is too good to do something. He has a tough job. Here, he stepped once, did a good job. Otherwise he was sitting here and watching and enjoying the two Gorans working together.
When you're choking, it's 911 who comes in?
Then is 911. 911 has to come in, calm down, put everything in order. So far is okay.
Do you often think how many titles you might have won if he'd shown up a bit earlier?
Oh, yeah, probably maybe a Wimbledon. But that's life, you know. That's life. That's okay. He was out of job for long time, you know. Now he got a job. He has a steady job. He's going to be there.
Considering the extraordinary results you're having now and the excellent tennis, it is that then you don't have any pain and physically you're a hundred percent, or still there is some problems with your shoulder?
I am not. My shoulder is just working fine. Is still painful, still hurts, still have to do operation. But, like I say, I'm not going to lose here because of my shoulder. I'm not going to complain about my shoulder. Somebody wants to beat me, has to beat me. If my shoulder falls off, is bad luck, you know. But I am praying every night not to fall off and to hit some aces. So far is working fine.
Are you going to operate before the Davis Cup match against Italy on clay or not?
No, no, no, no. After, after we beat Italy I operate.
How are you coping without your coach?
I have a coach.
You do have a coach?
Yeah. I have a younger coach. He's a friend, coach, sparring partner, everything.