Wimbledon 2004 interviews
06-24-2004, 11:50 PM
Post: #1
Wimbledon 2004 interviews
G. Ivanisevic Interview
Monday, June 21, 2004

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Goran Ivanisevic.

Q. When you won in 2001, you said there were three guys. Who were they again?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Good, bad and the emergency one.

Q. In medical circles, there are rumors circulating that Emergency Goran, Goran 911, is seriously depressed, has had nothing to do, not enough crises. Are those reports correct?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I was never depressed in my life, you know. I'm not a person to be depressed. Just want to have fun and enjoy.

Just good to be there one there in case these two get in fight. So third one comes. It's like a referee in the box. So has to stop. Both they go to their own corners and then they relax. After one minute, they come back and they okay.

Q. So 911 Goran is healthy?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Is like a guru, is like a healer. Not a depressed guy. Imagine if he be the depressed one, he be confused, to be disaster.

Q. What was it like to walk out on Centre Court today?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Beautiful. It's the first time actually I walk on Centre Court first round in my whole Wimbledon career. It's new, nice. Grass is very green. Unbelievable feeling, you know, after last time I play on the Centre Court, I had a great memory. Today I played another great match, you know.

You cannot play bad on this court. You can be nervous, but bad, is impossible to play bad.

Q. Were you in a hurry?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was thinking actually it will be nice to finish in three sets. And then everything was ‑‑ whatever I wanted to hit went in. So, you know, it's just nice to finish. And now I'm getting ready. I'm starting to get nervous.

Q. You say you never get depressed. Will you be depressed if England wins tonight?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I be sad, not depressed. But they're not going to win, so I don't have. Why think? Still one and a half hour before the game.

Q. Don't you think you've used up all your fortune today, all the net cords?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That's for me, you know. They have the other.

But today everything, really, you know, like, they still want me to play here. You know, they don't want me to lose first round. And you know, it's just I had a little luck, but I think he didn't have any chance. With my luck, no luck, I was too good today. I really played one of the best matches for long time. Whatever I hit, like I say, return, serve, volleys, from the back, was too good.

Q. How was the shoulder feeling?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: So far is okay. You know, hopefully I'm not going to say is too good because next day I'm not able to serve. But is good. Around 115, 120, 125, I'm hitting a serve. Not like in Queen's. In Queen's I was hitting over 130. But I'm pleased the way I serve. If I can keep this level of serving, I'm be okay.

Q. The reaction of the crowd today.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just perfect. This is really great. Is going to be sad when, you know, if I have to lose one of these matches. But crowd is great. English crowd really have great relationship. That's one of the reason I came back, because I wanted to play one more Wimbledon. I want to retire here, and because of this crowd who really supported me all these 15 years.

Q. Did that make up for not being able to make the walk out in 2002?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: And they change the schedule. You know, they usually put the women's after men's, you know. Was Roger, woman and me. Now they change, they put me. So is another great gift from the Wimbledon committee, so I have to say thank you so I can watch the game. It was great reception when I walked in, when I walked out even better. It's just beautiful.

Q. Even though you're not nearly as old as Martina Navratilova, do you feel some kinship with her today? These two great players who are icons in Wimbledon history coming out to play maybe their last Wimbledon on the same day. Do you feel any connection with her at all?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I cannot compare myself. She is other level. She is from other planet, you know. She's 48, 50, I don't know. She won 6‑Love, 6‑1. It's too good. She won how many Grand Slam? How many tournament? More than hundred.

She is one of the few woman tennis player I respect. I have to admit, she's really great. You know, she's ‑‑ some ‑‑ I was reading in the French Open some of the colleagues of her, she gave her like hard time, why she's coming back, why she give to wildcard, she should give to younger.

But look at her here. She's really looking good, playing good, running. I mean, is 48. Probably I going to be in wheelchair at 48. But she's just great, great. She's my hero, you know. And she's lefty. I always like to watch her.

Q. The last time we saw you here, there was the danger of your father having a heart attack. He looked a little calmer today. Have you spoken to him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He has to be calm. You know, I have nothing ‑‑ I won my Wimbledon. I just came here to say good‑bye and have fun. If I win couple of matches, is great. If not, is also great.

So he's relaxed. He's happy. He's happy for me that I'm winning and I'm feeling good, you know. I'm starting to play best tennis and I going to retire. This is sad, you know (smiling).

Q. Who are the other few women players you respect?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I respect Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Williams sisters. Wait. Who else was there?

Q. Justine, Chris Evert?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Chris Evert. Justine, I think she has to be a couple more years there, then she going to start.

Q. Monica?


Q. Do you expect to play on centre second round?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't care. I played my centre. Was important I play today, you know. I think I played a great match, and this is really ‑‑ probably next round I'm going to play the Englishman so is going to be another good court, but which one I don't know. To be honest, if I play like this, I can play here in the parking.

Q. Will you catch the plane to Portugal today?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I can catch a space shuttle. One hour is the game. No way.

Q. Before you walked on court today, how concerned were you that you might not be able to bring a good competitive level of tennis?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was a little bit nervous. I knew I playing good. I play really good in Queen's. I had a little better luck. I really practice hard last two weeks. And I really felt the ball good.

But practice is one. Tournament, especially Wimbledon, you can't compare this tournament to any. And I was a little concerned. As soon as I start today, I knew is going to be a good day. I really started very aggressive. I felt good. Then I was scared with these couple of stops that is going to, you know, maybe put my game a little down.

But now, you know, when I came third time, just sun was shining, I was shining. Third set was just brilliant, too good. Really happy the way I play.

Q. Was it almost like you had never left your last match here, the final.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Something like that, you know. It's different. You know, the final is final. But today I also felt a little nervous, you know. But makes you ‑‑ you know, gives you to play good. You have to play good on this court. As soon as you step, you know, you have to give everything, all you have. Today I think I gave everything what I had and was very good.

Q. Had the tiebreak gone against you, would your father have stayed to watch you?


Q. Your father.


Q. With the football.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He came here to watch me, not the football. I am the football fan. He likes to watch football, but I am the maniac for football.

Q. Was there ever a moment today when you thought, "This is why I kept on playing for two years"?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes. That was the moment when I walked in, when I hit some great serves, great volleys. When I saw this crowd, then I said that was worth it for these two years, struggling, doing therapy, all kinds of therapy, being up and down, thinking to stop. But it was worth it. It was worth it to fight and come back and be today on the Centre Court.

Q. Did you doubt that you would come back at some points?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes. I had the tough times, to be honest. I had tough times. I had to decide. And then I decide this year to stop. But I play clay. They ask me why I play on clay losing first round. But I play only because of Wimbledon. Because more I play matches, my shoulder was better, you know. Because if I had to stop another one month, for sure I wouldn't be here. So I play like three, four tournaments on clay. I was losing first round. But my plan was just to show up for Wimbledon and everything was like working for this tournament.

And I think I did a good job.

Q. How did winning here change your life?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I change like I never anything before. Everybody talking about this Wimbledon, me being Wimbledon Champion, like for the last 13 years I never been in the final, like I never won any tournament. They just say, "Oh, he's a Wimbledon Champion."

But is great. I didn't change. Everything around me changed. Is nice to be Wimbledon Champion. People respect you, and is nice to see my name there. When I was sitting, you know, after this one rain break, was 2001, my name. Is really nice, you know.

Sometimes I still cannot believe, "What my is name doing there?" I thought somebody made mistake, but they didn't. I'm the Wimbledon Champion and I'm a member. My tie, I had this little thing so I can walk in the area, which I couldn't even watch on TV before, you know.

Q. And back home, did it change everything?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Back home, I think the people, there was missing in my career this one big Grand Slam. Always like be the guy, maybe the best player who never won a Grand Slam. And at home it's the same, you know. I'm Goran for them. Especially in Split, "Here is Goran, who cares."

Q. When you are 47, can you paint a picture of what your life is going to be back?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No idea. No idea. I don't know what is going to be tomorrow. What about 47? I still have 15 years. Who knows. But I going to be in tennis. I going to play, I going to probably still be in shape. But I not going to play like Martina. And is tougher, men's tennis.

G Ivanisevic Interview
Thursday, June 24, 2004

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I have Goran for you. First question, please.

Q. Forget Goran. We want to hear about Karolina Sprem. What can you tell us about her?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: She's doing so very good so far. I hope she's going to not blow up like in Berlin. She also had 4‑1 in the third, I think, in Berlin, and she lost, but ‑‑

Q. 3‑Love.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Hopefully today she wins it. What's the score now, 5‑2?

Q. 4‑2. How well do you know her?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Her, not so well, but her coach, he was my good friend. We play together. She's great. On her day she can beat anyone in the women's.

Q. What's her personality like?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Her personality?

Q. Yeah.


Q. Two years ago you beat Patrick. Now you get another Australian, Lleyton. You get Lleyton. Do you think he's coming after you to revenge his friend?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's a match that I have nothing to lose tomorrow, you know. I think play tomorrow. He's the guy who is the Wimbledon Champion. He's one of the best players in the world. Okay, lately he was not playing good, but his form I think is coming back.

And if I win, is great for me. If not, it's another ‑‑ it's again good. Whatever. I going to go tomorrow much more relaxed and enjoy myself here.

Q.> What do you need to do when you play against a player like Lleyton?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have to win the points twice when you play against him because you think you won a point, but you didn't win a point, because he gets to the ball and then makes the winner.

So I think I have to serve well tomorrow and I have to volley very good tomorrow because I going to be all the time under pressure, you know. Plus we play twice already, both times on grass, and both times I didn't win a set yet, so...

He's the favorite tomorrow, for sure. But, you know, with me you never know. When I have my day, then I can be dangerous.

Q. You were having a pretty good conversation with yourself throughout a good part of the match. What were some of the things you were saying?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, today, this is the match that, you know, you don't want to lose, you know. You don't want to lose on Court 2 against Volandri. I mean, you have to give credit to the guy. He play good tennis. I let him play. He was playing too much. I didn't know what to do. I was a little stiff. My shoulder was not working.

I was saying a lot of bad things to myself, how bad I am, how stupid I am, what I'm doing, you know. And that little rain came in the right time, you know. I came to the locker room.

Michael Stich came to me and he said, "Listen, I'm commentating the match. Come on, man, do something." And then I said, "Okay, man, I didn't know that you are commenting on my match, now I going to do something."

After I came back, that was a different me I think on the court. Sun was shining. I started to play much better, and that's why I won.

Otherwise I didn't see how I was ‑‑ if rain didn't come, I thought probably I would lose today, the match.

Q. The more you talked to yourself, the more angry you get at yourself, do you play better that way?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. Sometimes I just want to get out of the system, you know, this, then I talk. Then I say I don't talk anymore. Then again I talk. You know, it's conversation. I like to talk to myself sometimes.

Q. Were you nervous?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was a little nervous. You know, like I say, I didn't want to lose that match, and I didn't perform well. But, you know, this is good win, because even I played like I play. I didn't play good match, not even close like the first round, you have to win those matches. And this is great thing that I came through and I won a match.

Q. What else are you doing for your shoulder besides icing it after matches?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have to do every day my exercises with elastic thing and plus painkillers every day.

Q. You mean, antiinflammatories?


Q. And then what's it like in the morning when you get up?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's a little stiff. And then gets a little better. Then I get warm up. But then it's just, you know, it's going up and down. You know, today in this match, I thought fifth set is going to be the worst, but fifth set was the best. I served the best. My shoulder was freer. I started to serve 125, 128. In the beginning, I was serving 105, 106. So sometimes takes time, you know. I'm like old engine, you know. You know, I need a little oil, oil, oil and then keep running.

Q. Once you were the winner, your reaction, throwing the racquet, your shirt, your towel, proves how important is for you Wimbledon again and that you are in the third round? Perhaps you thought during the match you were going to lose this match.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was thinking, you know, I didn't thought that maybe I going to lose, but I was not standing good, you know. But I didn't want to lose. You know, this is the match that you don't want to lose. You know, you want to win, doesn't matter what. Then you get a little tight, you know, a little nervous.

But I was happy. Sure, I was happy. I wanted to throw the chair, the umpire, everybody. But you don't do that, you know. So it's great, you know, that I came through.

Q. When you were standing without your shirt, hands up, in the sunshine, what went through your mind at that moment?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That I can get some suntan, you know, if I stay another half an hour, you know.

Q. How difficult is it for you with your shoulder to play back‑to‑back days?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: We going to see tomorrow. We going to see tomorrow. This is good question. You know, I play five sets today. But this week I don't want to have any pain. I want to ‑‑ in my mind, I put ‑‑ even when I have pain, I say to myself, "You don't have pain. No pain today." And then sometimes can work, you know.

I know is going to be stiff, but I going to try to put that ‑‑ you know. It's life

Q. Have you even practiced for this amount of time back‑to‑back days?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Usually I play one hour a day. Is enough for me, you know. One hour, then I get nervous. I don't need more than one hour.

Q. Does the shoulder hurt perhaps even more hitting a kick serve where you have to really strike the ball hard against the side of the ball to get the spin?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, most ‑‑ usually my motion is pretty automatic. It goes, throw the ball, hits pretty smooth. But mostly, when I have 15‑30, Love‑30, I start to force it, then I start to feel most pain. You know, when I hit harder than I have to hit or better than I need to hit, and then I get a little miss‑hit serve, a lot of bad serve, and then I start to feel most pain.

Q. Are you able to kick serve it without any pain?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. But I don't have a good kick. I never had a good kick. I had a better slice. I was always ‑‑ especially on grass, I never hit a kick serve in my life, I think.

Q. You said you were an old engine. Is it possible that God could help an old engine to win this tournament?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I never be too much to ask. I think I ask Him 2001 and he gave me a lot, you know. He gave me the Wimbledon. I just ask Him to be here again. And I am here again after three years, and this is for me victory, I think, even these two matches and to come back on the Centre Court again, to be able to play Wimbledon, this is for me like winning Wimbledon.

It's really ‑‑ what I went through all these last two years, wanted to stop, but I think I made the right decision to come back, this is for me more than winning Wimbledon.

Q. Martina is going well again today. Have you completely ruled out the idea of a comeback at some time in the future?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, no chance. Men's tennis, you cannot take a ‑‑ look at what happened to Andre, you know. Before he could take one month off tennis and then come and then win the tournament. No more. In men's tennis, you have to ‑‑ two weeks is the maximum you can take to come back.

In women's, you look at Martina, eight years she didn't play a match. That shows you everything about women's tennis.

Q. You think it would be the impossible in men's?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: In men's, who can be 48? Who is 48 in men's and put him back to play tour. I mean, would be funny to watch, you know. Slow motion, you know.

Q. Is that a weakness in the women's game?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That's a weakness. That's before the tournament start, you pick five girls, you know they going to come to the semis or quarterfinals. They win 6‑Love, 6‑1. 6‑1, 6‑1. 6‑2, 6‑Love. 6‑Love, 6‑Love. They say how good tennis they play.

Q. Could John McEnroe beat anybody in this draw at age 46, whatever he is?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I had a discussion with my friend the other day. He said that McEnroe will beat 20% of the guys in this draw. I don't know how John is playing, but some guys maybe. But, again, you know, nobody ‑‑ you see Ramirez Hidalgo, nobody gave him a chance to win five games against Henman. He almost won the match. Tennis has improved. The guys, they hit the ball so hard.

So McEnroe, with his talent, he can maybe win a set, but I don't think he can win a match because these guys are hitting the ball so hard. You have one bad day, you out of the tournament.

Q. Since 2001, do you run into Patrick? Do you talk to him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Actually, no. I would like to talk to him. I didn't see him for, what? I know that was the last time I saw him. I know he got married. He's got a kid. He was supposed to play exhibition in Queen's two weeks ago. He didn't show up.

But hopefully we going to see each other, you know.

Q. What would you like to say to him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just to see how he's doing. He's a great guy, you know. He really enjoys his life. He's playing golf, I heard. It's a bad luck for the tennis that he left. He's such a great character, such a great player. Really tennis misses Patrick Rafter.

Q. When you played him in 2001, did you sense in a way the only person you could imagine that wanted it more than you or as much as you was him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes. I mean, if I will win Wimbledon before, to lose to him, I don't mind, you know, because he's a great guy. But then I say, "Man, he won two US Opens, I need this one. Better me than you."

Q. You said there were just four or five women who could win the tournament. Couldn't more or less the same be said for the men's side, there are five or six guys?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe for this tournament, yes. But is always going to be one side of the draw that somebody's going to sneak in. This is Wimbledon, this is different.

But any other Grand Slam, any other tournaments, you cannot pick the guy. You can have your favorite, you can have this guy maybe playing good, but then in the end, who will say that Gaudio is going to win the French Open? Nobody. Really nobody. I mean, he's a great player, a great clay court, but everybody says Coria. Nobody gave him a chance in the final. But he won.

So it's very tough in the men's tennis to say anything who is going to win. I mean, I pick five matches the other day, and I missed every one. Grass, even the Spanish guys now they know how to play on grass. Everybody knows how to play on grass. Volandri, maybe is his second grass court tournament ever, and he almost beat me today, I mean, because I didn't play well, but who cares.

Q. In the 20‑minute break, what did you do that inspired you to come back?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Nothing. I was talking to Michael Stich, talking to Bob Brett, and laughing.

Q. Did it cross your mind about when you beat Henman in the semifinal?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I didn't even think about Henman. I was a little bit ‑‑ was a little bit darkness in my brain, you know. But I came back. Was sunshine and different me, you know. Really, I said to myself, "Man, you don't lose the match today. It's not the match you going to lose, so you better do something if you want to win."
06-25-2004, 06:24 AM
Post: #2
Wimbledon 2004 interviews
This interview can also be read in the articles section of the site :)

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06-25-2004, 12:08 PM
Post: #3
Wimbledon 2004 interviews
Great interview!! Thanks Radda :)

i read everythyinh except for the 1st question:

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I have Goran for you. First question, please.

Q. Forget Goran. We want to hear about Karolina Sprem. What can you tell us about her?

:confused: She beats V.Williams and...??? :P

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