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March 23, 2002

Goran Ivanisevic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Shoulder?


Q. How much longer can this go on before you do something about it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I want to play Wimbledon. That's my priority. And if I have a surgery, I can't play Wimbledon. So...

Q. What's the plan?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: The plan is, I have a couple of choices. Take two, three months off, play Wimbledon.

Q. Is that possible, do you think?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That is only solution.

Q. Do you think that's something that you are seriously considering?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, but worse thing, you know, if I take whole clay off and I come to Wimbledon and then is same pain, then I will hang myself probably in London somewhere. That would be the worst scenario. But we have Davis Cup in two weeks which is Argentina on clay which I'm - I don't think - can't survive seven games on hardcourt. And I was hoping, you know, yesterday was okay play. But today it was not good. I mean, the doctor told me it's a lottery. It's a lottery which one week can be good, three weeks can be bad. And that's why I didn't want to operate last year, because I thought with the amount of pain I had last year I could survive another year. But I was not thinking it was going to be worse, which it is. Just is getting bigger and bigger and this amount of pain is just more and more, which I cannot handle.

Q. What does the doctor advise you?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He's told me at least I need one and a half months doing exercise and not play tennis to have a chance to play Wimbledon. So...

Q. So no Davis Cup?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Most probably no Davis Cup. I mean, if I gonna -- I don't think I can last. Is no fair I go there, play ten games, they gonna put ten kilos of clay on Argentina, the ball is heavy and those guys are good, you know. So I don't think I can last.

Q. At this point in your career, you don't need to play any clay court tournaments? Wimbledon is it for you?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I don't need to play. I mean, I don't need. I would love to play but, you know, I want to be there at one o'clock on Monday in London. So if I am able to do that, I have to see what is my best option, which is not to play for two months most probably. Maybe see how is going and then play French Open. But I don't know. It's tough. I tell you, it's tough. I mean, now doctor told me now that I shouldn't play between now and Argentina. So I come there and it's tough, you know. I gonna go crazy two and a half months.

Q. You've had such a varied career. I mean, is this kind of the hardest decision you're going to have to make, do you think?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I made my dream, you know. If somebody told me after that -- before Wimbledon last year, "If you win Wimbledon and don't play tennis again," I'd pick Wimbledon and don't play tennis again. Maybe when I was thinking about it, maybe God heard me and said, "Okay, is enough for you." But I want to step one more time there, you know. And at least if I have to have a surgery after that and come back after six months, you know, I can't finish my career like that, you know.

Q. So you can't have surgery now and play Wimbledon?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. No. Is gonna --.

Q. You've got to decide?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Is gonna take four months before I hit the ball. Plus two, three months to get in shape.

Q. What exactly is the --?


Q. A tear?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: The rotator cuff. It's growing, it's getting bigger.

Q. Every time you play, in effect, it can worsen it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It can snap. The best thing to snap completely, that's what the doctor said. When they put it now together, everything that you repair is not -- he say I gonna have 75 percent to play without pain. If everything snaps, then they put it together, they make it great and then is okay. So, I mean, the best scenario would be snaps everything after Wimbledon, and then I go... I mean, maybe. I see. I don't know. Maybe after Wimbledon I can take protected ranking and come back at least for half a year, you know, just to, you know... Like this is just killing me. I know I am playing good. I want to play and I can't play, you know. I am hoping, you know, my prayers, they don't get... So it's...

Q. How much is this affecting your pride, to have to withdraw from one event?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I hate to withdraw. I mean, that's why in Palm Springs I didn't want to play before. But in these days, it was okay, playable. Yesterday was playable. I mean, the other day I play one set with Pavel, it was okay. I could play. But like the doctor said, it's a lottery. Every day I wake up, it's lottery. Plus, this hurt me little bit. I'd rather play during days more warmer and it's easier, you know. The balls are pretty heavier. I can hit serves. But as soon as I hit this big serve, I can't hit a second shot. It's just my arm, it's just killing me, you know.

Q. What would you say if you had to put it in a percentage, your chances of being there the first Monday of Wimbledon?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I gonna be there. I have to be there. At least as a spectator (smiling). I mean, I try to do everything. But like I said, it would be worst that I don't play now for two months and I come to Wimbledon or Queen's and then, again, the same thing. That would be... I mean disaster. But that's life. But I gonna do everything. Try to do my exercise, try to do everything and to have condition like I had last year during Wimbledon.

Q. Because everything you said since Wimbledon has been part of winning Wimbledon is defending Wimbledon for you?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, everything. I mean, I got my chance. I made my dream. I made my everything, you know, for all what I was working in my life. And maybe is time to go, you know. But I don't want to leave in this way, you know. I don't want to leave. At least if I stop tennis, I have to stop in a nice way. I mean nice way, just that I play and I say, "It's enough. I can't deal with it anymore." Surgery, no surgery, I have to finish one match properly.

Q. Will you be in Buenos Aires playing Davis Cup?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have to decide. Maybe I go there to support the team. (Inaudible) I've never been to Argentina and I would like to go there. But I can't survive here, seven games. I don't think on clay I can survive. Plus they gonna put a lot of clay there, very slow, and those guys, they're good players. (Inaudible) Chela, Canas, they are... With the spectators, it's gonna be tough. So I don't think I have a chance to finish this match.

Q. Any chance you will play doubles?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's a possibility. That's I consider, you know, maybe. I have to see these two, three days. It's a tough decision, you know. I am here now, I want to go so badly there. It's a good chance for us, like you, to go into the semis. I have to think. My first priority is Wimbledon. If I want to be there, I have to stop for two months. So... But most probably I will go there to see how beautiful your country is as a tourist, you know.

End of FastScripts….

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