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June 29, 2001

Goran Ivanisevic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You're smiling a bit like a small boy. Do you feel young again?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, is just I feel nice, you know. I feel relieved. I'm in the second week of a Grand Slam, which I don't think anybody would bet on that before I come here, you know. Just I don't know what to say. Just perfect.

Q. It's a great-looking tattoo you got there. Who did it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I got it four years ago in LA, some guy. But hurts like hell. One hours, ten minutes. Was painful.

Q. Why did you get it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I just wanted to do tattoo. Then I said okay. Then the guy, when he started to do, I said was hurting so much. Then for one hour, ten minutes, I was -- I couldn't stop. "The rose, you should paint it in red." I said "No, no, thank you. Leave it like that."

Q. When you were going like this with your fist, looking up to the sky, what were you saying?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I said, "God, give me one more point, you know." Then I hit the let, 5-3, ace, double-fault. I said, "I don't want to have a Krajicek match again, '98, 5-3, ace, let." Then I lost the set. It was 15-30 in the fifth, I said, "No way." Close, break point, ace. But I was just hoping to hit ace and I did it last two points.

Q. Quite often on the changeovers you just walked over to the other side. Was that to put Roddick under pressure?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just what I'm doing. I didn't make any pressure, you know, on him. Just what I'm doing. That's how I like to do.

Q. How did you find this level again? All of a sudden you're bombing aces and knocking off volleys, hitting some good passing shots against a very good player.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, the way I served today, especially first two sets, is just too good. I mean, I can't ask for more. He was just walking left-to-right. I said to myself, "If I can serve like that, he's gonna give me chance." Because he's a great player, gonna be even better player than he is now but he give you some strange points. 5-4 tiebreak, he plays drop shot, I don't know why, in the middle of the service line. He's running to the net, I said, "Thank you." Couple more. I just wanted to put return in because I knew he was gonna -- he is -- every forehand, 200 kilometers an hour. He have to miss one or two somehow. But I keep my mind. I play from the back surprisingly well and serve outstanding, you know. Just the last game I made my life a little bit -- like always, you know, I wouldn't be Goran Ivanisevic, I can't finish something nicely, two, three aces nicely, thank you. I have to make my life little bit tougher and, you know, suffer. But on the second matchpoint, never happen to me in my life, I hit the first serve and I couldn't move. First time I didn't came to the net. You know, I was like blocked. Like came into the sand, like the life sand that takes you down. I stand on the baseline, said, "Gee, what am I doing here?" I cannot move, still. Then he return. Then I hit the forehand and I miss the next shot. But never happen. I just wanted to win so badly that I just freeze for two seconds, but good thing that I hit another couple of aces afterwards.

Q. When you were blowing those matchpoints, what was the inner Goran saying to the outer Goran at that point?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It was then, they both were nervous. I said, "Guys, guys..." One has to be under control, but they both, they were going. Little bit. One was rushing, the other one was rushing even more. Then the third one came and said, "Guys, relax. It's a lovely court, relax. Just calm down."

Q. The third one?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Third one had to come, I had to call him. He's the emergency one. Emergency, 911 call, and he came on deuce. Calm down, two aces, thank you.

Q. I'm confused. The third Goran, is that the --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That's the one who just comes when he's very emergency situation. He is nowhere, you know, he is like behind the scenes, you know.

Q. The Zen master?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, he is like the brain man. He's controlling.

Q. Back when this was a lot easier for you, did you ever think a second- or third-round match would be something that is that important? How important is it to you these days?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is. Like I said, I was listening the other day, some commentators, nobody gave me any chance, nobody believed I could do it. But I did. I played good matches first two rounds. I just said doesn't matter how the other guy's playing, how I play, you know. I played a great match. I just wanted to win so badly. Second week, geez, I don't know what happen. Last year I stay here till Saturday because of the ceremony, you know, not because I was in the tournament. Now I am in Monday going to play again. It's just perfect.

Q. Having got so far, what do you think realistically is your potential now?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Everything is open. Now it's second week, I always say in the second week of a Grand Slam, this is now the first tournament is over. Now the second one starts. Now anybody can win, you know.

Q. How do you explain your dominance over Greg Rusedski?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean me and my friend Greg, gonna be another beautiful match to watch. (Laughter.) Very, very exciting, you know, 15-love, 30-love, 40-love, game. 15-love, 30-love, 40-love, game. But matches always finish 7-6, 7-6. He is the one who gets nervous more than me. He throws some double-fault. In all this 7, 8 matches that I won, I think I just more important points, I play better than him.

Q. He also said -- you once had matchpoint and you served a second serve at 130 miles per hour.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, but is gonna be interesting. That's gonna be tough, you know. But is gonna be all the crowd behind him on that match.

Q. There will be a lot of sympathy for you as well.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, is gonna be a lot. But I don't expect because it's an Englishmen, they want Englishman. I am a wildcard, too, so, yeah, close, you know...

Q. What was your motivation against this teenager who's this young kid and --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, motivation to win, you know. I always want to win. Doesn't matter who is there. You can see him. He's very relaxed, having fun, young guy. But he can learn to play even better on grass. When he does that in couple of years, he can be a major threat here on grass.

Q. You were very controlled here today. At times he lost it.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was perfect, you know. No complaining, no throwing racquets, no -- even some calls, they were close, I didn't -- I went one step and then I came back, you know. The other Goran jumped in and said, "Go back." I went back.

Q. When you looked across at him and saw some of the things he was saying to the umpire, did you think he was going too far?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I just said, "Okay." I just was keeping my mind clear, you know. He is young. He had fun there, you know. They gave warning for nothing, then he had little talk to the umpire. But I just stay calm and it paid off.

Q. You've had such a transformation. Do you think it's because you've matured, you've gotten older, you've been on the Tour for so long? What advice would you have for people who admit they have a problem with their head like Marat Safin? Do you think it's just time?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm not psychologist, you know. I don't know. I am mature, but sometimes I am not, you know. I am acting like I am still junior, you know. But he is young, you know. He's gonna learn. Everybody, you know, they come to the stage where they go a little crazy, you know. So if he can keep his cool down, he's gonna be, for long time, one of the best players on the Tour.

Q. How is your shoulder holding up?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Perfect. I pray last night. It's fine, you know. Gets a little tired, you know, when I play long. But so far it's okay, you know. I just -- some point of the match, I felt little, you know, is getting tired. But then I went through this moment and it was better after.

Q. You've had so many big wins here, like today. Yet, so many disappointments. How do you feel about Wimbledon at this point?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's the greatest tournament, and I just love it. I love to be here. The first day I came here, I said I want to leave this place proud of myself. So far, I cannot be prouder than I am, you know. It's just great feeling. I think I can be even more prouder when I finish this tournament. I expect now more things from me, and I believe I can do it. I have a game to do it, and I think I can go long way this time.

Q. Last time you lost in the final, you said you wanted to die. Are you glad you didn't?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm glad. That's why I'm here, you know. But I don't want to go through this procedure again, you know, this dying procedure.

Q. You did the thing with BBC with the two Gorans. Did you see it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I saw it this morning. It was good. (Smiling.)

Q. Are you a natural actor?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Looks good, you know. Everybody told me looks good, so I should maybe, next career, go to Hollywood, try to do something, you know.

Q. What is your opinion on the extradition of Mr. Milosevic?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Mr. Milosevic in Hague? Is perfect, is gonna be his home for the rest of his life.

End of FastScripts....

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