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June 27, 2001

Goran Ivanisevic


MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, the first question for Goran, please.

Q. That looked like an almost perfect match for you.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It was. Not the first set, because maybe I was a little nervous because I never beat him. I thought this is my chance on grass to beat him. Then I started a little slow. I lost my serve straightaway, then I broke back. I had a set point, but was not the perfect set. I missed a lot of first serves. Somehow I just pick up my game. The second, third and fourth set was just perfect. I can't ask for better.

Q. Did you surprise yourself with the way you played in those sets?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I know I playing good tennis. I just have to put couple of matches together, you know. Now I'm able to put two, so we see how I going to figure out how to put three, you know. But playing great tennis, crowd behind me, just having fun there.

Q. When do you think you last played that well?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not last year, for sure. You know, I always dreamed that I can, you know, just after two years of not great tennis, you know, just come here and try to play well. So far I'm doing it, doing it good. Hopefully I can continue like that and keep my mind. Doesn't matter who I play; it matters how I play. When I play good, then I think I can beat anybody here. But when I play bad, then I cannot even beat some womans on the tour. That's the point, you know. Whoever comes, you know, you just have to consider how I play, not how the other guy is playing.

Q. You say that, but you now have Roddick, which a lot of people are talking a lot of things about him. What are your thoughts about the way Andy Roddick plays his tennis?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He's a great kid and a great player. He's going to be future of the tennis. Hits huge serves, huge forehand. But, like I said, you know, it's going to depend how I going to play on Friday. If I serve well, and if I don't let him, you know, just hit the big serves, I mean, hit his big forehands, then I have a chance. I'm more experienced on grass. This is his first senior Wimbledon. I see my chances there. I just have to concentrate, play well, like I played today, and we see. Who knows what happen.

Q. Do you think the crowd will be behind you in that match or behind Andy?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. They're going to be half-half probably. He's young and upcoming. I'm older and going, you know. They still want me to do well, so that was really nice. I was very pleased. Every time when I play, only if I play Tim or Greg, you know, I know I can't expect too much. But when I play Roddick I think on Friday, I hope they going to support me a lot.

Q. You talked about keeping your mind. Of course, you're very famous for the conversations between you and yourself. Has the inner Goran and the other Goran been saying much to you recently? Any interesting dialogue?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Actually, they're good. They're both good. They're both thinking the same way. They both in London. That's very important, you know, because when one is in London and the other one is, I don't know, somewhere else, it's not good.

Q. How do you bring them back to London?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's tough. But they both here. That's a great thing. They both in London, they both in Wimbledon. It's perfect.

Q. How did you pull that miracle off?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: You know, it was a time. After so much time, you know, struggling, you know, I decided just to start they can travel together, you know. So they traveling together now. They being good friends. You know, is very important. When they good friends, then happens like today, I play good tennis. I can lose my concentration a little bit, because that's me, but not the match. I keep it everything under control, you know.

Q. You've been serving very well. Is your shoulder better? Does it feel better now?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Today I served 35 aces, and my shoulder is surviving. Last night I prayed. Today was good. Tomorrow I going to pray again. I don't know how long. You know, I hope I don't play long matches. Whatever, you know, I came here to play. I can lose or I can just this can fall off and I stop. Until it doesn't fall off, I play, you know.

Q. Is your priest here to help you pray?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, no. Nobody can. I just pray my own way. Everything is working fine.

Q. Were you surprised at how much Moya was guessing on your serve? Seemed like he kept expecting you to go wide. You had the down the line working.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: When I start to serve like that, then you have to guess, you know, or you have to pray like I'm praying that I going to miss the serve. When I serve good, everybody are guessing. I know when I play big server, when I cannot return, I start to guess, just think that he might miss my serve. Today, even when I miss the first serve, I was serving big second serves. It's good. It's good. I'm pleased, you know, everything is there.

Q. We can only assume, but we would like to think it would be out on one of the big courts. What would it mean to you to play on either No. 1 or Centre, which may be the last time you're playing out there?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I forgot. Last time I was on centre last year, that parade. I don't think I going to be on centre, but maybe 1. It's still nice, you know. Who knows. I'm used to playing on these outside courts. Doesn't matter where I play. I just have to enjoy, have fun.

Q. You sometimes tell us around the world about funny gifts you get sent by fans. Anything here?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: You mean, like handcuffs?

Q. Handcuffs.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, no. Actually, I'm opening my mail every day, and nothing interesting came yet. Disappointed, you know. Maybe the young guys, you should ask them. They don't want me anymore.

Q. You say you think Roddick is a great kid as well as a great player. What is it you like about him as a person?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He's very simple. On the court, you know, I like. He's not a boring player. He show his emotions. I mean, I like the way he's acting.

Q. A bit like you when you were young?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Nobody's like me when I was young. Only I can make my son, and maybe he's going to be like me. That's tough to beat me. You know, I was special, special case (smiling).

Q. Have you got any plans to retire? We heard this might be your last Wimbledon.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I see after. I tell you after I finish the Wimbledon what I going to do, you know. I'm still hoping I can play more. I going to play the end of the year and then I going to decide. But this is lot to do how I going to do here. I believe I can do well. Take it easy and see. You know, Friday's another match. Step by step, see how long I can keep it like that.

Q. This is a challenge that you maybe haven't quite achieved?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is a challenge. It's a challenge I can prove to myself that I can still play good tennis and still beat those guys there.

Q. Do you feel because now you've made it to the third round you've totally justified the wildcard?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm the best, you know. I'm not Englishman, but I go to the third round. They're proud of me, The All England Club. Maybe. In my opinion, I think I can do better. Doesn't matter wildcard or not wildcard, I think I'm capable to do better. If I can manage to win on Friday, then is second week, everything is open. Then who knows what happen.

Q. You said before the tournament that there's not many players that you would pay money to go and watch these days. You think a lot of players are dull. Would you pay money to go and watch Roddick?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. Why not? He's interesting player to watch. Those guys who can just blow you off the court, but he can also miss a lot. He is a funny guy to watch. He's a great player.

Q. If you hadn't had a wildcard into the tournament, would you have wanted to be here enough to play quallies?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No other choice. I had to go to Roehampton. Last time I was there was '88 when I qualify. But good, I didn't have to go there. I'm here now talking to you. It's still nice, you know.

Q. Do you think it would be a good idea to send Andy a pair of handcuffs? If not, what do you think you should send him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe I should take him out today, have nice night out. No, doesn't matter. Maybe I should send him or not send anything. I just should go Friday on court and serve my 20, 30 aces, maybe still show him that I'm better player on grass than him. But he's going to learn how to play, you know. He has so many years in front of him.

Q. Maybe you'll become his agent.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't think so. He has a lot of guys who I think are just dying to be his agent. Friend is enough.

End of FastScripts….

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