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August 29, 2000

Goran Ivanisevic


MODERATOR: Questions for Goran.

Q. Usually when things aren't going well for you on the court, you're throwing your racquet, talking to your racquet, muttering to yourself. Today it was like, "Beat me, get me get out of here. " What happened?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Museum match, when you go to museum, that's how I played. It's happening two years. I don't know. It's just happening that I don't have fun anymore to play, I don't have fun to be there. I mean, I won the first set I don't know how, to be honest. I just didn't do anything. He missed every shot possible, you know, and then I suddenly 5-Love up. I say, "Okay." But then, I don't know, just worse and worse. It's not that I didn't try; it's just I cannot motivate myself. Even I won the first set, I'm not happy. I don't know.

Q. Did you kiss this match off?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: What do you mean?

Q. Just give up?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I didn't give up. I just -- I don't know. Just maybe is not anymore that I play tennis. I don't have fun anymore, you know. No fun to play, no fun to be here, no fun to practice.

Q. If that's the feeling, I'm sure there are other things that you would like to do in life, why do you keep trying?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm trying to cheat myself maybe. "The guy didn't win a match for a long time," maybe I try to win a match, maybe I try to get motivated. But again, I'm losing 1 and Love. The court is not so slow. I cannot put first serve in the court. No idea how to play. No idea what to do. Just walking there like my first year on the tour, lost boy, wildcard, I was playing in Africa somewhere, in the forest, so I just came here and everything is new for me. So that's how I play.

Q. How long do you think you're going to go on like this, if results don't come in?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No idea. But like this, no way. Is no fun to play, you know. I can just play and throw my racquet, you know, make some show for the people. But, you know, this is sport. I came here to win the matches, you know. See, I cannot even break my racquet, you know, anymore. Instead of smashing every racquet today, everything, you know, I didn't even say the word. It's like a faggot.

Q. When did you start feeling this way?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Two years already, up and down. I feel good, I start to win a little bit, then suddenly, like this year at Queen's, I play good tennis. Then comes Wimbledon, I played a match without any power, like is not Wimbledon, like is some grass practice, you know. Then, you know, I'm practicing hard this week, last week. Comes US Open, again, you know.

Q. Any time in this two-year period that you thought about retiring?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I didn't think about retire. I took some time off, like one month off. I went home. I didn't do anything. I thought maybe is going to help. Nothing helping.

Q. Is there something going on in your personal life that could be affecting you?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. Everything is perfect, you know. It's strange, you know (smiling). Everything is fine. I'm happy. It's not that I'm unhappy.

Q. Didn't lose a girlfriend?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, no, no, I didn't lose anybody (laughter).

Q. Are you maybe afraid of retiring, not knowing what's going to happen after you stop playing tennis?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe. You know, who knows. I don't know. I'm Davis Cup captain now. Maybe I can be that. I don't know what to do. Maybe I go crazy after three months, you know, start shooting somebody in Croatia. Nobody knows, you know. I still don't want -- you know, it's no fun to retire like this. You go lose 1, Love and 1. You should retire when you do some good results. You say, "Okay, now I prove I can still play. Bye. Thank you very much. After 12 months is enough." Especially my shoulder is killing me. I had this MRI last week, they said I should make operation. It's a lot of thinking. If I want to play another two years, I cannot play with this shoulder. I need to do operation. If I do operation, it's seven, eight months I have to recover. Do I want to do that? Do I want to leave tennis eight months and then come back? I don't think so. Do I want to play another two years? I don't know. I have to do a lot of thinking, you know.

Q. Is it the rotator cuff?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's the same like Rafter had. I'm going to do a lot of thinking, you know, next months, then I going to decide what to do.

Q. You're playing the Olympics?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am in, you know, in doubles and singles. To go there, it will be my fourth Olympics, which is nice thing. But to go there and lose first round, to fly 18 hours, is not a great fun, just to have fourth Olympics and be there. I'll have to see. You know, I'll have to decide what I want to do. Olympics start 18 of September. It's a long way to go.

Q. Are you due to carry the Croatian flag again?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I carried '92, so I don't think. Maybe. It would be nice to carry again. If I go there. But if not, anyway it's nice to be there.

Q. Is it fair to say you're undecided about going at this stage?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm undecided to play any more this year, to play, not to play. You know, I feel I can still play. Physically I'm good, except the shoulder. I'm not the guy who was running a lot all my career, you know. I was serving good. Now, last couple years, they slowing the courts much more. Before, the courts were much faster. I have to decide.

Q. Just to be clear, it's not just the Olympics; you're undecided whether you're going to play at all?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: If I going to play at all this year, any match, you know, I have to decide. It's tough to say yes, it's tough to say no. It's stupid for me to say after the match, "I'm not going to play." Then tomorrow I say, "I'm going to play."

Q. You say the shoulder is killing you. Do you have to take stuff before you go on court?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm taking painkillers. I took the injection of cortisone one week ago. The problem is getting very stiff and tiring. After five shots I hit, it's very, very heavy, you know. It's painful. But it is not the reason I lose the match today or anything like that, you know. I need to find motivation somehow. If I cannot find motivation, then is no fun to play. It's not fun for me to come here, lose 1-Love, then just go home and say I played 10, 11 times US Open.

Q. If there's a tear in the rotator cuff, why is it so difficult to decide whether to have surgery or not since playing with it can probably only make it worse?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Can snap and then I'm finished. I told you, it's eight months, seven months that I have to recover.

Q. But if you play with it, make it worse, what's the difference?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: You know, if I want after seven months, eight months, if I want to come back again, that is the reason. Or you just keep playing, keep playing, take these painkillers, try to play. My head is a little confused. I have to make some decision. Is not easy. I never felt like that in my career, in my life, that somehow I hit the ball.

Q. What is it that used to motivate you that you can't find now?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: All my life, I am the guy that I play for something, you know. When I start my career, my sister was very sick. She had a cancer. I had to play for her. I wanted to play for her. Now she's fine. Then I play for her. Then the war came in Croatia. I play for my country, I was very motivated. Then somehow everything stopped, nothing to play for anymore.

Q. How about yourself?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That's the problem. I don't like myself sometimes (laughter). Then I don't like to play for myself, you know. You know, then I was like looking, "Okay, I play for this, for that." It was not real motivation. I could still motivate myself like in '88 when I played the final of Wimbledon, but still was Croatia in the world champions football, then again some kind of motivation. Now, you know, just like empty. Battery's empty. It's a red light. I don't know.

Q. Where do you think of going to think? Going home? Have a special place you want to go?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know where to go. I'm stay here and go from here to Olympics, go home. You know, now it's going to take me couple of days to see what to do, what is the best thing. Is worst thing to hide. I don't want to be a loser and I say, "Okay, now it's finished." I just want to maybe try one more time, maybe find somebody to kick my ass, you know, pain, kick me a little bit, maybe I wake up. If I cannot wake up, I don't know, then is best to stop.

Q. Often you hear players say after about ten years of flying constantly all over the world, you begin to burn out a little bit, that the travel just gets to you. Is it possible that you've just been out on the tour too long and the travel has begun to catch up?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I was. I mean, when I came on the tour, was so many big players like Lendl, McEnroe, Wilander. All those guys are gone. Edberg, you know. Now the young guys are coming. No more respect. They play all the same. You know, they so strong. The tennis is becoming stronger. You have to keep up. I have to work twice than I was working before. Is no more fun for me. I'm starting to get -- when I get in the plane, I'm so scared. Before, I was not scared of flying. Now I am having problems to fly. I'm flying less, trying to go with the train or with the car if I don't have to fly. Those things, they all not good.

Q. Do you get a little inspiration from Patrick, that he went through this thing, this comeback?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, he did a great job. You know, he did a great job. He came back. You know, I don't know. I don't know if I can do it after all these years. I don't know. To be honest, I'm not sure.

Q. You said you needed somebody to kick your ass. There's some suggestion that you might get back together again with Bob, who is the guy that took you right up there. Is there any foundation in that?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not to kick my ass like that. Maybe I go to boxing, and somebody break me, kick me, you know (laughter). We are still great friends. I still talk to him a lot. He always gives me advices. But advice here, advice there, too many advices, you know, I get mixed up in my head. I am the guy who is playing, I am the guy who has to decide. Whatever I decide, I have to stick with that, you know. It's not that I decide today I'm not playing, and then tomorrow I'm getting crazy, why did I decide that? One day I'm going to be ready to decide to stop tennis, it has to be final decision. Maybe I'm not ready yet. Maybe I want to give myself another chance. But like this today, you know, it's not good.

Q. Can you tell me about the hat? Nice hat.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just for fun, you know.

Q. Why are you afraid of flying? Did you have a bad experience on a plane, fear of death?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. But I watch the TV. Somehow some plane crashes. I don't know, I'm getting scared. I cannot sleep anymore on the flights. I always watching if something's going to happen. I don't know. Probably I getting older and more nervous off the court. On the court I'm getting quiet. Everybody telling me, "Break the racquet, do something." Just cannot.

Q. When is the last time you broke a racquet?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know in the match. In practice I still throw sometimes.

Q. That doesn't count. A real match.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: A real match? I don't know. Not lately I didn't break too many.

Q. You were saying before that you got motivation from all these things from outside. Did you ever get motivation from beating your opponent? Was that ever enjoyable for you? Have you lost that?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is, but I lost that motivation. This year I didn't win so many matches, so I don't know how does it feel to win so much. But for sure, you know, if I can win a couple of matches, if I can constantly play a little better, for sure I can get motivation and have fun to practice. But like this, when you fly every week, now I fly to Sydney, then somebody beats me 2-2, I say, "Why did I came to Sydney, why didn't I go home?" Those things are killing me. Those things I have to decide what I want to do. If I go there, then I have to play. I came here, I decide to play. I was thinking not to play maybe US Open because of my shoulder. I decide to go on the court, I play. But, again, you know, it was not -- I was not happy the way I play. Could be much better.

Q. I know it is difficult for you to judge right now, but is it possible that you could see the Sydney Olympics, playing for your country there, as the ideal way to finish your career?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That can be also possibility. I have to think about it. I have to see, go there with a lot of Croatians in Sydney, maybe that can motivate me. Maybe God say, "Okay, this is your last chance here. You going to win a medal. You going to play good. You going to be happy." Who knows, maybe.

Q. If you were a betting man, would you say you'll be back here playing again next year?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That's a good bet.

Q. That you won't be or will be?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. Most probably not, but who knows. It's a long way, a long year. Hopefully I come here. I wish I come, but it's a good bet.

Q. When you stepped away from the game for about a month, did you miss it at all?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not too much. Yes and no. I was on the boat. I had a good time. But then I came on the tour, and in the beginning I had fun. Then after six days, I was like, "Why did I came?" Then again I say, "Okay, you are here, you cannot make any more problems, you play or go home." I decide to play. Then this shoulder happened. Now it's a big messed up in my head. Now I don't know what to do anymore.

Q. When did the shoulder happen?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Took MRI in Long Island. That's why I didn't play. We see, you know. Now it's time to think what I going to do.

End of FastScripts….

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