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March 9, 1999

Goran Ivanisevic


GREG SHARKO: Goran rallies from a 1-4 third set deficit to win in three sets against Berasategui. He's now 5-1 lifetime against him. First question for Goran.

Q. That was quite a comeback today, down 4-1 in the third. What was going on in your head?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I had some problems in the beginning. Also with the umpire I got penalty point. I was thinking, you know, I was on the edge. If I do one more thing, I'm out, you know. I was never kicked out. I didn't want to get kicked today. It's nice weather out there. Then after 4-1, I play some good tennis.

Q. You seemed to have quite a few double-faults. Were you having a hard time finding your serve today?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it was pretty bad, especially the last game. I mean, I was serving second serves for first serves, making three double-faults in a row. But in deuce, I played the bad points. On the ad, I played some great points, especially on the breakpoint. Then in the end, two aces in a row, which I was praying for these aces, and that's what happened.

Q. When you got the violation, how much was that actual anger against the calls and how much maybe was that an attempt to get yourself jump-started a little bit?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: But this call, it was clear in. The guy didn't see, you know. He was running and looking down, so there's no way he can see the ball. It was second serve, not so fast. It's the fault of the umpire. He has to see the ball. You know, he's always giving me same stupid answer, they have to be more careful. They rely too much on the linesmen. Then I lost it for the moment because with him I always have some problems. I lost it. But then I was pretty quiet in the end.

Q. How were you able to get back into the match?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I knew, you know, I'm playing okay.

Q. I mean mentally.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was okay. Even when he broke me, I played couple of stupid shots. On the breakpoint, I hit second serve like 200 kilometers an hour. Then at 4-1, okay, I play good game. 4-2, I say, "Now maybe it's time that he get tight," like he did. Especially at 4-All, he was pretty tight, making double-faults. I knew I just have to keep the ball in the court, which I did, and wait for my chance.

Q. You've had some problems here in the past. Does it feel better to win now or is this going to hurt your golf game?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. Now I have tee time at four o'clock. Doesn't hurt anything. It's nice. You play the match, you win, even is better when you win, then you play two hours of golf. That's nice. Nice life.

Q. So you like the desert a little more now than you used to?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it's okay. Some nice comments a couple years now ago. Now I see more and more younger people. But I'm getting older.

Q. Are they actually younger or are you catching up with up?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe I'm catching up. But it's nice, it's nice weather. I just made the problem for myself before I was even coming here. Now I'm enjoying here, having fun. So no problem for me.

Q. In the past, you kind of tied yourself up a little bit worrying about it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I was not worrying. Before I was coming here, I was like making problems. But now I'm having fun, playing golf, it's nice weather. You go out for dinner, winning the match, losing, practicing. I'm enjoying more to be in the States, having fun. No more problems.

Q. Bring you down to see a lot of older people?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Actually they support me here, so I love older people.

Q. They're all for you.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. So it's nice. They still here, they still support me. Doesn't matter what I say couple years ago, they still love me. It's nice.

Q. Maybe someday you'll come here to God's waiting room.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I come here for sure one day when I'm going to be like 70. Hopefully I can make it, 70, 80.

Q. You'll make it.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I will hopefully (laughter). I come here for sure. Then I say, "Jesus, one day I was young and making these comments. Look at me now." Still a lot of years to catch up. I'm still 27. I can still think I'm young. I am.

Q. Is it quite a relief to make it past the first round?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's nice to win a round. It's nice. I didn't play too much this year. I was injured. Now I won two rounds, last week in Scottsdale. Doesn't matter how you play, doesn't matter who you beat, it's always nice to win. You get confident, you get matches. Hopefully I come in and can win as many matches as I can.

Q. Was there ever a time you considered skipping this tournament because of the history?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Never. It was always nice for me. Just when I make the problem with myself, then it doesn't matter where you are. It was this place, but it could be some other place. So I just made the problem. Before this, I didn't enjoy to play golf so much. Now I can stay all day on the golf course, so I love it.

Q. I was wondering if you knew of this young Australian Lleyton Hewitt. He just turned 18. Have you had a chance to see him play?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes. I saw him play in Australia this year.

Q. What do you think of him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I almost had a chance to play last week against him. I think he hits the ball very well. He's very quick, young. He's going to be very dangerous, I think, in the future. When he misses the ball, he gets upset, which I like about him.

Q. He gets very upset. Speaking of upset, you might not want to think about this at this point, how did you deal with the loss at Wimbledon? Has the pain sort of gone away? Do you still think about it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I still sometimes think, especially when I come to the press conference, and always the same question like you now asking me if I still think, and some other guys ask me if I have a chance, if I going to win ever, what happened if I don't win, what happens if I win. I always have the same stupid answer, "I don't know." Last year was the toughest time because there was my chance. He was very nervous in the final. I had him two set points to go two sets to love up. Then in the fifth set, I was getting tired. It still was really tough to get this plate for the third time, you know. That felt so bad, Jesus. But now it's over, and this year is '99, another Wimbledon, another question when I come there, another hopefully two weeks rain, all this stuff. That's what Wimbledon is about. Hopefully one day I can hold the trophy or I can play another final. If I play another final, probably I hang myself there at the centre court.

Q. What did you do with that plate?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: They're at home, one next to each other, '92, '94, '98. So I hope there will be no more plates.

Q. You mentioned you have problems with this umpire. When you walk out on the court, see him in that chair, does that immediately throw your mind out, or are you going to sit down and try to get this over?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It doesn't matter, you know. Other guys, you know, it's just that they maybe look at me differently. Whatever I say, whatever I do, I get a warning. He told me in the third set, even when I just said something to myself, I said in Croatian, maybe he understood, he told me, "Watch your language." I asked him, "Okay, everything I say now you going to give me warning or whatever?" He said, "No, I just warning you." I say, "Okay, but don't warn me." Sometimes I think it's not fair because I have reputation to be maybe bad guy, but I was never kicked out on the court. I go to this point, penalty point, but then I stop. So I can behave. Sometimes I don't want to behave. That's in me. But they look at me different. "This is Ivanisevic, now he's going to do this, that, we have to watch him more." I saw a lot much matches when the guys throw the racquet five, six times, and that doesn't get anything. Me, one time, warning. It's okay, I can live with that.

Q. Andre was thrown out of San Jose for words that no one heard except for the linesman. Do you think the rules are too uptight and do you think they take some of the personality and the flair out of it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. People, they like a little excitement, you know. I don't know. I ask Andre coach what happened. I don't think that's the reason that he should get kicked out. So what, he says something to the linesman. So what? He has to go. It's like little spies, they just report whatever you say. They go to the umpire, you get warning. They go back, penalty point. Then it kills tennis. You get a guy like Andre kicked out. For what? For nothing. If he hit the ball to him or hit him, I mean that's a different story. Say a couple F words, it's okay.

Q. Do you think the rule should be --?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: They should be maybe not like to change that nobody gets kicked out, like just give him penalty point, penalty game, then just keep doing it, but not kicked out. You know, you have three warnings and then you out. Today, I was really quiet after penalty point. But you can just hit the ball, and the ball flies out of the court, not on purpose, and you out. As soon as the ball out of the court, you out, then I'm out. My golf is ruined today. But now I still have fun to play golf today.

Q. What is your handicap?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I was born handicapped. When I have good days, like 18, 20.

Q. Did anybody ever tell you that with a beard you look like Jesus Christ?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, they telling me every day, more and more I look like Jesus. But I don't play like Jesus, that's for sure. I don't get help from Jesus. Today I was not. Hopefully Jesus can see that he has a copy down here, then he can help me a little bit with my confidence.

Q. How do we know you're not?


Q. Do you think with all your bad activity out there Jesus would turn the other cheek?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think I did a lot of good things and I'm still doing good things off the court, so I don't think this is going to change Jesus think bad about me for this penalty point or whatever. I throw the racquet a couple times. I think what I have inside, that what counts, not what I do on the court.

End of FastScripts....

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